By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
The board of Tuscany Village homeowners’ association recently asked the City of Greenwood to create a new parking Ordinance, just for the association-governed community.
According to Fox59 News, the HOA board sent a letter to City Council, asking for new signs for their neighborhood, stating “No Overnight Street Parking 12:00 AM to 6:00 AM.”
In the letter, the board lists its many reasons for the request, which include everything from deterring crime to making it easier for residents to back out of their driveways.
Greenwood HOA board asks city to make overnight street parking illegal in subdivision
POSTED 4:30 PM, AUGUST 29, 2018, BY ZACH MYERS, UPDATED AT 06:29PM, AUGUST 29, 2018
GREENWOOD, Ind. – A homeowners association board is asking the City of Greenwood to make overnight street parking illegal, but only in their subdivision.
The president of the Tuscany Village HOA board presented a letter to the Greenwood City Council August 20. It asks the council to pass an ordinance that would reinforce existing Tuscany Village bylaws by placing signs around the subdivision saying “No Overnight Street Parking 12:00 AM to 6:00 AM.”
Instead of receiving a letter or email from the HOA board, violators could be ticketed by Greenwood police.
Read more (video):
According to a website maintained by Main Street Management, Tuscany Village is a planned community of 152 single family homes, established in 2006. The neighborhood is located in Johnson County, about 20 miles from Indianapolis. Annual assessments of $300 cover the cost of maintaining a simple community park and a pond with a fountain (most likely needed for storm water retention), as well as insurance and administrative costs for enforcement of covenants and restrictions.
The roads in Tuscany Village are public, and are maintained by the City. However, the HOA is responsible for enforcing an overnight parking restriction that is written into the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) for the community.
Therefore, the HOA can legally restrict parking on a public street. In this case, the HOA finds it difficult to enforce an overnight parking ban, so the board was hoping it could convince the City to require its police officers to ticket vehicles parked overnight in Tuscany Village.
The HOA board’s proposal came as an unpleasant surprise to homeowners and residents, who say they were not consulted or informed about the Ordinance request until the day of the first public hearing.
Thankfully, as posted on the HOA’s website, Greenwood City Council declined to get involved:
No Over Night Street Parking Signs
On September 5, 2018 the council voted against installing no overnight street parking signs in Tuscany Village. However, moving forward, Greenwood City Councilman and Attorney at Law, David Leske advised the board to take pictures and fine the violators in order to enforce Tuscany Village CC&R’s. He stated: “this is what they do in their community.” The HOA Board of Directors would like to thank all residents for your involvement with this issue. Also, just a reminder of what was advised to the board at the last council meeting on the concern of vehicles parking across the sidewalks. The council advised homeowners to call the police. It is a state and city ordinance, no blocking sidewalks, etc.
However, the Fox59 report highlights the sometimes confusing relationship between private community board members and local elected officials.
Most homeowners are unaware of the fact that City and County governments approve permits for development of common interest communities all the time, and that they almost always require the establishment of a homeowners’ association. The HOA is intended to perform and pay for maintenance, community services, and neighborhood code enforcement, so the local government doesn’t have to!
Generally, City or County officials would rather not use tax dollars to pay for government employees to provide services that the HOA is supposed to provide.
But, on the other hand, Greenwood is not the first City to hand over power to a volunteer HOA board and its management agent to ticket and fine residents for parking on a public street. Essentially, the City has created private HOA “police,” or at least “parking monitors,” to regulate the use of public property.
No wonder HOA leaders are confused.
And the craziest part of the story is that the need for an overnight parking ban is debatable. Looking at photographs of current real estate listings in Tuscany Village, there appears to be plenty of space for street parking. Besides, if parking on the street is presumably safe and A-OK between the hours of 6 AM and midnight, why is it suddenly unsafe and not OK for six hours overnight?
It’s simply another arbitrary restriction embedded into CC&Rs, written by some developer’s attorney.
If enforcing the restriction is problematic, perhaps, as an alternative, members can try amending the CC&Rs to remove the overnight parking restriction.