A Logan City winter parking ordinance is making parking a challenge for residents of the 900 Factory apartment complex located on the corner of 900 N and 600 E.
Logan City regulations mandate that apartments in the campus residential zones have one parking stall for each resident, but the Factory received approval from the city to have less parking, said Russ Holley, the senior planner for Logan City. Because of this, many students have been parking on the streets.
But on Nov. 15 each year, a Logan City ordinance goes into effect that limits overnight street parking in the winter. The ordinance is applicable between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. and extends until March 15, and it has left many students with nowhere to park.
“I don’t know what they’re going to do,” said Jaycie Roberts, a junior at Utah State University and a resident of the Factory. “Parking has already been a pain.”
Holley said the city is trying to find a way to accommodate the excess cars.
“We have alternative options that some people can pursue,” Holley said. “It’s ironic because the Factory said, ‘We only need 75 percent parking stalls because only 75 percent of our kids will have cars and if it’s a problem we can rent from the university’s stadium lot.’ They brought forth these alternatives, so our leaders said we’ll reduce that one-to-one ratio down to a 75 percent ratio.”
“The reality is that they’re not doing what they said they were going to do, or it’s not what they thought it was going to be,” Holley said. “It’s their problem. They created it, so how are they going to solve it is the question.”
The Factory has tried to work with students to help them avoid the $25 overnight parking ticket, said Rachel Romney, the manager of the complex.
“When they come and talk to me we find a solution for them,” Romney said. “I have three displacement stalls and I let them park overnight there, or I let them park in front of the dumpster. Right now I don’t have any residents that are getting tickets at night.”
Steve Jenson, the senior executive director of the university’s office of housing and residence life, said it’s a temporary solution, but Utah State has made approximately 200 spots available for overnight parking in the east stadium lot.
Though the university itself doesn’t often get involved with off-campus housing, last year USU accommodated the Factory while the construction of its parking structure was completed and sold a number of overnight passes to park at the stadium, Jenson said.
“They were very generous last year,” Romney said.
Romney is exploring other options to provide adequate parking through the winter months.
One option is to increase the cost to purchase a pass in the Factory parking garage to encourage students who bring vehicles to school and don’t drive them often to instead leave them at home, Romney said.
Current students would be able to renew a parking spot at the $200-per-year rate that is in place now, but new residents would be required to pay an increased rate.
“I’m trying to find solutions, but every solution is still just not quite enough for this year,” Romney said.
The easiest way to solve the problem, she said, is to allow students to park on the street.
“I don’t have complaints against Logan City, honestly. I know they have their laws for reasons,” Romney said. “I do see the other side where it does cause problems when the plows are having to plow.”
“What we really want to push is to get 600 East towards the university to where they can park their cars out on the street,” Romney said. “I think maybe if we got a petition going with enough of the complexes around here it might go somewhere.”
The Logan City Council recently discussed and voted on potential changes to how overnight winter parking is handled, but ultimately decided to keep that law the way it is presently written.
Part of Holley’s responsibility as senior planner is to present options to the city council so the councilmen and women can make informed decisions, Holley said.
“We didn’t really vocalize a recommendation in that, but we laid out a whole bunch of different options,” Holley said. “It was everything between don’t restrict parking at all and just let people park on the streets all day, every day and if plows plow them in so be it, to a very strict setup … They landed on wanting the streets clear of cars.”
The crux of the decision to maintain the law as currently written is an effort to keep the roads clear for the snow plows, but there were also some complaints from the neighborhood about the number of cars parked on the street, Holley said.
In addition to zoning regulations, Logan City also has occupancy restrictions which determine how many people can live in a particular residence.
Part of the concern with street parking is apartments being able to allow more residents to live there than the occupancy restrictions mandate, which is facilitated by the extra occupants parking on the street, Holley said.
Ultimately, however, the resistance by the city council to change the law is related to clearing the streets of snow.
“It really boils down to the snow plow,” Holley said. “Our streets are really, really wide and I think the plows and the parked cars can coexist, but that’s my personal opinion.”
Logan does sell winter parking permits, but according to the city’s website those are limited to residences built before 1968 that “cannot physically accommodate legal on-site parking.”
The overnight parking passes for the stadium parking lot are available for purchase in the Utah State parking office for $88.