2007-08-11 / News

Parking to be restricted in The Woods

By Charles Prince

JACKSONTOWN - Licking Township Trustees and residents of The Woods at Buckeye Lake agreed Monday night to enact parking restrictions in the subdivision.

Residents have been complaining for over a month about patrons of Captain Woody's parking in the subdivision and then creating disturbances when the bar closes in the early morning hours. Three weeks ago, residents complained about a fight that sent at least one person to the hospital, widespread disorderly conduct including urinating in their yards, reckless driving and littering.

Dave Lehman, acting president of the new homeowners' association, said 60 to 70 vehicles parked in the subdivision last Saturday night. Two residents attempted to drive to Captain Woody's Saturday night, where a security guard told them the lot was full and suggested that they park in the subdivision, he added.

Eric Klein, acting treasurer of the association, told trustees that a resident's vehicle parked at the end of his driveway to keep other vehicles from using the driveway as a turnaround had its back window and tail lights smashed out. Several street signs have also been vandalized.

Trustee Joe Cooper said he had spoken with Eric Fox, assistant county prosecutor, and Capt. Tom Lee of the Licking County Sheriff's Office since the last meeting. They agreed to handle this situation like the restrictions set last year for Avondale Road. Cooper said Lee agreed that the sheriff's office would enforce the restrictions once they are in place.

Cooper said Fox needed the answers to three questions before he could draft the resolutions for trustees to approve. They are: 1). Criminal or non-criminal offense. Making it a non-criminal offense keeps violations out of municipal court, but still allows vehicles to be towed and impounded, Cooper explained. Violations on Avondale Road are non-criminal. 2). Designation of the streets to be affected. 3). Specific hours parking is to be prohibited.

Lehman and Klein suggested the dozen or so residents present discuss the questions themselves and make their recommendation later in the meeting.

When residents returned later in the meeting, they agreed that violations be considered noncriminal as long as that designation didn't affect the ability to tow vehicles. Lehman said parking should be restricted on Quail Run Road, Sand Piper Drive, Blue Bird Circle and Bobwhite Court. Parking should be prohibited from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. from April 1 through October 31. Residents also said bar parking is a problem on Sunday afternoons, so parking will also be banned from noon to midnight on Sundays during the same time period.

Cooper said the process to enact the restrictions is "cumbersome," and warned it could take months to get them in place. He assured residents that the new restrictions would be in place by next spring.

Residents also asked permission to have a block party and block the Avondale Road entrance to the subdivision on Friday, August 31. The "block party," starting around 5 a.m., is

(continued on Page 7) intended to keep the subdivision from being used as a parking lot for the QFM96 Wags and Elliott End of Summer Breakfast Club party that starts at 6 a.m. at Captain Woody's. Trustees are uncertain what steps must be taken to be able to block off streets for the "block party," but promised to have answers at their next meeting on August 20.

Lehman and residents thanked trustees for their help. "I think it is a good plan," Trustee Dave Miller said.

In other business Monday night, trustees unanimously awarded their second resurfacing contract of the year to The Shelly Company. In a bid process marked by confusion due to a mix-up of square yards and square feet, Sheely bid $68,967.50 for a two-inch overlay of tack and T-1 asphalt. The only other bidder, Small's Asphalt Paving, bid $71,348.72 for the two-inch overlay and $62,511.24 for motor pave. The township's first bid was for motor pave.

Resident Richard Cash cautioned trustees about the bid during public comments. "You put out an incorrect bid," he said. "The tonnage (in the bid) didn't match square yardage."

"You don't want to get involved in a legal dispute after you let a contract," Cash warned.

Trustees also decided to use the process outlined in Ohio Revised Code 5553.20 to try to resolve the long-standing dispute with Robert Snedden Jr. about the location of Somerset Road. ORC 5553.20, enacted in 1953, sets out a process called "Civil action to establish true line of road." It states, "When the county engineer is unable to ascertain with certainty the true course and boundary line of a road, the board of county commissioners may prosecute a civil action against the owners of the land abutting upon such road to ascertain and have the boundaries of such road judicially established in one action." Trustees decided to take this action for the portion of Somerset Road south of U.S. 40 all the way to the township line.

Cash asked whether trustees now considered this action as setting a precedent for resolving future disputes about the location of roads. All three trustees said "yes."

"No one really knows where the road is," Millers said. "Maybe we can get this behind us," Trustee President Ron Acord added.

Trustees also unanimously appointed alternate Denise Delagrange to fillthe vacancy on the zoning commission created by Troy Dunlap's resignation. Marshall Eubank was appointed as an alternate.

Road worker Steve Patterson asked trustees for a raise. "It's August and I've yet to have a raise." He's been working by himself since Charlie Davis decided to retire June 30.

Patterson, who will have 15 years service with the township September 1, currently makes $13.75 per hour. He asked for a $1 per hour raise retroactive to January 1 and a second $1 per hour retroactive to July 1.

He also asked about the status of the process to replace Davis. He reminded trustees that winter isn't that far away and it takes time to learn the road well enough to plow snow. Trustees agreed to discuss both issues in an executive session at the next meeting.

"Mr. Patterson does need a raise," Miller said. "His request is not out of line."

The trustees' next meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Monday, August 20 in the Licking township Fire Company Station 3 on Ohio 13 just south of U.S. 40.

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