AN ORDINANCE AMENDING AND RE-ORDAINING CHAPTERS FIVE (BUILDINGS AND BUILDING REGULATIONS), FIFTEEN (MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC) AND TWENTY-EIGHT (STREETS AND SIDEWALKS) TO AMEND OR RE-ESTABLISH PROCEDURES BY WHICH USE OF CITY RIGHTS-OF-WAY FOR PARKING OF MOTOR VEHICLES, AND FOR CERTAIN NON-PUBLIC PURPOSES, MAY BE AUTHORIZED BY THE CITY MANAGER OR CITY TRAFFIC ENGINEER, AND TO PROVIDE A PUBLIC COMMENT PROCEDURE FOR CHANGES TO PARKING REGULATIONS EFFECTIVE FOR PERIODS OF LONGER THAN THIRTY (30) DAYS
1. Chapter 15, Article I (In General) is hereby amended, as follows:
Sec. 15-4. General powers and duties of city manager and traffic engineer as to traffic.
(c)The traffic engineer shall also have the authority, subject to direction and approval by the city manger, to:
(1)Erect and maintain upon the sidewalks and streets of the city such signs, signals and other devices for controlling traffic, and for regulation of parking, as he may deem necessary, including, without limitation signs designating spaces for loading zones, bus stops, taxicab stands and other places in which no parking will be permitted other than by the type of vehicle indicated on such sign. Nothing contained within this §15-4 shall authorize the traffic engineer to establish any loading zone on the Downtown Pedestrian Mall, as that term is defined within City Code section 28-2.
(2)Require all vehicles to come to a full stop or to yield the right-of-way at any street intersection other than vehicles on a street which has been designated as a part of the primary system of state highways.
(3)Designate by appropriate signs or markers one-way streets and truck routes.
(4)Enact and enforce additional regulations, and to repeal, amend or modify any regulations, for controlling traffic on city streets, designating the time, place and manner in which vehicles may be allowed to park, stop or stand on city streets (including the installation and maintenance of parking meters and establishment of parking meter zones), and prescribing the rates and time limits for parking meters in various locations, all as he shall deem necessary and consistent with applicable provisions of the City Code.
(5)Decisions of the traffic engineer, and regulations enacted by him, shall be set forth in writing.
(6)It shall be unlawful for any person to violate regulations adopted by the traffic engineer pursuant to the authority granted within this section. No regulations adopted shall be deemed to be violated if, at the time of an alleged violation, any sign or designation required under the terms of this chapter was missing, effaced, obscured by brush or trees, mutilated or defaced, so that an ordinarily observant person, under the same circumstances, would not be aware of the existence of such regulation.
(d)Any proposal of the traffic engineer to regulate parking pursuant to this section, when such regulation would be or remain effective for thirty (30) days or more, shall be set forth in writing and advertised for a period of at least fourteen (14) days (“Public Comment Period”) prior to taking effect. Notice of the proposed regulation (i) shall be posted on the City’s website, (ii) shall be provided in writing to affected city agencies, and (iii) shall be posted along any street(s), or portions thereof, that are the subject of the decision. The traffic engineer may provide such additional notice of a proposed regulation as they deem reasonable and necessary. Following the required Public Comment Period, the traffic engineer may make any changes he deems appropriate and shall prepare a final, written decision, which shall take effect on the date on which such decision is signed by the traffic engineer.
(e)Any city resident, and any person who owns a business located within the city, may submit a petition to the city manager, seeking (i) to establish or eliminate any on-street parking regulation that is or would be effective for a period of longer than 30 days, or (ii) to appeal a final decision of the traffic engineer rendered pursuant to paragraph (d), above, of this section. The petition shall be made in writing. Petitions to establish or eliminate a regulation shall be signed by no fewer than three (3) city residents or business owners, and the names and City addresses of those persons shall be legibly printed on the face of the petition. The written petition shall state the purpose(s) of the request and shall identify the specific location(s) at which changes are requested or, when an appeal is taken, a statement of the basis of the appeal.
(1)With respect to any petition that proposes to establish or eliminate a parking regulation that is or would be effective for a period of longer than 30 days, the city manager shall refer the petition to the traffic engineer for review. The traffic engineer shall prepare a proposed ruling upon the petition and his proposed ruling shall be subject to public comment following the procedures set forth in paragraph (d) of this section. Following the required Public Comment Period, the traffic engineer may make any changes he deems appropriate and shall prepare a final written decision on the petition, which shall take effect on the date on which such decision is signed by the traffic engineer, which date shall be no later than six (6) weeks from the date the petition was received by the city manager.
