Pasco looks to lift residential parking rule

The Pasco County Commission is looking to get rid of a parking restriction that has posed a problem in neighborhoods.

Under its current rules, people parking on the street in residential communities need to have a permit, or they can be cited.

The rule likely isn’t common knowledge to many residents, and appears to be headed toward its demise.

Commissioners have asked the county’s planning and development department to draft an ordinance to eliminate the requirement for residential parking permits on local, county-maintained streets. Parking, however, would be restricted to one side of a street.

Parking on arterial or collector roads would remain illegal. And, private communities with private streets could continue to set their own standards.

Commission Chairman Mike Moore brought the issue to commissioners at their May 23 meeting in New Port Richey.

He said he had received a complaint from a Land O’ Lakes’ resident whose daughter was cited for on-street parking while she was home during the Christmas holiday.

Commissioner Mike Wells said he also has heard similar complaints.

Kris Hughes, the county’s director of planning and development, said parking permits also become an issue for residents during road-paving projects.

“We have multiple examples of the problem,” Hughes said.

Current code requires that residents pay $30 for a parking permit, with the permits limited to four days a year.

There are no restrictions on the number of vehicles that can be included in the permit.

Depending on circumstances, fines for violations generally are $15 and $35. However, fines can be as high as $250, plus community service, if the illegal parking creates a public hazard.

While waiting for an ordinance to end the residential parking permits, county commissioners took an interim step.

They administratively agreed to increase the residential permits from four days to 365 days a year.

About 300 permits are issued annually, with the county collecting more than $10,500 in revenues, Hughes said.

In 2016, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office issued nearly 2,300 citations for all parking violations, generating about $280,000 in revenues. About 43 percent of citations, and about 90 percent of the revenues, were for illegally parking in spots reserved for disabled persons.

About 33 percent of citations, and less than 6 percent in revenues, were for parking on local, subdivision streets without a permit.

Moore said the issue is about helping residents, not collecting more revenues.

Initially, Moore suggested increasing the number of permit days to as many as 12.

Commissioner Kathryn Starkey went bigger — much bigger.

She suggested a 365-day permit.

“I never knew there was such a thing as a four-day permit,” Starkey said.

Pasco County Attorney Jeffrey Steinsnyder said the permits were instituted years ago as a way of controlling parking within residential developments. Many have narrow streets, making it impossible for emergency vehicles to gain access if vehicles were parked on both sides of the street.

“Rather than require larger streets, we started this concept of prohibiting parking within subdivisions,” the attorney explained. “When people have parties they don’t have enough room in their driveways so we started issuing permits.”
Commissioners, however, appear to think this is one rule the county no longer needs.

“One less regulatory thing is a good thing,” Wells said.

Published June 6, 2017

Comments

  1. I’m sure this sounds like a great idea, but some neighborhoods do not have sidewalks. I live in Country Crossings on 54 near Double Branch Elementary and buses are not allowed to pick up the kids due to the 2 mile rule. If cars are parked all along the road, then you have drivers, whom are already speeding, flying around cars, possibly hitting a child, someone’s pet, or even another vehicle. Is ridiculous to even think about letting this one go away.

  2. John Hoover says:

    My wife and I are new residents of Concord Station and strongly support this change. Is there anything we can do to help it succeed?

