Many medium to large sized cities experience parking limitations, especially in older neighborhoods. Charlottesville is no exception and parking can be a problem, especially in older neighborhoods and residential areas of the city. Many of the older sections of the city were developed long before every family owned two, three or more automobiles and this can become a concern. Many of the streets in residential areas are narrow and steep which compound parking problems. Commercial areas and schools being located next to residences can also create friction for parking between neighbors and those from outside the area. Parking concerns are the number one call generator that our department receives and there are usually very few good answers that will satisfy all of the neighbors or individuals when we receive them.
Listed is a series of concerns, comments and questions about parking:
Q. People park in my parking area in front of my house.
A. There is no such thing as private parking in front of any persons home in a residential area in Charlottesville. Parking is on a first come, first served basis. The street is open to the public and anybody may park along a residential street unless posted otherwise.
Q. People park and block my driveway. What can I do about this?
A. The City Code Sec. 15-128 states that no person shall park a vehicle or permit it to stand, upon a street in front of a private driveway. City Code gives authority to Police to tow such vehicles per Sec. 15-301 (a)(1).
Q. My street is too narrow for parking on both sides if an emergency vehicle such as a fire truck needed to come up my street. What should I do?
A. First, contact our office so we can also look at the situation. Next, talk with your neighbors and see if there would be some consensus in removing parking from one side of the street or the other. Last, get a petition form from us and have the neighbors sign it. In extreme cases we will advise the fire department of your situation and have them attempt driving the street with fire equipment. If they find the street too narrow with parking on both sides of the street, they may make an immediate request for parking removal.
Q. My neighbors would like to see parking removed from one side of the street due to the inconveniences to the mail boxes, parking too close to driveways, having parked vehicles opposite of my driveway or for other reasons. What must I do to get parking removed from one side of the street?
A. The first thing you will want to do in this situation is talk with your neighbors. These decisions must come from the neighborhood and then be brought to our attention. You must file a petition with our department with 2/3 of the neighbors in favor of this request (one vote per household). See our hyperlink to print out a petition form.
Q. I would like a handicapped parking place in front of my house. What must I do?
A. The City of Charlottesville will install handicapped parking signs (following Parking Ordinance Guidelines with 14-day comment period) in front of homes in residential areas if the resident has a DMV issued handicapped pass, and the resident does not have off-street parking. Even when a handicapped parking sign is installed in front of a residence it does not guarantee the parking spot for any one individual.
Q. I drive a truck home from work. May I park my truck on the street in front of my residence at night?
A. No. Trucks driven home at night can only be parked on private property off the city streets.
Q. My neighbor has a lot of kids and a lot of vehicles and takes all the parking spaces on the street. What can I do about this?
A. As mentioned above, the street is open to public parking and can be used by whoever gets there first. Talk with your neighbor and see if there is available parking in driveways or parking areas. Find additional parking for your own vehicles if necessary. There are many storage yards and rental facilities in Charlottesville that store vehicles, boats, etc.
Q. May I park between the sidewalk and the street curb?
Q. May I park in front of my own driveway?
A. No. The police do not know who is parking in front of a driveway and it is just as illegal for the property owner to park in front of a driveway as anyone else.
Q. May I park in the sidewalk portion of my driveway?
A. No. Also remember to be courteous to pedestrians who may have to walk through the area where vehicles will be parked.
Q. May I create a parking area between the sidewalk and curb from concrete or gravel?
A. No. The driveway, your garage, parking lots and the street are the only allowable parking areas.
Listed are some things to consider about parking:
- When looking at homes, make sure the parking is adequate for your needs.
- Consider outside impacts to parking such as schools, businesses, churches, etc.
- Be considerate to your neighbors by minimizing the number of vehicles you park along the street.
- Streets were never designed to be parking lots. Streets are built to facilitate traffic flow.
- If you have a concern, talk with your neighbors. Many times they will help when they become aware of a problem.
- Call our department if you have problems which cannot be resolved in your neighborhood.
- Remember that not all parking problems can be resolved.