Saturday, December 6, 2003

Newtown parking code has residents pointing fingers



By Jennifer Edwards
The Cincinnati Enquirer

NEWTOWN - A new rule cracking down on parking recreational vehicles and boats in residential areas is riling neighbors in this eastern Hamilton County village.

Residents for and against the new measure are complaining, but the Village Council doesn't appear willing to rescind the ordinance, which was passed this summer.

It came as the result of residents' complaints about property values dropping because of all the clutter, Mayor John Hammon said.

"There were pop-up campers that haven't been moved in five, six years," he said. "I know some people are saying it creates a hardship, but everyone will benefit from this. There is a program to beautify the village."

Under the new code, such vehicles must be moved from the side to the back of a house and must be parked on a paved surface. Formerly, they could sit on a solid surface or gravel, according to the mayor.

More than 200 properties are in violation of the new code, according to Newtown police. The village has about 3,000 residents.

Resident Tammy Patterson complained that one of her neighbors on East Plum Street has been allowed to collect vehicles on jacks and large trucks filled with "junk" for several years.

She wants quicker action now to enforce the new code, and contends it's being enforced only in areas that are closer to main thoroughfares.

"They aren't doing anything on my street," said Patterson, 43. "It's just unreal. We are tired of being ignored and don't know what else to do."

She and her husband keep a landscaping trailer parked in their back yard. If the village issues them a warning to put it on a paved surface, she says, she would expect others to do the same thing.

Another resident, Brian Thornberry calls the new code too restrictive. He parks a camper and a trailer with a race car parked behind his house but contends the camper is there only in the winter.

"The town has several properties that are in violation," Thornberry, 39, said. "You should do the town's properties first before they attack the citizens."

Hammon says the police department makes time for code violations when it can.

The village is working to rectify its own code violations, such as paving its alleys, he added.

E-mail jedwards@enquirer.com




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