Mayor breaks parking tie

Bellevue Mayor Emily Marburger broke a tie vote among borough council members Tuesday night that will designate eight spaces on North Fremont Avenue as permit-only parking.

Residents of the first four houses closest to the Lincoln Avenue intersection petitioned council, stating that it was difficult to park anywhere close to their homes because the spaces were being used by customers and employees of the nearby businesses. In the past, Bellevue has designated permit-parking-only spaces on streets, such as South Balph Avenue, where there is limited residential parking that is frequently used by people who work or visit area businesses.

The amendment proposed to Bellevue’s parking ordinance did nothing more than add North Fremont to the list of permit parking areas. Concern among members of council arose when no one was able to answer questions about the mandates of the underlying parking ordinance, such as when and how the permits could be used, and the availability of guest parking passes.

Noting that parking is a problem on many streets of the borough, council members questioned whether someone could obtain a number of visitor passes that would put the vehicles of non-residents in the reserved spots for days at a time, leaving the residents who live in the first four houses with no where to park once again.

Solicitor Matt Racunas did say that each house would be allowed two permits, each of which would be registered to a specific vehicle, and could be used only by someone parking that vehicle.

As for parking problems in other parts of the borough, council president Tom Fodi said that residents of those areas could petition council as well. He said that North Fremont clearly was a case where “businesses are abusing residential parking.”

With council member Glenn Pritchard absent, the vote to approve the ordinance amendment came to a 4-4 tie. In favor of adoption were Fodi, Grant Saylor, Anya Pikul and Anthony DiTullio. Opposed were Tom Hrynda, Linda Woshner, Val Pennington and Jodi Hause.