Growing Charles Town faces challenges to accommodate parking

West Virginia

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. (WDVM) — The eastern panhandle town of Charles Town is facing some growing pains.

A new parking ordinance is being challenged because some downtown homeowners are feeling squeezed out. The city just renovated its Liberty Street parking lot to accommodate increased traffic. There are also disputes over fees for permits and limits on the number of permits for which a Charles Town resident can qualify. But Mayor Bob Trainor says he and the council are working with citizens to upgrade parking facilities and street meters with an outcome that is fair for all.

“We wanted to do it right,” says Trainor. “We wanted to make it pay for itself. Basically the goal is to make it revenue neutral.”

Yet the parking struggles inspire passion. Delvin Motin is a new resident to Charles Town. He loves it here and hopes to stay. But it is clear that if there is one frustration with living in the charming community it is the parking. Mention it and he doesn’t hide how he feels.

“Come on,” Motin exclaims. “Get the meters off the side streets. Give the residents somewhere to park. The parking is limited. And there’s a lot more people moving here.”

And that’s the challenge faced by the mayor and council. Residents insist they are entitled to designated spaces. And they are bucking any proposal to charge for permits. But the mayor and council — even the police chief — are reaching out to work out solution that is fair to all. The mayor predicts this will all be resolved amicably.

For the time being though, the Charles Town council just approved an ordinance for curbside pick-up parking signs in the downtown business district.

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