Some Akron residents are going to have to find another place to park.
The city plans to crack down on people parking vehicles in front yards.
Akron City Council approved legislation Monday that allows nuisance inspectors to write tickets for the offense, in addition to police officers who already have this authority.
John Valle, the city’s new director of neighborhood assistance, requested the legislation in response to complaints he has heard at meetings at community centers and ward and block watch meetings he has been attending. He said the problem isn’t limited to any one area of the city.
“[Neighbors] are tired of seeing it,” he told council’s Public Safety Committee. “It’s an eyesore.”
Valle said police officers don’t have time to ticket cars in front yards as they go from call to call. He said nuisance inspectors won’t go out looking for violations, but will respond to complaints made to Akron’s 311 customer service line and will ticket cars parked in front yards when they see them as they respond to other nuisance issues.
The legislation defines the front yard as “the area between the front line of the building, extended to the side lines of the lot, and the front line of the lot.” The penalty for violations will be $50 on the first offense and $100 for subsequent violations. The money raised through the tickets will go to the city’s general fund.
John Eaton, Akron’s head of customer service, estimated there are hundreds of cars parked in front yards around Akron on any given day. He said nuisance inspectors will attempt to respond to complaints in less than three days, but the lag time could be less if they already are responding to a call in an area that has a car in the yard.
“We will respond as quickly as we can,” he said.
Councilman Mike Williams said he knows of several houses on Exchange Street that have no grass in the front yards because they’re being used for parking. He blames the problem on “laziness.”
“They have multiple cars and do not want to move them in and out of the driveway,” he said. “They have one in the driveway and two in the front yard.”
Assistant Law Director John York said violators initially will be given a warning, but, he advised that the ticketing will start soon. He said tickets will be written for the operators of the vehicles in the front yards, though residents at houses where violations occur frequently could be charged with a zoning code violation. This carries with it a possible $100, $500 or $1,000 fine.