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Lewes, Delaware
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April 10, 1998     Cape Gazette
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April 10, 1998

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Parking prejudice issue comes to Milton Council By Rosanne Pack Emotional questions of fairness regarding enforcement of down- town parking limits flared at Mil- ton Town Council earlier this week with area business owners and customers weighing in with comments and opinions. Some who park in Milton while they patronize local businesses ac- cused town officials of not listen- ing to or taking public comments seriously while some business owners claimed that they are treat- ed with prejudice. The issue at the eye of the storm of discussion is where and how long cars can park. The parking limits along Union and Federal streets only recently became a hot topic after years of little or no restriction or designa- tion of how long parking is al- lowed. In some places, parking is prohibited along one side of the main thoroughfare through town, but until a few weeks ago, unlim- ited parking was accepted in most locations. Then, signs designating a two- hour parking limit went up in the heart of town. The signs and subsequent park- ing enforcement brought Rick Moore and David DeLuca, owners of Rick's Fitness and Health on Federal Street, to council after they experienced what they per- ceive as harassment regarding the parking time limit. According to the business owners, enforcement of the time limit seems to be re- stricted to the parking spaces in front of their business while cars sit for unlimited hours in other spaces. Brand-new town council mem- ber Barbara Brewer stepped into the fray and volunteered to start a series of meetings with concerned parties. As newly named chair of the streets committee, Brewer said that she hopes an equitable solu- tion can be found soon. She meets first with Moore and DeLuca to- day, April 10, and she has sched- uled a meeting with Chief of Po- lice Donald Mills. Ed Harris, president of the Mil- ton Chamber of Commerce, intro- duced the subject of parking prej- udice at the April 6 council meet- ing. He said it was brought to his attention'that some locations are being monitored for parking time limits while others are not. "We need to address this situa- tion. We have a growing business that is an asset," Harris said. "We do not want to discourage busi- nesses, and we cannot wait until finalizing of the comprehensive plan. This is something to be ad- dressed now. "If you are going to monitor the time limit, do it everywhere, don't pick out certain places and moni- tor." Don Post, owner of Jailhouse Art and Antiques on Union Street, said that he is probably responsi- ble for the time-limit signs going up after years of no markings. He contacted Town Hall several months ago because downtown apartment dwellers left cars in front of his business for hours on end. However, now that the signs are up,. he is not convinced that enforcement is uniform down- town. "Why was it never an issue when there was unlimited parking in front of Jailhouse?" he said. "I think the two-hour limit should be enforced equally everywhere, riot just in front of the fitness center. I think they are being picked ori. I don't want to see things like this happen here like they have hap- pened in other communities." Moore and DeLuca said that they felt that town officials had unfairly singled out them and their employees regarding where they parked while at work, but they had not come to council until they saw their customers being harassed. They said that officers from Mil- tqn's police department came into the gym and told customers to move their cars or be ticketed. According to Moore and DeLu- ca, some who were threatened with tickets had not been parked on Federal Street for two hours. DeLuca said that the fitness center has been targeted and no other downtown business is being mon- itored as theirs is. "Our business, our clients, are being singled out," he said. "We've heard from town employ- ees of negative comments regard- ing us [that have been] made in Town Hall. "It just can't happen this way. Not only is it unprofessional; it is totally inappropriate. I don't know why it's happening." "I think it's personal," Moore said. Mayor Jack Bushey said that the two-hour restrictions had been on the town books for years, but signs had been removed or knocked down over time and not replaced until Post asked for ac- tion on parking in front of his shop. However, Moore and DeLuc a will not be satisfied even if park- ing restrictions are applied even- handedly in town. The health club owners have a problem-with a two-hour limit; especially since there were no signs on the street six months ago when they opened their business and they were not told of the parking time restriction when they obtafiaed business li- censes and permits for Rick's Fit- ness and Health. Patrons of the fitness center spoke in support of the thriving business that the two men intro- duced to Milton, and one com- mented on the fact that the owners were not made aware of a parking limit when .they purchased their property. Lisa Welch said, "These are Continued on page 18 CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, April 10 - April 16, 1998 - 17 .................... i:iiiiiiiili:i!i  ...............  ..................................   ':::::::::ii!i iii: ':':: ' ' :i:.  i  !!i  .... I \\; i!iiiiiiii 82" Rattan Sofa, Chair, Ottoman and 60" Loveseat. Choice of over 200 Fabrics. 6 Finishes. Allow 6 weeks for custom orders. 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