Parking in Inver Grove Heights just became a little tighter.
Bowing to the wishes of residents concerned about their property values, the City Council has approved parking restrictions on front lawns in all but the coldest months of the year.
Between March 31 and Oct. 31, parking will be prohibited on all residential lawns for cars, RVs and everything in between.
But city planner Allan Hunting told the council the revised ordinance won’t ban lawn parking outright.
It will restrict parking to driveways or hard surfaces — such as asphalt or concrete — that are connected to the driveway. Parking will still be allowed on side and rear yards.
“It was pretty routine because they’d spent quite a bit of time on it over the previous months,” community development Director Tom Link said of the council’s decision. “It’s something that the Planning Commission and City Council had worked on for a few months and so there was a significant amount of discussion on the issue.”
The council had initially considered banning parking on lawns altogether.
But that was met with protests from residents leery of government intervention — most recently at last month’s Planning Commission meeting, Link said.
Others resented losing the convenience of parking in front of their homes. But Link said those concerns were outweighed by the public interest in protecting the city’s aesthetics.
Residents’ use of lawns as their own personal parking lots has been an issue for several years, officials said.
People had been parking their boats and trailers on front lawns, prompting complaints from neighbors concerned about neighborhood appearance and the effect on property values.
In 2005, the council briefly considered a property-maintenance ordinance that would have cleared up some of those issues, but the measure was shot down. □