Too Many Cars, Not Enough Driveways in Austin

A suburban city near Austin tried to beautify with a parking ordinance, but city leaders are rethinking it.
February 21, 2009, 5am PST | Larry Schooler
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"The Leander City Council hoped last summer that an amendment to its parking ordinance would help beautify the town, but it instead ended up causing headaches for some residents left with nowhere to park in their neighborhoods.

Tonight, the council will discuss ways to fix the amendment, which passed unanimously in July and is meant to get people to stop parking on their lawns. The ordinance prohibits residents from parking on unpaved surfaces.

But the new rules have unintentionally made it complicated for some residents to find a lawful place for their vehicles, council members said.

'We have some old driveways that are only one single car width,' resident Bill Finley said of his County Glen neighborhood. 'There are multiple vehicles that don't have any place to park. It's a nightmare shuffling the cars around.'

Finley's neighborhood was built before the city imposed housing and road standards, so his streets are narrow and most of his neighbors have small driveways, if they have a paved driveway at all.

They can't park on the street because it obstructs the roadway. And they can't park on gravel driveways or the bar ditch in front of their homes anymore because it's now against the rules."

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Published on Thursday, February 19, 2009 in Austin American-Statesman
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