Midlanders Speak Out About Lawn Parking

By: Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - The battle over parking in front yards is brewing. Some claim it's an eyesore, others say it's their right. Right now, it's allowed in Midland.

Right now, Midlanders can park one car or truck on their front lawn, but the others are supposed to be on a paved surface or driveway.

A proposed ordinance from the City Council could ban it all together.

Before the City Council makes a decision, council members wanted to hear from the people, and they got an earful at Tuesday night's public hearing.

"The current ordinance, we're not enforcing it very well," Mayor Wes Perry said.

That's part of the reason why there's so much confusion, but a new ordinance on lawn parking could clear things up.

"I don't think the city has the right to tell me I can't park my car in my yard," Leah Atchley said.

"I'm for the ordinance," Nancy Jones said.

Midlanders like Jones packed the Hispanic Cultural Center to have their say.

"We just feel that if you have nice neighborhoods, you may attract more people to Midland," Jones said. "But when you drive through and see cars parked in yards, why you want to stay."

Real estate Agent Larry Hatfield says that's bad news for homeowners.

"We found in our business and industry that it does bring down the value of homes, and it does affect neighborhoods in the future," he said.

But everyone doesn't buy that.

"People are going to buy where they want to," A.L. Jackson said. "If they're going to a community or if they're in a community and they feel property value is going down then they're going to move. So I don't think it will. It depends on the gravity of it and how much it's going on."

Mayor Perry says the Council realizes they have a big decision to make and in the end, it's all about compromise.

"In an extreme instance the city should come in," Jackson said. "But I don't think everyone should be judged by a few people."

"I understand if someone doesn't have the ability to walk very far," Jones said. "Maybe exceptions can be made for that. But when you're healthy, you're happy and you have a street to park on. You can park on the street not on your yard."