Greenwood sidewalk parking repeal fails after officials discover it was already illegal

The proposed repeal of an ordinance that made it illegal to park on portions of driveways connecting to public sidewalks in Greenwood died Monday.

The ordinance failed to pass after it was discovered that parking over a public sidewalk is already illegal under Indiana law.

The Greenwood City Council had been considering repealing a part of the municipal code which made it technically legal to park on portions of driveways that form parts of public sidewalks, paths and trails. City officials have received complaints about vehicles parking over sidewalks and trails for years, but the complaints have been growing in number over the last few years. That led to the request for the appeal, officials said.

However, state law already makes this illegal, said Mike Campbell, city council president. The council addressed this head-on at the start of Monday’s meeting by moving the ordinance — which was up for a second reading — up on the agenda. It failed to pass after no council members motioned to hear the ordinance — killing the proposed repeal.

Before Monday’s meeting, the proposed repeal had been controversial. Some council members expressed concern about its enforceability, while others questioned its broadness and its potential impacts on street parking.

After a meeting earlier this month, council member Erin Betron — who was opposed to the ordinance — posted on her official page encouraging residents to give feedback to council members.

“Is it really safer to park all those extra cars on neighborhood streets or does that make it harder to see people crossing the street, cars trying to make it through, and harder for school busses [sic]?” Betron said in the Facebook post.

Council member Steve Moan was also against the ordinance, joining Betron in voting against during its first reading earlier this month.

Some council members also expressed concerns about how children and people walking on sidewalks are put at risk if they have to maneuver around parked vehicles.

As for the state law, enforcing it is the responsibility of police, not code enforcement. Violating it can lead to a $500 fine, said Sam Hodson, corporation counsel for the city.