Restrictions on Lawn Parking Proposed Near UNCW

Wilmington, NC – Residents east of UNCW have long complained that some student renters are turning their neighborhood into parking lots, by allowing friends to stow autos on their lawns during class hours.

To address those concerns, the proposed ordinance would address those concerns by limiting front yard parking to two vehicles, not owned by residents of the house, at a time.

The new rule is up for public debate at tonight's meeting of the Wilmington City Council.

According to Dewey Harris, director of community services for Wilmington and co-chair of the University/Community Relations Task Force that took the complaints, residents claim the extra cars create an eyesore that could drive down property values and pose a hazard to landscaping and limb.

Harris blames some of the issue on just the increasing number of students living in the area.

"You've got an area that's transitioning," Harris said, "there's actually more and more rentals than there has been in the past. And some of those long-term residents are very upset about the transition of that neighborhood. And parking, particularly on the front lawns, is really an indication of that transitioning neighborhood."

Student parking passes for UNCW range from $132 to $245 a year.

Harris sees an added upside for the city with this ordinance; it could allow officers in the door to act on other complaints as well.

"When we respond to those complaints, we'll be able to cross-enforce a lot of the other violations that are part of the city's code, such as three unrelated people in a house. Also the noise violations and so forth, if there's a bunch of noise that's been associated with parties," Harris said.

The ordinance limiting parking near UNCW would only apply to cars parked in front yards, not on the sides or in back of houses, and would not be enforced on holidays.