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City Council approves temporary lift to parking ordinance over winter break

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Council approves temporary lift to parking ordinance. Photo by Sarah Donaldson.

The body also discussed annual fees facing the city and approved an ordinance for an easement on Hillcrest Drive.  

City Council approved an ordinance Monday temporarily lifting the 24-hour parking rule.

The ordinance will be lifted from Dec. 16, 2018, through midnight on Jan. 1, 2019, allowing drivers to park their car for longer than 24 hours in the same spot.

Councilmember Peter Kotses introduced the ordinance. A similar ordinance has been annually approved in previous years.

“It’s our annual Christmas gift, or holiday gift, to the population,” Kotses said.

The 24-hour parking ordinance is in place to “allow all residents equal access to parking on city streets and to curb storage parking,” according to the council’s website.

Before the ordinance was approved, the city faced problems with people leaving their cars in one parking spot for long periods of time, preventing residents from parking close to their homes and disrupting the general flow of traffic.

However, during a university break — when Athens’ population is smaller than usual — Kotses said the ordinance isn’t necessary.

“What we find is that over the holidays, we have a very transient town,” Kotses said. “Not only do the students go home, but all of the professors that aren’t generational family members from this area, they go home too. Since we have the reduction of the student population in the city, it’s not an issue for people to leave their car parked for more than 24 hours in the same spot.”

In other business, City Council also approved an ordinance accepting an easement on Hillcrest Drive and discussed several annual city fees.

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