Cambridge slightly eases winter parking restrictions

Residents of the city of Cambridge will now have a little more flexibility for parking certain items during the winter months. 

During the Oct. 19 city council meeting - and ironically one day before the area’s first significant snowfall - the council unanimously approved changing the ordinance regarding the parking of sport vehicles on the grass of a property, adjacent to the driveway.

During the spring, summer, and most of fall, residents are allowed to park any sort of street-legal vehicles on city streets, including trailers. However, once Nov. 1 hits, winter parking restrictions go into effect, which doesn’t allow for any vehicles to be parked on city streets overnight. Under the previous version of this ordinance, trailers, snowmobiles, ATVs, and other sport vehicles could only be parked on a paved driveway. And considering many residences only had enough room to fit their everyday cars in their driveway, this ordinance forced them to find other, more expensive methods of storing their extra vehicles.

According to Community Development Director Marcia Westover, the city was approached by residents requesting a change to allow some leniency in the ordinance, especially considering the frozen ground would minimize damage to the property.

Under the changed ordinance, residents will be allowed to keep one “sport vehicle” on their property adjacent to an established driveway from Nov. 1 through March 31. Westover said a boat sitting on a trailer would be considered one vehicle. The definition of a sport vehicle will be “snowmobiles and snowmobile trailers, boats and boat trailers, utility trailers, all-terrain vehicles and their trailers.”

Westover added that “recreational vehicles,” such as RVs, campers, tent trailers, converted buses or vans, motor homes, or fish houses on trailers, would still not be allowed under this revision.

“The reason ‘recreational vehicles’ was not included in the proposed language is due to the fact they can be very big and heavy and cause concern for the yards even during the winter months,” Westover noted in her written review of the proposal.

Additionally, it was noted this ordinance change does not allow for a “primary vehicle” to be parked in the grass adjacent to an established driveway.

Odds and ends

In other actions, the council:

Approved a preliminary and final plat for Schumacher Addition, which will be developed with eight single-family houses north of Cambridge Christian School. During discussion, Council Member Joe Morin asked how this development would impact a snowmobile path that is groomed each winter in that area. Westover and City Administrator Lynda Woulfe explained there was no formal agreement with the city for this path, so the snowmobile club must have an agreement with the previous landowners. They said the snowmobile club would have to talk with the new landowners about any future agreements.

Approved a Planned Unit Development (PUD) change for a lot at Heritage Greens that is currently designated as commercial/office. Unique Opportunities, LLC is looking to amend the PUD to multi-family for the purpose of constructing a 48-unit apartment complex (see story in the Sept. 17 edition of the Star for details on this potential development).

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