Leadville City Council recently issued a temporary moratorium on the private parking permits the city sells to residents which allow locals to designate private parking near their residences.
Citing legal advice, City Council voted unanimously at its July 21 meeting to pass an ordinance declaring the issue an emergency and putting a temporary stop to the issuance of the permits.
The moratorium, which will remain in place through the end of the year, does not affect existing permits, but eliminates the ability for new ones to be applied for or granted.
According to Mayor Greg Labbe, the city has been routinely advised by legal counsel that charging residents for permits allowing the designation of private parking spaces along public right-of-ways is illegal since 2015.
During the council’s discussion, Labbe emphasized the need to have an alternative plan in place.
“We need to understand, going in, that we will be choosing legal advice over what a lot of people would really like to see happen,” Labbe said.
Council members unanimously voiced their support of stopping the practice in favor of alternative models and adhering to legal advice.
“I don’t think we need to be in the business of selling public right-of-way for private parking,” Tim Hill, representing Ward 2, said during City Council’s deliberation of the ordinance.
While the moratorium is in effect, the city will consider alternative solutions to accommodate parking for Leadville residents, especially those closest to Harrison Avenue, where parking is limited and often difficult to find during high-tourism times of the year, Labbe said.
The city has examined how towns comparable to Leadville have addressed parking issues, but has not made any decisions about what might replace the current system if the moratorium is extended, he said.
Linda Michow, Leadville’s attorney, did not return requests for comment by the Herald asking about the legal justification for recommendation to stop the practice.