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How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: SDGuy
Date: November 03, 2009 04:19PM
Some background - the streets in my neighborhood are fairly narrow. If there are cars parked on both sides of the street, it would be very hard for two cars to go by in opposite directions without scraping each other - and definitely NOT within the 26' of clearance required by county fire codes.

The CC&Rs require that people utilize their garages for parking of vehicles, not as warehouse storage, a spare bedroom, etc. As you can guess, not many people are doing that, and there are many vehicles clogging up the narrow streets - usually weeknights and weekends.

So, given that as the problem set, what would you recommend as a solution, without being overly onerous on the residents? The goal is to get people to actually park in their garages, as they're required to, but without having to resort to big-brother tactics. I assume that people will be p*ssed no matter what, but what do you think would be the most palatable way of going about this?

Oh - the assumptions are also that people may have late-night guests over for say, a dinner party, occasional overnight guests, kids who are normally away but return home during college breaks, and legitimate reasons to sometimes NOT park in their garage (e.g. need the space to temporarily store furniture whil new carpeting is being installed).

The HOA already has a proposed solution, but I'd like to see what the wide-ranging and experienced macresource community would come up with.
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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: WHiiP
Date: November 03, 2009 04:27PM
Good Luck.

The ONLY way it will be enforced is to start towing. You can write down their tags, put a note on their windshield, and then send a registered letter to the owner of the car, prior to towing . . . but, without big brother tactics, most will ignore you.

Visitors should be parking in the driveway, not the streets.

.02¢



Bill
Flagler Beach, FL 32136

Carpe Vino!

Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire.
— David Rains Wallace
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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: November 03, 2009 04:27PM
Put some "volunteers" in uniform to patrol...
Maybe a brown shirt with a nice "HOA" armband.







(Sorry... I loathe the whole idea of HOA's.).



Paul F.
-----
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Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

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Eureka, CA
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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: November 03, 2009 04:30PM
Most HOA I know of would just have towed those people and then charged them for it and then charged a fee for charging for it and then fined them for their shrubs being an inch too tall.



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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: Black
Date: November 03, 2009 04:47PM
Ban cars, and send Paul F. out there with his armory to enforce it.




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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: November 03, 2009 04:48PM
this is why I would never buy into a place with covanents.
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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: testcase
Date: November 03, 2009 04:50PM
Summary execution of offenders & reselling their units to people who will comply with the contracts they sign. angry villagers smiley
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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: November 03, 2009 04:53PM
Wow. Some friends of mine were in the exact same situation. They got the HOA to make them the enforcers for the neighborhood and they could actually write tickets as per the HOA bylaws. They started doing this and people got upset because there were no signs.

So they bought signs and posted them. A few weeks later the county (or whichever government jurisdiction the road actually belonged to [it was a dead end]) came and took the signs off the posts.

Come to find out, it's unlawful (at least around here) for a HOA to impose any sort of parking restrictions because the restrictions are for county property and the HOA has no authority over the county.

So if it's a county road, contact the county and find out what the appropriate action should be.




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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: wolfcry911
Date: November 03, 2009 04:54PM
Try requesting a letter from the fire or police dept. stating that the street needs clearance and then address the HOA based on the letter.
What about parking on only side of the street (with no bias to the owners on that side)?
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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: SDGuy
Date: November 03, 2009 04:57PM
Quote
M A V I C
...So if it's a county road, contact the county and find out what the appropriate action should be.

Actually did that (yeah, I'm on the HOA Board, as of a few months ago) - the County Fire Marshal guy (don't remember his exact title) came out and said, more or less, "you people have got to do something about this" (the streets are private; i.e. owned by the HOA).
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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: Carm
Date: November 03, 2009 05:09PM
Ticket and Tow.
My neighbor rents his place. People who moved in had trailers and big a$$ trucks on the street. Most of the neighbors complained and the HOA took the owner to court to get his tenants to follow the cc&rs. Streets are clear now.
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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: November 03, 2009 05:12PM
Quote
SDGuy
Quote
M A V I C
...So if it's a county road, contact the county and find out what the appropriate action should be.

Actually did that (yeah, I'm on the HOA Board, as of a few months ago) - the County Fire Marshal guy (don't remember his exact title) came out and said, more or less, "you people have got to do something about this" (the streets are private; i.e. owned by the HOA).

