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East End Market customers not getting neighborly welcome while finding parking

Residents post 'no parking' signs to deter people from legally parking

WINTER PARK, Fla. – At least 12 dozen 'No Parking' signs have popped up in the Audubon Park neighborhood as folks are fed up with people parking on their streets. Neighbors said the parking problem stems from customers of the popular East End Market, located on Corrine Drive right on the Winter Park-Orlando line.

The neighborhood indoor market draws people from all over, like Sara Howell and her family visiting Orlando on vacation, who stopped in Tuesday afternoon on their way back home to New York.

"We heard that they had the best cookies in Florida so we thought we would come and compare," Howell said of Gideon's Bakehouse cookies.

The East End Market said it's a neighborhood market, even though its customer's aren't getting quite the neighborly welcome when they pull in.

Antonio Bauer posted two 'No Parking' signs in his yard.

"This is a lot of our neighbors, not just me," Bauer said. "We are all fed up."

Bauer said it's the worst on the weekends and has taken pictures to document the problem. His wife has forwarded them to city officials.

"I've been documenting this for a long time," Bauer said. "We have had cars parking on top of the sprinklers, we've had cars blocking entrances to the house right here, we had cars parking on both sides of the street and it's a mess."

But not everyone in the neighborhood agrees with the signs, including Neko Montalvo. who lives a few houses down from the market.

"At times it did get slightly frustrating," Montalvo said. "I wouldn't say it's frustrating enough to go as far as mandating signs and dictating where people can park," she added.

Montalvo said she feels there is a way to accommodate everyone. 

"I think there needs to be some alternate parking or designated hours where people can park in certain areas, I think that would be a better option," she said.

Winter Park city officials said they just recently heard of the problem and are working with residents in the area to come up with a solution.

"We just starting working on this and finding out what the interest is of the neighbors and how best to manage," city spokesperson Clarissa Howard said in an email.

Howard said even though the signs look legit and are legal for property owners to post them, it's completely legal to park on the street and drivers won't be ticketed.
 
The East End Market posted signs that read "Respect our neighbors." The market owner and co-founder John Rife said he has worked with the church next to the market building to allow customers to park there, too.

Rife said he understands the neighbor's concerns.

"We do our best to encourage our customers not to park on the residential streets, whether they are legally allowed to park there or not," Rife said in an email. "We like our neighbors, many of them are also customers and friends, and we think they deserve to enjoy their homes without undue impact from us if possible."

Rife said occasionally, the market will get a nice piece of national press that will spark an increase of people visiting the market for a few days but said it's not daily issue. 

"We're a neighborhood market and we want to do right by our neighbors and encouraging our customers not to park along the residential streets is just doing our part to be a good member of the community," Rife added.


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