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December 5, 2007 Minutes

Members Present:   Jeremy Gordon,  David Todd,  Mark Bittner                  
                                 Al Weigel,  Jim Hinderaker,  Norm Scott

Others Present:      Sarah Seibold,  Shaun E. Seibold,  Andrea Domaskin

Mark Bittner called the meeting to order at 4:00 PM.

1.   Approve minutes from November 7, 2007, regular meeting:
Jim Hinderaker motioned, Norm Scott seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

2.    Request for No Parking School Days 8am – 3 PM, 1400 Block of 
       12th St N:

Jeremy Gorden introduced the topic stating he had received a petition to remove parking along the east side of the 1400 block of 12th St N.  Currently there is no parking on the west side of the street and no parking restrictions on the east side.  The same 8 – 3 parking restriction is already in place on the 1300 block of 12th St.

Sarah Seibold spoke to the committee to explain why the residents want the restriction.  She stated that since NDSU is so close to this block, the areas that allow parking are constantly packed with cars, and that cars will circle the block, sometimes at high rates of speed, in order to find a place to park in the block.  Another reason is the residents have experienced a lot of driveway encroachment, making it harder to see any vehicles coming down the street when pulling out of the driveway.  There are also many children on this block, approximately 17 preschool and elementary ages, who play in the front yards and having the traffic poses a hazard.

Jim Hinderaker asked if we had received any requests from the neighborhood for permit type parking, and Jeremy said he hadn’t been asked.  Dave Todd stated that with a finite number of parking spaces available in the neighborhood, if removing parking here will push the problem through the rest of the neighborhood.  Jeremy pointed out that being so close to NDSU that these are prime parking spots for students as they don’t have to pay to park here.  Jim stated that if we only deal with the one street, it will push the parking problem around to other areas, and that perhaps the committee should look at doing a comprehensive parking plan for the area to minimize that effect.  Jeremy asked Sarah if the blocks to the north were heavily parked on, and she replied that as you go farther north the number of parked cars gets less.  The Avenues are heavily used, but the streets aren’t used as much.   She feels that the reason is the classrooms are across University Dr. from where they are parking and they are using these spots as the shortest walk to class.  Mark pointed out that in this area the parking has typically been handled on a block by block basis, letting the residents ask for parking changes on their streets.

Jeremy Gorden put forward the motion to approve and Norm Scott Seconded.   The motion passed with one dissenting vote, that of Dave Todd.

3.   Discuss Street Maintenance Ordinance and possible changes to it:
Jeremy Gorden said Steve Peterson sent him an e-mail stating he had a conflict and could not make it to the meeting, but he asked to pass on his previous comments to the committee.  Al Weigel had an update for the committee.  After the last meeting, discussions were had to expand the current parking ordinance, go to a grid system, or to an event based system.  Expanding the current ordinance would keep the restrictions as-is but move the boundaries to the city limits.  A grid system would function much like garbage pick up, having designated days for the different areas in town.  An event based system would require press announcements stating which streets or avenues would be plowed on a timetable set forth in the broadcasts. At the next meeting Al will have examples of how other municipalities have addressed the issue, and using these models the committee should have a better idea how to address the issue.

4.   Other Business:
With no further business, the meeting adjourned at 4:15 pm.