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Reader questions guests parking in driveways, source of foul sewer-like smell
Dear Street Smarts, Q: I live downtown on Maple Street and I have two questions. First, Maple Street is posted two-hour parking without a permit. Is a permit required for parking longer than two-hours if I allow my guests to park on the street directly in front of my driveway? Technically, this isn't along a curb, so would they be ticketed by a parking officer? Second, every afternoon, the intersection of Maple and Pacific Avenue stinks like a backed-up sewer. Is this odor coming out of the sewer in the street? If so, why? Can something be done to prevent it? Thanks Mark Alexander, via email A: To answer your questions, I forwarded your email to three different sources within the Santa Cruz city government – the departments that govern parking, law enforcement and sewer lines. While citing the California Vehicle Code, Marlin Granlund, parking program manager, urged you not to allow your guests to park in front of your driveway. Vehicle code section 22500 prohibits motorists from parking in front of a private drive ways, he said. “An individual may be cited by a parking enforcement officer or a police officer for this infraction,” he said. And that citation will cost your drive way-blocking guest $45, he added. Meanwhile, Capt. Steve Clark, of the Santa Cruz Police Department, said that while it is illegal to block a driveway, response from his officers are complaint-driven. But "the two-hour limit would still be in play," he added. And as for your complaint about the foul sewer-like smell, Wastewater Mains Manager Chris Cave wants you to give him a call. "A typical sewer odor would be constant,” he said. But since you report that this only occurs in the afternoon, he’ll need your help getting to the source of the smell. In the meantime, his department will check the sewers in the area and flush the system, as well as inspect and clean the storm catch basins for that intersection, he said.