Parking dispute continuesA local restaurateur may attempt a legal challenge to Red Wing's decision to designate parking on streets near his restaurant as residential-only.
By: Jon Swedien, The Republican Eagle
A local restaurateur may attempt a legal challenge to Red Wing's decision to designate parking on streets near his restaurant as residential-only.
An attorney for Smokin' Oak owner Kyle Knutson said in a letter to Red Wing Mayor John Howe he believes parking restrictions the City Council placed on Motel Avenue and parts of adjacent streets are invalid. After reviewing Red Wing's charter, attorney Einar Hanson said he believes such a measure could only be authorized by an ordinance - a heftier decree than a measure.
Hanson said his client may pursue legal action if Red Wing doesn't provide "proper legal support" to back its stance. To date Hanson said he hasn't had any further correspondence with the city.
"Nobody's called to tell me I'm all wet," he said.
City Council Administrator Kay Kuhlmann said the city previously discussed the issue with its legal counsel and believes it's well within its authority to use a motion to affect the parking restriction.
"We feel like we're in a very solid position," Kuhlmann said.
Council adopted the measure with a 4-3 vote on Oct. 12, at the behest of nearby residents. Residents said restaurant employees park on Motel Avenue, causing congestion and creating a number of safety hazards.
Red Wing adopted an ordinance allowing for residential-only parking zones earlier this year and used the designation on parts of Fourth and Washington streets.
One of the differences between an ordinance and a motion is the mayor can veto the former but not the latter.
Knutson wrote a letter himself to Howe, asking the mayor to veto the measure. In the letter, Knutson said employee and customer parking on Motel Avenue isn't a safety issue and the parking restriction interferes with his rights as a businessman because it takes away customer parking.
Even if Howe could veto the measure, he said he isn't sure whether or not he would.