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Resident seeks answer to parking problem

Council renews contract with city administrator

Staff writer

It’s difficult when a property changes use — particularly in the downtown business district.

Such is the case at 211 N. Main, Hillsboro. The former commercial property now is being used as residential.

Before renter Duane McCarty moved in, the building was a retail business. A residence is located near the former business but the front of the property still looks like a business. McCarty is renting both the residence and the former business building.

According to McCarty, the public has been parking in front of his property on a concrete slab which sometimes prohibits him from entering and exiting the front of the building.

The concrete drive was installed by a previous owner when the property was a commercial business.

The former business property now is being used by McCarty for storage and as an auxiliary room to his house. McCarty asked the council for a solution to the problem of the public parking on his property, particularly those attending events and eating at Hillsboro Senior Center, located directly across the street.

So, where does city property end and McCarty’s property begin?

Mayor Delores Dalke said a map showed Main Street was 100 feet wide. She explained even though the concrete slab probably was installed by a previous owner, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is on private property.

It was explained that in the downtown business district, the public can park along the street. In this case, there is no curb or gutter but a concrete slab, probably on the city’s property.

“Private drives don’t begin until they’re past the street,” Dalke said.

McCarty commented other property owners wouldn’t like it if people parked in their drives which he sees as the same situation when people park on the concrete slab in front of his property.

City administrator Larry Paine said he and other city officials had looked at the situation. He said it was typical for the street to go to private property, particularly in a commercial district.

McCarty asked if a “No Parking” sign could be erected to keep the public from parking in front of his property. Paine said the sign would apply to everyone, including McCarty.

A curb and gutter extended north to the former railroad right- of-way easement could solve the problem, Paine said, but it would be at the expense of the owner.

Another solution would be to tear out the concrete slab and make a parking strip.

Paine commented the Hillsboro Tree Board also was concerned with what McCarty was doing.

Councilman Shane Marler commented the concrete slab looked more like a parking lot than a drive.

“What would happen if I put in grass?” McCarty asked. “You would need curb and gutter,” Paine responded.

McCarty currently has “No Trespassing” and “Private Parking” signs on the windows of the “red barn” building to deter parking.

Marler suggested McCarty talk with officials at the senior center to remedy the situation.

In other business:

  • The council approved a one-year contract with Paine as city administrator. His annual pay will increase from $76,805 to $79,108. A vehicle allowance will remain the same at $430 per month.

Last modified Nov. 12, 2008

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