Parking in Residential Areas

Issues over parking on your property and on streets probably cause more headaches for residents and enforcement officials in Diamondhead than anything else. Best to begin by recognizing the reality of our limitations.

We’re a community of people who prize attractive surroundings at home and pleasant scenes of landscaped, well-maintained homes throughout our neighborhoods. Most people count that high among reasons they bought here. A front yard filled with vehicles is not considered aesthetically pleasing here or anywhere else where residents want a presentable image for their community.

But we have mostly small lots without much parking space, we need vehicles to get anywhere, and multiple drivers in families today means multiple cars in their driveways, much truer now than back when Diamondhead was designed. We live, therefore, with restrictions that can be frustrating, but that exist for a reasonable purpose — to deal with the realities of space available, transportation needs, and keeping property in presentable form — an uneasy balance that causes problems with no solutions that satisfy everyone.

So what do the ordinances require in trying to deal with this? In short (longer form below the line):

➤ Park in driveways, carports or garages only, except with permit for overflow parking.

➤ Store boats, trailers, lawn equipment, vehicles taller than 7½ feet, ATVs, jet skis, and the like behind the front line of the house and screened from view, with permit. Abandoned vehicles may not be stored unless screened from view.

➤ Park RVs, campers, or other motorized travel vehicles in driveways only reasonably long enough to load or unload.

➤ Dump trucks, motorized construction equipment, and vehicles over 10’ in height may not park in residential areas for more than 12 hours. Overnight parking requires city approval.

➤ Work vehicles may park on roadsides temporarily for actual work only.

➤ Parking in medians is prohibited without city authorization in advance.

Enforceable? Yes. Again, these restrictions are common in Mississippi and elsewhere. Boats and trailers are limited to short term periods in driveways for clean up, loading, etc. in Clinton, Southhaven, part of Rankin County, for instance, and in numerous communities all across the U.S. No parking on lawns is the rule in Jackson, Clinton, Tupelo, Madison and Oxford; even Houston with its notorious lack of zoning regulations now allows neighborhoods by 60% vote to opt into a no-lawn-parking rule. Again, too, in Diamondhead refusal to comply can result in misdemeanor charges with significant fines and even jail time.

Though our parking rules may rub us the wrong way at times, without them Diamondhead would lose its value to many who live or wish to live here.
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Zoning Ordinance, Sec. 8.1.3 limits parking in residential districts of certain vehicles and equipment:

8.1.3.A prohibits dump trucks, motorized construction equipment, and vehicles over 10’ in height from parking for more than 12 hours.

8.1.3.B requires vehicles exceeding 7’ 6” height, lawn maintenance equipment, trailers for construction equipment, construction vehicles parked more than 24 hours, and individual recreational equipment like boats, jet skis, ATVs, etc. to be parked behind the front line of the house and screened from view of street, adjacent property, and golf course.

8.1.3.C requires a permit for the screening and limitations on types of permissible screening.

8.1.3.D – prohibits travel trailers, campers or camper trucks, coaches, motorized dwellings, or similar major recreational vehicles from parking or storage in residential driveways or parking areas except for a reasonable time for loading/unloading personal property prior to or after use. Out of town guests of owners may park on the owner’s driveway for 7 days maximum if no part of the equipment extends into the road right-of-way or sidewalks.

Sec. 30.514 prohibits parking anywhere on private property except in driveways, carports, and garages unless specifically exempted by the city manager. Exceptions may be allowed for work vehicles to park on roadsides or medians, temporary parking under special circumstances with CM approval, and overflow guest parking on streets and medians for special occasions with permit.

Sec. 8.1.4 allows for overflow residential parking between the garage and nearest side lot line, but not in front of the house unless on a circular drive.

Sec. 30-571 prohibits overnight parking of trucks and heavy equipment in commercial parking lots without the owner’s permission, on roadsides, or on any other public or private property without city approval. It also prohibits parking of any vehicle or equipment that requires a commercial “C” license or greater in residentially zoned areas for any purpose except those exempted temporarily per Sec. 30-570.

Peggy Dutton
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