Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

News

January 16, 2014

City council tables parking ordinance

Klein Animal Shelter funding request also tabled

JACKSONVILLE — Four zoning changes for former Lon Morris College property were approved Tuesday night to make way for an apartment complex, but two other top agenda items were tabled.

The issue of parking on the streets near the Jacksonville High School campus became an argument between Mayor Pro Tem Billy McDonald and Jacksonville Police Chief Reece Daniel over the legal  definition of a parked vehicle.

McDonald initially seconded a motion made by Councilman Jeff Smith to approve the parking ordinance. However, once learning the language of the ordinance was going to only prohibit parking and not stopping or standing in the streets, he rescinded his motion.

"It's a crying shame that we don't do something when you can't drive into your own driveway to go to your house," McDonald declared. "The only way we're going to do that is to put no stopping, no walking and no parking (in the ordinance)!"

Daniel disagreed, and said the city should not punish the people going to pick up students with an ordinance on all three aspects.

A resident of Henderson Street spoke to the council, asking Daniel why students are parking on the streets and how the ordinance will affect residences with multiple vehicles.

According to Daniel, school officials said students are parking in the streets because they do not have license and/or insurance. However, officials have made contact with some students, and Daniel said most are parking in the streets to leave campus more easily.

"This has been going on for at least eight years, that's how long I've been here. This is, for me, the final fix," Daniel said.

Daniel said the ordinance includes several streets around the campus, in order to keep students from simply relocating nearby, if the closest area is banned.

Mayor Kenneth Melvin suggested the council make a motion to table the ordinance decision until the exact wording and regulations are defined. City Manager Mo Raissi said he will also attempt to open the lines of communication again with school officials.

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