Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lawn & Order

Well, the nuisance ordinance against parking on lawns is on the agenda for Tuesday. There have been some letters to the paper here and here written against this proposal. The majority of the comments online were against the ordinance, and I think there are some real problems with this whole proposal.

First, there are going to be a large number of homes that will have trouble complying with this proposal. We have a short slideshare show that shows a small sampling of houses with too few available parking spaces. In a few cases, like the first and last picture, there are no "improved surfaces" available for off street parking. In many cases it's apparent that there are just not enough spaces available for the number of cars owned. If the residents own the house, they might be able to make suitable parking areas available if they can find the money. If they rent, it depends on what they can work out with their landlord. If the landlord says tough, they don't have much choice except to move.

One thing that became clear is that most of the houses with problems are actually trying to make the best of a bad situation. Between Dad and Mom having separate jobs (which require 2 vehicles just to get to work), junior going to ASU while still living at home to cut down expenses, and possible extended visits by relatives, there are many cases where the "required" 2 parking spaces aren't enough (if they exist at all.) They are making their best efforts to be good neighbors, and realistically it won't affect neighboring property values much one way or the other if cars they have parked are sitting on an improved surface.

In closing I would like to quote KayTee's comment from my article to the Standard Times

"Many current zoning changes have driven down residential property values in order to support or allow nearby businesses. Ugly paint jobs and fences, bad landscaping, noisy animals, irritating neighbors and too many parties can all affect property values."

Excellent point. Nothing else really needs to be said. The city isn't and shouldn't be a substitute for an HOA. Those that want rules placed on their property that are based strictly on aesthetics can and should move to a neighborhood with an HOA.

Fortunately, I don't live in a neighborhood where lawn parking is necessary. I do have a neighbor several houses down who constructed a carport roof with a garage door and another who thought it was a good idea to paint their house the color of Pepto-Bismal. Another who has been doing renovations for the last 4 years necessitating (apparently) their indoor furniture to frequently reside on their front lawn. Should we start advocating more ordinances for these such things? Or should we MYOB and cut our losses and move when we decide our environment no longer suits us?

Exactly. What more does need to be said? Lets keep government off our lawns.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sharing the Love

Following the example of our City Government, ConchoInfo has set up a slideshare account. We will be uploading documents and slideshows that won't fit on our blog. Hope you find this useful.