“Is it really an issue?”
Town manager Susan Parker got a lot of love from the Crested Butte Town Council on Monday night, but little support for her push to rid municipal streets and parking lots of the “used-car lot” look.
Parker has twice asked the council to tighten up regulations that currently allow cars in town to park for unlimited times on public rights-of-way with “For Sale” signs in the window. The practice reached a crescendo this summer as the Four-way Stop construction limited parking in that area—so a plethora of unwanted cars, trucks, trailers, snowmobiles, even an old school bus, wound up parked at the entrance to town at Sixth and Belleview.
Parker said the look bothered her, especially with the town trying its best to keep the corridor looking clean and green. She wanted to provide authorities with the power to have such vehicles tactfully removed from public parking areas, including parking lots and the shoulders of the main roads into town.
“It seems like maybe it was being abused a little but it wasn’t bothering me,” said mayor Alan Bernholtz. “Is it really an issue?”
“It’s my issue,” said Parker. “It drives me nuts. We have worked so hard on the corridor entrance to town and it shouldn’t be hard to keep unsightly vehicles out of there. You have these nice flowers next to old jalopies. How would you like it if someone parked an old RV with a ‘For-Sale’ sign outside your house for days at a time?”
“That never happens,” said Bernholtz.
“It happened to me,” corrected councilwoman Leah Williams. “I had to chase them off after a while.”
“I hear what you’re saying, but don’t see it as a big problem. Maybe we can provide some time limits for vehicles that are just basically abandoned on town property,” suggested councilwoman Kimberly Metsch.
Councilman Reed Betz agreed with Metsch. “If we have to do something, and I don’t think we really have to do anything, maybe we follow the example of the winter parking regulations and force people to move their cars each night even in summer. I’m just throwing ideas out here.”
The mayor didn’t buy it. “I love you, Susan. And I support you when I can, but not this time,” he said. “The winter parking regs start in a couple of weeks and that should address the problem, so I suggest we mothball this issue. There’s no urgency right now.”
“I’m with Susan, but I don’t think we need to do anything tonight,” said Escalante.
“Maybe we should look into timed parking on Elk or neighborhood parking permits,” suggested Metsch.
That silenced the room and ended the discussion. The idea was mothballed indefinitely.