Parking Issue

Jul 06

When we have visitors it’s nice to have extra nearby parking to accommodate them.  Visitors can be for a few hours to several (or more) days.  We (VACCA) would like to ensure these accommodations are available to all visitors.  However, we have some limitations and considerations that must be taken into account. 

For example, all of our roads must allow for access by emergency vehicles – at all times.  This is our primary concern so we have rules governing any blocking of our roads.  Basically, under no circumstances may anyone (owner or visitor) park in any location that would prevent an emergency vehicle from access or passing through.

Also, since our visitor parking is quite limited and we want it available for visitors, we limit owner usage of visitor parking.  Basically, owners are not allowed to park in visitor parking (special exceptions can be approved by the Board).

The above two considerations dictate almost all of our parking rules and regulations. 

An added consideration is that some units have no parking in front of their garages.  This creates challenges for those owners when visitors arrive.  They must find the nearest visitor parking spot which may not be close and may be difficult to see (unmarked). 

To aid with this situation, we decided to mark the visitor parking so it’s clear where visitors can park and owners should not park.

That brings us to the questions of “How long can a visitor park in a visitor parking space?”  We have, previously via our rules and regulations, limited the length of time to three days (72 hrs.).  To accommodate longer stays (and larger vehicles/RVs) the RV lot can be used on a space available basis.  This requires coordination with the RV Lot committee chair.  Three days are free but any longer requires a monthly payment that is equal to the amount owners pay (currently $10/mo.).

With some complaints from residents about visitors parking for long periods of time in parking spaces (greater than 72 hrs.), owners parking in visitor parking spaces and owners & visitors parking in locations that obstruct emergency vehicle access, the Board decided to do the following:

  1. Place signs at some designated visitor parking spaces that clearly mark them for visitors and the amount of time they can stay parked there.
  2. Place a reminder in the quarterly newsletter about our parking rules.
  3. Send out a reminder about our parking rules via EVN (VACCA’s email system).
  4. Post the parking rules and regulations on our website (VACCA.life)
  5. For continued violations, use the notification system we put in place last year and if the violations continue, apply fines. This has never been needed since owners & visitors have complied with the rules upon notification of the violation.  Violators generally don’t know the rules or have forgotten them.  This is why we are putting the “reminder” system in place.

At our May Board meeting we discuss whether to mark the visitor parking spaces by painting (using stencils) or by using signs.  The Board decided on signs since they were deemed to be more visible, less expensive and last longer.  John was asked to provide an example for consideration.  At the June Board meeting John presented an example sign but the Board (with attendee input) decided on a smaller sign with more pleasant colors (green rather than black & white).  John made the color change and posted the sign at a parking space on N. Village Ln. for review.

The majority of our residents have not weighed in either pro or con.  However, the limited community feedback has been largely negative and that the sign disrupts our “park like” atmosphere too much. 

In view of community feedback, the Board has decided to abandon our sign approach.  Our “talk to the offender” has worked well for the most part for 30 years.  The addition of our “Reminder” program may be sufficient to minimize the problem.  But to make it work, we need your support.  Please learn & follow the rules and share that information with all of your visitors. 

Larry Allen

President, VACCA