News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Parking regulations set to tighten up

In the early days of Sisters, over 100 years ago, horses were simply tied to hitching posts in town to await their riders. With the advent of the automobile, parking spaces along the street replaced the hitching post.

As Sisters’ population, both residential and tourist, continues to grow, more City regulation becomes necessary to provide for the safe movement of emergency vehicles as well as to facilitate the safe and efficient movement of people, goods, and services throughout the city.

At the Wednesday, April 14, 6:30 p.m. City Council meeting, there will be a public hearing and consideration of an ordinance amending Municipal Code chapters 10.10 and 10.20 regarding City parking regulations. Amendments and additions to the current code deal with parking restrictions and limitations as well as regulations concerning parking of recreational and electric vehicles.

The ordinance identifies a number of situations or locations where vehicles may not be parked at any time, or where specific time limits apply. A copy of the proposed ordinance is available from Kerry Prosser, City Recorder, at [email protected] The meeting is accessible to the public via Zoom. The public can request to speak during visitors communication by submitting a name, address, and phone number and the subject being addressed to Prosser at the same email. All communication and requests to speak must be submitted by 4 p.m. the day of the meeting.

Key points under consideration include not stopping, parking, or leaving any vehicle — attended or not — in any of a number of places or circumstances, including where parking is not permitted by signage, pavement markings, or painted curbs and ramps. Blocking an alley, except for a stop not exceeding 30 consecutive minutes in order to load or unload people or materials, is prohibited.

No vehicle may be parked on any public street, City property, or City right-of-way for more than seven consecutive days or for more than 24 hours in any City parking lot. A disabled car, unable to move under its own power for any reason, must be removed within 24 hours from any street, City property, or City right-of-way.

Any vehicles parked in an area of any planned or ongoing street construction or maintenance work are subject to towing and impoundment. No parking is allowed in any manner that blocks access to a fire hydrant, pedestrian access to a crosswalk or pedestrian access ramp, or that blocks a designated bus stop.

Parking a vehicle on the street, City right-of-way, or City property to display it for sale, or to display advertising from the vehicle, or to sell merchandise from the vehicle, except as authorized by the City, or for purposes of repairing or servicing the vehicle (unless necessitated by an emergency) is not permitted.

Vehicles parked where they interfere with the safe flow of traffic or create a safety hazard by obstructing the view of other drivers, may be towed. The same is true for vehicles parked in a way that obstructs or interferes with the City’s snow removal operations, which includes being parked within six feet of the paved surface, obstructing snow storage.

New sections are included having to do with recreational vehicles, which includes “any motorhome, vacation trailer, camping trailer, camper, conversion, and/or van capable of movement on a roadway which will afford a degree of shelter for humans.” None of these vehicles, including boats and buses, may be parked on any street or public roadway continuously for more than 24 hours.

Recreational vehicles may not be left in any City right-of-way or street to provide overnight accommodation. Such vehicles may not move or repark within a block to avoid the time limitation. However, recreational vehicles may be parked and used for accommodation on the public street or public right-of-way for up to 72 hours pursuant to a permit issued by the City and paid for by the applicant.

Electric vehicle charging stations are reserved for charging electric vehicles only. It is unlawful to park an electric vehicle in a designated public charging station space while the vehicle is not charging or in violation of any prescribed time limitations.


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