Danville Town Council rejects Square parking solution

Compiled by Peg McRoy Glover

The Danville Town Council met Sept. 1.

Code enforcement officer Blaine Rout presented an electronic option to enforce a two-hour parking limit around Danville’s Town Square. This limit has not been enforced or observed since a federal ruling in May 2019 that mandated that marking tires with chalk is a violation of the fourth amendment that prohibits a property search without a warrant. 

Chalking tires was Danville’s method of monitoring the two-hour parking limit around the Square. Parking there has been a topic of discussion and complaint since the May 2019 federal ruling. Store owners and shoppers have complained about the lack of parking because some cars are parked there all day. Council discussed other options to enforce the violations such as installing parking meters and increasing available parking spaces, but those have not come to fruition. 

This electronic option that costs nothing to implement for the town. Minnesota-based Municipal Parking Services (MPS) can install a piece of equipment called a Safety Stick that is a hands-off camera system that can electronically read license plates, monitor the time that vehicle is parked and electronically report violators. MPS installs and maintains this equipment for free and receives 50% of violation fines. He asked that the council at least consider a 15-day trial to assess. A motion was made and seconded but failed with a 2-3 vote. The dissenting votes were from Tom Pado, Greg VanLaere and David Winters based on concerns that this method is an invasion of privacy. VanLaere and Winters encouraged Rout to bring more solutions to the council.