commission votes to hear parking complaints
By Brad Plothow
February 16, 2006| HYDE PARK -- A few disgruntled
neighbors can air their grievances over parking business
vehicles at home during an upcoming public hearing,
Hyde Park's Planning Commission decided Wednesday.
The commission voted 6-0 to hear a Hyde Park resident's
complaints about her neighbor parking business vehicles
on the street and on a side yard. No date was set for
the hearing, which will likely focus on Ordinance No.
98-2, which sets rules for home business operation.
The commission decided to use the parking complaint
as a segue into broader public debate on Section 6.0
of the ordinance, which states: "Other than the applicant's
personal transportation there shall be no vehicles or
equipment stored outdoors, or in a garage or accessory
building on the property associated with the Home Occupation
which would not normally be found at a residence."
Commissioners hashed out the issue among themselves
for about 20 minutes during their planning meeting Wednesday
before voting to hold a hearing. The commissioners'
concerns ranged from safety issues to worries about
having cumbersome, often unsightly vehicles parked on
"Anything that detracts or subtracts from the aesthetics
of the neighborhood ought not to happen," Commissioner
Stuart Howell said. "It wouldn't be a big deal for me
if it weren't unsightly...and if two neighbors weren't
Commissioner David James said he was more concerned
with curb-parked business vehicles clogging Hyde Park's
already narrow residential streets than he was with
keeping the community pretty.
"Traffic and safety ought to be our No. 1 priority,"
he said. "You can't use the street for business parking.
That's why we do zoning."
The Commission talked about possibly holding a hearing
to amend Section 6.0, but James was reluctant. Howell
made the motion to hear public input on the ordinance,
which some commissioners believe is being violated often.
Commissioner Mark Lynn said Cook Electric, for example,
routinely parks its three-vehicle fleet on a pad outside
James said he wants to be sure that any changes to
the ordinance or its enforcement don't create double
standard for business owners and residents who park
trailers for snowmobiles or all-terrain vehicles on
"It's difficult for me to say (parking trailers is)
fine, but then someone tries to run a business and we
clamp down," he said.