View Mobile Site

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos


HOA wants to hit the brakes on parking flap

Says handicap status doesn't mean anything

Posted: December 4, 2008 11:07 a.m.
Updated: December 4, 2008 12:41 p.m.

In reaction to heated complaints from one family, two Castaic homeowners association board members said there are plenty of parking spaces for residents in garages and driveways so the need for handicapped parking on private streets is unnecessary.

Candy and Victor Gilson Jr., who have a handicapped parking placard, are struggling against the Marigold North homeowners association's CC&Rs which restrict street parking in their gated community.

The Gilsons' daughter, Holly Goldstein, said her parents frequently park on the street in front of their three-generation family's house but the association threatened to fine them and tow their car if they continued to do so.

"The community, since its conception, has never offered any type of public parking on the street or designated any parking spaces to either homeowners or guests," said board president Tom Rowbottom. "I believe the Goldsteins' contention was under their assumption that just because (Holly's parents) had a handicapped placard, they were exempt from that ruling."

The Goldsteins received violation notices in the past and Rowbottom saw the handicapped placard on the car for no more than a year or two at the most, he said.

"We have two-car garage homes in this community along with the driveway that will adequately fit two other cars," he said. "So realistically you've got four cars that you can park on your property without having to utilize the street."

Board members revealed that a survey sent to residents disclosed that an overwhelming majority of residents did not want to change the current parking standards.

"(The board) sent the survey to all the homeowners asking if they were interested in spending, I think it was five to seven thousand dollars in attorney's fees to change or amend the CC&Rs to allow street parking," said board member Brian Mcginnis. "Close to 80 percent of the people were not interested in changing the CC&Rs. This was the third time that this type of survey had been done in the 12-year history of this neighborhood."

Board members verified that multiple government agencies approve the CC&R's restricted street parking. They also expressed concerns that allowing street parking would increase liability.

"We've checked with the Department of Motor Vehicles, the sheriff, California Highway Patrol; we've even actually consulted a lawyer and had a document from the lawyer stating that we aren't in any way breaking any rules, even when it comes to handicapped placards," Rowbottom said. "Everybody tells us that not only are we doing the right thing, but allowing any changes to this existing situation (would also) greatly enhance our liability should anything happen due to the fact the cars are parked on the street."

The board follows a procedure to warn association members of potential violations and resolutions, Rowbottom said.

First, the board sends a courtesy letter of the violation. Second, the board sends a notice of hearing.Only after the association members have a chance to plead their case in front of the board at a private meeting does the board decide whether to levy a fine.

Mcginnis said the Goldsteins ignored the process to express their parking concerns to the board.
"They never even bothered to show up for the hearing to plead their case," he said. "There was an avenue for them to vent their frustration but they chose not to show up."

He explained the standards could not be changed without approval of the entire community.

"We want to hear what they say and they're always welcome to plead their case," Mcginnis said. "But we put this (issue) before the homeowners and the homeowners said ‘this is not what we wanted.' The rules have been this way for 12 years now and everybody that moved in signed their CC&Rs. They knew (about) them before they ever moved in."


Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.


Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...