On Street Parking Changes By Local Service Station Disputed Among Residents
The Board of Selectmen heard from several residents for and against the parking changes recommended by the Traffic Advisory Committee on Bates Streets.
The Board of Selectmen heard from several residents for and against the parking changes recommended by the Traffic Advisory Committee on Bates Streets on Tuesday evening.
The committee, represented by DTAC co-chair Karen Nelson, said their recommendation for a change stemmed from a resident who voiced safety concern regarding the narrow Bates Street opening at Water Street. The committee was suggesting no parking allowed on both the northerly and southerly sides of the street.
Allen Farrell, a resident of Bates Street, presented photographs from this past winter and spring, showing the issues he said he believed to be a safety concern on the street. The Concord Oil Gas and Executive Automotive Repair station at 133 Water Street was described as using the off street parking on Bates Street for business purposes, which some argued makes it difficult, and potentially unsafe for residents to travel through.
Ann Marie Ruotolo, resident of Bates Street, spoke in opposition of the restriction of off-street parking, stating that the change would negatively effect the station's business. "He is running a gas station and garage, he needs some flexibility," she said. "It will negatively effect the business."
Ruotolo presented a petition signed by 47 residents on Bates and Riverside streets, in opposition of changes, and pledging support of the service station, whom she said they "consider a neighbor."
During the meeting it was presented that a condition had been set at a 1996 Zoning Board of Appeals meeting that the station was to have no more than 15 vehicles on site at a time. It was questioned by both residents and the Selectmen about whether this condition was being followed.
Karen Rowan, a resident on Riverside Street said she was at the 1996 Zoning Board of Appeals meeting, and described the station as "abusing the land." The problem, she said, is because too much is going on at the station, it overflows onto Bates Street.
Farrell said the problem is not simply that residents do not like having the cars out on the street. "It's for maneuverability and safety," he said. It was noted during the meeting that there have not been any recent vehicle accidents reported in relation to the issue.
Selectmen Clark motioned to prohibit parking on the northerly side of Bates Street. With his motion he included sending a letter to the town's code office to ensure the station's compliance with the 1996 Zone of Appeals document.
The town has also proposed the installation of curbs on the street to more clearly define the street parking area versus the station's property.