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Public hearings planned in Spencer to discuss parking in front yards of residences

By Steve Huffman
shuffman@salisburypost.com
SPENCER ó A pair of public hearings are planned in coming weeks for Spencer residents wishing to express their disdain for their neighbors parking in their front yards.
On the other hand, for those who think that parking on front-yard grass is A-OK, this is also your chance to speak.
The first of the two public hearings pertaining to banning parking on unimproved surfaces in the front yard of residences is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Sept. 22 when members of the planning board meet at Town Hall.
The second public hearing is at 7 p.m. on Oct. 13 before the Board of Aldermen, also at Town Hall.
Mayor Jody Everhart addressed the matter when aldermen met in July. He gave a slide presentation showing a handful of the cars and pickups that park on grass in front of houses.
The matter was referred to committee and Everhart said Tuesday he’d like to see something done about the matter before November’s elections.
“It looks to me like there’s too many people with mud in their front yards,” Everhart said. “It’s getting worse.”
Everhart said the issue is intensified because of Spencer’s historic background. The town grew up around Spencer Shops, back when land in the municipality was at a premium.
In the early 1900s, when many of the houses were built, their owners worked at Spencer Shops. There were few cars in town and most of the homeowners walked back and forth to their jobs.
“When the houses were built, people were lucky to have one car,” Everhart said. “Now they’ve got four or five per house.”
And there’s nowhere to park them except on streets or in yards. Many residents pull almost to their front porches before bailing out of the vehicles.
“I think we need restrictions,” Everhart said.
He said members of the planning board would listen to any feedback on the matter, then make a recommendation to aldermen as to pursuing the ban on front-yard parking. Planning board members will also have the opportunity to recommend to aldermen particular restrictions they’d like to see imposed.
Making the ban official will be up to aldermen.

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