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January 17, 2013

Parking, ordinance enforcement are hot topics

By Columbia City Mayor Ryan Daniel

A belated welcome to 2013! The New Year has brought about a new system of parking and ordinance enforcement to Columbia City. While I am sure some of you are a bit tired of this topic, I want to make sure that we are all aware of the two hour parking areas. There has been some confusion and frustration regarding where these areas exist. So, here is the rundown of downtown parking areas that are stated in Section 71 of our Code of Ordinances as two hour parking areas:
1. Van Buren Street from Walnut Street to Washington Street
2. The one-half block of Line Street, North and South of Van Buren
3. Chauncey Street from Jackson Street to Market Street
4. Main Street from Jackson Street to Ellsworth Street
5. Market Street from Chauncey Street to Main Street
6. The Municipally-owned parking lot adjacent to Chauncey Street on the South side of the Post Office
7. The North side of Market Street in the one-half block East of Main Street
8. The North side of Ellsworth Street in the one-half block West of Main Street
This is a list of two hour parking spots only. Please follow street signage as special areas may have additional restrictions. While it may seem to be overwhelming, there are plenty of spaces to park around the downtown area if you have to be in the downtown for longer than two hours. Jackson Street, Walnut Street and Washington Street are not two hour parking, nor are portions of Chauncey, Line, Market, Ellsworth and Jefferson Streets. However, it should be noted that no areas have been changed to or from two hour parking since the amended ordinance was passed in 2001.
Some have asked why the City is focusing on Ordinance enforcement and why now? Well, the easiest answer is that these laws have been on our books for years and we should have been enforcing them over the years. In fact, we were enforcing them but in only a reactive method. These ordinances are on the books for health, safety or aesthetical reasons. I am charged, as Mayor, to keep our ordinances, the laws of the State of Indiana and the Constitution of the United States of America. My oath of office implores me to work toward making our community a better, healthier and safer place to live. I believe we are doing that in a more cost-effective way. It is important to note that while we are working on the enforcement end, we also have recently formed a committee to look at the ordinances themselves. The Ordinance Review Committee will be going through our local laws to determine whether the laws that are currently on the books today are (1) understandable, (2) needed and (3) enforceable. The committee is made up of one Board of Works Member, two City Council Members, the Police Chief and the Ordinance Enforcement Officer. Through past reviews, many of our ordinances don’t pass one of these three tests. That is why the Committee will be charged with determining whether these ordinances should be changed or be deleted altogether. We believe that this review will allow us to improve Columbia City from the inside-out. As always, if you have suggestions for new ordinances or changes to current ordinances, feel free to contact your local City Council members.


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