By PAMELA CODY
Special to the PRESS
Residents on West Gardenia Street on South Padre Island were startled this past Saturday to see city workers installing “No Parking without a Permit” signs on their quiet dead end street. The ordinance implementing the signs was passed in May of 2014, and the city of SPI has installed the signs on streets located in the “E-district” of the Island, from Morningside to West Acapulco Street. Many bayside residents were unaware of the passing of the ordinance, and reactions have been mixed to the implementation of the permit-only parking policy.
Until now, permit-only parking has been limited to the Gulf side of the Island. Due to the shortage of available public parking for tourists and visitors near the beach, especially during the peak summer months, many Gulfside residents experienced difficulties, with their driveways being blocked by parking overflow or their landscaping damaged by careless drivers. According to City Manager William DiLibero, “We’ve had a number of complaints requesting them on the bayside due to people blocking driveways or launching their kayaks at the end of the streets.” He went on to say that the City wanted to get the signs in place before Spring Break to avoid any further problems. DiLibero provided a copy of the ordinance, which was passed by the City Council on May 21, 2014. Ordinance 14-08 amended Chapter 18 of the Code of Ordinances and prohibits parking on designated streets unless the vehicle displays a hurricane return sticker.
When asked if residents in that “E” districts’ visitors or guests would still be able to park on the easement in front of their homes, he replied, “I really don’t know how that’s going to be handled.” After examining the ordinance DiLibero provided, there are exceptions for delivery and service vehicles, but residents will no longer be allowed to have visitors park in front of their property without fear of receiving a parking violation. Residents may obtain visitor permits for a specified date for gatherings at private homes at City Hall in advance.
DiLibero added that businesses have the option of purchasing the easement in front of their property, but they have to go before the City Council to get approval. He finished by stating, “If residents on a specific street all sign a petition saying they don’t want the signs on their particular street, the City will remove them.”
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