Nine residents told the Alexandria City Council yesterday they favor some form of parking permit program for the city's crowded Old Town streets while a lone dissenter questioned the constitutionality of such a proposal.
Under a plan now being considered, 10-block areas on either side of King Street could be designated as zones where parking for more than three hours each day would be restricted to those with special permit. The permit would be available only to residents of the areas and a few others.
Charles Turner of 204 N. Royal St., an area inside on of the two proposed parking districts, called the program "courageous (and) forward-looking."
Tim Elliott of 422 S. Fairfax suggested that the proposed parking districts be broadened to include more of Old Town. "There are people (double) parked on the street in the morning, waiting for use to leave," he said, echoing the concerns of other residents.
Robert Bellevance, head of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, called for a small scale parking zone, perhaps a total of only two or three blocks. A larger zone would discourage shoppers and be too costly for the city, he said.
Ray Parker of Shelhorne Road opposed any parking zone for Old Town, saying it would be unconstitutional since it was aimed at only a few "citizens and their self-interest."
The special permits would cost residents $2. Tickets for violators would be $50 each. The parking program would first have a 90-day trial period, according to City Manager Douglas Harman.
The council deferred a final vote until its Sept. 26 meeting. The council also asked the city's parking and planning commission to study techincal aspects of the program at the commission's meeting tomorrow night.