State Fair Do's and Don'ts
Wednesday, August 8, 2018 3:00 PM

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If you live near the State Fair, here's how to handle problems with parking, peddlers, and more.

Yard Parking
(More details are available further down)
Saint Paul zoning code sets up a “state fair parking overlay district” during the 12 days of the Fair. The overlay district covers the areas bounded by:

  • Hoyt, Hamline, Wynne, and Snelling
  • Hoyt, Chelsea, Arlington, and Hamline
  • Como, Snelling,,Wynne, and Winston

Within the overlay district, residents can park vehicles anywhere on their property, including their side yards and front yards. Residents who park vehicles in their front yards must get “written consent” each year from neighbors on both sides of them.
Where to call: If you suspect a violation, contact the Department of Safety and Inspections: 651-266-8989. After “normal” business hours, call the police non-emergency line: 651-291-1111.

Street Parking
(More details are available further down)
On many streets in District 10 west of Lexington Parkway, vehicles can park on only one side of the street during the 12 days of the State Fair. Some of these streets don’t allow parking at all. These streets are marked with specific “no parking” signs. It is also illegal to park:

  • Within 5 feet of the entrance to an alley or private driveway
  • Within 10 feet of a fire hydrant
  • Within 20 feet of a crosswalk (marked or unmarked)
  • Within 30 feet of a stoplight, stop sign, yield sign, or other traffic-control sign or device;
  • Within 80 feet of a bus stop
  • On a street in Residential Permit Parking Area 29 without displaying a permit

Alleys: Vehicles also cannot park in an alley, unless there is at least 10 feet available for traffic to get by, the vehicle is at least 5 feet from of any driveway or garage entrance on its side of the alley, and at least 20 feet away from a driveway or garage entrance on the other side of the alley.
Where to call: If you suspect a parking violation, contact the Saint Paul Police non-emergency number – 651-291-1111 – and request parking enforcement.

Peddlers
(More details are available further down)
There are very few places where peddlers can operate legally in District 10 near the State Fairgrounds.

  • They can’t operate on park land. That means, for example, that the sidewalks, boulevards and grassy median of Midway Parkway are off limits. So is Tilden Park.
  • They can’t operate within 25 feet of an intersection. That means, for example, that the corner of Snelling and Midway, across from the Fairgrounds’ main entrance, is off limits.
  • They can’t operate on any sidewalk that is less than 6 feet wide. That, for example, rules out almost all of Snelling Ave. from Hoyt south to Almond.

Where to call: If you suspect a violation, contact the Department of Safety and Inspections: 651-266-8989. After “normal” business hours, call the police non-emergency line: 651-291-1111.

Vendors
(More details are available further down)
Saint Paul zoning code sets up a “state fair vending overlay district” during the 12 days of the Fair. This overlay district runs mostly along the east side of Snelling Ave. from Hoyt south to Canfield. Property owners in the vending overlay district can get a permit if they get written permission from neighbors on both sides. With the vending permit, property owners can use or lease their front yards to set up permanent merchandise booths.

Signs
No one – residents, businesses, institutions, etc. – can legally plant signs in boulevards, on sidewalks, in the street, on medians, in alleys, or on other public property without a permit (Sec. 64.401.I). If you suspect a violation, gather a description of the sign, its content and its location, then contact the Department of Safety and Inspections 651-266-8989.

Golf carts
Golf carts cannot operate legally on Saint Paul streets. If you see a potential violation, call the Saint Paul Police non-emergency number: 651-291-1111. Be sure to request an officer. Report the street on which you saw the cart, the direction of travel, an address if you know where the cart is based, and other identifying information.

Something to think about
What happens during State Fair reflects on our neighborhood. In the short term, we as community members cannot control the chaos and congestion, especially during the busiest days. We cannot control how much (or how little) city departments enforce parking, peddling, traffic, and other challenges. But we can control our own behavior and expectations. For example:

  • When it comes to parking, experienced residents recommend cooperating, not competing. There are enough cars for everyone.
  • As Fair attendance increases, and more visitors drive through and walk through our neighborhood, it is an opportunity to help, build relationships, and build a great reputation.
  • As more residents are out in their streets, alleys and yards during the Fair, it is an opportunity to get to know each other better, and to keep extra sets of eyes on each other to prevent mischief.
  • In the meantime, we can continue to work toward long-term solutions that make the 12 days of the Fair a better experience for visitors and residents alike.
     

Additional Details

Yard Parking
Generally, residential property owners can park vehicles in their back yard or interior side yard any time of year – if the vehicles are parked on a hard surface. City code defines hard surface as “asphalt, concrete, gravel, rock, or other durable and dustless surfaces” (Sec. 34.08.7).
During the 12 days of the Minnesota State Fair, Saint Paul zoning code sets up a special “state fair parking overlay district” (Sec. 67.101). The overlay district covers the areas bounded by:

  • Hoyt, Hamline, Wynne, and Snelling
  •  Como, Snelling,,Wynne, and Winston
  • Hoyt, Chelsea, Arlington, and Hamline

Within the overlay district, residents can park vehicles anywhere on their property, including their front yard and all side yards, regardless of the surface. Residents who park vehicles in their front yards must get “written consent” each year from property owners on both sides of their yard. Vehicles can drive over curbs, boulevards, and sidewalks to reach lawn parking within the State Fair parking overlay district (Section 157.05.B1).
(Note: Yard parking is allowed only during the 12 days of the State Fair; it is not allowed during other large events, such as the Back to the 50s car show or the Hmong Freedom Festival.)
Where to call: If you suspect a violation, contact the Department of Safety and Inspections: 651-266-8989. After “normal” business hours, call the police non-emergency line: 651-291-1111.

