At the Casper city council meeting on Tuesday, the council voted 6-2 to allow people to park along parkways after the purchase of a $25 yearly permit, with Mayor Ray Pacheco and Vice Mayor Steve Freel voting against the change.

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The issue had drawn the attention of various people who were upset about the first reading of the ordinance by the council which required an initial $250 fee and a $50 yearly fee.

That fee was reduced to a $100 initial fee and a $25 yearly fee, with the $100 fee eliminated after the second reading due to the cost, and people are allowed to pave their spots under city supervision.

Bruce Dangel, a resident who's impacted by the ordinance and who showed up to all three readings, said he wanted the council to remove the fee altogether.

However, council member Bruce Knell said that it is unconstitutional for the city to give away public land for private use without compensation.

Council member Kyle Gamroth said he appreciates people like Dangle showing up to talk about the ordinance, and that this issue has had "the most engagement of pretty much any issue we've had on council."

Freel said he's voting against the ordinance because people with trees on around their property would be unable to pour concrete.

"If this passes, at the end of the day, if you have two trees that are healthy as can be growing out in front of your house and you want to park there and pour concrete there, you're going to have to wait until those trees die or you get permission from the city to go cut those down to be able to do what your neighbor potentially can do," Freel said. "So it's not really fair across the board, that's why I say it's been a waste of time because if a person literally wants to use their parkway to do exactly what's being proposed to do, you got anything living out there, you're going to have to outlive that to be able to park there."

Pacheco said he's opposed to the bill on principle, and because he doesn't know of any other cities across the country that allow parking on a parkway.

"My heartburn has been that we're going to be doing this as one of the very few communities that is doing this," Pacheco said. "I'm going to vote no in the third reading on principle. I know it's going to pass, there's no question about that, the votes are there, but I think having that conversation and looking at it and saying, we're going to be one of the few communities in the country, I don't know, you'd have to look and see if anyone else allows parking on the parkway, but I just have some heartburn about it."

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