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Paonia trustees consider parking regs, bag ban

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The Paonia board of trustees will consider an ordinance to limit parking in the 300 block of Clark Avenue.

At the April 9 meeting, trustees directed town staff prepare the ordinance in consultation with the Paonia Fire Department to limit parking to the east side of the block. The ordinance is expected to come before the board at the April 23 meeting agenda.

The recommendation came from town staff following a six-month review of the Edesia Community Kitchen. The review was a condition of special use permits granted Edesia by trustees last July. While parking was one of the conditions, Edesia is not responsible for policing parking on Clark Avenue.

The 300 block of Clark Avenue is narrow and provides the only public access to Edesia and two other industrially-zoned warehouses, as well as the Silver Leaf co-housing development, said administrator Ken Knight in seeking direction from the board of trustees.

Trustee Bill Bear urged approval, calling it a "straight forward" issue. He noted that other streets in town "are barely able to accommodate two cars. Our streets are narrow and this one here is even more narrow."

There are no other situations in town where parking is limited to one side of the street. Resident Thomas Markle asked if, "in the interest of safety," the town is considering regulations on other narrow streets. Knight replied that "there are several," many of them developed, dead-end streets, that are width-challenged. The 100 block of Dorris Avenue is one that could benefit from parking on one side, said Knight.

The town has not done an analysis of streets, which Knight suggested could include an analysis of storm drainage. "This is a problem that needs to be solved now," he said.

Trustees also considered the first draft ordinance for a single-use plastic bag ban. The draft was not considered for adoption, but rather was "strictly for discussion," said town attorney Bo Nerlin, who wrote the draft. The intent was to "introduce the concept" and gather feedback.

Comments expressed both support for, concern over, and alternatives for the ban. The board received two written comments, one from two citizens in support of the ban, and another from a local business owner, who stated his letter was not intended "to discredit the cause," but to highlight the unfairness of a ban.

The business owner suggested the ban puts local businesses at a competitive disadvantage with out of town business and would not reduce the number of plastic bags, since bags from out-of-town businesses "greatly outnumber those from Paonia merchants." The letter also states that the ban is "unfair," as it allows vendors at special events to pass out plastic bags.

Mayor pro tem Chelsea Bookout echoed concern over omitting special events from the ordinance. She suggested they be included in the ordinance, "...because we wouldn't want those single-use bags to show up" at events.

Trustees directed the Governmental Affairs and Public Safety committee review the draft document with Nerlin.

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North Fork
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bag ban, Paonia, parking regs
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