An attorney representing the Montgomery County Council has joined Arlington County in asking the Supreme Court to decide whether ordinances banning commuter parking in residential neighborhoods are constitutional.

In December, the Virginia State Supreme Court ruled that such an ordinance in an Arlington neighborhood was unconstitutional. In March, a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge made a similar finding about a residential parking permit program there. That decision is being appealed.

Last week, along with the U.S. Justice Department, Montgomery County filed a "friend of the court brief" with the high court asking the Supreme Court justices to review the Virginia Supreme Court decision.

"Like Arlington County, Montgomery County contains within its boundaries numerous urban areas in which intensified commercial and industrial uses have grown up adjacent to or close by older, well-established residential neighborhoods. The resultant impact in terms of traffic and parking congestion, air, noise and litter pollution, and the general adverse effect on the health, safety and welfare of its residential members of the community have become an increasing concern to the citizens and government of Montgomery County," attorney Ronald E. Resh agreed in his brief.

Resh is a former legislative counsel to the Montgomery County Council who has been retained for this case. The county attorney has questioned the constitutionality of the Montgomery County ordinance, which allows neighborhood residents to petition for restrictions in neighborhoods that have sufficient on-street parking volume and can demonstrate that a significant part of the volume is commuters.

"Unless (the Supreme Court) upholds the Arlington County ordinance and the residential parking permit concept represented thereby, Montgomery County and other jurisdictions throughout the country which have adopted or are contemplating the adoption of similar ordinances in order to alleviate environmental problems to protect the safety and character of their residential neighborhoods will be powerless to address these goals in a meaningful way," said Resh.