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Pittsburgh City Council preliminarily approves changes to residential parking

Mark Nootbaar
90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Council is set to approve changes to the city's Residential Parking Permit program, for the first time in nearly a half century. The amendments, which received council's tentative approval earlier this week, would allow non-residents to park for a period of time in permit areas, and give special parking permission to childcare providers, health care providers and for landlords with rental units in the area.

Some councilors had previously raised concerns about carving out permits for some non-residents, out of fear that landlords, for example, would take advantage of the program to hoard parking space to themselves. The goal of exemption was to allow landlords to use permits for maintenance work, but the bill was tweaked to cap the number of permits a landlord could obtain, based on the number of units owned in the permit area.

This is the first time the bill has been amended in 40 years, according to Councilor Bobby Wilson, who sponsored the bill.

"Most neighborhoods want to be able to make sure that they have an adequate amount of parking," he said. "It's a 40-year-old [rule], and it's something that when you touch it, you've got to be careful."

On Wednesday, when council gave its preliminary approval to the measure, Councilor Bruce Kraus commended Wilson for tackling the amendments, saying that parking in his district, particularly South Side Flats, is a challenge.

"The emblematic symbol of the South Side is the parking chair," Kraus said. "Parking is the number one, if not always, damn near always, the number one call we get or complaint about."

A final vote on the measure is set for Tuesday.