This discussion has been happening for quite a while. This solution idea is leaving it to residents to petition to have a parking permit system.
Bozeman lays out process to create permitted parking By Nora Shelly Chronicle Staff Writer Apr 28, 2022
Bozeman’s transportation citizen advisory board has agreed to a framework for how to establish permitted parking in areas around downtown Bozeman.
The board unanimously approved a resolution during a meeting this week laying out the process to establish parking benefit zones, which would be areas where residents and some commuters would have access to permits for street parking.The original discussion around parking benefit zones was the source of controversy in 2020, when city commissioners approved an ordinance allowing for parking zones to “protect residents near the downtown core from spillover parkers who are trying to avoid downtown parking regulations.”
The issue came back up as the city is considering implementing paid parking in downtown Bozeman, which has been the subject of pushback from some business owners who feel paid parking would deter customers or employees away from downtown.
The parking commission’s resolution doesn’t itself establish any permit parking zones, but just lays out the process to establish, modify or do away with permitted parking.
City Economic Development Specialist Mike Veselik, who is heading up the parking program, said the resolution was intended to create a way for residents to initiate the establishment of a parking benefit zone.
Under the resolution, if 60% of residents in an area sign a petition to create a parking zone, the Transportation Board would take up the issue. The board itself could also initiate the process.The same portion of property owners could sign a petition to dissolve or modify a permitted parking zone under the resolution.The resolution also specifies that both property owners and renters would have a say.
“Our goal is to count residents, the people that live in that district,” Veselik said Thursday.
“Sometimes property owners aren’t the people who live in their homes, so we wanted to ensure that the renters of the area also have a voice in the process.”
Notice would have to be sent to the mailing address of the property, and the mailing address of the property’s owner, if the two are different, Veselik said.The resolution doesn’t specify the length of time permits would be valid for, or the size of potential districts. Veselik said the goal would be for a district to be large enough to support the cost of setting it up.
“What we don’t want to do is invest a lot of money in signs and enforcement infrastructure and everything like that and not have a large enough area of permitted users to pay for operating the district,” Veselik said.