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Township can change parking regulations in snow emergencies

Loyalsock Township Supervisors approved an ordinance amending the snow and ice emergencies code to authorize the township to temporarily regulate parking on streets or highways within the township during snow events.

This is primarily an ordinance that is meant to stop a number of individuals who have off-street parking and driveways but who park on streets during snow events and cause challenges for the snow plow operators.

The board determined that it is in the best interest of the health, safety and welfare of its citizens to permit any duly authorized agent of the township to regulate parking, temporarily, on streets or highways in the township and to prohibit parking on such roads during certain winter storms.

The board is authorized to provide for temporary regulation of parking on streets or highways in the township during storms where snow accumulation exceeds two inches in depth on the public right of ways.

From this time forward, it will be unlawful to park, or allow to be parked, any motor vehicle on any road or street within the residential, apartment office, and commercial neighborhood zones. The maps of these zones are available to see at the township office. The zones are primarily the highest density in the township.

The parking on these streets when the snow is two inches or more is prohibited until the ice or snow has been completely plowed for the full width of the cartway of the road or street.

In the event that two or more inches of snow or ice have accumulated since the last plowing of the road or street, then the no parking ban on the road or street will go back into effect until the street or road is replowed.

“We want to get these type of vehicles off the street so the plow operators can do their jobs,” said Bill Burdett, township manager.

“It will take some time to get used to,” he said. The intention is not to go out and penalize individuals but rather offer warning notices to begin with. It shall, however, be at the sole discretion of the township whether or not to issue a warning notice for any first time offender.

The price tag is a penalty of $25 for each and every offense, provided that the penalty of $25 is paid within 10 days of the issuance of the notice of violation.

In the event that the penalty is not paid within 10 days as indicated, the violator will be issued a summary offense and, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $75, together with the cost of prosecution, nor more than the maximum fine for summary offenses as the same may be from time to time provided in the state Motor Vehicle Code.

Whenever a motor vehicle parked in violation requires towing, the township is authorized to tow the vehicle at the reasonable expense of the owner of it.

Any property owner within these aforementioned zoning districts who do not have off-street parking may request an exemption from the provisions but they must do so in writing.

An authorized township official, in his or her sole discretion, may act to grant an exemption to the ordinance upon demonstration that the affected property owner does not have off-street parking and is unable to move or otherwise park his or her motor vehicle in compliance with the terms of the ordinance.

Those vehicles which receive an exemption and must park on the public streets during a snow event must follow an odd/even parking schedule.

This requires all vehicles to park on the odd numbered house addresses side of the street on odd numbered calendar days, and to park on even numbered house addresses side of the street on even numbered calendar days.

The ordinance is to becoming effective next week, or five days after the supervisors approved it Tuesday night.

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