The economy in South Florida is slowing, and the Palm Beach County Zoning Board appears to be looking for money any way it can. For the twenty-five year history of the Summit Pines development, and the Summit Run subdivision in particular, it has been a constant battle as to where you can park your car.
A few years ago, the community had it’s own run-in with King’s Towing. They were patrolling the neighborhood, towing cars that had one blade of grass under their tires, or were blocking someone’s driveway by a few inches. This led to a heated HOA meeting, where King’s Towing was let go, and replaced by Joy Towing.
Now, everything hasn’t been entirely joyful since, but it has not drawn the ire of the residents in the same way that the new regulations probably will. Now, parking will only be permitted on the odd side of the street. This may cause it’s own share of issues, but will help eleviate some of the confusion that the board has had to deal with since the communities inception.
The bylaws for Summit Run state that parking will only be permitted on one side of the street, but have never been enforced. Only the power of the zoning board, who has threatened to fine the association, has finally forced the hand of the board. Letters are being drafted to explain the new parking regulations, complete with a copy of the bylaws regarding parking and the notice of violation from the county.
“The one side of the street works – most HOAs switch back and forth (even one day and odd the next) – but you have to have signs or something so people know what to do and you have to have parking enforcement (which may be a cost issue – a roving guard, etc.)” stated Lisa Magill, an attorney with Becker and Poliakoff, and the publisher of the Florida Conda and HOA Law Blog . “It takes a few months for the residents to “get used to” the alternate side street parking rule – but if they are from NYC they are used to it already.”
Parking issues are not only an issue for the Summit Run HOA, however; far from it.
“Parking is a major headache for associations – private streets are not usually as wide as public streets and law enforcement doesn’t generally enforce any parking controls in private HOAs (unless the HOA enters into an agreement with local authorities)” continued Magill. “Vehicles parked on the street can impede access for emergency vehicles, block sight-lines, block traffic control signals (stop signs), may block view of children playing, etc.”
The Summit Run association will place the responsibility for ticketing cars, and contacting the towing company, on Vestige Security. Only time will tell how this new parking structure will work out here in Summit Run, but other associations have had issues in dealing with “illegally” parked vehicles.
Ms. Magill offered these words of warning. “I caution against towing or “booting” (immobilizing) vehicles unless you get legal advice first – improperly towing or immobilizing vehicles exposes the association to major liabilty – both from the vehicle owner and local authorities (code enforcement, etc.).”