Brownstown council may soon pass large vehicle ordinance

Leader proposes large-vehicle ban on area streets

BROWNSTOWN

Parking a large vehicle on streets or in alleys in Brownstown for an extended period of time soon may not be allowed.

During a recent town council meeting, Councilwoman Sally Lawson introduced a large vehicle ordinance proposal, which would prohibit large vehicles from being parked for the purpose of storage, sale or maintenance within town limits on any street, alley, roadway or highway for more than 14 days in a row.

Large vehicles include recreational vehicles, truck trailers, semitrailers, tractors, farm tractors, buses, school buses, house cars or special farm machinery.

For action to be taken, a person would have to completely fill out and sign a complaint form at town hall. Anonymous complaints would not be accepted.

Then a police officer would be assigned to visit the address. If the officer verifies there is a violation, the owner would receive a written warning and be told the number of days he or she has to comply and what could happen if the vehicle is not moved.

The complainant then would have to keep track of how many days the vehicle stays parked on the street or alleyway.

If it’s there for 14 days in a row, a second complaint would need to be filed. Once police verify the ordinance violation, a $75 fine would be issued, and the owner would have seven days to move the vehicle.

If it’s not moved by that point, the owner would face a $75-per-day fine until it’s moved.

“We’ve already had several complaints, and it seems like something consistent that keeps coming up and recurring,” Lawson said of why the ordinance has been proposed.

“I’ve been on (the council) for over a year, and it seems every month, someone says something about it,” she said. “There also are some vehicles that are creating a lot of congestion around schools and possible hazardous situations.”

Councilwoman Bethany Brewster said residents regularly talk to her about vehicles parked on streets around town.

One problem area that has been brought up is West Walnut Street, which includes the area near Brownstown Central Middle School.

Another area is North Elm Street near the high school football stadium. Some fans park their recreational vehicles along that street for tailgating purposes and keep them there the whole season.

But for any issue to be addressed, the ordinance would have to be passed and a complaint would have to be filed by someone.

“I know people that are upset about them, so I think you would have people come in and start complaining about the trailers and RVs that were there,” Brewster said of North Elm Street.

The council also discussed making that area an exception to the ordinance.

“I just feel like you’re going to have an uproar if people can’t park there for football games and leave their trailers there. That’s kind of a Brownstown Central tradition,” Brewster said.

The ordinance proposal was put together after talking to town attorney Rodney Farrow. He also is the attorney for Seymour, which a similar ordinance in place already.

Farrow told Lawson that Seymour rarely has anyone go past the first complaint.

Farrow will be at the next council meeting, set for 5:30 p.m. Jan. 3 at the town hall, so the ordinance proposal may be discussed more at that time.

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Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at zspicer@tribtown.com or 812-523-7080.