Parking, plats and pools: Town council passes on various town code amendments

The Paradise Valley Town Council during a study session at Town Hall, 6401 E. Lincoln Drive. (photo by Melissa Fittro)

Despite receiving a few complaints over the year pertaining to parking on residential properties, the Paradise Valley Town Council has opted to take a pass, at least for the time being, on putting any restrictions on how many cars can be parked at a home and where those cars can be parked.

During a study session held March 8, the council discussed a number of proposals to amend the town code.

In addition to potential parking restrictions, officials also pondered changes to procedures for plats and lot splits, and allowing residents to drain their pools into the local sewer system.

Mayor Michael Collins was absent from the study session discussion at Town Hall, 6401 E. Lincoln Drive.

Amending town code to allow for the discharge of swimming pool water into the sewer system was the only initiative the council agreed to pursue.

Town Attorney Andrew Miller said the discussion items stemmed from resident complaints.

A number of complaints over the past year have involved residential parking.

“We have had a few complaints in the past on this, where the code enforcement officers have said ‘maybe you can use some additional tools,’” he explained.

“Perhaps there might be a car parked in a rear area, that even though it’s registered, going in and out it creates dust. It could be somebody who rents their property, and from time to time comes and parks eight-10 cars.”

Town Manager Kevin Burke admitted the town doesn’t receive a lot of complaints pertaining to parking, but the ones they receive are “very heated.”

Community Development Director Eva Cutro estimated the town receives about five parking complaints per year.

The parking topic partially stems from the town council’s recent conversations on regulating short-term rental properties, Mr. Burke says.

“I just drive down the street to look around, (and) everyone parks on the dirt,” Councilwoman Julie Pace said. She questions where vehicles involved in residential construction would park if the town prohibited parking on dirt.

“I don’t know the right answer … I want to fix the Airbnb issue, that’s what started this last year.”

Councilman Paul Dembow says he is wholeheartedly against restricting residential parking and thinks it’s a waste of time for the council to discuss it.

“I don’t see any purpose in furthering this discussion, or why it even got here in the first place,” said Mr. Dembow.

Town officials say some concerns relate to home-based businesses who have employees parking on their properties.

Mr. Dembow thinks it’s ridiculous to adopt a new ordinance to address such a small issue.

“For us to put on the agenda at all … I haven’t gotten calls from anyone about this. So we are taking one thing that may be associated with one thing that people don’t like, and now applying it to everybody. This is just government gone way too big, this is crazy.”

Town officials did agree, however, to move forward on allowing residents to drain their pool water into the sanitary sewer system.

“The sanitary sewer system limitation was put into place based on the town only having limited sewer capacity. The town’s agreement with Scottsdale for years had measured peak flow during a 48-hour period, any 48-hour period,” Mr. Miller says.

An update in the agreement will now allow for residents to utilize the sewer system for their old pool water.

“That new agreement, the measurements of peak flows occurs at least once every five years, instead of constantly being monitored. If we use a longer period, it’s less likely that the discharge of pool water into the sanitary sewer system will impact the peak flow measurements.”

Town officials will begin meeting with residents to craft a new ordinance for future council approval.

News Services Editor Melissa Fittro can be reached at 623-445-2746, by e-mail at mfittro@newszap.com or follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MelissaFittro

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