Stillwater City Council to vote on scrapping Westwood parking district

After hearing the complaints of residents, the city council members said they will vote Monday on whether to get rid of plans for permit parking in the Westwood Neighborhood.
BY ADAM KEMP akemp@opubco.com Published: September 20, 2012
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— After hearing testimony from 23 people and receiving more than a dozen emails and letters, Stillwater City Council members have asked City Attorney John Dorman to draft a resolution that would repeal an ordinance requiring residents to buy a permit to park in the Westwood neighborhood.

The council will hold a special meeting Monday to consider doing away with Ordinance 3184, which created the parking district.

The ordinance, approved in August 2011 but never implemented, would have required residents to buy a city-issued permit and guests to obtain day passes to visit friends or relatives in the neighborhood.

Westwood is the residential neighborhood closest to the Oklahoma State University campus. A mix of working professionals and students live in Westwood, and its narrow streets often fill up during the day with commuters who want a free place to park.

Bob Graalman, who lives in the neighborhood, spoke during this week's city council meeting and said daytime parking is not the only problem.

Graalman claimed the neighborhood is taken over late at night and on weekends by college students holding parties.

“The property owners are forced from their homes to park elsewhere by those with few or no ties to the neighborhood,” he said. “There was a major brawl in front of my house two weekends ago. This may not be solved by parking changes but it's a serious problem and someday someone is going to get hurt if these parties aren't taken care of.”

But even with his concerns about public safety, Graalman said he doesn't think the parking district ordinance would have fit everybody's needs.

“A version of what you have done is not only feasible but necessary and certainly preferable to a complete renunciation,” he said.

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