PERRYSBURG — An increased police presence may soon be seen in a neighborhood near Perrysburg High School, after a neighbor brought a student parking issue to city council on Tuesday.

Cheryl Swisher, a resident of the Horseshoe Bend neighborhood, addressed council about parents and students blocking the roads and driveways and using the driveways as turnarounds, creating a bottleneck in the neighborhood.

“They’re parking in our neighborhood and then walking to the high school, so the car sits there all day,” Swisher said. “My car has almost been hit … because they park on both sides of the road, so only one vehicle can go in the one direction.”

She is a school administrator at another district, and said she understands the district’s predicament, but she has had her driveway access blocked by cars, followed by confrontations from parents.

“There are about 20-30 cars, between three and 4 o’clock, in our subdivision every weekday. They line both sides of the streets and it causes an unsafe bottleneck situation,” Swisher wrote in an email to Perrysburg Schools Superintendent Tom Hosler. The communication was obtained through a public records request.

Hosler was first contacted by Swisher about students parking in the neighborhood in spring 2019, but what began as a trickle of vehicles appears to have escalated. Due to lack of jurisdiction, he had asked if she had contacted the city administration about the problem.

In the email, she admitted that it took her that long to address the issue with council, but the escalation in problems convinced her to go.

“Today my husband saw someone drive through our neighbor’s yard to leave the subdivision, because another car was blocking him,” she wrote.

Swisher said that it was just one or two vehicles when she originally alerted Hosler of the situation.

Hosler said that with COVID impacting school attendance, especially in 2020 and 2021, there was probably not much of a problem.

In a follow-up interview on Wednesday, Hosler he said that an announcement was made in the high school requesting the students to refrain from parking in the neighborhoods, and instead use the student parking at the school.

”I have not talked to her this year, but it is a little bit of a difficult issue. It is a public street and the district cannot prevent people from parking on public streets,” Hosler said. “But we want to be good neighbors and remind students not to park there.

“However, legally, we cannot prevent them from doing that, beyond discouraging them from doing it,” Hosler said.

He said that after the council meeting and email from Swisher, they would be making more reminder announcements in school on Thursday.

Hosler said that Swisher was very kind and understanding with him, and the school’s lack of jurisdiction.

“Certainly there is an enforcement component there,” Mayor Tom Mackin immediately responded during the council meeting, adding that he would have a meeting about it with the police chief.

The discussion that followed at council also brought up the potential fire code violations, if emergency vehicles could not get through.

Hosler said that there is one primary exit from the student lot that they try to utilize on school days, onto Roachton Road, which has a traffic light that he said is timed to help clear the lot.

“There’s 10 or 15 minutes, right after school, when people are coming in and going out. There’s no way around that. We understand that there is a lot of congestion at that time,” Hosler said.

The high school currently has 383 students with parking permits and the administration reported that there is “additional capacity.”

The building has lots on three sides. The student parking lot has 486 available student parking spaces, with six handicapped reserved spots, one reserved space and 16 visitor spaces. Other lots have a combined 303 regular spaces, 14 handicapped, 11 reserved and 21 bus spaces.