At a recent meeting of the Palisade Town Trustees, several residents and business owners on North River Road complained about people parking on the street outside The Happy Camper, a retail marijuana store.
Colleen Scanlon-Maynard, senior vice president of sales and marketing for The Happy Camper, said the business had no complaints about their parking until that night. The trustees were considering a third retail marijuana store and she said she thought the effort to stop that store may have been why The Happy Camper came up.
“We’ve been there more than a year, almost a year and a half, and there have been no complaints,” Scanlon-Maynard said. “We were given a specific number of parking spaces and we have those.”
There were several complaints about customers parking on the street outside The Happy Camper, but Palisade Utilities Director Matt Lemon said, at the moment, they are allowed to do that.
“As long as they are off the road there is no signage that does not allow them to do that,” Lemon said. “At this time it is legal. It’s not posted ‘no parking.’ ”
Still, those who commented to the board cited the parking situation as a hazard to the community. Local business owner Tim Wedel wrote in opposition to the new retail store and brought up the parking situation at The Happy Camper.
“Due to the roadside parking, Palisade has a serious safety concern,” Wedel wrote. “The Fruit and Wine Byway promotes the route for pedestrians, cyclists, and motor touring. Soon this route will be popular with the Palisade Plunge. Clients to The Happy Camper primarily come from the west, and parking along the road entices motorists to make unsafe U-turns.”
The Town of Palisade has begun a process of working with business owners in the area to look at the parking situation and develop a plan, Lemon said. They have reached out to the store’s general manager. Scanlon-Maynard said she hasn’t heard directly from the town on this issue yet.
“There’s plenty of parking,” Scanlon-Maynard said. “People come and they go. We do online ordering now so everything is timed.”
Residents also complained about the speed on the road, which Scanlon-Maynard said the business is taking seriously, though she noted there were other businesses that also draw traffic to North River Road. She said they have purchased speed limit signs that they have posted outside the business, will be giving customers flyers reminding them to drive safely, and have purchased an ad in The Daily Sentinel.
“We care about the pedestrians and the neighbors,” Scanlon-Maynard said. “We want to be a very good neighbor. So the speed and the people being worried about that really concerned us. People pulling off the road, they’re going to be doing that at the (Palisade Plunge), we’re not that worried.”
The Palisade Police Department has stepped up enforcement of speeding around town. Police Chief Deb Funston reported to the trustees at the Tuesday meeting that they have been issuing more speeding tickets. There is also a radar sign installed on North River Road to encourage drivers to slow down.