(2)With respect to any petition that seeks to appeal a final decision rendered pursuant to paragraph (d), or paragraph (e)(1), above, the city manager shall refer the petition to the traffic engineer for review and comment. The city manager shall render a final decision on such petition within ten (10) days of receiving it, and the city manager’s decision shall not be subject to any further administrative appeal(s) under this section.
(f)No vehicles shall be authorized to drive or park on the Downtown Pedestrian Mall (as that term is defined within City Code section 28-2), except as permitted pursuant to City Code section 15-151 or pursuant to a permit issued by the city manager or city traffic engineer pursuant to City Code section 28-5.
(g)It shall be unlawful for any person to violate any regulation, sign, signal or other device for controlling parking or traffic which has been established by the city traffic engineer as authorized by this section 15-4.
(h)Subject to the requirements of subparagraph (d), above, the city manager may exercise any authority granted to the city traffic engineer within this section.
(i)It shall be the duty of the city manager and director of neighborhood development services to insure the maintenance of records reflecting decisions, actions and regulations made by the city manager and traffic engineer pursuant to this section. Any regulations enacted pursuant to this section shall be prepared in a form approved by the city attorney’s office.
2. Chapter 15, Article V (Stopping, Standing and Parking), Division 1 (Generally) is hereby amended, as follows:
Sec. 15-128. Authority of traffic engineer to regulate parking. [Reserved]
Sec. 15-133. Designation of parking spaces reserved for handicapped persons; unlawful use of such spaces.
(a)The city manager and traffic engineer may designate spaces on city streets (subject to the process set forth within City Code §15-4) and within public parking lots of the city, and the owners or persons in control of parking areas of privately owned shopping centers and business offices open to the public, may designate spaces in such areas to be reserved for the exclusive use of persons with disabilities. Such designated spaces shall be identified by above-grade signs erected and maintained in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Virginia §36-99.11; however, no violation of this section or of §15-132 shall be dismissed for a property owner’s failure to comply strictly with any requirements for disabled parking signs set forth in Va. Code §36-99.11, provided that the applicable parking space is clearly distinguishable as a parking space reserved for persons with disabilities.
Sec. 15-147. Designation of loading zones, bus stops, etc. [Reserved]
3. Chapter 15, Article V (Stopping, Standing and Parking), Division 2 (Parking Meters) is hereby amended, as follows:
Sec. 15-171. Establishing and changing meter zones. [Reserved]
4. Chapter 28, Article I (In General) is hereby amended, as follows:
Sec. 28-5. Temporary street closings generally.
(a)The city manager traffic engineer or city manager may permit the temporary use of any city right-of-way (including any street, on-street parking space(s), or sidewalk) for other than public purposes, and may close the rights-of-way to public use and travel during such temporary use, for a specified period of time, when he determines that such temporary closing will not be unduly injurious to the safety and convenience of the general public, that such closing is necessary because the event will impede traffic and/or pedestrian travel, and that, where any rights-of-way to be closed are extensions of the state primary highway system, adequate provision can be made to detour through traffic. Such temporary use shall be authorized by a written permit conditioned upon the temporary user's compliance with the following conditions:
(1)No matter advertising any thing or business shall be displayed in or on the public rights-of-way in connection with such temporary use; and
(2)The person so permitted to use the public rights-of-way shall furnish a public liability and property damage insurance contract insuring the liability of such person, firm, association, organization or corporation for personal injury or death, and for damages to property, resulting from such temporary use, in such amounts as shall be determined by the city manager. The city shall be named as an additional insured in the insurance contract.
(3)The person so permitted to use the public rights-of-way shall be liable for damages to persons or property arising out of or on account of such use.
(4)All objects and structures that will be located within a public right-of-way during an approved period of temporary use (including, without limitation, any equipment, vehicles, scaffolding, trailers, containers, etc.) must be specifically listed within the permit issued by the city traffic engineer or city manager.
(5)Temporary use of public rights-of-way for other than public purposes shall be limited to a period of forty-eight (48) hours; however, where an application seeks such temporary use in connection with construction activities on property adjacent to the right-of-way, the city traffic engineer may authorize the temporary use of a public right-of-way under this section for a longer period of time, subject to the provisions of paragraph (d) of this section, below.
