When the Snyders moved into their home in Star Valley they never thought they would have to fight the town to enforce its own code.
But that is what the Snyders feel they have to do to keep their neighborhood streets safe.
Harold Snyder, 80, and his wife Shirley, 77, said it’s imperative that homeowners follow the town code regarding blocking traffic, which states that a car cannot park on the street without 20 feet of space open to passing traffic.
When two cars are parked opposite each other in the street at the same time, medical personnel cannot drive through the area, which could be life threatening in an emergency.
Harold, who has medical issues, has already gone to the emergency room a number of times. In one instance, Shirley said she had to ask a neighbor to move a truck so the emergency crews could get through.
“I am relying on the town to take care of us,” Harold said.
The Snyders said they have spoken with neighbors and most have attempted to keep their vehicles out of the street.
When some did not, the Snyders approached the town asking for assistance. Harold said they contacted Town Manager Tim Grier several times for an appointment, but Grier never returned any calls.
Grier said he and building official Joe Janusz are handling the issue with Janusz speaking with the Snyders.
“I felt that communication should go through him and he informed them what my decision was,” Grier explained. “I have a lot of people that want to talk, but I have to delegate them to staff.”
Grier said after analyzing the neighborhood situation and town codes, there is not much they can do. The subdivision was built substandard under the county before the town incorporated.
“The county knew that there were problems allowing a substandard subdivision with roads not as wide as they should be,” Grier said. “The problem with it is everyone has short driveways and if they have two cars, they have to park on the road.”
When people return home from work after 5 p.m., the problem gets worse, said Grier, but most people don’t have an alterative place to park but the street.
“It would be an enforcement nightmare and we would be writing up the whole subdivision,” he said if they tried to enforce the code.
Grier proposed passing an ordinance that states the traffic ordinance does not apply to a substandard neighborhood.
That proposed ordinance is on hold though until the budget is completed, he said.
Grier stressed that the town has spent hours trying to find a solution for the Snyders, but has not come up with one that satisfies everyone.
“We would love to make (Harold) happy, but in doing so, I think we would have problems with the neighbors,” Grier said.
The Snyders said they are unhappy with Star Valley because it wanted to incorporate, but now that it has, it is not acting, as a town should.
“They are not taking care of the everyday things,” Shirley said. “We would like to see the code enforcement officer do his job.”