Ft. Wright Continues to Explore Parking Battle on Glazier, Adds Holidays to Schedule
The Ft. Wright city council instructed city attorney Todd McMurtry to review a parking issue that persists on Glazier Road.
The goal would be either to require homeowner John Houlihan to reconstruct the recently added wings of his driveway or to leave it as is while demanding that Houlihan cease alleged harassment of neighbors.
The issue arose in November after Houlihan came to a council meeting to complain that his neighbors consistently park in front of the wings of his driveway, causing him difficulty in entering and exiting.
The project widened the driveway two-and-a-half feet so that he could open his car doors without hitting a retaining wall. An apron was added on both sides of the driveway, as well, so that he could turn into it without putting ruts in the grass.
But Houlihan did not get a permit for his driveway project until after the fact.
In November, city council passed the issue on to its community improvement committee, made up of council members Margie Witt, Scott Wall, and Adam Feinauer. City Administrator Jill Bailey, Police Chief Marc Schworer, and public works director Jeff Bethel also joined the meeting.
After review, the committee concluded that the aprons added to Houlihand's driveway should have only been two feet instead of four, based on measurements provided by Planning & Development Services of Kenton County. The committee also found that Houlihan had allegedly been harassing his neighbors over the parking issue.
The committee researched ordinances for several surrounding cities of similar sizes and then decided that the police chief could determin whether the driveway is being blocked.
Chief Schworer reported that as long as a homeowner is able to enter and exit the driveway, it is not technically blocked. Parking on Glazier is limited, and based on review of the committee, it was recommended that the city's ordinance should not be changed.
McMurtry, the city attorney, will now determine whether the city can demand that Houlihan narrow the aprons of his driveway.
Houlihan was at last week's council meeting but did not speak.
In other business, council decided that only educational and charitable organizations can be promoted on the digital sign at the city building and that such messages could only be four lines or fewer and not be displayed for more than twenty hours.
The city also added two more holidays to its schedule: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Presidents Day. Bailey, the city administrator, found that other cities the size of Ft. Wright tend to have ten or eleven designated holidays in its schedule while Ft. Wright only had nine.
The change would cost the city about $10,000 but Bailey said that it would make Ft. Wright more competitive with other cities.
Councilman Bernie Wessels said that a lot of little things can add up, and he would like for any more additions to the budget to be run by the budget committee first.
Bailey said there is a surplus built into the budget and said that she feels good about where the city is, but told Wessels that she understood his concerns.
Councilman Dave Abeln said he would be in favor of a floating holiday, but Bailey said she looked into that and it would cost the city a lot more money. Abeln clarified that it would not be an individual floating holiday, but an organizational holiday, such as when July 4 falls on a Thursday, the entire city would officially have a holiday on Friday the fifth, agreed upon in advance.
Council agreed on the two extra holidays.
Officer Desiree Nichols was sworn in as the newest member of the police force. Several members of the police force were on hand to watch the swearing in, including two members of the Northern Kentucky Regional Honor Guard.
Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor