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Alameda City Council Revises New Parking Ordinance After One Man’s Complaint

By Erica Madison

After Alameda resident James Wullschlegor complained about the new aggressive parking ordinance on April 6, the Interim City Manager went before City Council to suggest making changes to the clunker removal program.

In December 2009, City council approved an aggressive clunker removal program which came into effect in February 2010.

The program was created after the City received numerous complaints through Alameda Access about streets becoming board walks.

Since the ordinance was put in place the City has only received four complaints. One of these complaints is from James Wullschlegor. He appeared at the April 6th City Council meeting to complain about the unjust parking ordinance. Wullschlegor told Council members that he didn’t know about the ordinance until after he received the ticket.  The new ordinance prohibits overnight parking of RV vehicles, which poses a problem for Wullschlegor, since he uses a small mobile home as his main vehicle for picking up his children, getting groceries and etc.

It turns out that Wullschlegor has a justified complaint. At April 20, 2010 City Council meeting Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant, said Wullschlegor’s complaint made her realize the ordinance does need some tweaking.

One of the revisions will be the section on prohibiting overnight parking of RV vehicles. Currently the ordinance says no one can park their RV vehicle overnight. However, this is problematic for people planning trips who may need to park their vehicle overnight in order to plan for their trip.

What the police department has unofficially done to correct this problem is to issue overnight parking permits, which allow people to park their RVs overnight for one night.

Council members Matarrese, Gilmore  and Mayor Beverly Johnson were not happy about this unofficial change,  because the public is unaware of this option.

“If it’s not in the law how does the public know they can get a 1 day permit?” said Gilmore.

“If it’s not in the ordinance than we need to include it, because the ordinance is the law,” said Matarrese.

“We don’t this to be insider information,” said Mayor Johnson.

The council approved of the proposed changes and the Mayor directed the Interim City Manager to put the information of the amended ordinance on the City’s website.

3 comments to Alameda City Council Revises New Parking Ordinance After One Man’s Complaint

  • Anon

    Just goes to show how “responsive” elected officials can appear to be when they are running for another office.
    Now if they would only address all these gas weed wackers and leaf blowers that run constantly during the day. Piedmont has banned these in their gas form. Maes for a much quieter neighborhood for those who work nites.

  • After a family function on the Coast Guard base, we decided to visit Alameda since we’d considered moving here when our Island redevelops and we have to move.

    Often, we take our 26′ GMC Motorhome for day trips like this so we filled the tank at one of your stations to the tune of about $150.00. We have a tradition of letting our 13-month old daughter try out a swing set in as many different parks as possible so we drove through town and found a nice place to stop.

    As we walked to the park a helpful neighbor stopped us and made sure that we were aware of this ordinance. We certainly weren’t because it is unusual. We tried to enjoy our short visit but I was constantly watching to be sure I wasn’t ticketed or towed leaving us stranded at a park in an unknown city. Needless to say, it certainly put a damper on what should have been a pleasant and relaxing family outing.

    This policy of “never unattended and never overnight, anywhere on or off street” is simply draconian. From an outsider’s point of view it appears to have been proposed and enacted to solve a short-term problem at the expense of long-term reason. The motorhome community (which I have only recently joined) universally accepts that 24 hour limits are fair and reasonable and responsible owners respect this with an ordinance in place or not.

    We are a local family and have frequent business near Alameda. This experience will certainly affect my decisions. Alameda was a good option for us, but there are certainly others. Even with the “Special Permit” revision, it still needs some tuning.

    I hope that the city government recognizes that whatever situation demanded the harsh response has most likely been solved and that a more reasonable stance would be appropriate.

    One of the local clubs has an outing planned in the near future that will bring a good number of families and their money to town. These are responsible people and good neighbors with a sensible parking plan that wouldn’t offend any residents. However, after reading this ordinance they would still be in violation and risk fines or towing. I’ll have to bring it to their attention.

  • mark

    While allot of comunities have problens with garbage on the streets we seem to go after small issues at times, of course in a conumity that has about 50% of its citizens retired you will have campers and such on the streets. we need to keep by the 3 day rule and go after other things like cell phone still being used while driving and street light cameras for those who thing they can cheat the red. Let the law be reversed and go after bigger fish maybe even try to pass a parcel tax to keep kids in schools