Chandler to get tough on neighborhood parking violators
Crackdown urged in neighborhoods
by Edythe Jensen - Apr. 11, 2012 09:49 AM
The Republic | azcentral.com
Chandler is preparing to crack down on neighborhood parking practices that create eyesores and safety hazards.
Semi-tractors in driveways, landscape trailers on streets, cars on front lawns and on sidewalks are the source of resident complaints, said Malcolm Hankins, the city's neighborhood preservation manager. He and neighborhood resources director Jennifer Morrison told a city council subcommittee last week that they are assembling focus groups and task forces to examine the problem and recommend changes to Chandler's parking enforcement policies.
Results may include prohibiting large take-home commercial vehicles on neighborhood streets, limiting the size of recreational vehicles parked in driveways and stepped-up enforcement that could bring citations and fines.
Hankins, who previously worked in Scottsdale, said that city's neighborhood parking rules are more strict than Chandler's and, among other things, set limits on the size of recreational vehicles. Chandler doesn't have weight limits on commercial vehicles parked along neighborhood streets and doesn't limit the number of vehicles allowed on one property.
Councilmen Jeff Weninger and Rick Heumann said they may not want Chandler to restrict vehicle numbers given that could create hardships for households with several adults -- and several vehicles -- coming home to one dwelling. "If they are parked correctly, I don't want to get into telling people how many vehicles they can have," Weninger said.
Hankins said he will form resident focus groups to identify the most pressing parking issues. A subsequent task force that includes city officials will evaluate them and make enforcement policy recommendations to the Neighborhood Advisory Committee by August.
This public review comes after parking complaints dominated several neighborhood meetings and after Hankins and other city employees drove through neighborhoods and photographed problems. Last month central Chandler resident David Mascarenas sent e-mails with photos of parking problems to the mayor and city council. Mascarenas, a city native, said he is frustrated by growing numbers of neighbors who park vehicles in front yards. He said after learning of the council committee meeting last week that he may volunteer for one of the focus groups.
Parking isn't the only issue Hankins has been tackling. He told the committee that his department has been more aggressive in securing abandoned homes and commercial buildings by requiring that their windows be boarded within 24 hours after notification. If the owner doesn't do the job or can't be contacted, a city contractor takes over and bills the owner. A contractor also is called in to cut grass or drain green pools if the property owner doesn't respond to city requests, he said.
Hankins also is working on uniform court procedures for property owners who don't comply with requests for maintenance or cleanup after two civil citations.
Abandoned or inoperable vehicles.
Detached commercial trailers.
Oversized vehicles like semitrucks or large boat trailers parked on residential streets.
On private property
Vehicles parked in front yards or on unimproved surfaces.
Cars blocking sidewalks.
Large numbers of vehicles on one property.