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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia City Council today took a step toward changing the rules under which neighbors can get their block designated as a “resident permit” parking zone.

The changes are aimed at easing neighbor-versus-neighbor squabbles.

Rick Dickson of the Philadelphia Parking Authority says permit parking is sometimes welcomed by residents, sometimes not — and sometimes it becomes a battleground.

“This is a very important program to address quality-of-life issues in neighborhoods,” he testified today.  “It should not be used as a tool to create controversy between neighbors going back and forth in attempting to make this change happen.”

Permit parking on a block means that residents with a permit on their car can park for unlimited hours, but others must adhere to what is usually a two-hour time limit.

Dickson spoke in support of Councilman Mark Squilla’s measure that changes the percentage of residents of a block needed to add or remove permit parking, from 51 percent to 60 percent.

Squilla believes the need for a broader consensus within a block should reduce the likelihood of a near split prompting a mini-civil war.

The measure was approved by the Streets Committee and sent to the full Council for a vote later this month.

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