Police say residents have been selling their visitor parking passes to students, while some students have been creating their own counterfeit passes.
Evesham Township is looking to change how it assigns and tracks parking vouchers for the neighborhoods near Cherokee High School.
As a result of an Evesham Township Police Department investigation earlier this year, the department learned some residents near Cherokee were simply selling their visitor parking passes to allow students to park in front of their homes, while in other cases, students from Cherokee were creating their own counterfeit parking passes.
Currently, Evesham Code 150–10.1 requires a permit for parking on designated township streets near Cherokee during specific times of day and days of the week.
According to township code, from Sept. 1 through June 30, on Mondays through Fridays (except holidays) from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., no parking is permitted on either side of many of the streets near Cherokee without a parking permit issued by the township.
Streets with restricted parking include: Continental Lane, Eustace Court, Eustace Road, Eustace Terrace, Everington Road, Kennibie Drive, Kennington Road, Kenton Avenue, Kingswood Court, Kingswood Road, Kirkdale Road, Knightswood Road, Knowlton Drive, Loyalist Court, Patrick Henry Drive, Tide Water Lane, Tory Lane, Washington Drive and Wayne Drive.
According to township code, permits are to be issued only to residents on the streets that require parking permits for each vehicle owned or principally operated by a person residing at a residence.
In addition, township code allows for four visitor permits to be issued, upon request, to each residential unit on any street or portion thereof requiring parking permits, to be used only by visitors to that particular unit.
Yet while ETPD Capt. Thomas Reinholt said the township has a “very strong” ordinance in place, the system doesn’t allow for much enforcement by the department.
“Speaking to some of the residents, we learned that visitors passes that are currently being given out…are pretty vague. They’ve been basically using the same thing for probably as long as the ordinance has been in place. It’s just a simple paper tag.”
To rectify the issue, the department researched other towns with neighborhoods near their local high schools, including Triton Regional High School in Runnemede, which has a large development nearby.
After studying Triton, Reinholt proposed Evesham move to a similar system that Runnemede uses, in which visitor passes must be renewed every year, and residential passes must be renewed every three years.
In addition, the passes would use various color codes and have dates directly on the passes, along with a spot to write the address to which each pass belongs.
“We feel that this would probably be the best way to approach this as well on our end, not only for tracking, but for accountability,” Reinholt said. “We’ll be able to tell exactly what’s the address as it’s listed on the tag and it will allow us to keep better track of the actual passes themselves.”
According to Evesham Township Manager Michael Barth, under the direction of Evesham Township Council, the township will make the changes proposed by Reinholt if allowable under the current ordinance.
If the changes require council to actually alter the township’s ordinance governing parking permits, that change would be brought before council at a meeting in the near future.