Starting today, folks in Port Arthur who park on their front lawns need to think of other places to park.
As part of a measure to spruce up the place, the city council approved an ordinance allowing the city to fine folks who think the best place to park the ol' pickup is right in front of the porch.
But if you're a lawn-parker, don't fear: today, workers are merely educating folks about the new rule, not issuing citations, Community Services Director Lawrence Baker told Hair Balls. People will have 30 days to comply. (Note: contrary to some reports, gravel driveways are permissible under the ordinance).
So what about property rights, and a homeowner's God-given right to make his land as trashy-lookin' as possible?
"You have zoning laws, you have laws that regulate...the appearance of neighborhoods," Baker said. "We also have [an] ordinance that regulates what is appropriate for a person's property - how they should keep it. Because those things inadvertently affect not only your neighbor, but they affect the quality of life and the property values of the entire neighborhood."
So how are people reacting? The reviews are mixed -- according to comments on a website operated by a community newspaper group. Highlights are below:
"I think PA is trying to perfume the pig."
"I have a paved driveway, but it's too narrow for two vehicles, so sometimes I park with one wheel in the yard to let the other vehicle by. Will I be fined half?"
"Cars in the frontyard looks ghettoish, redneckish, barrioish.......it's trashy!!!!"
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"Usually neigborhoods where people are less educated are having this problem, and you will also see them brining their primos to park in the yard also as they cook outside and want people to see they have money to buy food and trash their yard with Corona bottles and burnt corn tortillas."
"And exactly where does our sidewalk engineer want these 'front-yard parkers' to park their vehicles?"
So there you go. Like religion and politics, parking is an extremely hot-button issue. Who knew?
-- Craig Malisow