You need to contact whomever oversees the roads. The fire marshal doesn't do that. He can spot a problem regarding fire codes, but can't put up signs... and it sounds like he can't enforce it. Find out which agency puts up no parking signs and contact them, like the county DOT.

You don't have to do anything about it, the fire marshal is incorrect. It's just that if your car gets squashed by a fire truck when it comes down your road, or you otherwise block service, you're liable. You're not liable for everyone else's cars.




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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: November 03, 2009 06:14PM
How about just letting people park on the street? If it isn't signed and illegal to park there why do you need to push your nose in others business?

If you want it changed, as Frank said, figure out who has the authority to put up no parking signs and get them to do it if legally able to. If not...to bad for you. Did I mention I think HOA are a pile of crap?



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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: Don Kiyoti
Date: November 03, 2009 06:14PM
These homes have no driveways in which to park a car?





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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: SDGuy
Date: November 03, 2009 06:25PM
Quote
Don Kiyoti
These homes have no driveways in which to park a car?
Yes - that is correct.

Quote
C(-)ris
How about just letting people park on the street? If it isn't signed and illegal to park there why do you need to push your nose in others business?

If you want it changed, as Frank said, figure out who has the authority to put up no parking signs and get them to do it if legally able to. If not...to bad for you. Did I mention I think HOA are a pile of crap?

So, I see you have nothing positive to contribute. As for the governing authority (to put up signs/paint red curbs/etc.) - that would be the HOA - they own the streets.
It also is a liability issue - City code REQUIRES twenty six feet of clearance (width). On the off-chance someone's house burns down because a firetruck couldn't get through, the HOA would be at fault for allowing the situation. I never said we want to disallow people parking on the street - we want them to park in their garages first (as they've already agreed to, but aren't doing). Presumably, if people are parking in their garages, the number of vehicles on the street will decrease.
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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: AAA
Date: November 03, 2009 06:32PM
Quote
Racer X
this is why I would never buy into a place with covanents.

mutually exclusive. we have covenants. but no HOA. covenants are pretty much unenforceable. and none of us agree to any hoa authority. all goes well, though.
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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: Winston
Date: November 03, 2009 07:15PM
If the streets are too narrow to allow parking on both sides, one option would be to make parking illegal on one side of the street.

Another idea is to require residents to register their cars, and put numbered stickers on them. Then you'd know who is abusing the on-street parking privilege. Cars which stay on the street for a length of time without being registered could be ticketed or towed. (This would allow for temporary visitors to park on the street.)

An alternative would be to issue one on-street parking permit to each home. Cars parked on-street overnight without a permit would be subject to ticketing or towing. People needing temporary use of more on-street parking could borrow from a neighbor or you could have loaner system.

You could start enforcement with warning tickets. Publishing the area where scofflaws are parking, with an identification of the type and color of vehicle, could be an initial step, as it's embarrassing without being directly attributed to a specific homeowner.

Having been involved in some neighborhood issues, the important thing is communication. You need signs, written policy distributed and published (newsletter, online or print), and included in welcome materials to new residents. Well publicized public meetings (more than one) to explain new policy is also important.


Good luck.

- Winston



------------------------
Be seeing you.
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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: November 03, 2009 07:23PM
Quote
SDGuy
As for the governing authority (to put up signs/paint red curbs/etc.) - that would be the HOA - they own the streets.

Are you positive on that? Who paves them? If it snows, who plows them?

If you're absolutely positive the HOA owns the road, then the HOA bylaws should spell out a course of action. My take is if they signed the agreement, they should follow it. If they don't, it devalues your property. That does make it your business. Maybe one of the less confrontative steps would be to put up signs. HOAs need to be enforced to the letter, evenly, on everyone with no individual exceptions.




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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: Wailer
Date: November 03, 2009 08:20PM
If the HOA owns the streets, they (meaning you, the homeowners) can do whatever they want with them within the by-laws of the CC&Rs. The can prohibit parking on one side, prohibit cars all together. Usually such changes require a consensus or two-thirds majority.

You should probably consult an attorney who specializes in CC&R law, because if you don't do it right you'll surely get sued. And once the HOA is involved in a lawsuit, it makes selling a unit very difficult not to mention it's expensive for the HOA (again you) to defend. You'll still probably get sued if it grossly affects the lifestyle of the residence, but at you'll have a better chance of prevailing.

I'd probably shoot for no parking on one side of the street. Paint the other curb red and post signs. If someone violates, you can tow since it is private property.

Nothing is inherently wrong with HOAs. It's just that it's a lot of work that no one wants to do, so the people who wind up doing it usually have their own agenda.
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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: SDGuy
Date: November 03, 2009 08:37PM
Quote
M A V I C
Quote
SDGuy
As for the governing authority (to put up signs/paint red curbs/etc.) - that would be the HOA - they own the streets.

Are you positive on that? Who paves them?...

Absolutely positive on that. The Fire marshal guy was quite explicit that he is the one who specifies signage/red curbs for city-owned streets, but for HOA owned streets, we're on our own. We actually consulted him because the CC&Rs state that the designation of no parking areas are to be done at the direction of the City. After much run-around, we finally found out who determines such things (for city-owned streets), and consulted him. He recommended red curbs/signs, and gave us a printout of the applicable City Codes/guidance (my oops above - he was City of San Diego, not County). So, if we wanted to, we could paint it all Black Red (apologies to Mick Jagger), but that's not going to happen. He said that we could do whatever we want, and the city would approve it.

The current proposal is actually pretty close to what Winston suggested:

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/03/2009 09:00PM by SDGuy.
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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: SDGuy
Date: November 03, 2009 08:40PM
Quote
Wailer
...It's just that it's a lot of work that no one wants to do, so the people who wind up doing it usually have their own agenda.

agree smiley

All of the gathering angry mobs (who don't want to clean the crap out of their garages) agree that something needs to be done, but have zero ideas to offer, other than - why don't you guys do something, but not something that will affect ME, personally - just my neighbors.
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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: mikebw
Date: November 03, 2009 08:50PM
So what is wrong with allowing parking on only one side of the street? or did I miss that.
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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: SDGuy
Date: November 03, 2009 09:03PM
Quote
mikebw
So what is wrong with allowing parking on only one side of the street? or did I miss that.

The argument came up - why should cars be allowed to park on MY side of the street, instead of on the other side? Perhaps rotating red curbs - first one side, then when it's time to repaint, switch sides?

There's also the problem that, as it is, if we were to eliminate half the current street parking, there would be too many cars to fit in the available remaining space - which is why we first want to get people to park in their garages (which they're supposed to be doing already, per the CC&Rs).
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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: November 03, 2009 09:22PM
I'm still a bit confused, if the agreement says that people can't park on the street then tow them. Problem solved. If it doesn't say that, then I don't see what you can do about it without informing and having a vote with all the HOA.

If you want to change the rules, what do they bylaws say you need to do that? You can't just decide to sign the street and change the rules. I'd sue if I lived there and one day someone decided we couldn't park on one side of the street. That restriction would devalue my property.



C(-)ris
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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/03/2009 09:24PM by C(-)ris.
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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: November 03, 2009 09:23PM
parking even side on even years, odd...

BTW, there is lots of info out there on similar situations. beyond Google, contact some local planners to send you some links

yes, roads owned by the HOA can be ruled with impunity by the HOA. it was very wise to consult the fire chief, though. good thinking because they can overrule at will, I believe if they think that the situation would put their equipment in jeopardy of reaching an emergency.
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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: M>B>
Date: November 03, 2009 09:30PM
SD,

Many good and lame suggestions so far.

How about alternate month parking, one month one side next month the other side. I once lived in a New England town that had alternate street parking, got a lot of tickets because it is hard to remember and there was a limited time frame to move the car from one side to the other. That only made sense during snow plowing season!
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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: SDGuy
Date: November 03, 2009 10:19PM
Quote
C(-)ris
I'm still a bit confused, if the agreement says that people can't park on the street then tow them. Problem solved. If it doesn't say that, then I don't see what you can do about it without informing and having a vote with all the HOA.

If you want to change the rules, what do they bylaws say you need to do that? You can't just decide to sign the street and change the rules. I'd sue if I lived there and one day someone decided we couldn't park on one side of the street. That restriction would devalue my property.

The CC&Rs state that people must make use of their garages for parking. They don't. The side-effect is cluttered, dangerously narrow streets.

The HOA Board can enact any rules they want, within the bounds of the CC&Rs. The thought was to try to think of something that will induce people to park in their garages (as they're supposed to). As a side-effect, the streets would likely be decluttered in the process.
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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: Sam3
Date: November 03, 2009 10:36PM
Get permits that are placed in the window of the car for guests. Register each homeowner's car. Tow any car that doesn't have a permit in it. If a permitted car matches a registered car, it's a homeowner's car and have that car towed as well.

But as was mentioned above, communicate any new procedures through homeowner's meetings, letters, emails and so on. Give a month or two for the people to clean out their garages and then start the sanctions.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/03/2009 10:38PM by Sam3.
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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: November 03, 2009 10:51PM
Does it say that you can't park on the street though? Just because the bylaws say "The CC&Rs state that people must make use of their garages for parking." Doesn't mean that you can't park on the street. The best you can do is enforce whatever punishment there is for not parking in their garage....there is some sort of enforcement policy in the bylaws right? Or is this a HOA with no teeth and no real bylaws?



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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: DaviDC.
Date: November 03, 2009 11:07PM
An HOA governed neighborhood sound to me like an awful place to live.



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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: SDGuy
Date: November 04, 2009 07:25AM
Quote
C(-)ris
Does it say that you can't park on the street though? Just because the bylaws say "The CC&Rs state that people must make use of their garages for parking." Doesn't mean that you can't park on the street. The best you can do is enforce whatever punishment there is for not parking in their garage....there is some sort of enforcement policy in the bylaws right? Or is this a HOA with no teeth and no real bylaws?

As of now, there are NO parking prohibitions, anywhere. That will change in the somewhat near future (when consensus is reached on WHAT to do - e.g. red curbs, no parking signs, painted parking spots, guest-only spots, resident-only spots, etc.). The HOA has the authority to create any parking restrictions it wants to, but for now, our goal is to find a way to make it such that people first make use of their garages for parking before they resort to parking on the street.

The means of enforcement are either fines (using the existing fine schedule - assuming a car can be traced to a residence), or towing, in accordance with California Vehicle Code 22658, if the car can't be traced to a residence. In either scenario, we plan to issue a 24-hr warning first before taking action (towing or levying a fine).
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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: billb
Date: November 04, 2009 08:00AM
Parking on non-fire hydrant side of the street only.
Just like snow country rules, just 24/7.

Possibly Get the fire dept. involved. They do like to be able to get thier equipment in for rescue and/or fire abatement.
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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: November 04, 2009 11:41AM
In a way you're lucky. In my friend's situation, they put up signs to help enforce the fire code but the county took them down because they didn't have the authority to put signs up. So now people park on both sides of the street since they can't enforce it.

If you want suggestions on where to get signs, let me know. My friend did some research and found a good place online to get them.




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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: Winston
Date: November 04, 2009 04:09PM
Quote
SDGuy
The means of enforcement are either fines (using the existing fine schedule - assuming a car can be traced to a residence), or towing, in accordance with California Vehicle Code 22658, if the car can't be traced to a residence. In either scenario, we plan to issue a 24-hr warning first before taking action (towing or levying a fine).

I would be sensitive about the 24-hour warning time. For example, if someone is gone for a long weekend and never sees the warning, is it really a warning? (The point being that if you are willing to use warnings as part of enforcement, make sure they work as warnings.)

I'd also include something about the safety reasons behind the enforcement effort on the paper with any enforcement action. And I'd hire a 3rd party company to do the enforcement to keep it at arms length from the HOA. I suppose you will also need an appeals process.


Ever consider making the streets public?


Good luck.

- Winston



------------------------
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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: SDGuy
Date: November 04, 2009 04:32PM
Thank you everyone for the suggestions. Googling around on AHRC.SE, I see that this is a fairly common problem, and that the proposed rules we came up with are MUCH less intrusive and BIg Brothery than what other Associations have done.

For the curious, some of the feedback we've received so far are:
- Having fewer cars on the streets will be hazardous to the children playing out there. If drivers have greater visibility, they will drive faster. If they drive faster, they will be more likely to hit the children playing in the streets.

- Can't you just enforce the parking rules on the streets which are cluttered, and not on the uncluttered streets?

- Having fewer cars on the streets will invite criminals to break into the houses, as they will assume that the houses are unoccupied.

- In these bad economic times, it is only natural that people need their garages to store stuff instead of their cars.

- Hiring a security patrol is a security risk. We all know that security guards are underpaid and will break into the cars on the street.
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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: November 04, 2009 04:32PM
Winston makes a good point - make it a safety issue, not a HOA issue. Get as much info from the fire marshall as you can. Around here, if a car is illegally parked and damaged by an emergency vehicle, there's no recourse. I know a guy who drove a fire truck and completely demolished a car. The owner went after the city and the city's response was basically "do you want us to send you a ticket for being illegally parked? because that's the only thing we're going to do for you."

My friend said the car parts were pretty much evenly spread out over an entire city block.

You gotta get the neighborhood to think you're doing them a favor, not that you're trying to get them to stop doing something they agreed not to.




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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: SDGuy
Date: November 04, 2009 04:37PM
Quote
M A V I C
Winston makes a good point - make it a safety issue, not a HOA issue. Get as much info from the fire marshall as you can...

Thanks - that's probably the only way to sway people's opinions. I have a feeling most people feel entitled to turn their garages into a warehouse (regardless of what's in the CC&Rs).
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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: November 04, 2009 04:42PM
Wow, find a new neighborhood, I'd say. Those responses are borderline insane.
Quote
SDGuy
- Having fewer cars on the streets will be hazardous to the children playing out there. If drivers have greater visibility, they will drive faster. If they drive faster, they will be more likely to hit the children playing in the streets.

WTFBBQ? Tell them you will provide drivers with blind folds so that they can greater reduce visibility and thus eliminate any hazard posed to children. I'm just guessing, but I would say a lot of the hazard is posed by having any cars in the street and kids running out from behind them.

Quote

- Having fewer cars on the streets will invite criminals to break into the houses, as they will assume that the houses are unoccupied.

Really? What sort of evidence do they have to support that?

Quote

- In these bad economic times, it is only natural that people need their garages to store stuff instead of their cars.

What? In these bad economic times, it's only natural that people buy lots of crap that the need to pack into their garage?

Quote

- Hiring a security patrol is a security risk. We all know that security guards are underpaid and will break into the cars on the street.

Tell them a security company already contacted you and said if you don't hire them, they'll have to lay off some of their employees and they will come down their chimney and let the boogie men out of the closet and out from under the beds.

Knowing a guy who owns a security company, I can say there's at least one good one in CA.




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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: SDGuy
Date: November 04, 2009 04:55PM
Quote
M A V I C
Wow, find a new neighborhood, I'd say. Those responses are borderline insane...

The fun part will be the next board meeting, where we'll get to meet these people in person. I can't believe we'll have to provide a counterpoint to the above arguments. My gut tells me that people are coming up with any excuse they can think of to not have to clear out their garages.
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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: November 04, 2009 06:11PM
I think you could use almost the same response for each. Something along the lines of:

Having fewer cars on the streets will be hazardous to the children playing out there. If drivers have greater visibility, they will drive faster. If they drive faster, they will be more likely to hit the children playing in the streets.
"Yes, the safety of our families and our children is very important. That's one of the reasons we're required by law to follow fire code and keep the streets open."

Having fewer cars on the streets will invite criminals to break into the houses, as they will assume that the houses are unoccupied.
"Protecting property is a priority. That's why we need to ensure that aid vehicles and fire trucks can easily reach our neighborhood. We don't want the fire trucks not getting through and the whole neighborhood burning down on account of a few cars parked in the street."

I would also contact a few home owners insurance companies. Ask them if they will deny coverage on a home if it burns down because a fire truck couldn't reach it due to vehicles illegally parked, blocking access.




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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: November 04, 2009 07:30PM
What if the majority of the people in the HOA don't agree with you?



C(-)ris
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Re: How to solve parking problem (HOA governed neighborhood)?
Posted by: Winston
Date: November 04, 2009 09:21PM
Quote
M A V I C
I would also contact a few home owners insurance companies. Ask them if they will deny coverage on a home if it burns down because a fire truck couldn't reach it due to vehicles illegally parked, blocking access.

My insurance company did a risk assessment of the neighborhood, including looking at things like how far the hydrant was from my house, before giving me a quote. If you get insurance companies saying they will raise rates unless the streets are more clear you will definitely get people's attention. Of course, maybe you don't want to get that much attention from insurance companies. But I think M A V I C has a good point that insurance companies, or how they might behave, could be a strong lobbying point in your favor.

Even better is if you could get a couple of insurance companies to say they'd lower rates if the streets were more clear. (Doesn't seem likely, but you never know.)

- W



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