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Raleigh leaders discuss proposal to limit front-yard parking

The debate over front-yard parking in Raleigh continued on Wednesday as the Comprehensive Planning Committee tackled the topic.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The debate over front-yard parking in Raleigh continued on Wednesday as the city council's Comprehensive Planning Committee tackled the topic.

The long-running issue has stalled in the City Council over the years.

“We just don’t want to see our residential communities turned into commercial parking lots,” Councilman Thomas Crowder said Wednesday.

A proposed ordinance discussed on Wednesday would ban residents of single-family homes from parking in their front yard.

All visible parked cars would have to be on a driveway, which the ordinance defines as a paved or 4-inch-deep gravel surface with borders.

The ordinance allows homeowners to use 40 percent of their front yard or 425 square feet (about two car spaces), whichever is greater, for parking, as long as the surface meets the code requirements.

Homeowners would have one year to make the necessary improvements.

City staff told the committee that 2,500 homes would need to make changes to meet these standards. These improvements could cost homeowners between $3,000 and $6,000, staff said.

Jerome Goldberg owns four rental properties near North Carolina State University, where front-yard parking is normal.

“People can’t afford this. We’re in a depression,” Goldberg said. “You can’t just make them spend three, five, six thousand dollars and expect them to swallow this.”

The city of Greensboro banned front yard parking in 2009.

The Raleigh committee wants staff to look into Greensboro's rules and find out exactly how many homeowners would be affected by the proposed ordinance.

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Renee Chou, Reporter
Tom Normanly, Photographer
Kathy Hanrahan, Web Editor

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