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Commissioners Tweak Overnight Parking Regulations

Haddonfield officials agreed to keep a ban on overnight parking in place, but will consider ways to mitigate time drain on police.

The Haddonfield this week agreed to keep a ban on overnight street parking in place after more than a month of public debate.

They also agreed to change the hours of the ban to 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Previously it was 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. A deadline for requesting overnight street parking on a Camden County phone system will also be moved up to midnight instead of 2 a.m.

A first reading of the ordinance change will be heard next Tuesday, May 8, at the commissioner's action meeting. A public hearing and vote will be held next month. The changes will not go into effect until the ordinance is changed.

"I'm certainly not in favor with getting rid of it," said Commissioner Tish Colombi, the mayor. Colombi had previously cited a .

Commissioner Ed Borden, who oversees the police as the director of public safety, and police Chief John Banning expressed concern during a commissioner's work meeting Monday about the amount of time it takes to enforce the ban and mediate disputes with neighbors, and if it was an efficient use of time. Banning said the department was ready and able to carry out whatever directive the commissioners gave.

Haddonfield residents who want temporary parking on the street are allowed seven days a month to do so. Under the current regulations, residents need to call into a Camden County phone system to request permission before 2 a.m.

Police then have to listen to a recording of the request and physically write down addresses. There is no way to stop the playback. If any information is unclear, the officer on duty must replay the entire recording.

Residents can also request a yearly permit for up to two cars for street parking, but must have a need, such as inadequate driveway space or no driveway at all. The permits cost $25 for residents with no driveway and $100 for those with inadequate space.

Officials are also exploring new procedures for temporary overnight parking that could take the place of the call-in system. One possibility is a plan to sell permits for overnight parking. Banning is researching a system used in Montclair, NJ, where motorist are able to purchase street parking permits that can be used once, when needed. The permit hangs on the rear-view mirror inside the car and cost $5 each. Officials said it could replace the call-in system and ease the time it takes to rule on if residents qualify for a year-long permit.

Paid temporary overnight parking is not part of the ordinance change that will be introduced Tuesday.

Etheljean Deal May 02, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Still no justice for those of us without a driveway.
Sue Martin May 02, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Another great decision by our Commissioners! And I really appreciate the research into alternatives for residents who have no driveway or an inadequate one, as well as the research into what other towns are doing. This is terrific.
Jonathan Chapman May 02, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Glad there is less expenditure by the police, but the ban still seems a bit unnecessary.
Jack S May 02, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Why do you say there's "no justice" for those "w/o a driveway? Is $25 per year too much to pay for a permit? The charge barely covers administrative costs. When you purchased your property lacking a driveway, did you expect to park your car on the grass? Or do you believe that ignorance of the local parking ordinance is an excuse not to have to abide by those ordinances?
Lee G. May 02, 2012 at 04:57 PM
I would like to see the Haddonfield Police Dept. enforce ALL of the no parking laws, especially those at the schools and shopping areas. Some people are given a free pass while others are persecuted. I don't see how this is not discriminatory, the selective law enforcement needs to stop.
Lee G. May 02, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Hey Jack S. (how appropriate!) So anyone who does not have as much money or property as you should be penalized? Why should anyone have to pay when the police are so often willing to look the other way? Go to your local public schools and see all of the no parking signs posted there and see how the police cater to the people who ignore the no parking rules.
Jack S May 02, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Lee G: If you have a large property w/o a driveway, you need to purchase the permit. If you have a small property w/o a driveway, you need to purchase the permit. Please do not try to twist this into a class warfare argument. We're talking about $25 after all, which barely covers the administrative costs of issuing the permit. Also, the fact that police MAY not enforce all parking ordinances equally says nothing about the validity of this particular ordinance -- your argument is specious. And, fyi, I have myself received more than one parking ticket over the years for forgetting to move my car from outside my own house overnight. I also have had to deal with neighbors who lack a driveway parking in front of my house overnight, for years on end. So, were I merely being selfish about this ordinance, I would oppose it. But I believe strongly that it keeps crime down in our neighborhood, and therefore I support it wholeheartedly. (It takes one to know one, by the way.)
Bumpkin May 02, 2012 at 07:15 PM
And yet, just over a year from now to the day (May 7, 2013) you'll re-elect them all back into office as has been done around here for about the last 1/3 of a century.
AMC May 03, 2012 at 01:25 PM
The over night parking ban should stay in place! I agree with Jack S. $25 is not too much to pay for a permit. If you have a permit it should be displayed prominently. I too am tired of neighbors who continually park on the street when they have a driveway then get upset if they are ticketed. For some reason they think they should be exempt. Use your driveway and if not then pay the appropriate fees for ampermit!
Katy May 03, 2012 at 05:24 PM
It is only $25 if you have no driveway. If you rent an apartment in a house or building that has a driveway, but cannot park in it (this is a lot more common that many well-off, large-house-owning Haddonfield residents may think), you have to pay $100. Those who can afford a (more expensive) house with a driveway don't have to worry about this issue. Those who cannot afford a house with a driveway, or an apartment without use of a driveway, are the ones affected. Is this the most serious issue facing our town? No. Does it set a tone for how residents of different income levels are treated? Absolutely.
Jeff H May 03, 2012 at 08:26 PM
THIS SOLVES NOTHING! THE POLICE STILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE INEFFICIENCIES OF A BAD SYSTEM. C'MON COMISSIONERS, WE EXPECT MORE. SOLVE THE PROBLEM, GET A NEW SYSTEM TO INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY!!
Jeff H May 03, 2012 at 08:26 PM
THIS SOLVES NOTHING! THE POLICE STILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE INEFFICIENCIES OF A BAD SYSTEM. C'MON COMMISSIONERS, WE EXPECT MORE. SOLVE THE PROBLEM, GET A NEW SYSTEM TO INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY!!
Jack S May 03, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Katy, sorry. I just don't buy that $100 per year (less than $10 per month) is a hardship on anyone who lives in Haddonfield. I've rented in Haddonfield at various locations in the past -- and it's not cheap. No one is forced to move here, and if they do, it's their obligation to ensure they have adequate parking. Property taxes average $12,000 in Haddonfield, for God's sake.
Former Union Member May 10, 2012 at 12:15 AM
I thought they were arguing about removing the ban on parking. How does changing the hours from 2-5 AM to 1-5AM do anything positive? This ban has been in place for as long as I can remember and I'm 75 years old. 60 years ago when we rented an apartment on Washington Avenue, we had to park our car over a block away in a boro lot at the corner of Lincoln and Washington..it was inconvenient to say the least, can't believe this is still an issue after all these years. Only in Haddonfield!!
Haddonfield Totalitarianism October 21, 2012 at 03:07 AM
This law is idiotic. Because some don't like the aesthetics of parked cars, taxpaying citizens are banned from using the public property that they paid for and pay to maintain without a compelling reason to do so. If parked cars are ugly to look at from 0200 to 0500, why are they not ugly from 0500 to 0200? They should be even more ugly in the daylight. So we should really ban all street parking all the time. Some say overnight parking bans fight crime and enhance fire department access. Well shouldn't we be fighting crime all day. Shouldn't the fire department have access all day long ? Enforcement of this ordinance is a waste of taxpayer funds. I'd rather the police patrol for criminals rather than depend on the once in a century chance that they may come across an illegally parked burglar's car. Basic economic theory teaches us to consider the seen versus the unseen. We saw the one time a burglar was caught as a result of this ordinance but we'll never know how many criminals escaped while the police we occupied listening to voice mails and writing overnight parking tickets.

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