Hampton city council debates zoning amendment; could change how residents park on their property

Hampton

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — City leaders in Hampton could soon change the way people park on or around their property and it could affect the number of vehicles parked in the grass.

It wasn’t the first time councilmembers have heard concerns about people parking on their lawns. The issue was first brought up in 2020, but was tabled because of the pandemic. Now the zoning committee wants to take action.

Curb appeal, green space and property value are some of the topics Hampton city leaders are considering when it comes to where people can park on their property. The problem, Hampton residents say, is that some homeowners have parked numerous cars in their front yards, even though they have a driveway.

“Whenever we regulate, we have to be very sensitive,” said councilmember Eleanor Weston Brown.

The zoning amendment would require folks to park in the street or their driveways. If they don’t have a driveway, they’re not required to add one but could be fined a code violation if they use their yard instead of the street.

“I think it’s a little unfair because the purpose of this is to preserve green space, improve the character and make a positive impact on neighborhoods, but you’re penalizing people who aren’t violating with multiple cars on their yard,” said councilmember Chris Snead.

But not everyone agrees on the zoning amendment citing old properties, narrow streets and a general lack of space.

Councilmembers unanimously voted to defer the zoning amendment until December when there’s a more detailed plan and grant funds to help people construct a driveway who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford one.

“I would like to bring it back with whatever changes occur plus the grant program if it’s approved,” Vice Mayor Jimmy Gray stated.

If the amendment is passed in December, then it would go into effect as soon as the new year.

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