Council members last week agreed that the township should consider filling a Grandview Road resident’s request to remove parking restrictions from the quiet street that a year ago saw traffic increase during Jerry Sandusky’s child sex abuse case court proceedings.
The council must approve an ordinance to rescind the restriction and could do so as early as January.
Sandusky’s home sits at the end of that street, and his wife, Dottie, still lives there. After Jerry Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts related to the case, he was transferred to the State Correctional Institution at Greene to serve his 30- to 60-year sentence.
The entire street was posted “no parking” last November after Sandusky’s arrest. Before that, township engineer Kent Baker said the first 200 feet from East College Avenue had been posted for about 30 years.
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“The only reason that council considered the installation of the signs was based on the recommendation that came from the chief of police, relative to the situation with multiple out-of-town, out-of-area traffic and media situations,” said Manager Adam Brumbaugh.
This September, Grandview resident Paul Kletchka emailed Brumbaugh to request the signs be removed, saying he hoped they were helpful to police, but that it would “be nice to have our street parking back.”
Dana Carlisle Kletchka, Paul’s wife, spoke on the request at last Thursday’s council meeting, saying residents were not consulted when the signs went up last year, and that the restriction made it challenging to have visitors. However, residents living on restricted streets can request on-street parking from the township.
“It is a closed street,” she said. “There’s not that much traffic any longer. We just feel like, now that Jerry is not living in the home anymore, that we are ready to move forward and have our neighborhood back, and remove all of those horribly ugly signs from our yard and our lane.”
After the township sent letters to Grandview Road residents seeking comment on whether to remove the signs, Brumbaugh said Lynn Herman favored taking them down. Baker said he received two comments — from Barbara Moyer and Janet Dargitz — asking that the signs remain until the remaining court cases against Penn State administrators have concluded.
“I certainly lean toward removing them,” Councilman Forrest Remick said. “I appreciate the arguments of why people might want to keep them, but it doesn’t make sense to me to have to wait until all the litigation is finished. That could be years.”
Baker noted that, typically, the township would conduct a study and hold a public hearing before prohibiting parking on a street built before 1989. However, he said Grandview was an “emergency situation” at the time.
In an email to Brumbaugh about removing the signs, State College Police Chief Tom King said police have not received a parking complaint about Grandview since June 1.
“I expect with the trial and sentencing done, there will not be much attention in that neighborhood that would make the (no parking) signs of any value,” King said.
After thinking about the issue during the discussion, Councilwoman Mary Shoemaker said she also would favor removing the signs.
“If anyone really comes in there and is totally blocking the road so that it’s not safe for emergency vehicles or for you guys to get out, the homeowner could also call the police, and that’s why we’re paying for police services,” she said.
Councilman Dave Koll noted that the council can always discuss re-posting the signs at a later time, if necessary.