At its Monday meeting, the Gettysburg Borough Council approved a resolution adopting a 90-day pilot program for oversized vehicle parking in the borough.
The program includes 9 parking spaces approved for tour buses to load, unload, and park. Because, except for the two Long Lane spaces, each oversized vehicle space will take up 3 current parking spaces, 21 regular meters will be removed.
Bus parking will be charged at a rate of $3.00 per hour, payable only through the parking app.
The designated spaces are as follows:
Street Side Between
Baltimore St. East Wade Avenue and Lefever St.
Baltimore St. West Breckenridge St. and South St.
Carlisle St. East Water St. and Stevens St.
Carlisle St. West Water St. and Stevens St.
Long Lane (2 spaces) Southwest Gettys St. and Breckenridge St.
Steinwehr Avenue Southwest Queen St. and South Washington St.
York St. South South Stratton St. and Liberty St.
York St. North North Stratton St. and Route 30
Police Chief Robert Glenny said he hoped buses would use the spaces for drop-off rather than parking, but, given their distance from Lincoln Square, he expected parking would be more likely.
Borough Council President Wes Heyser said he would vote against the program. “Some people will do more or less whatever it takes to try to get their way,” he said. “The borough is very careful in how it designed its parking ordinance.”
Heyser said there were existing ways to deal with the bus parking issue that did not require a new policy and that when more buses parked downtown it left less room for the general public to park.
Heyser said it was ironic that the borough was trying to improve pedestrian and bicycle use with the Racehorse Alley project but at the same time trying to create a situation where you can “park right in front of wherever you want to go” with the bus project.
Heyser said he thought many of the buses parking in the reserved spaces would likely be idling even though it was illegal for them to do so.
Councilmember Chad-Alan Carr said he was in favor of the project. “We should try it,” he said. “Bringing tour buses downtown is a great idea.”
The pilot project was approved in a 6-1 vote with Heyser dissenting.
The council unanimously approved a permit for the destruction of a historical house at 340 Baltimore St. that will, in time, become a new welcome center for the community.
The house was donated to the borough for the welcome center.
“The house is out of level and plumb and square in every way,” said Heyser. “It was obvious that numerous prior owners had not been able to deal with the issues. It was financially prohibitive,” he said. Heyser said the house had been vacant for many years.
The borough said both State Senators and Adams County Congressmen support the project.
HARB did not take the decision lightly,” said council member Judie Butterfield. “They came to the agreement that this was the best way to go. I trust their thoroughness” she said.
The borough is moving forward with a comprehensive zoning review. There have already been several meetings, which have focused primarily on administrative issues.
The borough said the redrawing of the zoning map will take a couple of months. Public input will be sought going forward.
The borough said yard sale permits can now be purchased online with no need to come into the office.
The borough announced that the 2023 National Night Out will be held Aug. 1 at the Gettysburg rec park. There will live be music and food trucks from 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Glenny said representatives from social services and law enforcement would attend and that there would be door prizes and a dunking booth. “I’m pleased that it continues. It’s a wonderful contribution to the community,” said Butterfield.
“We’re really happy how National Night Out is coming together this year,” said Glenny.
Glenny said progress was being made on the department’s community relations initiative, which includes having more foot officers around town. Carr thanked the department for the project and said both residents and tourists appreciated seeing officers on a foot beat.
Glenny said two recently-hired candidates for police officer training are now in the police academy. Glenny expressed his gratitude to the council for their help in hiring the candidates.
Heyser said he was pleased with the hires. Councilmember Matt Moon said it had taken a combined effort from staff members across the borough to make the police officer hiring happen.
Glenny said there would be some retirements in the department in the near future and the borough will continue to search for new candidates.
The borough has received an “unmodified opinion” on their 2022 audit — the rating is the “best result the borough can receive.”