Street Parking
On many streets in District 10 west of Lexington Parkway, vehicles can park on only one side of the street during the 12 days of the State Fair. Some of these streets don’t allow parking at all. These streets are marked with specific “no parking” signs. It is also illegal to park:

  • In a way that blocks an alley or private driveway, or is within 5 feet of the entrance to an alley or private driveway (Sec. 157.03.A2). Across from an alley entrance, it is illegal to park within 20 feet of the width of the alley
  • In a crosswalk (Sec. 157.03.A6) or within 20 feet of a crosswalk (marked or unmarked) at an intersection (Sec. 157.03.A7)
  • Within 10 feet of a fire hydrant (Sec. 157.03.A5)
  • Within 30 feet of a stop light, stop sign, yield sign, or other traffic-control sign or device (Sec. 157.03.A8)
  • In residential permit parking area 29 (along Hamline and nearby streets west of Como Zoo) without displaying a permit (Sec. 164.01)
  • Within 80 feet of a bus stop (Sec. 157.03.A10)
  • Side by side with another parked car (Sec. 157.03.A14)
  • On a boulevard (Sec. 157.03.A3) or in an intersection (Sec. 157.03.A4)
  • On private property without consent of the owner (Sec. 157.03.A17)
  • In an alley, unless there is at least 10 feet available for traffic to get by, the vehicle is at least 5 feet from of any driveway or garage entrance on its side of the alley, and at least 20 feet away from a driveway or garage entrance on the other side of the alley. (Sec. 157.03.A23.h)

In addition, people charging drivers to park their vehicles on private property cannot park those vehicles on public streets or alleys for more than 90 minutes (Sec. 157.03.A23.b)
Where to call: If you suspect a violation, contact the Saint Paul Police non-emergency number – 651-291-1111 – and request parking enforcement. Be sure to give details of the violation, including an address or intersection.

Peddlers

  • Peddlers sell goods, wares, or any items of value, including tickets (Sec. 345.01).
  • Every peddler who operates in Saint Paul needs a license from the city’s Department of Safety and Inspections (Sec. 345.02).
  • A pedder’s license is good for only one person; it is not transferable to other people, even family members (Sec. 345.07).
  • Peddlers must display a badge on their “outer garment or clothing”; this badge must display a current photo, their peddler’s license number, and expiration date of their license (Sec. 345.06).
  • Peddlers must keep moving, unless they are in the act of completing a sale. If they intend to stop or stay on any sidewalk, street or alley, they must obtain an additional “use of street” permit from the city’s Department of Public Works (Sec. 345.08.a).

There are certain areas where peddlers cannot operate:

  • Peddlers cannot sell goods within 25 feet of an intersection. They cannot sell goods on any sidewalk that is less than 6 feet wide. (Sec. 345.08.d)
  • Peddlers cannot sell goods in any park or parkway. In the vicinity of the Fairgrounds, that means peddlers cannot operate in Tilden Park or anywhere on Midway Parkway, including the sidewalks, boulevards, and median. (Sec. 345.08.f)
  • Peddlers cannot sell goods “in a congested” area where they “might impede or inconvenience the public use” or “streets or public ways.” (Sec. 345.08b.) This determination must be made by Saint Paul Police or an inspector from the city’s Department of Safety and Inspections. If you believe peddlers are operating “in a congested area” outside the Fairgrounds, you can contact the Saint Paul Police Department’s Western District (651-266-1234) or the Department of Safety and Inspections (651-266-8989).

Where to call: If you suspect a violation, contact the Department of Safety and Inspections: 651-266-8989. After “normal” business hours, call the police non-emergency line: 651-291-1111.

Vendors
Saint Paul zoning code sets up a special “state fair vending overlay district” during the 12 days of the Fair (Sec. 67.102). This overlay district (see the hash-marked area on the map below) runs along the east side of Snelling Ave. from Hoyt south to Canfield. (Along Midway Parkway and the north side of Canfield, it also extends east to Arona.)
Property owners in the vending overlay district can get a state fair vending permit if they get written permission from neighbors on both sides. With the vending permit, they can use or lease their front yards (or, at some corners, their side yards) to set up merchandise booths. In general, these booths have to be at least 3 feet from the sidewalk. The zoning code also lists prohibited merchandise and has other guidelines on what is and isn’t allowed in the vending overlay district.
Where to call: If you suspect a violation, contact the Department of Safety and Inspections: 651-266-8989.

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District 10 Como Community Council | 1224 Lexington Pkwy N, Saint Paul, MN 55103 | 651.644.3889 | district10 [at] district10comopark.org

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