I have been out of town for about a week and a half, and have just returned. I have been trying to catch up at work and have not been able to send a synopsis around about what has happened and how we got we where are with the parking issue. Since, this issue seems to be escalating, I will try to do it quickly now. With respect to Trailwood Hills, the reason it was requested that the parking be on the side of the street with the pool was because one of the problems is being able to see around the curve to turn onto Laurel Falls from Trailwood Hills. It can easily be changed to the other side of the street, but we went with input we had at the time and the reasons for doing it that way (I don’t feel that the statement “since the HOA is not willing to do this” is fair or accurate). When the cars are parked on the side of the street with the houses, you have a line of sight problem. This was discussed at the August meeting to which every single homeowner was invited by mail. We got the signatures of the 2nd and 3rd house on Trailwoods Hills, and sent certified mail to the other 3 houses.
Update: The City is conducting a line of sight assessment to determine which side to restrict from a safety standpoint.
The reason only certain homes were contacted was because we were told that we only needed to contact the homes that would be affected by the change. In the notice we sent by certified mail, we advised homeowners they could contact Suzie with any questions or concerns. We gave her home phone and email address. In the invitiation we sent to all homeowners about this issue being discussed at the August meeting, we also told people if they could not come, they could contact us and give their opinions/suggestions.
To my knowledge, not a single person did that. Also, at that August meeting, with the exception of 2 people, all the homeowners were for getting parking restricted to one side.
I have been on the Board since it was taken over by the homeowners (2002 I believe). Since that time, the matter of parking on Laurel Falls, and subsequently Beech Gap and App has been a topic of discussion at almost every single Board meeting. I have orchestrated 3 meetings on the matter in the last 3 years based on complaints by homeowners. The school bus being rerouted from gonig down Laurel Falls was a huge issue because if they could not fit, then it was felt neither could fire trucks or other emergency vehicles. The first was at a Board member’s home, and everyone was invited by mail. It was discussed then to make Laurel Falls parking on one side as a possible option. After trying other options, including trying to get people with room to use their driveways and garages more, and after trying to make sure there were only 4 unrelated adults per house, we circled back to restricting parking to one side.
We had another meeting to which everyone was invited by mail. This time we invited the police and a city council member. There were several items discussed at this meeting, however, one of them was the parking situation. Again, restricted parking was discussed as the solution. There seemed to be no other workable solutions. Since that time, the Board has fielded more complaints about parking, and those complaints have moved to App and Beech Gap also as the parking there has become problematic. I was scheduled to speak to City Council in August and request restricted parking on Laurel Falls (based on the 2 meetings we had had and all of the complaints).
A Board member suggested that we again poll the community and see if there were any workable alternative solutions. So, in August, we again invited the homeowners to a meeting to discuss the parking situation. We also invited the police, a parking person, and Thomas Crowder (our City Councilman). This was done so that any alternative solutions could be discussed with those that would know if they were workable, etc. At the meeting, the majority of the homeowners were for the restricted parking. As safety has always been the concern (whether emergency vehicles can get down the road) the City agreed to have the fire department do an assessment of our neighborhood and determine whether emergency vehicles could navigate through it. We were told that after they received the fire department’s recommendation, the City could then present that recommendation to City Council. We were asked to have a petition signed by the homes affected notifying them that this was under discussion and would be presented to City Council. They could write on the petition whether they were for or against.
After some Board members spent a lot of time trying to get signatures going door-to-door, we sent certified letters to the remaining affected homes advising them of the petition. Again, they were advised that could contact Suzie with concerns or questions or suggestions.
Following is an excerpt from the fire department’s assessment of Laurel Falls, and as you can see, they are advising restricting parking to one side (both sides actually, but…):
- Results I6
- Inspection District 503.2.1 Dimensions.
- Remarks: Fire apparatus access roads shall have an unobstructed width of not less than 20 feet (6096 mm), except for approved security gates in accordance with Section 503.6, and an unobstructed vertical clearance of not less than 13 feet 6 inches (4115 mm).
- The section of Laurel Falls Ln from Trailwood Hills Drive to Alder Ridge Ln narrows to a single lane with the width of approximately 10 feet 10 inches from automobile mirror to automobile mirror when vehicles are parked on each side of the street, effectively reducing access to one lane. The total street width is 25 feet 5 inches.
- Parking on both sides of the street will prohibit access on these streets by emergency apparatus when meeting other vehicles head on. Parking only on one side may still affect fire ladder company operations. It is advised to prohibit parking at least on one side of this street and preferably both sides of each street as the minimum unobstructed width required in the NC Fire Code is 20 feet.
I then sent what we had compiled with respect to signed petitions and certified cards to the City about 2 weeks ago.
I just spoke with Ms. Mise from the City of Raleigh. The City will be doing a sight distance study on Trailwood Hills to determine where side will be safer to restrict to parking. Also, the parking restriction for Laurel Falls, App, and Beech Gap will be presented most likely at the first meeting in December. The City has sent letters to the homes that did not sign the petition or sign for their certified letter advising them of this. These petitions, certified letters, and City letters were only sent to the affected homes.
I apologize for the confusion and I am sorry it has come to an email debate. However, I also feel that the Board has tried to inform homeowners of meetings and tried to get homeowner feedback on issues that affect the neighborhood. I am sorry if people feel they are not being informed of goings on, but we really are trying. Trying to keep up with different listserves and the website and blogs has been too much for us. We will discuss at the next Board meeting trying to keep up only the website, and trying to keep current information on it about issues.