The proposed Broadway Boulevard yard parking ordinance will make its way to the Sedalia City Council during a work session today.
The Citizens for a Clean Sedalia Committee voted to recommend the proposal to council during its June 26 meeting after discussing the issue during several previous meetings. Today the council will discuss the proposal, which could be seen on a council meeting agenda in the next few weeks. It would go into effect Nov. 1 if approved.
The proposed ordinance will affect homes on East and West Broadway Boulevard between South Merriam and South Warren avenues. No portion of a vehicle can be parked on dirt, grass or gravel that is not part of an “improved” driveway. Existing driveways, paved or unpaved, that don’t exceed 12 feet in width, will be allowed, but any driveways built in the future must be paved. If approved by council, the ordinance will carry a three-tiered fine system for any violators: first violation $100; second violation $200; third and subsequent violations $500.
Both Committee Chairman Mary Merritt and City Administrator Gary Edwards, as well as committee members, have voiced their concern about the issue because Broadway Boulevard is one of the main roads used by residents and visitors alike in Sedalia. When the Democrat asked Merritt after the June 26 meeting why the ordinance was specific to Broadway and not city wide, she cited that reason.
“That’s the street people drive through. If they’re going on Highway 50, that’s what they see,” Merritt said. “It was selected for that specific reason. … We’re keeping it in this narrow area for a specific reason, for the image we present for the people driving through.”
The ordinance reflects that sentiment: “Historically, (Broadway) has been the ‘image’ of Sedalia and continues to be so,” the ordinance introduction states. “Consequently, the appearance of East and West Broadway Boulevard requires special attention and requirements without being an exceptional burden on homeowners.”
Many options were brought up in discussion during Clean Sedalia’s June 26 meeting, including how driveways would fit into the ordinance, if residents should be required to pave their driveway, and if residents could park in front of their house if on an existing single-wide driveway. Several times it was emphasized that the term “single-wide” was important in the ordinance language, to prevent residents from finding a loophole and creating a larger driveway to park on.
A draft of the proposed ordinance is available for the public to read, and a link to the document can be found on the homepage of the city’s website, ci.sedalia.mo.us.
During the work session the council will also view a demonstration of the new website for the City of Sedalia.
The Sedalia City Council work session will begin at 6 p.m. in the mayor’s conference room at the Municipal Building, 200 S. Osage Ave. For more information call 827-3000.