Neighbors Weigh In On Parking Issues

Neighbors of Massachusetts’ Marblehead Garden Center are starting to speak out about the garden center’s parking problems. A month ago, a town administrator asked Marblehead owner Mark O’Connor and his lawyer to have a proposal ready for a Sept. 8 meeting to resolve the traffic and safety issues caused by the garden center.

Mary and Douglas Mader, neighbors across the street from O’Connor’s business, say the traffic and parking problems occur every spring due to the way O’Connor uses his space, reports Jack Butterworth, The Daily Item.

“The Garden Center has designated parking spaces (about 12) but he uses this space for additional retail sales,” the Maders wrote in a complaint. “Starting in May, he places large racks of products (mostly flowers) on display in the parking slots so customers are forced to park on the street.”

Additional comments from the Maders include: “This continues through the season. He opens some spaces when the season winds down. This is selfish … but it is the way he operates.” They added that the "mostly courteous" staff at Marblehead uses traffic cones to keep parked cars from blocking driveways, but this effort is seldom successful.

According to Butterworth’s reports, "The Maders said when they asked about the situation at the zoning office they were told that the garden center existed before the current zoning bylaws and due to grandfathering it is not required to provide off-street parking." The Maders are now working with the town Board and proposing the installation "Resident Only” parking signs in the area.

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