Landscapers and contractors in Kennebunkport have received notices of impending parking ordinance enforcement and, authorities say, parking habits have improved already. The decision comes after residents in some parts of the town say parking habits have posed safety issues. Tammy Wells photo

KENNEBUNKPORT – Select board members may get together with landscapers and contractors in the coming weeks to discuss the board’s 3-2 decision to enforce parking regulations that some say makes it more difficult for them to do their work.

But the town’s police chief told the board and those in the audience June 9 that the first five days of issuing notices of impending enforcement to landscapers and contractors has resulted in improved practices.

“We’ve already seen positive change,” said Kennebunkport Police Chief Craig Sanford.

The matter came to the board because vehicles carrying landscaping or contractor equipment at times tend to park where, some say, it is difficult to see to get around them and it presents safety issues. Also, board members have been told that in some locations, contractors parking on opposite sides of the road from each other makes it difficult for other vehicles to get through a street or roadway.

Select board members Mike Weston, Ed Hutchins and Patrick Briggs voted May 26 to have authorities issue notices and warnings, with a view to enforcement after 60 days or having received a second warning. Members Sheila Matthews-Bull and Allen Daggett voted against the measure.

On June 9, a contingent of landscapers and contractors attended the select board meeting.


Contractor Tim Spang asked how the issue had arisen.

Hutchins said it was among a lengthy list of issues brought to the board by the Goose Rocks Beach Advisory Committee.

“The number one (issue) was contractor and landscaper parking,” said Hutchins, pointing out the roads are narrow in that area of town. He said some had asked why the town was not enforcing the ordinance.

Weston said he drove around town for three days to see what was transpiring.

“I went on every street in town,” said Weston. “My concern was, when you’re parking on a crosswalk you’re forcing (schoolchildren) to walk around,” he said of one situation near Consolidated School.

He said in Goose Rocks Beach, one landscaper with a big trailer was parked in two legal spots, but because the vehicle was so large, it was jutting out into the roadway. And, he said, on some of the narrowest streets, the vehicles almost completely blocked the street from other vehicles.


“No one wants to put anyone out of business,” said Weston. “I think if we smarten up a little bit and follow the basic rules in the ordinance it will work out.”

Jeff Dyer, a landscaper in Goose Rocks Beach, said Kings Highway presents problems and often driveways are not large enough to pull in or already have cars in them. He said doing so – backing in or backing out onto Kings Highway – could cause an accident.

“We try to get to our customers early in the morning and get out,” Dyer said.

Hutchins said he wanted to work with contractors and landscapers.

“I don’t want any of you to feel the board of selectmen is out to get you,” said Hutchins. “I’m willing to do what it takes to make some compromise. (We) won’t go back to laissez faire ‘park where you want; I think there is compromise to be had.”

Selectmen pointed out that they cannot change ordinances – in Kennebunkport, those go to the voters.

“I know this is a passionate thing (but) just handing out notices, a lot of folks have started to improve already,” said Sanford. “You’re still going to be able to do work, tree work … but we also have to follow safety protocols and ordinances.”

The police chief said officers will look at each situation.

“It’s not going to be an automatic thing with a ticket. … but I’ve been down there several times when two (vehicles) are parked opposite each other and you couldn’t squeeze a cruiser through,” said Sanford. “There’s got to be some common sense, that’s all.”

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