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'It's overbearing': North Port homeowners upset with revised parking rule

City leaders revised some of its parking regulations on residential lots
North Port
Posted at 6:40 PM, Mar 08, 2024

NORTH PORT, Fla. — Residential parking is becoming a controversial subject for some homeowners in North Port.

The city revised some of its parking regulations on residential lots last fall. However, these new rules aren't sitting very well with some homeowners. Many tell Fox 4 it's an overreach of government power.

"It's overbearing, I believe, and maybe something else [should be] thought of," said North Port resident Tim Drumm.

The new rules prohibit people from parking on the grass in front yards and on city swales.

"North Port has an issue where we have swales out front, and that is our storm water system," said Alaina Ray, Director of Development Services for the City of North Port.

Ray said parking there causes erosion and dirt buildup. However, Drumm said he isn't a fan of the ordinance.

"We lead Bible study groups at our home," Drumm said. "We've done so since COVID and some even before. My wife gave me a call and said code enforcement knocked on our door."

City leaders said code enforcement is just doing its job.

"It's pretty easy to get voluntary compliance; just put improved surface down for parking," Ray said. "That can be shell, gravel, pavers, those types of things."

The city also says having several cars parked out front can be an eyesore.

"It does affect property value when we have eight cars parked in a lawn on a front yard," Ray said.

Other residents say it's up to homeowners to decide what's best for their property.

"The implementation of it is not done with the people in mind," Drumm said. "For people who have birthday parties or special events, is code enforcement going to show up every time you have, you know, a party?"

North Port officials said hosting the occasional party or gathering at your home won't automatically cause code enforcement to come out. It's the repeated parking in prohibited areas that will cause the city to act.