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Preamble

At the Annual Meeting last March (2001), it was announced that this year the board would explore solutions to "parking problems" in Leewood. At the August Board meeting, it was decided that Chris Taylor (who has been heading up the effort for the board) would meet with his committee and then report to the board on possible solutions in September. Chris also announced in the August newsletter the formation of another ad hoc parking committee for all those interested, yet somehow not included, in the first parking (and traffic) committee. As of the date of the August board meeting he had received no responses to this announcement.

Why there has been so little response is an interesting question in itself. Perhaps people are just busy, and are taking the tack that others can solve a problem that they perceive to be there. Perhaps the majority of residents do not believe there is a problem. Whatever the reason, if there are changes in our parking policies/rules/regulations it can affect the quality of your life for better or for worse. It would be wise to start thinking about the issue and stay informed. This paper was written to help you in this endeavor.


 

Parking Problems/Solutions

Before trying to determine any solution, it is always good to decide on the problem, and which solutions attempt to resolve it. Then one evaluates the issues raised by the "solution" and see if they in turn can be reasonably resolved.


What is the parking problem we are trying to solve?

  1. An absolute lack of parking spaces - there are none to be found in Leewood or on adjacent streets. (PP1)
  2. No parking spaces within a certain distance of one's home. (PP2) [Note: How far? It would be interesting to know the maximum distance people have had to walk in the last week, two weeks, month - and what they consider excessive. This should be tied to where they live for it to do any good].
  3. Cars that don't move for long periods of time. (PP3) [Note: The concern here is that these people take up parking without experiencing the difficulties it causes. It does effectively reduce the number of parking spaces available to others, making parking tighter]

Solutions that have been suggested:

  1. Assign two parking places per unit (an attempt to solve PP2 )
    1. Problems
      1. Leaves 11 spaces for everyone's guests, tradespeople. A lot of illegal parking should be anticipated. Do we have the resources/will to take care of the illegal parking?
      2. Residents parking in the 11 remaining free parking spaces.
        1. Solution: Stickers for residents and guest permits.
          • How do you keep the stickers up to date?
          • Who is going to hand out the guest permits?
          • How long will they be for?
          • Without a full time onsite manager who doesn't sleep at night is a czar of guest permits feasible?
      3. From a system's standpoint free parking spaces allows the most efficient use of the existing parking spaces. If this is not intuitive to you, think of whether there is a parking problem during the day, and the historically worse parking situation at those areas where almost every parking place is reserved (the circle area of Leestone St., for example).
      4. Fairness/property rights issue for those that moved in knowing they would have more than two cars. (see more on this in #6 )
      5. Requires 75% vote of members to change the covenants so this could happen legally. (If we are to do that we should probably look to changing other covenants).

  2. Parking Stickers for no purpose other than to track cars (doesn't solve any parking problem known)
    1. Advantage - gathering of statistics if anyone takes the time and effort to continually check the stickers.
    2. Problems
      1. How are the stickers to be kept up to date?
      2. Infringement of privacy for no good purpose


  3. Parking stickers - one assigned space/unit, charge for any stickers over that (or over some predetermined number). (an attempt to solve PP2 ).
    1. Possibly is against Section 7(2) of the By-Laws and would require consent of mortgage holders (the banks).
    2. How do you prevent residents from not buying a sticker, yet parking in Leewood? Still would need guest parking permits and associated problems as in #1 .
    3. If people pay for these stickers, then certainly they would expect to find a space. Given that there are essentially only two spaces/unit, and three/unit for 11 units, how do you guarantee a parking space for these people?


  4. Build/create more parking spaces. (Helps solve PP1 , probably not PP2 as the demographics change). -- Problems:
    1. "Build it and they will come" syndrome -- number of cars will expand to fill up parking spaces available.Expense
    2. Reduction of green space, thus reducing ambience of Leewood and/or taking away of  common area now used for recreation.

  5. Get more parking spaces by having compact/van/etc. parking both for reserved and free spaces. (an attempt to solve PP1 )
    1. Problems: People's reserved spaces would not necessarily be near their home - it would depend on their type of car and how the layout evolved. If PP2 is the real problem, this would exacerbate it.
    2. Would need to measure parking bays to see whether this would help at all.


  6. Make it a rule that only two cars maximum per unit. (an attempt to solve PP2 )
    1. Problems:
      1. Unfair to those who bought knowing they would have more than 2 cars.
        1. Solution: Grandfathering current residents in
          • Problem: Tracking which residents are grandfathered
          • Problem: Lessens effectiveness of the change of covenants as no immediate results
      2. How do you enforce this?
        1. Stickers - see discussions at #1 ,#3
        2. Registration, with no stickers. How do you know that unregistered car belongs to guest, not a resident? How do you keep the registration up to date?

        3. What is the difference between a car belonging to a unit and a guest who "hangs around a lot"?
      3. Would this affect property values? (One could argue both sides of this question from many different angles)
    2. Advantage: Might discourage people from over-populating the homes.


  7. Discourage people with a lot of cars from buying (an attempt to solve PP2)
    1. Sellers/Real Estate Agents - Encourage people to use those that bring up the parking situation. (Could one count on any real estate agent to do this?)
    2. Put up signs at entrances such as:

      "Welcome to Leewood
      2.1 parking spaces/unit
      No Soliciting"

      (Problem: Too many signs already)

    3. Put up temporary signs in common area next to "For Sale" or "Open House" signs with the message of number of parking spaces/unit.
    4. Produce a nice brochure to give to real estate agents that touts Leewood and mentions the parking ratio/unit.
    5. Effect of any of these solutions on property values? Probably no different than any other effect of limiting parking, except for the fact that it is known.


  8. Ticket/tow cars that do not move in "X" days (an attempt to solve PP3 )
    1. Advantage: Would open up more spaces
    2. Problems:
      1. Would this include cars parked in reserved spaces? Do we have the authority to do this for reserved spaces?
      2. Some people might just move their cars.
      3. Enforcement - time to walk around, note mileage
      4. People on vacation - would they register with the association?
      5. Probably should have a Board resolution or By-Law change to clarify this position




car parked on roof "Talking Paper" by Judy Currier, based on the problems/solutions heard over the years. PP1 appears to be an unlikely problem. The only solution not suggested before is #7 . It seems that perhaps we should be more proactive in making the number of parking spaces known to future buyers. This idea began as a late night "inspiration" (I'm never sure whether these thoughts are flashes of brilliance or show a fatigued brain) based on the experiences of my neighbor when selling his house without a real estate agent. He was very forthright about parking and overcrowding in the house.

And, to the right is another solution, seen in West Virginia.

 



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