CAMANCHE — The Camanche City Council will not move forward with limiting parking on grass on residential properties.
Councilman David Bowman at a recent meeting brought up multiple potential ordinance changes that the council had previously discussed. Bowman supported the city implementing an ordinance that would not allow residents to park on their grass and lawns. City Administrator Andrew Kida found ordinances in other municipalities that prohibit parking on grass on their own property in their front yards, Bowman said. Bowman started looking into the issue after a citizen complaint, he said.
“Personally, I think it’s a good idea,” Bowman said. “The one place I looked at, the person’s parked in the front yard and there’s big bare spots in the lawn where the vehicle is routinely parked and it’s pretty unsightly. Again, as I mentioned the last time we talked about this, we have ordinances which make it clear people need to keep the grass cut, keep the weeds out and so on for aesthetic purposes and keep our city looking nice or town looking nice. And this is just one more thing I think that would do that.”
Councilman Danny Weller believes the discussion is a waste of time and resources. He noted people do sometimes park in their yards, suggesting sometimes they have a gathering and need to keep the streets from overcrowding so fire trucks can get through. Some people have a large number of people that live at their residence and a car sometimes ends up in the yard, Weller added.
“It’s our private property,“ Weller said. “We don’t live in a police state. We ought to be able to do some things in our yard. Like I say, there are other ordinances. So if you’re leaving big ruts in your yard and stuff like that that makes things unsightly, then there’s other ordinances that can be pursued to take care of that problem.
Councilman Marty Schnoor also did not support moving forward with the ordinance. There is limited parking in the older part of town along the river and residents sometimes need to put vehicles in their yard, Schnoor said.
Councilman Brent Brightman says he understands where Bowman is going with this. Brightman looked into this issue when he was first elected to the council, he said. The biggest hurdle Brightman ran into is how to police the ordinance, which he says was a huge hurdle. Brightman believes that is still a challenge today, he said.
“I think maybe in the beginning we should look at the vehicles sitting in the driveways or yards with flat tires or they don’t have the appropriate tags on them,” Brightman said. “Stuff like that. Because we know then that they’re not driving them. We just got a pile of junk sitting in front of our house. I think we need to look at that first.”
Camanche Mayor Trevor Willis believes the policing aspect of the proposed ordinance would be rather difficult, especially with half the town with no curb and gutter.
“Parking on the streets is different over there than it is on the other side,” Willis said.
Bowman said based on the discussion, it appeared there was no need to go further with it