I sit on a condo board and the meeting was last night. We ran through the people we were going to sent to the lawyers for non payment of assessments in five minutes, handled complaints about the landscapers and the noisy dogs in even less time. But then we began to talk about parking, and the wheels fell off.
Sheila said that cars and trucks with signs on the side (Realtor, Fred’s painting service) should not be allowed to park in the complex. They were commercial vehicles. Linda took the opposite position — she had no problems with them parking in the complex. Life is hard now, if people need to drive their company vehicles home, so be it. Doesn’t bother Linda.
Sheila has a point — Each unit has a garage. Seventy five percent of the residents use the garage for something else beside parking cars. Granted the garages are small (the place was built in the 70s) and people in this Inland Empire community love their huge off road trucks and SUVs. If you drive commercial vehicles home, park em in your garage, says Sheila. Let’s keep the neighborhood from going to the dogs. We must preserve the property values.
But Linda has a point. This is not Beverly Hills. The average condo cost here is $120K. There a many families with numerous cars. This is a working class complex. We can’t, and shouldn’t, legislate who can park where.
I felt caught in the middle. I know how to solve the problem — we can issue permits. Give each resident one permit. That way they can park two cars — one in their garage and one on the street. If they need more than that, they can pay a fee for the permit.The problem is that we really don’t have a parking problem. There are plenty of parking spaces. Why set up a program when none is needed.But if we did, people would start to think about parking and maybe clear out some of those garages and put some of their myriad vehicles away. After all, parking isn’t free.
I presented my plan to the board. The decibel level doubled. I headed for the hills.