  3. Vito Corli says:

    So now the county is in the business of catering to those who break the law & ignore the rules. This is simply amazing. Because they get a few complaints from those who may have been ticketed or don’t like the ordinance, they say ‘to hell with the rest of the people in the county’. They’d rather have the county looking more like Long Island than the rural/suburban region it is, which is definitely NOT progress. I moved here to get away from Long Island, not see this turned into it. The construction boom is already eerily reminiscent of Long Island in the mid-1970’s when the potato farmers sold all their land & the island turned into NYC east almost overnight. The role of government, sometimes, is to protect people from themselves & not to withdraw into an entity that does between little & nothing for the residents other than collect taxes. So, under this new proposed ordinance, who gets to decide which side of the street parking will be on? It was great when I moved here & my kids were able to play on the street like I used to when I was their age–a virtual necessity since the county has few parks located within walking distance of the majority of its’ residents (and with the number of sex predators the county seems to welcome, who wants to let their kids walk to a park by themselves?). If the county goes through with this short sighted change, they increase the danger to kids as visibility is markedly decreased especially with kids playing.
    It’s bad enough that people park on the street now when the ordinance is in effect & don’t care about their neighbors’ ability to get in or out of their own driveways. Removing the ordinance exacerbates the problem. Then there’s the matter of trying to maintain your lawn, either cutting or watering. I’ve already had issues with my next door neighbor with overnight company to ignorant or too lazy to park in their 6 car driveway when only 1 or 2 cars were parked there, parking in front of my house (sometimes 3-4′ over my driveway) & me being unable to cut that section of grass or have my sprinkler go on while their car(S) were parked there and have them knock on my door to ask me to turn it off because they just had their car washed or some other ridiculous reason.
    Then there’s Commissioner Starkey with the extremely short sighted/narrow minded brilliant idea of giving a permit for the entire year. That’s simply so ridiculous it’s laughable, as is whom ever ‘Wells’ is that the article refers to in the very last sentence (of which I would assume is Mike Wells but without a first name or other reference can’t be certain) who thinks one less regulation is a good thing. Yeah, that CAN be true if removing the regulation makes life better or easier for the law abiding residents. But if all it does is cater to those who’ve been ticketed or don’t like this rule (or any other rule that affects them for that matter), then it’s very bad governing & those making that kind of decision need to start working on their resume.

    • The county should have never had this “law” to begin with. People pay for their homes and have a right, on a small residential street, to allow friends, family and guests to park when visiting. Many of these neighborhoods do not have a Visitor Parking area either.

  4. Sandra Jankowski says:

    The no parking on street ban should remain. Roadways will be become highways. Emergency vehicles may experience difficulty when time is a life threatening situation. You open a huge can of worms by allowing people to park on streets. Neighbors arguing when their neighbor keeps parking in front of their house! A visually unappealing prospect! Children crossing between two parked cars and not visible to an incoming driver! Leave the law the way it stands, it serves a safety and aesthetic purpose.

  5. I 100% disagree. Our area is new and so far looks taken care of. Sadly not all people care about about their neighbors – they don’t even pickup their animal waste so not only is this a traffic congestion problem but also the appearance of the area plus safety of children playing in our area. Several people have 3-4 cars and they manage to park just fine in their double car garage and inside

  6. Chantell Sicard says:

    I strongley disagree. I dont want the front of my home to be a public parking lot.

  7. I strongly disagree with this potential change. I don’t want to play frogger dodging cars all over the place and I don’t want my property value going down. Both will happen if this is allowed. If you can’t fit your cars in your driveway, it’s not my fault you didn’t plan well. If you have a party, get a permit. It’s really quite simple.

  8. I strongly disagree. It creates problems seeing oncoming traffic when backing out of some driveways in communities where there is onstreet parking. I’ve seen school busses having to back up a Circle because they can’t drive through. How about fire trucks and rescue vehicle having to take a longer way to get to their destination because vehicles are parked on both sides and not even facing the correct way? Then there is the mail delivery and there is a vehicle parked too close to your mailbox?

  9. Kathleen says:

    I strongly disagree with this change. I don’t think our streets are wide enough for safe street parking. When people park illegally now it’s dangerous. It’s difficult to back out of our driveway when a car is parked either on our side or across the street. Mailboxes are now on both sides of the street….what about mail delivery? I think this change opens a can of worms. I was visiting a relative out of state last week and her development had places designated for extra parking. Instead of street parking could a common area be used strictly for overflow parking from parties, etc?

  10. The no street parking rule helps keep neighborhoods that are already struggling financially from looking like crack houses. Who wants to live on the side of the street where parking is allowed? It isn’t fair to change the law in these neighborhoods for a few loud bullies who like to flout the law. The law has been in effect since we moved here and after the recession when we started having lots of renters in the neighborhood, it started looking really trashy until the police finally started enforcing THE LAW. The law was in place before any of them moved in and I really don’t want to hear a bunch of whining from idiots who were apparently unwilling or unable to educate themselves prior to moving in. Terrible decision and I hope they reconsider. No wonder Pasco county has such a bad reputation. You’re going to turn us all into Moon Lake. MAGA?

