Chesterton Tribune



Strong opposition to proposed yard parking ban; no action taken

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A proposed ban on yard parking wasn’t even on the Chesterton Town Council’s agenda, but members got an earful anyway at their meeting Monday night from residents who oppose the ordinance.

The ban in question would prohibit residents from parking vehicles anywhere in their front, side, or rear yards, as well as on any “greenway” fronting the roadway.

The ordinance would not apply, however, to “permanent parking areas,” those “portions of a zone lot with definite and identifiable boundaries and which is improved either with a hard surface or gravel or stone (and is) regularly used for driveways and parking areas, is regularly maintained as a parking area, and is intended to be permanently and continually used as a parking area.”

And the ordinance would permit temporary parking in a front, side, or rear yard or in a greenway for the following reasons:

* Washing a vehicle.

* Overflow parking for a family gathering or similar event not exceeding 24 hours for any one occasion.

* Loading a vehicle or unloading one.

For the record, “greenway” is defined as the “area, excluding the sidewalk, if any, between the property line and the curb or in the absence of a curb, between the property line and nearest edge of the street paving, which is usually used for planting lawn, low ground cover, and/or street trees.”

Members were originally scheduled to discuss the proposed ban on Monday but the ordinance was removed from their agenda at the last minute on Friday morning. Last year members authorized Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann to draft the ordinance after receiving a complaint about yard parking from a resident of South Second Street. That draft was forwarded to the Police Commission this spring, whose members endorsed the ordinance at their June meeting by a 2-1 vote.


Angela and Mark Moldenhauer, residents of the 400 block of South 19th Street, both noted that their particular circumstances would make the proposed ban onerous. “We have four older children, each with their own vehicle,” Angela Moldenhauer said. “When all the children are there, there’s no way we can fit them all in the driveway.”

“It wouldn’t be aesthetically pleasing to put gravel in the greenway,” she added.

Raymond Griffith, a resident of the 300 block of South 13th Street--a neighborhood with several duplexes--said that yard parking is common and necessary. “I’ve been living with this for 40 years,” he said. But there’s a more important issue at stake, Griffith noted: “I find any restriction of what I can do on my property an extreme invasion.”

Dale Kaiser, a resident of the 300 block of South 19th Street, said that he parks on his grass so he doesn’t block his driveway. “It’s land I paid for, taxes I pay, and property I maintain.”

Lisa Tucker, a resident of the 300 block of Union Ave., made the same philosophical point. “I should be able to park anywhere I want on my property,” she said.

Members took no action on the ordinance and President Jim Ton, R-1st, didn’t indicate when he might place it on the agenda.

Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, did take a moment at the end of the meeting to thank the residents for expressing their views. “These are people proud of their community, proud of their yards,” he said. “Keep in mind, though, that this is a community of 14,000 people.”


Posted 6/27/2017




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