Clemmons to review on-street parking regulations: Village concerned temporary has become more permanent in neighborhoods

Published 12:10 am Thursday, April 11, 2024

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CLEMMONS — After frequently addressing a new traffic pattern involving those who park or stop during pick-up/drop-off at West Forsyth High School in recent meetings, the Clemmons Village Council took a different route Monday night to explore on-street parking regulations in neighborhoods.

Village Manager Mike Gunnell led the discussion, stating that things have changed over time as more subdivisions have been added.

“I think our ordinance was originally written with the general original flavor to allow parking on the street to be on a temporary basis, but I think in the past years it’s become to be a permanent situation in some of our neighborhoods,” Gunnell said. “There’s been several instances. I know some of our limb trucks have a hard time getting around some of the cars in the streets. I think there was an incident, maybe a couple of weeks ago, that a fire truck couldn’t get through and had to take an alternate route.

Gunnell said he went back and read through the ordinance and talked with Sgt. Jody Chatham of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and Gary Styers, Clemmons fire chief, to get their thoughts.

“I think right now my recommendation, and I wanted to get council consensus to go through the parking ordinance and take a second look at it, is to address some of these current situations,” Gunnell said.

Council member Bradley Taylor said he totally agreed with getting input from Chatham and Styers and revisiting the issue.

“This is just what we’re doing with our UDO ordinances,” Taylor said. “We’re realizing as we’ve grown, we’re needing to evaluate our ordinances. My particular subdivision, I feel like it’s a pinball machine as you go down the road. It’s something that could be impactful, especially for emergency personnel.”

Council member Michelle Barson added: “It’s one of those little problems that is consistent, and sometimes it’s can turn into a big problem when it stops an emergency vehicle or when it becomes like a neighbor vs. neighbor issue, or like a safety issue with walkers and kids riding bikes, etc. and eliminating the ease of being seen on the street because of all of the parked vehicles. it seems like the time is right to take a fresh look at that.”

Mayor Mike Rogers then asked for and received council consensus to allow Gunnell to proceed with further investigation of the parking situation.

Regarding the no parking or stopping during pick-up/drop-off at West Forsyth, the new traffic pattern actually went into effect this week on Tuesday, the first day back for students from spring break.

This was stated in the initial announcement, “Those who don’t heed the “NO PARKING OR STOPPING ANY TIME” signs along Lewisville-Clemmons Road during school dismissal time could face hefty fines — $25 for parking a vehicle on a roadway in violation of NC GS 20-161(a) along with the current court fee of $191.

In the March council meeting, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office went on the record as saying only warnings would be issued during the first two weeks, but “after that, it’s free game.”

Gunnell said after Monday night’s meeting, “We don’t want to give citations. Hopefully everybody will figure it out.”

In another business item on the agenda, the council approved the Master Transportation Plan contract agreement.

Planner Doug Moore said: “When you have a contract that has 41 pages, what that means is that a bunch of organizations have looked over it because it keeps growing and growing and growing. We had an extensive review from DOT and also had involvement from the MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization) in addition to our staff. I was working the project manager from Kimley Horn, and we thought we had a pretty good scope worked out until we handed it to DOT.”

Moore said that the DOT has been watching out for the village after seeing frustrations encountered with the Pedestrian Plan, “so they have been overly cautious helping us work this through. This is ongoing. This is pulling everything transportation together into one.”

In other highlights from Monday night’s meeting, the council:

  • Announced that a special meeting will be held Monday, April 22, at 2 p.m. at town hall to conduct a budget workshop prior to that night’s regular council meeting at 6 p.m.
  • Approved Rogers being authorized as the village’s voting delegate for the N.C. League of Municipalities Board of Directors.
  • Heard from Lisa Shortt, village clerk, that Clemmons will start advertising for the citizen boards, including Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment, for the members whose terms expire June 30. Those appointments will be made in the last meeting in June.
  • Heard from Ann Stroud, finance director, regarding a budget amendment for a roof replacement after receiving insurance reimbursement. It was approved by council.
  • Heard from Barson in council comments, stating that a textile recycling bin has been set in the parking lot at Village Hall for items, including shoes and clothing, that might not be “up to par” for a consignment store, Goodwill or the Salvation Army, for recycling.