By Shawn Regan
---- — HAVERHILL — Residents in several buildings in and around Lafayette Square were surprised recently to see one-hour parking signs pop up on both sides of Hillside Street, City Councilor Thomas Sullivan said.
Technically, parking has been limited to one hour, between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., for many years on Hillside Street, Sullivan said. But the signs, and hence the enforcement, are new, he said.
A former restaurant at the corner of Hillside Street and Lafayette Square burned down many years ago, leaving a vacant lot in its place, Sullivan said.
Around that time, the one-hour parking signs disappeared and the parking limits on HIllside Street have not been enforced, he said.
“The signs caught a lot of residents by surprise who use that street for parking,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan brought the matter to the attention of his colleagues last night. He said the city should consider buying the vacant lot from its private owner and converting it to a public parking lot for people who live in the area.
The privately-owned lot connects to a city-owned parcel that is already used for public parking, he said.
Councilors agreed to send the matter to a study committee to consider changing the parking rules on Hillside Street and purchasing the private lot.