After much discussion and some last-minute public comments Monday night, the Holtville City Council has officially made it illegal for residents to park in their front yards.
The council waived the second reading of and adopted changes to two ordinances and the city codes that will allow sheriff deputies to cite anyone who parks in their yard from now on.
Some questions and concerns individual council members had were cleared up at the earlier meeting in October. A public hearing was held at that time in case anyone wanted to speak for or against the proposal. There were no comments then but a couple of residents did show up at this week’s meeting to voice their support.
Clifford King told the council that he had his house appraised not long ago and the value came in lower than he expected. He said the appraiser told him it was because of next door neighbors that regularly parked on the front lawn.
“I have no problem with someone pulling their car up to work on it for a week or so,” King added. But he thinks using the yard as parking should be prohibited.
He said that he thinks property values all over the city may rise because of the changes, as well as encouraging residents to plant grass and trees out in front of their homes if they now have to look at the bare dirt that was under their cars.
King said the multiple families renting the house next door to him have moved out and the new neighbors are attempting to grow grass again.
Another resident raised a concern about someone regularly parking a semi truck in the yard of a duplex near the high school. City Manager Nick Wells noted that doing that is already against city ordinances and the sheriff’s department is aware of the incident.
While residents are allowed to leave a vehicle parked in one spot on a city street for up to 72 hours before having to move it, there is virtually no leeway with the lawn parking. Specific exemptions are made for washing cars but the process needs to be taken care of fairly quickly, and then the vehicle has to be moved back to the driveway or street.