Aspen officials want residential streets cleared of trailers, oversized vehicles
Aspen City Council on Monday made moves to restrict parking in certain areas of town in an effort to clear the streets of vehicles that are being stored for long periods of time.
Under the new law, which will be officially approved by council on second reading at a future date, campers, trailers or other kinds of unattached non-motorized vehicles must remain attached to a car or truck everywhere in town.
However, any resident who is eligible for a residential permit can get as many as three permits a year with each one limited to three days to park an unattached non-motorized vehicle.
“I do believe the unattached vehicles (rule) will eliminate a bunch of storage on the street and make people happy,” said Mitch Osur, the city’s director of parking and downtown services, adding that those who store their boats and snowmobiles on residential streets likely will be unhappy.
Osur said there are between 30 and 40 unattached vehicles regularly parked on residential streets within city limits.
Council also agreed that oversized vehicles — which include the popular Sprinter vans — should not be eligible for a residential parking pass or guest permit. Although drivers of oversized vehicles may still purchase a day pass at the current $8 daily rate to park in a residential zone.
Oversized vehicles are anything over 24 feet long, 8 feet wide, 8 feet high or a gross weight of 10,000 pounds or more.
“It’s our biggest complaint,” Osur said, adding those types of vehicles crop up in neighborhoods in June, July, August, December and March.
“Most cities don’t even allow oversized vehicles” to park for extended periods of time, Osur said.
Under the new law, drivers also will only be able to park in a time-restricted zone once a day during enforcement hours.
And, residents will get four residential parking passes, with one guest pass starting on Nov. 15. Right now, it’s five plus one guest pass. In 2019 and beyond, it will be reduced to three, plus one guest permit.
And one resident permit will be issued for a single vehicle either owned by a business located within a residential-permit parking zone.
Also, drivers of electric vehicles (EVs) and neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) will continue to be able to enjoy breaks on parking restrictions levied on traditional cars.
Both types can park for free in residential zones and are exempt from the two-hour parking restriction, and NEVs will be able to park for free in the downtown core until Dec. 31, 2019.
Councilmen Ward Hauenstein and Adam Frisch were in the minority in allowing NEVs to park in the downtown core for free.
They said if a vehicle, no matter what kind it is, is taking a parking space, the driver should pay. Frisch suggested a annual pass for $500 for NEV drivers.
The changes are part of updating the parking provisions in the city code and will become effective Nov. 15 if council passes the ordinance on second reading.
With many lingering questions still surrounding the fate of Aspen’s historic Old Powerhouse, City Council decided during Monday’s work session to hold off on providing staff direction on moving the preservation project forward until more information can be presented.