Warren pastor: OK to park in church lot during snow

Warren pastor: OK to park in church lot during snow


dscf3067Parking spots in downtown Warren are a precious commodity during snowstorms this week, and a local parish has no plans to bar residents from parking on their property during the most recent and future storms, despite a recent minor dustup.

A few days after an early January storm struck, St. Mary of the Bay Church Pastor Douglas Grant put leaflets on a handful of cars in the church’s large parking lot telling the owners that they could be subject to towing the next time. But he said Monday that residents can continue to use the church parking lot during future storms, as long as they follow one golden rule: Be good neighbors.

“The parish has always allowed people to park here, but they need to remove their cars in a timely manner,” he said. Father Grant said about 70 or 80 cars were moved into the lot during the last storm. Most were taken out shortly after the snow stopped falling, but he said some cars were left in the lot long after the snow was gone.

”We had people parking there for five days.”

Father Grant said he put the leaflets up to create “a little buzz” but said he would never try to bar parking in the lot — “it wouldn’t work, and it’s not a neighborly thing to do.”

However, he said the church plans to put up signs warning residents that long-term parking following storms won’t be allowed.

Those who stay too long could be towed, he said. “But parking during storms will continue; I see it as a service to the community but people need to be considerate.”