Parking restrictions approved for Wilbur Peck Court

The Board of Selectmen has unanimously approved a temporary residential parking permit plan for Wilbur Peck Court that it hopes will keep side streets more open.

The test plan will now be in place for the next six months as the town evaluates the impact. Under the program, which was approved at the selectmen’s June 27 meeting, stickers will be given to residents of the town-owned housing complex to be displayed in their vehicles. In order to get a sticker, a tenant must provide an up-to-date driver’s license plus insurance. Only vehicles registered in Connecticut will be eligible. There will be visitors’ spaces, but residents will have to let the town’s Housing Authority know if one of those spaces is being used for more than 24 hours.

The Housing Authority will have the power to tow unauthorized vehicles at the owners’ expense.

Town Parking Services Director Allen Corry said he had originally intended for the request for these restrictions to be permanent but neighbor concerns caused him to reconsider and hold a test instead. There have been complaints, he said, by residents about a lack of available spaces because of non-residents in the complex using all of them.

Mr. Corry will report back to the board once the test is completed and a decision will be made to either end the restrictions or make them permanent. Town Housing Authority Executive Director Anthony Johnson endorsed the restrictions saying it will better allow his department to make sure the apartments are not being sublet and that all rules for residency are being followed.

Davis Avenue, which is just outside Wilbur Peck Court, already has a resident parking program in place. Mr. Corry said that because this would be two separate zones of parking restrictions, people coming to Wilbur Peck will not be able to legally park on Davis Avenue. However, there is one area of Davis where there are no restrictions and residents there told the selectmen they were concerned those areas would be overused by people’s vehicles being forced out of Wilbur Peck.

Mr. Corry said that area is already a concern because of employees from businesses nearby on Bruce Park Place using it during the day.

“If we go through the six-month test period we will be able to see what the overflow is and assess it,” Mr. Corry said.

Jacinto Lagos, a 22-year resident of the neighborhood, said the issue for people on Davis Avenue is mostly employees of the car dealers, particularly the Honda dealership, who park their cars there and are then brought to the businesses by shuttle, as well as overflow from Wilbur Peck Court. Because it is a public road, though, Mr. Corry said there have to be some spots available for the businesses and visitors to the area.

“As the years have gone by, things have gotten worse,” Mr. Lagos told the selectmen. “They say they have a problem on Wilbur Peck but we have a worse problem. Most of the houses don’t have driveways or parking spaces. We get bombarded from all different sources, taxis, limousines, the dealers. This happens every day. We get bombarded by commuters, too. Why should we give commuters our spaces we need on Davis Avenue? Commuters have space downtown.”

Mr. Corry said steps can be taken to mitigate that situation but nothing formal was proposed at the meeting.

The selectmen did make resident-only parking restrictions in Armstrong Court permanent by a unanimous vote. That plan had been part of a successful test, according to Mr. Corry, to make sure that residents were able to park there after complaints were registered about visitors taking up all the spaces.

No one appeared at the meeting to voice an objection to the Armstrong Court restrictions.

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