Bel Air commissioners approve parking fee increase to 50 cents per hour

The hourly cost to park in the town of Bel Air just doubled to 50 cents an hour.

The Bel Air town commissioners approved the increase during their Monday meeting. Metered fees for the parking garage were 25 cents per hour but were approved at 50 cents per hour after a public hearing, where no one spoke.


The change affects all meters on town streets, in the municipal parking garage and on town parking lots.

The meter and lease rates ordinance also set fees of 50 cents per hour for the new parking lot on Main Street, which is under construction where the former Branch Banking and Trust building was.

There were three other public hearings Monday including one for a fiscal year 2012 budget amendment, a building code amendment and a fee schedule amendment to delete non-applicable fees.

The budget amendment, to account for an increase of $52,484, according to Finance Director Lisa Moody, was approved, as was the code amendment so the town can adopt the same building codes as Harford County. The codes, which follow national uniform standard codes, will take effect July 1.

Public comment

Two people spoke during the public comment period Monday, one with a request for the Fourth of July festivities and the other concerning the number of boarders he can have at his home.

A resident on Giles Street, French Poole asked for the town to have no parking on either side of his street during the Fourth of July parade.

With the recent change in the parade route, Poole said, traffic will increase and was worse last year than the years before.

Another resident, Douglas Marcello, came to the board of commissioners to ask for help with his planning and zoning situation. Marcello is renting seven rooms in his house in Homestead Village and said he was approached by planning and zoning who said he could only rent two rooms.

Planning Director Kevin Small explained during the meeting that in the R1 district, Marcello could rent to two family units, not necessarily rooms, in addition to his own. Once that is exceeded, the home is classified as a boarding house, which is not allowed in that zoning district.

Marcello, who added he was in bankruptcy, on disability and can't afford his mortgage without renting the rooms, asked commissioners for assistance.

"I'm asking this commission to help me," he said. "I don't want to die and without my house, I certainly will."

The commissioners said they would look into the matter.

Bid awards


Commissioners also approved three purchases during Monday's meeting, including one for 54 parking meters from POM Inc. of Arkansas to equip the new Main Street lot and update the meters in the parking garage.

That contract was for $24,853 and is funded in the fiscal year 2013 parking fund, according to Public Works Director Randy Robertson.

Robertson also proposed two other contracts, one at just over $29,000 to Santos Construction in Bowie for the reconstruction of handicapped ramps and sidewalks along the streets they plan on resurfacing, which is the third contract, for $277,600.

That project, with Frank J. Goettner Construction, includes working on portions of Mast Street, Majors Choice Drive, Trout Dale Place, Marketplace Drive, Idlewild Road, Hall Street, Winding Alley and Peabody Court.

Other business

There will be a public hearing at the next meeting on July 16 on a development regulation to add the word nonprofit to the town's definition of a group home.

Discussed at a town work session last week, the change will make the town's regulations consistent with state law. That would be a necessary first step to the town considering future restrictions on where group homes and halfway houses can be.

Commissioners were presented with the 2011 Annual Planning Commission report.