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Irmo PD begins the process of enforcing revised parking regulations

Irmo, SC (James Bowers) - Those who either have children of driving age or host events at their home are familiar with the headaches that occur when parking is limited at their homes. Now, even if you have an average sized driveway or limited curbside parking that leaves a vehicle without a designated spot, the town of Irmo wants you to know it’s not okay to utilize your front lawn to park.

Though parking laws may sound like a small matter in the grand scheme of things, the town’s leaders say that they had a reason for needing to change the town’s ordinances. During discussion at meetings that started in the spring, officials spoke of complaints regarding yards crowded with cars and trucks. Some residents and leaders described these as a major eyesore that can deter potential homebuyers and even lead to decline in housing values within a neighborhood.

Parking curbside on the street is still totally legal, but can create difficulty for postal and sanitation services. It can also impede large emergency vehicles like firetrucks. Town officials weighed these challenges when they considered the need to make changes to the parking regulations. Then in July they amended the town’s laws to attempt to rectify these various issues and come up with something that was best for majority of the residents in the town; a sort of compromise that would provide a slight change.

According to Irmo’s Mayor Hardy King, the former Irmo parking ordinance required that vehicles be parked on an established, hard surface driveway. Since installing a new driveway is a costly venture that many residents simply can’t afford, the town council’s compromise offers some help for those with too many vehicles and not enough parking spaces.

Ordinance 17-18 now has been amended to allow residents the opportunity to create designated parking spaces using some kind of material to mark the area. The ordinance says that landscape timbers, railroad ties, landscape blocks, bricks, or solid cinder blocks, enclosing gravel, crush and run, mulch, pine straw or any like pervious matter. These may be used to add those needed additional spaces to your property. These are in addition to what is already understood as a designated area like approved solid surfaces such as concrete, asphalt, concrete stones, bricks, etc. All additional parking areas must be pre-approved by town’s zoning administrator.

The new ordinance is now in effect. Residents who violate the law could face a $1000 fine for violation. Just this week, Irmo PD took to social media to educate the public regarding these changes. They hope that residents will take heed and won’t be found in violation of the new regulation.

“We’ll have to see how people respond” King said. He said it could be a huge step toward boosting the property values of some of the community’s aging subdivisions. If home prices in these neighborhoods trend upward, the whole community will reap the benefits.

To find out more about the town of Irmo, its government, laws, or even to watch the town council meetings, you can go to their website at www.townofirmosc.com.

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