  11. I am for this change, some communities without a clubhouse like Willow Bend has no visitor parking.
    Moved to this area over a year ago was told by the Realtor that street parking was not enforced.
    Purchased a five bedroom home with four vehicles living in the household. Recently the Sheriff has been issuing Violation notices to any vehicles stopped on the street. This does not allow any visitors, no contractors, No Garage sales, no landscapers. Street parking should be allowed but limited to one side of the street . Why should a home owner not be able to entertain any company in their home.

  12. Barkley Brown says:

    I don’t care a hoot about on street parking, I want to know why I cant park my Jet ski’s on a trailer in my driveway. Then when I do get a warning it’s for three infractions. Two ski’s and one trailer. You have to be kidding me. Who makes the ridiculous rules.

  13. I agree this rule should be removed. You have people who have spent a lot of money to buy houses in these subdivisions and they can’t even have a few friends over to visit for a BBQ or an evening get together because they can’t park on the street in front of their own home. These are residential neighborhoods with single family homes. They are not a crowded downtown street nor a major thoroughfare where having vehicles parked there would present a danger. Rescind this archaic rule.

    • The thought you can’t have a party or BBQ is absurd. Constant street parking is a hazard and an eyesore. The “lot of money” spent on our homes will be worth less when property values decrease because of the mess and dangers. Fact is, do your research before you buy and know the rules. Don’t move in and expect everyone to change for you. I did my due diligence and moved to a neighborhood where it is expressly prohibited. I don’t want to play frogger with kids darting in and out of cars. Do you?

      • Derrick L Scarborough says:

        Agree

        • This article is over a year old. We never heard any feedback from the County Commission. I even wrote to 2 of them, not so much as the courtesy of a reply. This law needs to be removed from the books!

  14. Scott Britton says:

    I think all the people that disagree either don’t have large families or don’t have friends. I live in Gulf Harbors and pay $7900 a tr in taxes. We have 4 cars in our family and our driveway is full with no guests. My daughter’s boyfriend stopped by for 30 minutes to visit and had to park in front of my house house on the street. He came out to find a $25 ticket on the windshield. It’s absurd that I pay those kind of taxes as well as the 600k for a house and I can’t have friends or family visit because they can’t park on the street. Pasco is the only county in the bay area where you can’t park on the street.

  15. Scott, right on!!! This archaic rule needs to be rescinded. I blame homeowner associations. I think they banded together and bribed the county commission just because, “in their mind” communities don’t look as nice with cars parked in front of people’s houses. Never mind the fact that many of these “communities” have such short driveways people can barely fit one or two cars. And only 2 if the driveway is double width, not able to park one car in front of another.

  16. Provided it limits parking t 1side of the street, and it remained in place for narrow streets that would be difficult or unsafe to navigate. I have a 2300 sq foot home in Country Walk, it’s ridiculous that my friends and neighbors are handicapped by a senseless outdated ordinance when we worked hard for our properties, and already have endure sewage odors at the entrance.

  17. I used to live in NJ and we had the parking law of no OVER NIGHT street parking without a permit. There was only the need to get a permit if the car would be spending the night on the street. Parties were to be over by midnight with parking permitted till then without permit, on one side of street. It worked perfectly fine. Why can’t that be a compromise?…just a suggestion…

  18. Daily parking on street was permitted until 10pm without permit. After ten if car spends the night, it has to have permit on windshield.

    • Where is this documented I would like to use to help push the issue in my community. I think this law is ridiculous..

  19. What’s ridiculous is people moving in and expecting things to change to suit their needs. You should have considered the parking situation when buying.

    Outgrow your space? Then move. Don’t expect to change things for others who moved here because of the way things looked and were maintained over your needs.

  20. Pasco County Commissioners, Wake The **** UP and rescind this stupid law already!!!

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