New Andover ordinance requires parking lot maintenance

The Andover City Council Jan. 2 addressed the maintenance of off-street parking facilities.

The ordinance requires these to be maintained “in a neat and adequate manner…” that meets the city’s specifications.

According to Community Development Director David Carlberg, somebody complained that one business parking lot in the community had so many potholes that it was almost not passable.

Carlberg said the business owner had already repaired the parking lot, but city staff realized during this process that Andover city code technically did not require parking lot owners to maintain their lots.

“It really helps everyone out to at least require some minimum maintenance,” he said.

City staff would not be systematically looking for dilapidated parking lots, but if there is a complaint, the city will look into it, Carlberg said.

Councilmember Julie Trude said the city already has rules in its city code that require homeowners to maintain their fences and to not store junk on their property, so she asked at the Jan. 2 council meeting if this revised ordinance would address driveway maintenance because the title of this new paragraph in the city code read, “maintenance of parking facilities.”

Trude envisioned a scenario in which a person trying to sell their single-family home called city hall to complain that their neighbor’s driveway was in disrepair and thus affecting the ability to sell their home.

According to Carlberg, this revision is focused on business or multi-family development parking lots.

However, Carlberg said it would be up to the council to decide what it wants to include in the ordinance.

The council decided it wants to focus on business and multi-family homes for this new definition, so City Attorney Scott Baumgartner suggested the title be “maintenance of non single-family parking facilities.”

City Engineer and Public Works Director David Berkowitz said that another section of city code requires single-family home driveways to be paved from the road to the garage in urban areas or from the road to the right of way in rural areas.

Eric Hagen is at eric.hagen@ecm-inc.com

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