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Clear Lake council approves first reading of ordinance addressing people marking place ahead of time for 4th of July parade

CLEAR LAKE — Clear Lake’s City Council last night passed the first reading of an ordinance that would ban people from marking their spot ahead of time for the community’s 4th of July parade.

It’s been a sore subject for years for some property owners along Main Avenue who find chairs, tarps, and other items days or weeks ahead of time, saving an area for the annual parade. The ordinance would prohibit people from doing so until 5:00 AM on the morning of the parade.

City Administrator Scott Flory says this type of ordinance will not be unique to just Clear Lake.  “Obviously there are many communities around the country that have large parade events or special events, and so this is not an unprecedented measure in many communities. Here in Clear Lake, we’ve got a very strong and proud tradition in particular with the Fourth of July parade and I think just the public opinion is over the last several years that the spot saving days and weeks ahead of the event has just gotten a little bit out of control.”

One of the biggest issues this year will also be the laying of new sod on Main Avenue between 14th and 20th after Memorial Day as part of the street and sidewalk project being completed. Flory says the council could come back at a later date if the sod portion of the project falls behind and prohibit any traffic on it, but he feels confident that the new sod won’t be an issue.  “Where we’re at now in terms of what we foresee with that sod being placed, I think we feel pretty good that it will be down early enough that it’ll be able to be established, and that as long as compliance is obtained with the ordinance and not placed down prior to 5:00 AM that a few of  hours should be ok.”

The council passed the first reading of the ordinance unanimously. The ordinance must pass two more times prior to its adoption.

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