Street Parking Regulations & More

Post date: Oct 13, 2015 1:42:02 PM

Subject: Reminder Concerning Street Parking Regulations

Dear Forest Creek HOA members,

Recently there has been a rise in reports from homeowners regarding vehicles and trailers parked in the street overnight, or, in a manner that creates traffic hazards.

While the Board of Directors has every intent to enforce the deed restrictions to the fullest extent allowable by the law, and address complaints received, it needs the help of the residents in order to be able to do so in deed restriction violation matters such as this. While it may seem like a lot of effort, this is what is legally required in the State of Texas. Your HOA must adhere to the process and requirements to minimize liability to all members of the association due to unlawful enforcement.

Also, the streets within Forest Creek are owned, maintained and governed by the City of Round Rock. If a vehicle is parked in a manner that creates a traffic hazard, blocks visibility, makes it difficult for you to get in or out of your driveway, etc. please call the police. They can address issues of public safety on the spot, as local law enforcement is not bound by the same policies and procedures as an HOA. In matters such as traffic safety, they can often achieve resolution to a problem in a much shorter time frame, and in a much simpler manner. For example, while they may not have a rule that says a vehicle can’t be parked overnight, they will have laws prohibiting parking in a manner that blocks ingress/egress or presents a safety hazard, and laws about the direction a vehicle must face, how far away from the curb it must be, etc. If they come out and find a vehicle parked in violation of those laws, they can issue a citation on the spot.

Therefore, along with the Board of Directors, it seemed a good time to once again remind everyone of the rules, as well as what is required of the homeowners to enable the association enforce this rule.

There are different types of deed restriction violations within a typical community:

  • those that anyone can see driving by, which are easily verified when a complaint is received from a resident, and

  • those that are not easily verifiable, and therefore require a great more deal of involvement from the person submitting the complaint.

If for example a homeowner reports a lawn that has not been mowed, the inspector can drive by and verify that on the next inspection, and the enforcement process can begin. Conversely, a vehicle reported to be parked overnight cannot be verified by the inspector, as they do not go out at night, nor can an inspector sit there for 8 hours to serve as a valid witness that the vehicle remained in the street overnight without being moved. Therefore, similar to matters addressed in a court of law, the burden of this proof falls to the person reporting the violation and requesting the association take corrective measures.

What the association needs from an association member in order to address these issues is

  1. provide the address of the owner to which the vehicle(s) belong,

  2. provide a photograph of the vehicle in question parked in the street (photographs showing it both at night and the following morning would be best to show it was unmoved),

  3. provide a written statement (e-mail is satisfactory) that you observed the vehicle(s) in question parked in the street overnight and

  4. provide the date(s) on which you witnessed this. You must be certain that the vehicle was, in fact, parked there overnight without being moved at some point during the evening and be willing to testify to that fact should the matter escalate to a court of law.

This is the evidence the Board of Directors needs in order to be authorized to send the owner(s) in question a notice of violation. Unfortunately, historically most people don’t want to get this involved, which is what makes this type of an issue difficult for any HOA to effectively resolve.

What may be seen as unfortunate by some, enforcement of this deed restriction is a bit more complex than may appear on the surface in order to meet legal requirements. It is our hope by providing this information, we will help owners know the proper process to follow to report these issues so that the association can help resolve them. Improper complaints (ones that do not conform with the process) cannot be acted upon.

Please let us know if you have any further questions at this time. We will be glad to assist in helping to address these issues when the necessary information is provided. Thank you.

RealManage, for the Forest Creek HOA