Some Homewood residents may soon be looking for parking alternatives following approval Tuesday, June 14, of two new ordinances by the village board.
Police Chief Bill Alcott proposed both ordinances at the May 24 board meeting. Both ordinances are supported by Fire Chief Bob Grabowski.
The first ordinance prohibits parallel parking on both sides of a street if the roadway is less than 20 feet in width.
The second ordinance deals with exemptions to Homewood’s 2 to 6 a.m. overnight street parking ban.
Alcott said Village Manager Jim Marino asked him to conduct a study on parking in Homewood. Alcott, Grabowski and Public Works Director John Schaefer undertook that review of the village’s streets and the current parking situation.
“We found that some of the streets in Homewood are too narrow to get fire trucks through,” Alcott said. “Before, the needed clearance was around 18 feet, but now with the fire department’s new engines that’s expanded to 20 feet.”
Parking on both sides of these narrow streets creates a safety hazard by preventing fire engines and other emergency vehicles from getting to a location and connecting to hydrants, Trustee Larry Burnson said.
“I’ve noticed, by driving through and almost getting stuck myself, how hard it is to navigate,” Burnson said. “Something as small as an (Ford) Explorer can’t even get through.”
Flossmoor passed a similar ordinance last year. It restricts parking in most village neighborhoods to the non-hydrant side of the street.
The parking ban restriction seeks to ease street congestion during Homewood’s 2 to 6 a.m. parking ban. Alcott said there is currently no limit on the number of exemption passes given out to residents. In some cases, exemption holders are parking in places other than their home address.
The restrictions would ensure that only the occupants of these homes would be exempt from the overnight street parking ban. In addition, the ordinance classifies temporary and extended parking ban exemptions. Temporary exemptions will be valid for five days only. Extended exemptions will now cost $5 annually and are limited to three passes per home.
The one-side parking rule will be enforced as soon as new signs are posted. The fee for parking ban exemptions will go into effect during the 2017 parking sticker renewal period. All exemptions restrict parking to within 300 feet of the applicant’s home address. Residents seeking exemptions must provide information for each vehicle.