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Until the update, most councilors hadn't realized skiing on Troutdale streets was outlawed

Troutdale city councilors voiced support for removing a ban on skiing on Troutdale city streets and sidewalks during a discussion of parking ordinances on Tuesday, March 12.

Troutdale resident Alan Pettengill enjoys cross country skiing during the rare times Troutdale's streets are covered in white, and he requested councilors remove the ban.

"Whenever I have any opportunity to ski, I take it," he said. "It's similar to walking or biking. I appreciate the parking ordinances, but this seems out of place."

Until the update, most councilors hadn't realized skiing on Troutdale streets was outlawed — even Councilor Jamie Kranz admitted to buckling into a pair of cross-country skis when it snows.

Pettengill noticed the ban was part of the city's parking code ordinance when councilors were first discussing an update to parking laws at a meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 26.

Community Development Director Chris Damgen and Troutdale prosecuting attorney Attorney Scott Leonard are updating the city's parking code to clear up confusing language, and will remove the street-skiing restriction in their next update. Municipal Code Chapter 10-Vehicles was written more than 35 years ago, and it's only had sparse updates since it was first enacted.

Damgen has filled in for Troutdale Code Enforcement Officer Lisa Clayton, who is out on an extended leave. Damgen said he has had trouble interpreting the code when issues were reported.

"It's not an easy job," he noted.

In addition to rewriting the code to clear up murky language, parking code updates also included how the city can tow abandoned vehicles, and how citizens can appeal parking violations.

The city kept its prohibition on leaving children younger than 6 years old in vehicles, and removed an exception allowing kids to be left in cars for 30 minutes.

The council must vote to approve the code changes at a future meeting.

With snow unlikely in late winter and early spring, there's less chance that Pettengill or Kranz will be out on skis — ostensibly breaking the law — before the update is approved.

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