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Monday, November 10, 2014

Stricter parking rules under discussion

Boats would be banned in community parking districts.
So far, most of the feedback on Mason Supervisor Penny Gross’s idea about creating a community parking district (CPD) covering the entire Mason District has been positive, Gross reports.

Within a CPD, people would not be allowed to park boats, recreational vehicles, single-axle trailers, or oversized trucks on public streets in residential areas.

Gross’s office had been getting lots of complaints about parking, so she put out a notice to residents last month asking if they’d be interested in creating a large-area CPD. While most residents who’ve responded favor the idea, a lot of people are confused, she said. Some people had the mistaken idea that a CPD is a  large parking lot where people keep boats and large vehicles.

After Gross’s office receives enough feedback on a large-area CPD, she will determine whether to proceed or not.  “We’re still gathering information,” she said.

At a recent meeting of the Broyhill Crest Community Association, officer Joe Flynn of the Mason Police District, explained CPDs and other parking regulations.

There are two types of CPDs, Flynn said. A large-area CPD, like the one under discussion for Mason District, would cover an entire magisterial district. It would have to be proposed by a supervisor and approved by the Board of Supervisors. No fees would be imposed on residents, and there would be no signs identifying the area as a CPD. The Lee and Mt. Vernon districts have been designated large-area CPDs.

Currently, single-axle trailers, boats, and RVs can be parked on residential streets but would be banned if the area is part of a CPD and the vehicle is not moved for 48 hours. Those vehicles would have to be parked in the homeowner’s driveway or stored somewhere else. According to Flynn, vehicle storage lots generally charge $70 to $100 a month.

If Mason District is designated a CPD, residents would be notified and there would be an attempt to educate the community about the rule changes, Flynn said. Illegally parked vehicles would get a warning slip for the first 60 days. After that they would be subject to a $100 ticket. 

If police receive a complaint about an RV or other banned vehicle, they would tag it and come back a few days later to see it it’s still there, he said.

The other type of CPD is a community-based CPD, which covers a smaller area. A local community association or HOA would have to approve it. Each resident would be charged a $10 fee to cover the cost of signs. There is currently one community-based CPD in Mason District, covering the one public street, Pinecrest Vista Drive, in The Pinecrest.

Another type of restricted parking is the residential parking district (RPD). Homeowners can request their area be designated an RPD if they have a problem with a lot of outsiders’ cars on their streets. There are several RPDs near the Annandale campus of Northern Virginia Community College, for example, to prevent students from parking in front of people’s houses

RPDs have to be approved by the Board of Supervisors. Homeowners within an RPD have to display a sticker on their car. Cars parked without stickers are subject to a $75 ticket.

VDOT owns most roadways in the county, and the Fairfax County Police Department can enforce parking laws on all public streets, Flynn said. Most streets within HOAs are privately owned, and the police need permission from the HOA board to enforce parking laws on those streets. There are exceptions, though, if it’s a safety issue. For example, police can ticket cars on private roads parked too close to a fire hydrant.  

Commercial vehicles are generally allowed in private driveways but are prohibited on residential streets if they exceed a certain size: more than 21 feet long, taller than eight feet (including ladders), and wider than 108 inches. Violators are subject to a $100 fine.

The definition of commercial vehicle is solely based on size – a vehicle with signs or placards on it isn’t in violation if it fits within the size limit.

No more than three commercial vehicles are allowed at a residential address – but that’s a zoning violation, not a police matter. No more than one cab is allowed to park long-term in front of a house.

An inoperable vehicle can be towed if not moved within four days. A vehicle with expired tags or no safety inspection sticker can also be towed if not moved for four days. Unattended vehicles can be towed if not moved for 10 days.

24 comments:

  1. Great research! Thank you for spelling everything out.

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    1. Absolutely great article. My only question though is why anyone would care what someone parks in front of their house. I suppose it could be a problem if boats, etc. were scattered all over the place, but the residents in my neighborhood keep their rv's and boats parked along the curb in front of their homes. The real problem comes from the dozen or so cars that belong to the nearby two supposed "extended families". That's in addition to a fleet of ladder vans that will be exempt under this proposal. In short, there's a lot of this vehicular litter around that's more of an eyesore than a few recreational vehicles.

