|Boats like this one on Terrace Drive in Annandale would be banned in a Community Parking District.|
Mason Supervisor Penny Gross plans to decide by this summer whether to go forward with a proposal to create a Community Parking District (CPD) to cover the entire Mason District.
Within a CPD, boats, motor homes, campers, trailers, vehicles with three or more axles, 12,000 pounds or more, or holding 16 more passengers could not be parked on residential streets.
Some people misinterpreted the concept, thinking that a parking lot would be created for RVs and boats, Gross said. That’s not correct; owners of the vehicles would be responsible for parking them in a driveway or putting them in storage.
Mount Vernon was the first district to create a districtwide CPD. The Lee District followed, and Springfield and Hunter Mill have large CPDs. There are smaller CPDs all over the county but only two in Mason District: along Pine Vista Drive in the Pinecrest community and along a section of Old Columbia Pike between Little River Turnpike and Elmdale, which Gross says was “becoming a storage lot.”
A community association or HOA can request the creation of a CPD. That requires a petition showing at least 60 percent of residents of the area and at least 50 percent of the residents of each block support the CPD and a $10 fee for each petitioning address. The Board of Supervisors would hold a hearing, and if the CPD is approved, FCDOT would install signs.
Establishment of a districtwide CPD doesn’t require a petition or fees. If Gross goes ahead with the proposal, there would be a public hearing, and if approved by the BoS, there would be an effort to educate the public about the rule changes.
During the first 30 days, the police would give warnings, not tickets. After that, vehicles parked illegally would get a warning notice, and after two days, could be towed.
Officer Bob Otten, supervisor of the traffic enforcement department at the Fairfax County Police Department, said when the first large CPDs were created, the police thought owners of boats and RVs would move them to another street outside the CPD boundaries. But that didn’t happen.
Within communities controlled by an HOA, there are usually more restrictive parking bans, so residents often move boats and RVs to nearby public streets. That would no longer be allowed if the whole area is a CPD.
People are allowed to park vehicles on other streets if they are within easy walking distance but there is no hard and fast rule on how far that should be, Otten said.
Parking has become more of an issue in recent years, said Gross, because households have more cars. Also more businesses are requiring employees to take company vehicles home at night.
A member of the audience complained about a stretch of Ravensworth Drive – between Little River Turnpike and Jayhawk Street in Annandale – where large commercial trucks regularly park. That particular part of Ravensworth is zoned commercial, so truck parking is allowed, Gross said.
Otten reviewed some parking rules:
- Under state law, an unattended vehicle can’t be parked in the same spot for more than 10 days.
- If the police come across an unregistered vehicle near a home, they put a notice on it asking the owner to put the correct tags on it and call the police. If there is no response, the police will tow the vehicle.
- You can’t put cones in front of your house to prevent people from parking there.
- Residents are allowed to keep up to two taxis or limos with Virginia licenses – one in the driveway and one in the street, as long as there is other parking available on the street.
- Public service vehicles, such as a Dominion or tree-trimming vehicles, are allowed to park in a CPD while work is being done. Plumbers or other workers can park in front of a house while doing repairs.
- You can’t park within 10 feet of a driveway, 15 feet of a fire hydrant, 20 feet of an intersection, 20 feet of a crosswalk, 30 feet of a stop sign, 60 feet on the approach side of a bus stop, and 10 feet on the departure side of a bus stop.