by Nick Lawton
MIDLAND - No more parking cars and trucks on front lawns in Midland. on Tuesday, the Midland City Council approved an ordinance to put an end to it.
The vote has officially been counted.
After all the hearings and briefings, the controversial lawn parking ordinance was passed, making it illegal for Midlanders to park their cars on their front yards.
The idea behind the ordinance was to help keep properties in Midland both undamaged and valuable.
"It helps us keep taxes low in Midland and as a side benefit, helps to beautify the community," John James, City Councillor for District 3 who served as Mayor Pro Tem during the meeting, said.
But the vote didn't come without its concerns amongst the Council.
"I have a huge concern about emergency vehicles needing to access some of the narrower streets in Midland if all cars are required to park on the street," Michael Trost, City Councillor for District 4, said.
But now that the vote has passed, cars must stay on the road, or the penalty will be a fine of up to $200.
There are exceptions to the rule, neighborhoods without paved streets or curbs and gutters can expect to get a pass as well as disabled drivers and those with older houses that only have enough driveway space for one vehicle.
Council members say now they will help spread the word about the ban and its exceptions, encouraging a process in which neighbors help each other to keep the Tall City beautiful.
"If you have a vehicle that could be a hazard and hurt somebody or is got vegetation growing around it or kids are hanging inside there, it needs to go, and that's the bottom line. So let's be good neighbors and work together on that," At-Large City Councillor Jerry Morales, said.
The ordinance won't take effect until next May.
Until then City Council members will use this time as a grace period, not issuing any fines until sufficient time has been allotted to educate Midlanders on the new ordinance.
Council members also told NewsWest 9 the exceptions will eventually be posted online.
EXCEPTIONS TO ORDINANCE:
1) An unpaved street.
2) A street without curbs or gutters.
3) A home without a concrete driveway.
4) A vehicle with a disabled tag or license plate.
5) A car parked on a side lot shielded by a fence in a corner of a house.
6) Cars parked by a home constructed before 1980, when driveways were built for one car.
7) A landlord who owns multiple properties. Tenants' vehicles illegally parked on the property cannot be charged to the landlord.