Parking situation in Groveport subdivision debated

By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

Groveport City Council is pondering what to do about a street parking situation in one of the city’s newer subdivisions.

On Nov. 24, council heard the first reading of an ordinance to place “no parking” signs on the fire hydrant side of Dorchester Street in the Elmont Place subdivision.

According to City Administrator Marsha Hall, the proposed legislation arose when a Dorchester Street resident complained about people parking on the hydrant side of the street. The city’s public works department, which believed that all of Dorchester Street should prohibit parking on the hydrant side, installed “no parking” signs. This prompted complaints from other residents of the street who oppose the no parking ban on the hydrant side of the street.

After reviewing the situation, Hall said there is an ordinance in place prohibiting parking on the hydrant side of Section 1 of Dorchester Street, but no ordinance was ever enacted to prohibit parking on the hydrant side in Section 3 of the street. She noted the city’s current subdivision regulations state new streets that are 26 feet or less in width must prohibit parking on the hydrant side. Dorchester Street is 32 feet wide.

To determine what to do with Dorchester Street, city officials noted that other newer 32 foot wide collector streets in the city – Elmont Place, Hickory Grove Circle and Founders Bend Drive – all prohibit parking on the hydrant side.

Hall also said Madison Township Fire Chief Robert Bates indicated parking on both sides of Dorchester Street would be a problem and a safety hazard because it could impede safety vehicle access.

Section 3 Dorchester Street resident Marvin Stevens told council there are only four houses on the hydrant side of the street in the area in question. He said there is an open field, a pond and a power line easement in the area, which means the neighborhood is not congested, and the hydrants are spaced out. He said enacting a “no parking” area on the hydrant side would limit parking for the residents in the neighborhood, particularly when they have visitors.

“A lot of streets in Groveport allow parking on the hydrant side with ‘no parking’ on the opposite side,” said Stevens. “Can the ‘no parking’ signs be moved to the other side of Dorchester, like elsewhere in town, or removed altogether, or maybe special temporary parking permits or passes could be issued when needed.”

Groveport Law Director Kevin Shannon said the older sections of town that have parking on the hydrant side are not subject to the recent new subdivision regulations, which he said are designed to keep the streets clear for hydrant access.

Councilman Ed Dildine, who is also a Madison Township firefighter, said there needs to be “no parking” on one side of Dorchester Street and where it is affects where firefighters park their fire engines.

“And that’s the last thing we need to worry about when a house is on fire,” said Dildine.

Council members Jean Ann Hilbert and  Ed Rarey seemed inclined to move the “no parking” signs to the non-hydrant side of Dorchester Street.

“I don’t have a problem with it,” said Hilbert.

“Sometimes you have to look at a situation and do something different,” said Rarey.

Hall cautioned council that moving the “no parking” signs to the other side would most likely generate complaints from the residents on that side of the street.

“The ‘no parking’ should either be on the hydrant side or not at all,” suggested Hall.

Council will discuss the issue further at its committee meeting on Dec. 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the municipal building, 655 Blacklick St. Until a decision is made, the “no parking” signs will be bagged and not enforced.

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