Hampton City Council considering ordinance banning people from parking on their front lawns

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Posted at 2:39 PM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-10 17:21:37-05

HAMPTON, Va. - Should people be able to park their cars on their front lawns?

Hampton City Council members met again on Wednesday to talk about an ordinance that would ban people who are able to park on the street in their neighborhoods from parking in their front lawns.

City staff says the goal is to help reduce blight and improve property values.

City council members have been discussing the proposal for months, and a final vote could come as early as this December.

News 3 spoke with neighbors opposed to the idea. Carl Tuel lives near Buckroe Beach and doesn't have a driveway.

"We park the car for safety, but also it's easier, man," he told a reporter.

Especially in the summer, street parking can be a premium, so his front lawn guarantees him a spot.

"It's not always easy to find a spot," he said.

City staff gave a presentation updating city council about the ordinance on Wednesday. The latest updates would provide more exceptions and make it effective on July 1, 2022.

City council members had an extended debate about the proposal. Mayor Donnie Tuck said he agreed with the overall point, but questioned the technical language of the ordinance over what's allowed and what's not.

The city attorney's office will now review the language and check back in with city council before they decide next steps. The city could vote at their December meeting.

Another neighbor who doesn't normally park his car on his front lawn told News 3 he is also opposed to the ordinance.

"If I'm paying the taxes and the city is not making the payments for me, I'm paying the insurance, the upkeep whatever else - why are you going to tell me I cannot park my private vehicle on my property?" said James Scull.

If passed, the city says people in violation would receive a notice. They would have 10 days to appeal the violation to the Board of Zoning Appeals. If there is no correction or appeal, the city could take further in action, including a criminal summons. A judge could then impose a fine, according to the city.

Related: Sandbridge residents battle crowded side streets as city changes public parking