Enfield Town Council Enacts Permanent Parking Ban On Francis Avenue
Enfield Town Council Enacts Permanent Parking Ban On Francis Avenue

Enfield Town Council Enacts Permanent Parking Ban On Francis Avenue

ENFIELD, CT — A nearly year-and-a-half long battle over parking issues between the owner of a Route 5 restaurant/bar and residents of the adjacent neighborhood appears to have reached a conclusion Monday night, as the Enfield Town Council voted to enact a permanent parking ban for non-residential vehicles on Francis Avenue, effective seven nights a week from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The Bedard family, which purchased the long-existing Pizza Palace and Jimmy’s Pub in 2015, made a major investment in modernizing the outdated facility beginning in 2022. Since the fall of that year, neighborhood residents have been complaining to police and town officials about parking issues, noise and other nuisances associated with a nightlife business.

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Some residents of Francis Avenue began speaking out during public communication at town council meetings, alleging that bar patrons are urinating, vomiting, having sex in vehicles, leaving trash in their yards and blocking their driveways. They asked the council to consider implementing a resident-only parking plan.

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On Nov. 14, 2022, the council approved a temporary resolution making on-street parking on Francis, Highland Park, Pequot Ave. and Nonotuck Street available only for residents between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. The plan was implemented for a 120-day trial period, subject to review at the end of March, and extended another 120 days through July.

Two area residents spoke during the public communications portion of Monday’s meeting, saying the situation has not improved.

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Bob Buczkowski of 21 Francis Ave. said the ticketing process which had been previously tried was ineffective.

“Ticketing is a very weak form of enforcement,” he said. “Please consider wheel booting as an alternative. You have been shown about 50 videos and pictures, all occurring over the past year or so while the ticketing policy was in place. Clearly, stronger enforcement is needed. Our street is turning into a danger zone.”

Police Chief Alaric Fox later said, “I’ve never seen boots in 41 years of law enforcement.”

Melanie Dubiel of 4 Francis Ave. appealed to the council, “I really hope we can come to some kind of conclusion tonight that is going to work and solve our issues that are still going on. Please vote tonight and help us out, because it’s not getting better.”

The original resolution was amended by District 4 councilor Bob Hendrickson, whose district includes the neighborhood. As written, all parking would be banned on Francis Ave. between 9 p.m. and 6 am., seven days a week.

“I am against prohibiting any parking,” Hendrickson said, adding he’d like to go back to the previous plan of resident-only parking, and to not begin enforcement until 10 p.m.

Councilor Cindy Mangini said she had spoken to Dubiel recently about a Thursday-to-Saturday ban, but she could not support the resolution as amended. “This is much too restrictive,” she said before becoming the lone council member to vote in opposition.


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