Did you know that if you have a parking lot in the city of Albany and want to repaint the stripes, you have to have a city permit? Some businesses and striping contractors apparently didn't know this either, and they don't like it, the city council learned Monday.
The fees for a parking lot restriping permit range from $125 if the lot has one or two spaces for the disabled to $355 if handicapped spaces number six or more. City Manager Wes Hare said that on small jobs, the city fee may be a major portion of the cost and this had led to complaints. He wondered if the council wanted to lower the fee.
He didn't mention that the mayor and all council members last month got a letter from the president of the company that owns Izzy's restraurant complaining about the restriping permit fee and other issues. "I can complete the entire project of striping my own lot for much less than the $350 the city is requiring for the permit fee alone," wrote D. Fred Jansen of Jansen Enterprises Inc.
The council seemed willing to reduce the fees, though no vote was taken at the work session. Councilor Floyd Collins suggested a flat fee of $75 per lot, and the council likely will get a resolution to that effect at a meeting in December.
Albany may be the only town in the vicinity to require a restriping permit. Salem and Lebanon don't have the requirement, and Corvallis may not either, though nobody was sure Monday night. Hare and Building Official Gary Stutzman said the council approved the permit fees several years ago to recover staff costs, they said, though Councilor Bessie Johnson could not remember doing so.
The rationale of requiring the permits, the staff members said, was to make sure Albany parking lots comply with state law and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on the number, size and accessibility of spaces set aside for the disabled. This, they believe, can save parking lot owners trouble because failure to comply with the rules for handicapped parking can lead to costly disputes. (hh)