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Couple searches for parking

HOA won't allow parking on street in front of homes

Posted: November 14, 2008 9:59 p.m.
Updated: November 15, 2008 4:55 a.m.

Candy Gilson, left, Joelle Goldstein, 8, and Victor Gilson Jr. stand outside their Castaic home in the Marigold gated community.

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A gated Castaic community is not "home sweet home" for residents Mark and Holly Goldstein.

In fact, it's become just the opposite. The Goldsteins are struggling against the community's covenants, codes and restrictions established by the Marigold North homeowners association to find parking accommodations for Holly's live-in elderly parents.

The CC&Rs restrict residents or visitors from parking in the street, outside of the provided garages and driveways.

Goldstein's parents are in their 70s and are unable to easily access the additional parking places outside the neighborhood.

"My mother and father have been parking in front of our home for seven years," Holly Goldstein said.

"We assumed their handicap placard allowed them to do so. Now board members of our homeowners association have been sending us letters and threatening to tow the car and fine us for the car being parked in the street."

The association board members declined to comment.

"I have been told by certain members of the board that I should probably move to a neighborhood that is more conducive to a large family like mine," Goldstein said.

Former Board President Mike Evans, who left the Board last year, agrees.

"We do not have any assigned visitor parking or handicapped parking," he said.

"My understanding of handicapped parking is that the closest accommodating parking spot to a home is acceptable as long as it's not a red zone. There's only a handful of curbs in our complex that are painted red, and it's definitely not in front of Mark and Holly's home or around the corner from their home."

Goldstein is skeptical as to why the board is attacking her parents' parking arrangement now.

"These members of the board could have sent us letters for the last seven years but never did until now," Goldstein said.

"My husband got on the board last year in hopes of amending the CC&Rs and fixing some issues in the neighborhood. Apparently that did not go over well with the previous members on the board. This year they sent out ruthless letters and propaganda in order to get back on the board, which they succeeded in doing because we got tired of fighting a losing battle."

There were a lot of differences of opinion between former and current board members, Evans said.

"The board members keep referring to a section in our CC&Rs which is outdated and has been refuted by the fire department as far as our streets being too narrow to park on. The CC&Rs were written back in 1996 and 1997, and the laws have changed as far as width of streets from 40 feet to 34 feet. Our streets measure about 39 feet," he said.

Evans expresses concerns that the CC&R that restricted parking on the street required the homeowner's association to post each street not qualifying for parking with a "no parking" sign.

"No parking" signs don't exist in the complex other than one hung on the front gate and two posted at the end of fire lanes.

"So for (the board) to even stand on that rule is kind of ridiculous," he said.

Evans is personally troubled about the current parking standard's impact on residents.

"It's definitely discriminating against not only the handicapped but against the family itself," Evans said.

"To say your 18-year-old daughter should park around the corner outside the complex and walk in at night, or your parents should park in the driveway where maybe the door will fall on them when they're getting out of the car ... If (my parents) come over they have to park somewhere else; maybe carry their IV bags down the street. It's just ridiculous."

Goldstein hopes to resolve her parents' plight and secure parking accommodations that are easily accessible to them.

"I am sending them one final letter in an attempt to rectify the situation because I really love the rest of my neighbors and friends and do not wish for them to incur costs of a lawsuit against the homeowner association," Goldstein said.

"This is just one issue that's risen to the top," Evans said.

"If we had the money and could hire our own attorney, then we'd fight them. But these five guys seem to have so much power that it's really hard to fight back."

The members of the board declined to comment.

"My husband and other neighbors tried to bring this community together and make changes for the better, but these men just want to run the neighborhood as if it were a military camp and not a place full of people with hearts and souls," Goldstein said.

"My parents are a fixture in the neighborhood; two people whom all the kids in the neighborhood call ‘grandma' and ‘grandpa'."

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