Ft. Wright to Explore Driveway Ordinance Amid Complaints
The City of Fort Wright will examine its ordinance related to driveways in order to make it more clear.
Resident John Houlihan, who lives on Glazier Road, spoke at the recent city council meeting asking for a review of the ordinance.
Houlihan said that he had recently expanded his driveway by 2.5 feet so that he could pull into it and then open his car door without worry of striking a retaining wall. He added aprons on both sides of the driveway so that the car could be angled without the tires going into the yard.
But parking is a premium on Glazier, and Houlihan believes that people are parking too close to his newly expanded driveway, restricting his ability to enter and exit as designed. He said that he has called the police multiple times, and that officers concluded that if Houlihan is able to enter and exit the driveway, then it isn't blocked.
Mayor Dave Hatter agreed with that assessment by police. Hatter told Houlihan that people have to park where they can in that area.
City Administrator Jill Bailey said that the city ordinance related to driveways isn't specific about parked cars and any necessary distance. Houlihan said that cars are parking in front of the new aprons, which he said means they are parking in front of his driveway.
Houlihan asked council to better define "driveway".
"You are the first person we have heard from (on the issue of cars blocking a driveway) in all the time I have been here," Mayor Hatter said. "Except for your neighbors."
City Attorney Todd McMurtry told Houlihan that the resident would have to show a clear need. Houlihan said without a clear definition that there is confusion.
Hatter said that if the city were to go down this path, he would aim to be as restrictive as possible, adding that neighbors have as much right to the street as Houlihan. Hatter said there had been so many complaints that it amounted to harassment of neighbors by Houlihan.
After about thirty minutes of discussion, city council agreed that its community improvement committee would look at a way to make the ordinance clearer.
In other news, city council listened to the first reading of an ordinance that amends ambulance transportation fees to:
- $450 basic life service
- $14 mileage fee
- $600 emergency basic life service
- $700 non-emergency advanced life services
- $900 advanced life service
- $30 oxygen
- $225 defibrillation kit
- $50 use of bag-valve mask
- $375 for extrication
Desiree Nichols was hired as a police officer after multiple applicants were interviewed. She will attend the Police Academy in February for 20 weeks. The department is down an officer from the 13 that it employs.
Police Chief Marc Schworer said that the department needs a third car after a cruiser was rear-ended on the highway. He said that insurance should cover the cost without a budget adjustment.
Fire Chief Steve Schewe said that the department's newest ambulance, which is 9 years old, broke down and will need a new engine at a cost of $19,000.
Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor