Oakwood City Council members are in agreement that something must be done to address residential parking restrictions in the community.
How that will be done is still up in the air following a Tuesday work session of the council.
City leaders are considering an ordinance that would change city code to restrict parking in residential areas. The primary concern is over the number of vehicles allowed in the front of a person’s residence.
The proposed ordinance recommends that no more than 35 percent of the front yard of a single-family residence be used for parking, with two additional parking spaces permitted to the side or rear of a residence. Also, all vehicles must be parked on an all-weather surface.
There’s no wording in the city’s code now to limit the number of cars parked in front of a house.
City Manager Stan Brown showed pictures at the work session of various houses in the community with cars strewn across their front lawns.
“As far as, do you make somebody have to go out there and gravel part of the lot, pave it, asphalt, concrete ... I think those are questions the council needs to decide,” Brown said. “Is that something you want to put on the homeowner or not?”
The proposed ordinance also addresses recreational and commercial vehicles, including school buses. If the ordinance is approved, those vehicles would have to be parked to the side or rear of a residence on all-weather surfacing. Current city code only addresses recreational vehicles.
Concern was voiced over whether or not homeowners with limited property would be able to fit those particular vehicles to the side or in the backyard.
“My biggest thing is this,” said Councilman Sam Evans. “If we’re going to do something, we’ve got to enforce it. It has to be enforced fairly.”
“That’s why it needs to be something that people can comply with,” Brown said. “And we want to make sure it’s a code that people can comply with. And I think what we have here could be complied with.”
A public hearing for the proposed ordinance was held at Oakwood’s March 9 council meeting, at which no one spoke either for or against the ordinance. Mayor Lamar Scroggs said he had heard support for the measure from community members.
The ordinance could come up at the next meeting, April 13. It will require two approval votes before it would become effective.
“We have to straighten up some of these things,” said Councilman Todd Wilson. “That’s just the nature of the beast.”