Earlier this month Plymouth Plan Commission president Doug Feece said he was in favor of a city ordinance to prohibit the parking of vehicles in the front yards in residential areas. He asked that the idea be presented to the City Council for consideration.
Two weeks ago City Attorney Sean Surrisi told the Council he has fielded many calls from citizens who don’t appreciate their neighbors parking in the grassy areas of their front yards.
The general consensus of the Plymouth Plan Commission was that it doesn’t look good.
During the September 14th meeting Surrisi said he received a call from a local person who said if the council does consider adopting an ordinance to prohibit parking in the front yards, they need to think about homes that sit on the corner where they essentially have two front yards. He wanted them be mindful of the issue in making a determination.
Councilman Jeff Houin asked Surrisi if he had looked at any comparable ordinances from any other cities and Surrisi said he hadn’t. Houin said, “My question is a practical matter. What keeps somebody from putting down some gravel and saying that’s part of my driveway.”
Surrisi said that type of a driveway would be part of the impervious surface and could affect the drainage of the lot. It would have to be taken into consideration as an improvement on the residential lot. This could limit the area that could be created.
Monday night Mayor Senter said he put out a question to the 122 mayors in the state to see if any other cities have an ordinance prohibiting parking in front yards. He said he received no responses. He said he also received one email against the idea with the basic response that they didn’t want to be told what to do by the government.
The City Attorney received one call in favor of the ordinance prohibiting parking in front yards and urged the council not to let it pass by the wayside.
Councilman Jeff Houin said over the past two weeks he had deliberately taken notice of vehicle parked in the front yards. He said he was shocked at some homes that have multiple vehicles parked in the grass.
The City Council did not reject the idea and asked for more research on the idea for continued discussion at their next meeting on October 12th. They did discussed yard parking during the Blueberry Festival and for other events such as family reunions.
City residents are urged to contact Mayor Senter or a city council member (Robert Listenberger, Duane Culp, Jeff Houin, Don Ecker, Greg Compton, Shiloh Milner and Randy Longanecker) to voice their opinions on the subject of prohibiting parking in front yards. You can find their contact information on the city website.