Local News

Chapel Hill clamps down on front-yard parking

Posted July 14, 2011
Updated July 31, 2011

— Town officials say parked vehicles aren't the type of lawn art they desire in Chapel Hill.

Planning officials said Thursday that monitors will begin issuing tickets Aug. 1 to violators of a town ordinance against parking on the front lawn.

Residents of the Pine Knolls and Northside neighborhoods will be the first to be reviewed because town leaders say they have noticed a particular increase in parking eyesores in those areas.

"It's really designed to get at those properties that cover their lawn with parking and the feeling that it gives to the entire neighborhood when you have a property like that," said Rae Buckley, Chapel Hill's housing and neighborhood services planner.

The town's Land Use Management Ordinance restricts parking and drive areas to 40 percent of the front yard area and requires that the area be covered with all-weather surface or gravel.

Buckley said the majority of the problem is with rental units where multiple students live.

Front-yard parking Chapel Hill clamps down on front-yard parking

"When you have four, five, six, seven, eight students, they may all have their own cars," she said.

Robert Coleman, who rents a home in Chapel Hill, called the crackdown "petty," saying town officials have bigger concerns than whether his friends pull off the gravel driveway and park in his yard when they visit.

"That seems a little crazy. I don't know," Coleman said. "It kind of seems like a waste, a waste of time, you know. I'm sure they have better things to do than do that kind of thing."

Citations will be issued to property owners, and violators will be given two notices before facing civil penalties of $100 per day. The penalties can be appealed.


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  • dontstopnow Jul 15, 2011

    wow Storchheim, you sure are an interesting character. Glad you are not my neighbor... Carry on, I am sure folks around you have given you the key to the city for being so nice.

  • storchheim Jul 15, 2011

    Nice personal attack, Heavenly. Ignorant, though. I live in the country.

    Unlike you, I believe in keeping your agreements which means if you choose to live where lawn-parking is not allowed, you don't do it. It also means not saying one thing and doing another. Check the zoning laws before you move into an area. What is there in that, that inspires you to such heights of name-calling? Maybe you should work on your anger.

    Well, on second thought, maybe I'm wrong and everyone else is right. Excuse me, I'm going to go build a strip club next to a day-care center. Got a problem with that? Of course not - that's the stupid, revenue-stream, racist zoning ordinance again, to be ignored if it's inconvenient.

  • Con Amor brings luv and laughter Jul 15, 2011

    Sounds like chapel hill wants the towns people to have to start parking in the cities "pay by the day or hour" parking lots, and walking home. Lots of $$$ will be made... They ought to be ashamed. They know that many students share the homes, and they have cars.

  • Con Amor brings luv and laughter Jul 15, 2011

    I have a friend who's mother lives in the City of Mebane... The city decided to pour a sidewalk down her street. Her house sits very close (maybe 8 feet) to the road. The new side walk went right across her driveway & her yard. All was well. Until police started knocking on her door threatening to give her tickets for parking on the sidewalk! LOL! They are the ones who poured the sidewalk right slap dab in the middle of her driveway! She had no where else to park! She only got warnings 3 or 4 times, then the police finnaly just left it alone, realizing that the lady was not at fault & using their own common sense. But I fell out laughing the day I was there and the police came and told her to get her car off of the sidewalk.She said,"No, get that dang sidewalk out of my driveway!"The police looked at her,and looked at the sidewalk (gravel still on each side) and where it was poured,and saw that that was the only place off of the street that she could park.Her driveway WAS there first.

  • dontstopnow Jul 15, 2011

    Storchhelm, spoken like a true..... well not sure what that sounds like unless it is something close to a person who has never had to do anything but mow a lawn.

    But you enjoy that life you hold so dearly where your neighbors can hear your TV and nobody's business is their own. Living on top of each other like a parking deck sounds like loads of fun, oh as long as the car is not parked on the lawn!

    I like the crickets and frogs that surround the pond at night and the orchard and gardens that produce the food so fresh and tasty without artificial preseratives. I like the eggs gathered from my chickens daily from a pure source without oil to keep it fresh like the grocery store eggs. I park my vehicles anywhere I please on this property and I own it without a mortgage company or bank looking over my shoulder.

    I think those who want to live in a concrete jungle with neighbors within shouting distance, should do so and pay the fines to keep it that way if that is where they are happy.

  • storchheim Jul 15, 2011

    wdprice, have you ever even HEARD of zoning laws? The ignorance is astounding on this subject. "Private property! Mind your own business!" Uh, no, it doesn't work that way. Educate yourselves. You can start by googling ORANGE COUNTY NC ZONING.

    And you all seem to be in favor of turning a neighborhood into some trashy third world where you can just park all over the place. Hey, shouldn't you all be sitting out in and among all those parked cars drinking beer? It's almost noon. Make sure you play some real loud music, and it helps if you can throw in some diaperless children running around amid this scene. You all think the trailer park is something to aspire to, so get practicing!

    For all who are saying, "Mind your own business" and then bash CH for wanting to preserve a certain image, take your own advice. There are plenty of trashy towns along the interstates in our great State where you can live in the squalor you deem so noble.

  • thinkin out loud Jul 15, 2011

    Attention all Chapel Hill residents. Get out while you can. Be afraid, be very afraid. Nothing is yours, it all belongs to the government. Do as they say or they will take it from you.

  • hfmichael Jul 15, 2011

    slow newsday to reporting this stuff. If this is really a true ordinance, Chapel Hill needs to find other ways to spend time and their resources...

  • Centurian Jul 15, 2011

    With all the problems facing citizens and local governments these days, it's nice to see that Chapel Hill is focusing on the REALLY IMPORTANT issues like folks parking their cars on the front lawn.

  • storchheim Jul 15, 2011

    "Private property is private property." - dcatz.

    Subject to zoning laws. If you don't like it, move to where it's allowed. But then don't complain about the trailer park across the road.