The Athens City Council passed four ordinances during its Monday night meeting, including one that will suspend 24-hour continuous parking rules for the holidays.
Typically, cars cannot be parked in the same spot on city streets for more than 24 hours, but from Dec. 16 to Jan. 1, residents and visitors will be able to leave their cars for more than 24 hours without violating the rules.
“Due to the holidays, the city decides it’s a good idea not to enforce the 24-hour parking rules,” Councilman Peter Kotses, D-At Large, said. “This allows people to come and go, visit family and also come into town and not have to worry about this parking variance that is in effect during the rest of the year.”
Council members also passed an ordinance authorizing an emergency medical land use and lease agreement between the City of Athens and the Athens County Commissioners. Councilwoman Chris Fahl, D-4th Ward, called the donation which will be used for emergency services “very generous.”
Athens Mayor Steve Patterson said although the land was donated directly to the city, it will be shared with the larger county.
The council also passed an ordinance to accept an easement on Hillcrest Drive.
Several jurisdictions come together on Hillcrest Drive, and Fahl hopes the ordinance will help ease problems that have arisen as a result.
“It will be easier, in the future, to do maintenance and such,” Fahl said.
Council members also approved an ordinance to amend language in a section of the city’s Wellhead Protection Plan, which restricts the use and storage of potentially polluting chemicals and prohibits certain land use and construction activity, according to a .
Councilman Jeff Risner, D-2nd Ward, applauded the council’s efforts to address the cleanup of language, which gives specifics for reporting.
“I think this is a very good example of the community governing itself, setting its own rules for its own protection.” Risner said.“I think it’s something that we should be aware of and not let other gov bodies take that right away from us later on.”
Correction: A previous version of this report stated that metered parking would be free. The article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.