Cincinnati mayor vetoes parking plan for Over-the-Rhine neighborhood

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CINCINNATI — The rarely used Cincinnati mayoral veto has blocked a council-approved parking plan for residents of a trendy urban neighborhood.

Mayor John Cranley on Wednesday exercised the first veto since he became mayor more than a year ago, and the first by a Cincinnati mayor since 2011. His veto axed a plan to set up a $108-a-year street parking plan for residents of Over-the-Rhine, a neighborhood near downtown that's being revitalized.

Cranley said his veto is a matter of basic fairness.

"Cincinnati taxpayers from all neighborhoods paid for the public streets in OTR and therefore, all Cincinnatians deserve an opportunity to park on the streets they paid to build and maintain," Cranley said.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports (http://cin.ci/1zCfe38 ) that Cranley also says residential parking revenue in the neighborhood should go to operating the city streetcar system still under construction. The streetcar's operating fund had a projected $200,000 deficit. Part of the system runs through Over-the-Rhine.

The council had voted 5-4 for the Over-the-Rhine parking permits. Six votes are needed to override vetoes.

"If we do injury to a neighborhood by building there and bringing people to play there, we should work with them to alleviate the problem they have parking where they live," councilman David Mann said. "The notion that this is a way to raise money ... escapes me as a reason."

Resident Jorge Garay, a handyman and Spanish tutor, said it's becoming a major chore to find a parking spot near his family's home.

"We circle for 20-30 minutes, and then have to park blocks away," Garay said. "All this while carrying a baby, other kids and groceries. I think he (Cranley) should reconsider."

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