OVER-THE-RHINE, Ohio (FOX19) - Owners of a popular Over-the-Rhine brewery said the city needs to change its parking permit system for the neighborhood, which has eliminated any free parking spaces south of Liberty Street in favor of residential permits and parking meters.
Earlier this year, city lawmakers approved a special parking permit plan throughout OTR. The plan reserved 500 free on-street parking spaces for residents who purchased permits.
Enforcement began Feb. 18, and in its first week of full enforcement, 232 tickets were issued.
Taft’s Ale House owner Dave Kassling believes the new parking system is problematic.
"In order for businesses in OTR to truly survive, we need to solve this parking issue and I think the pendulum swung a little too far in the direction of residents, and not area businesses," Kassling said.
OTR resident Jodi Stacy disagrees with Kassling. During last week's City Council meeting, she told city leaders that the new parking program needs to stay.
“I like living downtown, but parking can be a nightmare,” Stacy said. “Residents should be able to park in front of their own homes and not have walk home from blocks away.”
Despite resident pleas to keep the program, Kassling, along with several other OTR business owners, have been pushing for changes to the program at City Hall.
Kassling said he understands where residents are coming from, but that the current program is hurting his business.
"Customers are opting to eat out of OTR to avoid parking hassles," Kassling said.
During Wednesday’s meeting, there are two items on the agenda that will be discussed including:
- Employees who make less than $50,000 a year being eligible for a parking permit of their own
- Creating “flex parking” where 200 spaces could be used by the general public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.