April 17, 2024

Snow parking in a flurry

While Creston’s snow parking may only last a few more days, discussions surrounding its future are ongoing.

Creston City Council met March 19 for a special session to talk over changing the snow ordinance. No action was taken.

The current ordinance, which take place from Nov. 15 through March 31, requires vehicles to park on alternate sides of the street depending on the date. Lasting from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m., residents must park on street sides where buildings bear even numbers, aka south and west sides, on even-numbered days of the week, and odd street sides on odd-numbered days.

Violation of this ordinance results in a $25 fine, if paid within the first 30 days. After 30 days, a late fee of $5 is added.

Because the ordinance goes into effect at 1 a.m., residents often have to park on the opposite side the night before. This can cause confusion, leading to some residents asking for a change.

While a number of ideas were discussed, councilmember Steve Wintermute suggested getting rid of street parking completely, saying he wanted to make the ordinance simple.

Other options given included no street parking during a snow emergency, alternate parking only during snow emergencies and no parking on designated snow route streets during snow emergencies. Four of the seven council members supported banning parking on the street during a snow emergency.

With the favored changes, Uptown Creston would be exempt from the street parking ban. Instead, street parking would alternate all year.

In times of heavy snowfall, a snow emergency would be called by Street Superintendent TJ Parsons until most of the snow removal was complete. There is no limit to the amount of time a snow emergency could last.

With the current ordinance, Creston Police Chief Paul Ver Meer said there are generally two officers patrolling the whole city at a time. During the snow ordinance period, the officers will ticket cars no matter the weather.

The proposed changes would also increase the ordinance violation fine from $25 to $100.

Once the chapter is rewritten, a public hearing will be scheduled. No date is set yet.