Troubleshooter

Woman upset with new HOA parking rule

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Jen Forrest said she was shocked by what she read on a notice left on her car recently.

"You have 24 hours to move this car," she said. "If not moved, a second and final notice will be given before it will be towed."

Forrest lives on a cul-de-sac in Durham's Cross Timbers neighborhood. Recently, her homeowner's association implemented new parking rules. Homeowners can no longer park on the street unless they have a permit.

"Right now, visitors can park in front of my house, but I cannot. So visitors can come and not get towed and park right there. But I own this house and can't park there. And that's wrong," said Forrest.

While she does have a driveway where she can park, Forrest said she wants the option to park on the street if she wants to.

"It's stressful to feel this oppressive feeling of fear when I have to worry about being towed in front of my own house. It just, it feels very unnatural," she offered. "It feels like an oppressive controlling situation."

But Mary Lou Barlow - a board member on Cross Timbers' HOA - told ABC11 the new rule isn't about control. Instead, it was implemented because of too much congestion in the streets.

"We had people just parking everywhere," she said. "People were parking in the street, up this street and around, they were blocking the streets and the utilities trucks couldn't come through. They couldn't pick up the trash."

Barlow said the HOA board discussed the parking solutions for months, asked for input from everyone in the community, and even put out drafts of what they wanted to do before implementing the no parking on the street rule.  

"We're trying to look out for the community as a whole - all 69 homes - and make sure it's a good, safe place for all of us to live," she explained.

But Forrest said she feels the new rule is taking the HOA's power too far and says she'll continue parking where she wants.

"You know, I'm not going to live in fear," she said.

Barlow said Forrest can park on the street if she has a permit, which she can apply for.  Forrest would have to get approval from everyone on her street. If all residents sign off, and she applies for the permit, Barlow said the HOA will approve it.

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durham county, troubleshooter, diane wilson
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