Local News

Raleigh In High Gear Over Front Yard Parking Proposal

Posted April 28, 2004

— A proposal by the Raleigh Appearance Commission is likely to put some homeowners in high gear. A draft ordinance could restrict how many cars you have in your own driveway.

Pauline Vandergrift does not like looking across the street at the cars on the grass. She said most days, the driveway is packed with cars, too.

"It's unsightful," she said. "When people come in the neighborhood, they say: 'Why do you have so many cars in the neighborhood? What is this -- a parking lot?'"

The city of Raleigh may be getting ready to buckle down. The city's Appearance Commission wants to outlaw cars on frontyard grass.

In a new ordinance, it also proposes limiting the number of cars in your driveway to three. Technically, if you are a family of four, and everyone in the household has a car, all of the cars in the driveway could be a violation.

"We are experiencing cars parking all over the yard," city councilman Thomas Crowder said.

Crowder said with more single-family houses turning into places where many people live, restrictions are necessary.

"You are looking at aesthetics or it and reducing stormwater runoff," he said.

Jerry Dunn thinks the city is driving into unfair ground. He said he should be able to park his five cars on his own property.

"I could see if the grass wasn't cut," he said. "They are acting like they want to keep the yard beautified. This yard is not tore up."

There would be some exceptions. You could park your car on the grass if it needs to be repaired, but only for 48 hours.

Crowder said the proposed ordinance likely will be modified after the public gets a chance to speak.

The city's zoning department would be in charge of enforcement. There is no money set aside to police the problem, so it would likely be handled on a complaint basis only. Fines could range from a flat fee of $50 to $100 a day.

A public hearing on the ordinance is set for May 18.

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