Private-property parking ordinance clarified

By on April 9, 2010

RVs, boats, trailers not allowed on front lawns, driveways
by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARK—There are approximately 600 Maple Park violations of ordinances governing the maintenance, appearance and safety of private property in the village, President Kathy Curtis said during Tuesday’s Village Board meeting.

The village will begin issuing notices, then warnings, then fines, to violators, focusing first on violations that are a health or safety concern, Curtis said.

“The building inspector will work with (property) owners,” Curtis said. “He’s not going straight to ticketing.”

The village-hired building inspector canvassed Maple Park in recent weeks to determine where violations were occurring. The Village Board requested the canvass after some residents expressed concerns about the unsightliness and safety issues posed by junk and inoperable vehicles on private property.

Because of the canvass, RV, boat and trailer owners wondered whether they would be able to continue parking their vehicles where they always have, but village officials and staff at first were uncertain about how to interpret the ordinance requirements. Curtis clarified the ordinance on Monday after recently consulting with the building inspector.

She said the code section that pertains to parking those vehicles reads, “Front-yard, off-street parking shall not be used for parking boats, recreational vehicles or trailers.” Since the ordinance does not mention a parking surface requirement, currently residents may park the vehicles on their lawns, with the exception of the front yards, Curtis said.

The building inspector interpreted the code to mean residents may not park these vehicles on front driveways, either, so although Curtis does not wholly agree, the village will enforce that rule for now, she said.

Village officials do not have a short-term plan to alter any of the village ordinances. However, as time permits, the board will assess the ordinances and determine if any changes are needed and devise equitable solutions, Curtis said.

Updated April 11, 2010 at 9:42 a.m. CST