Pelzer approves first reading for On-Street Parking Ordinance

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During their meeting last Tuesday, Pelzer Town Council approved first reading on an ordinance to adopt regulations for on-street parking within the town and approved the annexation and rezoning of a small strip of land at the Pelzer ballfields.
No one spoke in a public hearing on the annexation.
The ordinance allows the Town to annex and rezone the property which is 0.154 acres and was once a railroad right of way. Mayor Will Ragland said the Town of Pelzer owns the property however it was listed on the Anderson County TMS tax map as being in the Town of West Pelzer.
In her police report, Town Clerk Cheryl Bates said there were 40 traffic stops, 59 contacts, 30 calls for service and 8 arrests.
Pelzer Town Council recently approved first reading on an ordinance establishing regulations for on-street parking within the town. The new ordinance primarily addresses unlicensed motor vehicles.
The new ordinance states that parking problems have become an issue for the town, especially with parking on both sides of streets, long-term parking, parking at the end of cul-de-sacs, parking in front of mailboxes, traffic blocking emergency vehicles and school bus traffic blocking access to property.
Many of the Town’s streets are narrow.
The ordinance states: “It shall be unlawful for any motor vehicle, or wheeled conveyance of any kind required by law to be licensed that is unlicensed or is displaying an expired or invalid license to be parked on any public street or road, right-of-way.”
The ordinance also states that it is unlawful for a truck tractor, semi-trailer or trailer to be parked on any public street, road or right-of-way.
Truck tractors, semitrailers or trailers that are in active use providing a service or delivery or removal of property or materials from a residence will be allowed to provide the service or delivery at or from a residence or business.
Active loading and unloading does not include parking or “staging” a truck tractor, semi-trailer or trailer and leaving it unattended beyond a twenty-four hour period.
The ordinance states that offending vehicles shall be subject to towing at the cost of the owner. An offender that has been previously cited or given notice of violation could have their vehicle towed without given the opportunity to move it.

The parking ordinance was tabled at the March meeting after Councilmember Donna Ide expressed concerns about wording in the ordinance which classified a violation as a “misdemeanor” and that towing should be the deterrent.
Wording was changed to take out the “misdemeanor”.

Before the vote, Councilmember Ide asked about who would do the towing and who would make the call when a vehicle needed to be towed. Mayor Ragland said approving the ordinance was the first step to address the problem.

Second reading on the ordinance is expected at the next meeting of Council.

Council also approved a low bid of $7,000 by Ridgewater Engineering and Survey for surveying services on six town properties. Mayor Ragland said surveys will be done on the Community building property, old hospital building, gym, town office, a pump station and at the lower boat ramp.
Surveys for the community building, gym and hospital building are needed for historical tax credits the Town is applying for to help with renovations.
Ragland said REWA has requested additional property at the pump station to allow for equipment access. The property will be expanded to the creek and an adjacent neighbor’s property, the Mayor said. The Town is paying for the survey, however REWA will purchase the property, according to Ragland.
Town owned lot at the lower boat ramp will be divided into two lots.
In a related matter, the Pelzer Planning Commission recently gave their approval for Courtney Park, a new subdivision to be located on approximately 56.2 acres between Courtney Street and the old shopping center on Hwy. 20. The proposed subdivision will include 125 homes and 18 Town Homes with the town homes facing Courtney Street. (See separate story)
Mayor Ragland said the issue did not have to come before Council for approval.