Sep 20, 2013 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
After more than one hour of discussion at a Sept. 12 public hearing, the Nelson Town Board took no action to change the parking regulations on North Lake Road in Erieville by the Blue Canoe restaurant after residents who in July overwhelmingly wanted no parking along the north side of the road this month declared the south side should be the no parking side.
The sudden opposition to the planned parking rule change, which appeared all but certain after last month’s board meeting, caused a motion to vote on the parking change to fail after it did not receive a second. The board members also traveled out to North Lake Road last week to walk the road again and reassess the parking ramifications of any rule change.
The parking issue, which was discussed by the board last year, was again broached this past July when the Erieville Fire Department advised the town board that the area near the Blue Canoe was congested at times due to cars parking on both sides of the road, and needed to be passable by emergency equipment. Residents also complained that parking rules on North Lake Road are unclear since the “No Parking” signs that currently exist on that road — mostly on the north side — are confusing.
The board held an open discussion on the matter during its July 10 meeting, at which the attending residents unanimously felt a prohibition of parking on the north side of the road, opposite the Blue Canoe, would best satisfy emergency needs and the neighbors in that area.
During the Sept. 12 public hearing, however, multiple area residents said that parking should be allowed on the north side and prohibited on the south side because the north side has fewer driveways and mailboxes and would allow a greater number of cars to park on the road. Town board members appeared surprised by the sudden change in resident opinion, and, when questioned as to why the board wanted to prohibit parking on the north side of the road, town Councilors John LaGorga and Dean Coe both responded that the plan was created based on resident input in July.
On top of the resident turnaround, Erieville Fire Commissioner Dale Marland told the board that there is no issue with fire trucks and equipment navigating North Lake Road as it currently exists with parking on both sides. This prompted LaGorga to say, “What started this [parking conversation] was a letter from the fire department saying there’s a concern. Are you now saying this is not true?” Marland said there has not been an issue “yet,” but it was possible that the largest fire truck might have a “tight squeeze” going through the road on a busy night.
Deputy Supervisor Mike Costello, who ran the meeting in the absence of Supervisor Roger Bradstreet, who was out of town, made a motion to vote on the original plan to prohibit parking on the north side of the road. Since no member of the board offered to second the motion, the motion died. This means that for now parking remains legal on both sides of North Lake Road, although the board intends to address the issue again at its regular October meeting.
One result of the board’s meeting and failure to pass a parking law is a resultant liability to the town should anyone park on the north side of North Lake Road and become injured by falling into the large drainage ditch on that side. During the public hearing, board members and residents both brought up the concern that the north side has a large drop-off into a culvert right off the road shoulder, which could cause people injury if they fell. This was mentioned as one major reason that parking on the north side should be prohibited.
After the failed board resolution vote, Town Attorney Jim Stokes advised the board and the audience that now that the issue of the possible danger posed by the north side ditch has been publicly raised, if anyone were to become injured because of that it could result in a lawsuit against the town.
Also at the meeting, the board approved the purchase of a six-camera security system for the town office building from Weldon Entertainment at a cost of approximately $800, and approved a contract with Nick W. Zupan and Sons sand and gravel for winter road sand at $6.50 per yard.
The board also announced that at its Oct. 10 meeting expert hydrologist and engineer Don Lake will make a presentation about stormwater drainage issues and remediation possibilities around Tuscorora Lake.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.