(6)Compliance with any applicable permit requirement imposed by City Code section 5-57(b).
(7)Such other reasonable conditions as are deemed necessary by the city traffic engineer or city manager to protect the public welfare, safety or convenience, as set forth in writing within an approved permit.
Should a permittee fail, at any time, to comply with any conditions set forth within this section, or any applicable city regulations, then the permit-issuing authority may revoke the permit.
(b)Application for a permit required pursuant to this section shall be made in writing to the city traffic engineer. Upon approval of any such permit, the following fees shall be charged for each day such permit is in effect:
(1)Five dollars ($5.00) per on-street parking space utilized; and
(2)Five dollars ($5.00) per sidewalk utilized; and
(3)Five dollars ($5.00) per city right-of-way utilized, and
(4)Any fee required for the issuance of a permit under the building code to authorize the erection of any temporary structure(s).
(c)The city manager and the city traffic engineer, with the approval of the city manager, are authorized to promulgate regulations, including the establishment of reasonable fees, charges, and insurance coverages, as well as reasonable time, place and manner restrictions for and in connection with the temporary use of public rights-of-way as authorized by this section.
(d)A decision of the city traffic engineer made pursuant to this section, authorizing the temporary closing of a public right-of-way for a period of longer than 30 days, may be appealed by a city resident, or the owner of a business located within the city, pursuant to the procedure specified within section 15-4(e)(2).
Sec. 28-12. Obstructions generally.
(a)No person shall obstruct a street or sidewalk, or the space vertically above the same, by placing therein anything whatsoever which will hinder or obstruct the passage of persons or vehicles in any manner whatsoever. Every hour the violation continues may, in the discretion of the judge of the general district court, be held to be a separate offense. This section shall, however, be subject to the following limitations and exceptions:
(1)Public utility companies holding franchises may place such reasonable number of poles as may be requisite for their business, but such poles shall be located or moved according to the directions and under the supervision of the director of public works.
(2)Merchants and others, while receiving goods or articles, may place the same on the outer margin of the sidewalk, using as much thereof as may be necessary and no more, if the public is not deprived thereby of the free, easy and comfortable use of the sidewalk. Such occupation of the sidewalk shall be for only such time as may be necessary for such reception or delivery. It shall be the duty of the police to see that the sidewalks are not so obstructed as to deprive the public of the use thereof as hereinbefore described. Police officers may require goods and other articles which, in their opinion, obstruct the sidewalk, to be moved at once.
(3)Persons who hold and display on-site a valid permit issued pursuant to City Code sections 28-5 or 5-57.
(b)Persons placing obstructions on city streets or sidewalks shall be responsible for any damages caused thereby.
Sec. 28-14. Barriers and lights to warn against danger from work on abutting property.
(a)When any work is being done on structures abutting on any street or sidewalk which may endanger persons passing along such street or sidewalk, barriers shall be placed across the way so as to prevent and warn persons against the danger. No bricks, slate or any other thing or substance shall be thrown off, from or out of such structure or any part thereof into the street or sidewalk, except within the space enclosed by such barriers. When any ditch is dug or excavation is made in or abutting a street or sidewalk, sufficient barriers shall be placed around and over the same to prevent persons from falling therein. During the nighttime while such excavation or opening is uncovered or unenclosed, sufficient lanterns or other noticeable lights shall be conspicuously placed so as to warn persons of such excavation or opening. In addition to any penalty imposed for a violation of this section, the person failing to comply with the provisions of this section shall be responsible for all damages resulting therefrom.
(b)All barriers required by this section shall require a permit issued by the city traffic engineer pursuant to City Code section 28-5.
Sec. 28-30. Restricted use of city streets.
No activity conducted by any person in or upon any city streets or rights-of-way shall be located where such activity:
(1)Would block access to the entrance to any adjacent building or driveway;
(2)Would occupy more than half of the available sidewalk width;
(3)Is within ten (10) feet of a fire hydrant, public telephone, fire escape, hospital, bus stop, loading zone, or the driveway of a police or fire station;
(4)Is within the portion of any street intended for the use of motor vehicles, unless a permit has been obtained from the city manager or city traffic engineer;
(5)Is within lanes reserved for use by fire and emergency vehicles, unless a permit has been obtained from the city manager and approved by the city’s fire code official; or
(6)Is within an area reserved to another person by a permit for a special event or community event, unless with the permission of the person to whom the permit has been issued.