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    2. I certainly agree with the excessive number if cars and ladder vans that litter the neighborhood. But absent better enforcement ior better laws to deal with overcrowding, I'll take anything I can get to keep the neighborhood a little more tidy.

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  2. Where would the CPD be located?

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    1. To make it simple, if Penny Gross is your county supervisor, then you will be in the CPD.

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  3. Thanks. Helpful!

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  4. I am all for this! great article. Thanks for the info!

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  5. Errors in article: The CPD ticket is $75 according to Code 82-5B. The $10 fee is to cover administrative costs - the signs themselves and installation cost a lot more that that. Most streets within HOA's are not privately owned. The private streets tend to be within townhouse communities. According to state law only one taxi can be registered to any address (nothing to do with parking).

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    1. Cabs are enforced by county code. Only one cab can be parked in front of a house. If more than one in front of a house, each cab gets $100 ticket.Only one cab in a driveway. More than 1 is a zoning violation.

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    2. I wonder if Alexandria has the cab rule. I have a house right down the street with 3 to 4 cabs in front of it...

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  6. boats in front of houses all winter! please, if you can afford a boat, surely you can afford a marina lot for the 6 months!

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  7. What do we do about the cars parked the wrong direction on the wrong side of the road? And the cars that park in their driveway but are blocking the entire sidewalk.. All of this should be enforced along with the outsiders parking where they don't belong.

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    1. As law abiding citizens we call the police...and there is the problem. What do the police do? Absolutely NOTHING. And by doing NOTHING they contribute to this ongoing MESS. They can't be bothered with enforcement as it would be a distraction from their greater interest in doing NOTHING.
      Because of their attititude we keep making laws to make the police do their jobs of enforcing laws that already exist. And nothing gets done, except crime and other breaking of laws.

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    2. You should have saved yourself some key strokes by just saying you hate the police.

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    3. If you see cars illegally parked, then call 703-691-2131. Unfortunately anyone can park anywhere on state maintained roads. So even if the person doesn't live on your street, they can park there as long as it's legal.

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    4. We care on certain roads because some roads are narrow as it is. This picture doesn't look that bad because the boat is off the road. But if a curb is present, the boat is on/in the roadway leaving only one lane available making it at best slow, and at worse dangerous when oncoming traffic approaches. Thank you again for this article.

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  8. Correction: VDOT does NOT OWN the majority of the secondary roads in the county. Usually the Commonwealth of Virginia (NOT VDOT) owns just some of the primary routes. Fairfax County OWNS most of the neighborhood public streets & VDOT is responsible for the MAINTENANCE of the public roads in Fairfax County. Generally, townhouse and apartment (including condominiums) roadways and parking areas are PRIVATE, and maintained by development owners, condominium associations, or various HOAs.

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  9. back at correction:
    Symantics...the point was going to correcting the impression of where the recreational vehicles would be restricted which is every residential secondary road that has a route number.

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  10. There's a stick but no carrot. If we are to prohibit vehicles being parked in Annandale there could be an incentive at first to compel the owners to spend the additional (& considerable) money and have the inconvenience of housing their vehicles elsewhere.

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  11. Wait until snow plowing hampers street traffic flow near these vehicles .

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    1. That's not what's blocking traffic. The only plowing on my street consists consists of one furrow down the middle. And that's usually the day after it snows. By that time, all the plow does is deposit a berm of ice across everyone's carefully shoveled out driveway.

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  12. Is this a solution in search of a problem? Or could it possibly be a crafty search for revenue? I think the former but do not rule out the latter.

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  13. Not sure how you figure this would produce much revenue. And for my part, having rv's and boats narrowing even more, already overparked streets, is a problem worth solving.

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  14. There are safety issues with RVs and boats parked on our roads - they congest already busy/narrow roads, they block sight of view for neighbors who live on these roads, they are an eyesore when not maintained or taken care of, and are often parked in front of neighbors homes (vice in front of boat owners homes). Many folks do not have to deal with this problem but for those who do it is a hazard that can and should be addressed.

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