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'Snowbird' ordinance gets second reading on 3-2 vote

Glencoe City Council last Tuesday, Sept. 4, approved third and final readings on an illicit discharge ordinance and an amendment to its ordinance on ATV use in the city.
But it took a 3-2 vote to get a second reading for a controversial “snowbird” ordinance that would ban all parking on city streets from Nov. 1 to April 1 between the hours of 1 a.m. to 6 a.m., or until the streets are plowed curb-to-curb.
But in approving the second reading of the parking ban, City Council did delete two words from the first reading. It deleted the “seven-day” notice requirement to park on the street for special occasions during the winter months.
The deletion was proposed by council member Dan Perschau after comments were made at the Aug. 20 public hearing on the ordinance.
Glencoe Police Chief Jim Raiter said a survey of other cities and their policies indicated that a total ban of on-street parking in the winter does work.
Lester Prairie bans on-street parking and issued just 26 tickets in the past three years. Others with parking bans included Winsted, which issued 97 over the past three winters; Paynesville had 32 tickets in since 2010; and Cokato had 70 over the past three seasons. Chanhassen averaged about about 120 a year since 2009 and Waconia about 50 a year.
“Looking at the numbers, this is working in these towns,” Raiter said. “Why should it not work for Glencoe?
Council member Gary Ziemer said the language in the new snowbird ordinance contains some of the same language in the current parking regulations. “This isn’t anything new. If there is no problem in that ordinance, there should not be a problem in this ordinance,” he added.
Ziemer said since the Aug. 20 meeting he has been to meetings and gatherings and has asked people their opinions on the parking ordinance. “I got no, zero negative comments” on City’s Council proposed ordinance.
Council member John Schrupp added he has heard three comments and most said if it costs the city more, then use the current ordinance.
Council member Lori Adamietz said the police chief’s data showed it does work in other communities, but she said the proposed ordinance over streets being plowed “curb-to-curb,” or at 6 a.m., which ever comes last.
But Mayor Randy Wilson, in defending the parking ban, said there is currently an inconsistency as to what amount of snowfall triggers snow plowing.
“I’m OK with the no parking,” Adamietz said, “but I have a problem with the curb-to-curb, or whatever is later.”
Council member Greg Copas favored eliminating the curb-to-curb requirement of the proposed ordinance.
But the only deletion approved in the motion was the seven-day notice. That vote was 3-2 with Perschau, Ziemer and Schrupp voting in favor, and Adamietz and Copas voting no.
For the complete article, see this week's Chronicle.