Front Yard Parking Ban: If You Want It, Here It Is

Been worried that those neighbors of yours have been ruining the delicate balance of petroleum-based fertilizers in their grass with slow oil leaks?

Help is on the way! City Council has passed an amendment to Houston’s parking ordinance that will allow neighborhoods to apply individually for local 20-year bans on front-yard parking.

Signatures of 60 percent of a neighborhood’s residents are required to enact a ban, and restrictions can be appealed. But Intermodality blogger Christof Spieler, who’s been following lawn-parking-ban efforts for some time, notes neighborhoods that don’t have fussy deed restrictions already in place might want to think twice before signing up:

This new version also allows for the use of permeable paving. But it does not address the other problem: ultimately, this is an incentive to pave more. If your neighborhood opts in, you won’t be able to park on your front lawn. But, unless there’s a specific deed restriction in place against it, you’ll be able to pave your front lawn and the park there.

Photo: Flickr user herbinhouston

12 Comment

  • I’ve been following this since they started this silly ordinance writing.

    The loopholes are all over the place that enforcement is impossible.

    Unless the specifically mention the types of permeable paving that can be used, homeowner can just have a truckload of gravel in their front yard. Many permeable paving options allow grass to grow and hide the pavement. A much larger variation has been used on the Sims Bayou rehab near SH 288. You wouldn’t think you were looking at a paved channel with all the grass on it.

    This ordinance (as most nuisance ordinances) will have unintentional consequences.

  • kjb434, what you fail to consider, is that most people guilty of parking in their front yards don’t have the inclination to in any way pave. That would be too much work.

  • And the ordinance will stop these people how?

    A ticket? When will a city cop care to do that?

    A city inspector to is a fine? There are two few and they have much more pressing issues dealing with floodplain violations and building code violations. It’s hard to get one out to even fine someone for not keeping their front yard cut.

    Angry neighbors? I’m sure the ones that are truly bothered by it are already complaining to that neighbor.

    This ordinance will do nothing. The people that do park in the front yard will continue to do so.

  • What next??? ZONING????

    It’s the end of Houston as we know it.

  • When a house in my neighborhood becomes overgrown, I call 311, and within two days there is a notice on the house.

  • I have mixed emotions on this subject. Having been a been a property owners association board member for a number of years in different subdivisions, I have had more than my share of undesireable incounters with people that park in their front yards. I am a big proponent of property rights, but at the same time, deed restrictions are crucial to the stability of neighborhoods in an area where there are no zoning laws. That being said, I intentionally bought and live in an inner city neighborhood that has no deed restrictions.

    Parking on your lawn on a regular basis is just classless. The occasional parking on your lawn shouldn’t bother anyone. Parking to the extent that it destroys the grass on a house’s front lawn degrades the property values of everyone in close proximity.

    I seriously doubt that this ordinance will have the disired effect, but many neighborhoods suffer dramatically due to people that park on their front lawns.

    In response to EMME, I have yet to see 311 work like that anywhere in Houston.

  • We were lucky to have Adrian Garcia as our councilmember and he had a crack staff that made sure our issues were addressed. If nothing was done, we would contact his office and it would be done. After a few of those, I guess 311 just became more responsive.

  • You can call and get a notice put on a property, been there, done that. However if the property is a rental and particularly if the landlord is out-of-town then that will be the last you ever hear of it. Now you get to look at a derelict property with a notice stuck to the front, huge improvement.

  • We call over and over and they get ticketed after a certain amount of warnings. It ain’t perfect, but it’s a start.

  • The said amendment would encroach on property owners’ rights. THE FIRST PARAGRAPH in the article supports my claim. ” Been worried that those neighbors of yours have been ruining the delicate balance of petroleum-based fertilizers in their grass with slow oil leaks? ” note that it states “their grass”. also noted is “Petroleum based fertilizers”.
    “Ruining – – – their grass” If they want to ruin their grass, IT IS THEIR GRASS TO RUIN, THEY OWN IT. Also, motor oil is petroleum based, with the exception of synthetic oil. So if the fertilizer is petroleum based, what’s the difference? “their grass” would refer to privately owned grass on private property. City leaders in the towns in Louisiana(with the exception of Shreveport) are too smart to pull something like that. they know that they would be illegal to try to pass that unconstitutional ordinance. That amendment is just plain Illegal. Look up “Private property” in a legal book, or on a legal website.

  • This is The United States if America, people. If I want to park on my front yard, or do anything in my front yard, I can LEGALLY do so. If you do not want to park in your yard, DON’T! Speaking as a Louisiana State Trooper, Nobody has a right, or even a legal justification, to attempt to stop you from parking in your yard, or even change oil in that car parked in you yard, unless you let the oil go into the ground.

  • Mine was one of the HOA to apply for this crapola.

    I am protesting it.

    You should see the slum apartments, car dealers, mobile food shacks, check cashing, no credit pre paid cellular joints up and down Long Point at the enterance to our subdivision.

    Pathetic, useless government,,,obamaland!!