The town of New Market turns to a local homeowners association to help settle a neighborhood dispute over parking spots.
In late August, a contractor hired by the city painted lines for parking spaces along East Wainscot Drive in response to parking issues, according to Mayor Winslow Burhans III. White lines have been painted on East Wainscot between Old New Market Road and Prosser Street.
At recent town council meetings, a few residents of East Wainscot asked council to remove the lines, saying they were not needed.
“They don’t go. They don’t belong,” Carolyn Pritchett said at Thursday’s meeting.
She said there were parking issues further east on the road – such as vehicles parked near fire hydrants and parked the wrong way – but not where she resides on East Wainscot, near of Marley Street. Pritchett suggested that parking lines be where parking problems exist.
Pritchett criticized council for not consulting East Wainscot residents before laying lines. Council Vice Chairman Shane Rossman apologized for the lack of communication.
Pritchett said the parking lines did not belong in front of $600,000 and $700,000 single-family homes.
Angela Mavis, another East Wainscot resident, also spoke out against the lines.
“I really think the lines kind of degrade the neighborhood,” Mavis said.
Councilman Matthew Chance, a real estate lawyer, said he hadn’t seen evidence the parking lines were devaluing homes.
No residents spoke in favor of the parking lines at Thursday’s meeting, but Burhans said the city has heard of some who favor them.
Burhans said the lines were meant to prevent random parking.
The lines, depending on the material used to create them, could be removed by wet-blasting or road grinding, said city engineer Shawn Burnett.
Chance has expressed interest in hearing from other East Wainscot residents. He said he didn’t want the city to pay to remove the lines, only to add them later.
“It’s kind of the same five people making a lot of noise, but it’s a big street with a lot of houses,” Chance said.
Council unanimously approved Councilman Dennis Kimble’s motion asking the town to ask the Brinkley Manor Homeowners Association to investigate East Wainscot residents between Old New Market Road and Prosser Street. A letter will be sent to the HOA.
Stopping of the school transport service
In other cases, the city council is trying to stop Frederick County Public Schools from shutting down school bus service in certain neighborhoods.
Parents of New Market Elementary students in The Orchard and Brinkley Manor subdivisions received a letter from FCPS in July stating that school bus transportation would no longer be provided there. The letter, a copy of which was provided to the News-Post, cited recent improvements to sidewalks and crosswalks.
Councilman Chris Weatherly said bus service is expected to stop in those neighborhoods around December 22.
Weatherly said the route students would have to take to get to school is unsafe and suggested traffic would get worse if more parents drove children to school. He cited instances of speeding and accidents on Main Street, and said a school-age student was hit on a crosswalk on his way home from school last year.
“I can’t imagine a 6-year-old trying to cross that road. It’s just too dangerous,” Weatherly said.
The council unanimously approved sending a letter to the FPCS in favor of maintaining the bus service.
The city council is closing in on the construction of a barn to host events in the New Market Community Park.
The approximately 1,800 square foot building would have an occupancy of 170 people, according to planning documents. In the summer of 2021, the board voted to dedicate up to $175,000 for the project.
At Thursday’s meeting, councilors discussed the possibility of local schools using the building as a gathering place in the event of an emergency. Additionally, the council let Weatherly consider how the building could benefit from solar power.
Burhans, in an interview, said the proposed barn is in the design stage and almost ready to bid.
Follow Mary Grace Keller on Twitter: @MaryGraceKeller