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The newest problem in Hetzel park centers around parking by the neighbors in the egress into Hetzel Park.  Neighbors on either side of the entrance way into the park spoke during the Public Comment section at last night's, December Borough Council meeting. 

The residents on either side of the egress were given parking summons last month for parking their cars in a No Parking Zone in the egress into Hetzel Park. At the meeting last night each neighbor explained their personal relationship with parking their personal cars on the egress.   One explained they had been removing snow, ice, and leaves for 30 years from the egress because the front entrance to their home and their driveway faces the egress.  The other neighbor spoke that she has done the same for 10 years.  Both said the Borough's snow removal trucks have never cleared the egress in 30 years.  Both neighbors said they have cooperated for their mutual benefit with the Borough and that all changed when the billboard in Hetzel Park was electrified. "I was at the Borough meeting last month and it was OK to park there, the next day the sign is electrified and I got a ticket on my car" said one neighbor.  In the past both neighbors said they cleaned the egress of snow so they can get out of their house in a snow storm. 

Borough Manager Dawn Human explained the egress is Borough property and the Borough is liable. She noted that the Borough does not allow parking of personal vehicles on Borough park property.  Anyone who parks in the egress will be ticketed.

Council Member Jared Brenan noted that he drove past the location and saw a "No Parking, This Side" sign was posted on one side of the egress and not on the other. To him, that simple logic meant that residents can not park on one side but they could park on the other side and not receive parking tickets.  Borough Manager Human and Police Chief Mark Bascelli were steadfast that the Borough will enforce No Parking on all Borough Property and that residents should call 911 for assistance. 

CM Brennan noted that a past Borough Council would have needed an official ordinance to post a "No Parking, This Side" sign at the location. Borough Manager Human agreed to search for the past ordinance and report at January's meeting.  Police Chief Mark Bascelli said he had no solution for the residents and advised them not to park on Borough Property in the egress or they will receive tickets.

Picture by Google Earth.

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Comment by RidleyParkOnline on February 6, 2014 at 10:02am

This article by Barbara Ormsby appeared in the DelCoNewsNetwork on Dec 24, 2013. "Two Hetzel Road residents in Ridley Park objected strongly at borough council's Dec. 17 meeting  about no longer being able to park on a paved borough driveway leading into Hetzel Park, something Kathy Webber said she has been doing for 38 years.

The driveway separates the Webbers' house at 38 Hetzel Road from Stephanie Defrons home at 36 Hetzel. Both houses have their own driveways leading from the borough owned thoroughfare to the rear of their houses.

Webber told council members that there was a “gentleman's agreement” between the two neighbors and two former police chiefs whereby they parked their cars on the borough driveway without fear of being ticketed. Defrons said she recently received a ticket.

The borough driveway has a sign on one side that states “no parking this side,” prompting a comment from councilman Jared Brennan asking why it is not legal to park on the other side of the borough driveway.

“If you wanted no parking at all, why would you put up a 'no parking this side' sign,” Brennan wondered.

Council member Sue Murtha asked if there is an ordinance prohibiting parking in the thoroughfare. She asked Police Chief Mark Bascelli to find out when an ordinance was passed. Brennan said the “no parking this side” sign could not have been erected without an ordinance.

Webber and Defrons told council the borough has not maintained the thoroughfare and that they, the residents, have been shoveling the driveway, cleaning out the storm drains, and picking up leaves for years.

Borough manager Dawn Marie Human said the crack down on parking on the borough driveway was generated by a complaint from some residents when a commercial vehicle was allowed to park there overnight. She said police were told not to start ticketing the residents' cars on the borough driveway right away but to issue warning notices first. Both residents said the did not receive any warning notices.

"It is borough property and we don't let people park on borough property," Human said of the driveway in question." When you park there, it does give the impression it is private property and it is not."

Bascelli said if the parking on borough property wasn't an issue, why would the Hetzel Road residents need permission to park there from two previous police chiefs. Several people in the audience answered that question by shouting out "because it is not posted 'no parking'."

  Another resident asked solicitor Ernie Angelos if the long-term practice of parking on the thoroughfare can outweigh enforcement of an ordinance.

   "Do they have to follow the law?” the resident asked.

   “Yes, but they (authorities) don't have to enforce it," Angelos replied, adding that one council 30 years ago may have decided not to enforce the law.

Council president Bob Berger ended the discussion by appointing council woman Holly O'Mahoney to research the issue of any ordinance.

"It changes the way you live, when after 38 years, you cannot park where you have for 38 years, on a  street that you have taken care of," Defrons said, referring to the Webbers.

Both Webber and Defrons called the borough's action "harassment.” "

Comment by jeanne frantz on December 18, 2013 at 12:47pm

Simply Put:  I think Ridley Park has become a police state.  We have a council that was elected by the  people.  This council does whatever they want regardless  of what the people say.  Proof of course is the Hetzel Park betrayal.  The people of Hetzel Park and that entire area were the biggest supporters of that coucil being elected.  And look what  council did to them.   Now!  They are getting hit again with not being allowed to park  where threy have parked for thirty years.  We have the council power mongers  assisted in their own personal agenda  by the borough manager  and  the COP  .  Borough manager satying " I'm only responsible for pulling papers from the file that people ask for. And also for filing what people give me"  That means that she is  not responsible for  checking  information coming in or going out.  Simplist example ,a paper filed that should have been dated 2011 that was dated 2001.   Big difference when court cases are taking place.  If the borough mnanager is just a  file clerk, why is she being given a  mucho raise this year.  Somewhere  around $65,000.  Since when do we pay file clerks  $65,000.  And the COP just follows the orders of  of  the borough manager,  He too will get big raise. Where is Tom Byrne, a MAN who thought for himself!!  People come to council to tell council what they want  are  just IGNORED!  This  is a police state for sure.   INTERESTING THAT BOB BERGER APPOINTED HIMSELF TO DCCA without checking with his council mates.   Berger is building a kingdom   Don't give up Hetzel Park.   When council  rakes over other parts of town they will realize. that this council does not care about the people who elected them.  Hopefully, it will be soon, before more great harm is done.

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