City Council approves parking ordinance

WILMINGTON -- A neighborhood next to UNCW has been fighting a parking problem for years. Tuesday, Wilmington City Council approved an ordinance that may be the solution. People who live near UNCW say students park on the front lawns of houses, and residents say its an eyesore. Residents are calling tonight's City Council approval a small victory for the community. "Well, it looks like a used car lot most of the time sometimes you'll come by and find fifteen cars in one house," Paschall Barrett, a resident of College Acres said. Since 2003 people who live on the street say they've battled this parking issue. They say students have turned their neighborhood into a parking lot. "It's unsightly. Its stripped the yards of vegetation; they're rudded, they hold water," Resident Jim Medlin said. City Council unanimously approved a measure that would curb this parking problem. The newly adopted city code no longer allows parked cars, that don't belong to the property owner or tenant, to be parked at a particular property more than two days during a 30-day period. People who violate this ordinance will be fined $100. After that initial fine, each additional violation is another hundred bucks. Members of a city-university task force that worked on the ordinance say they're pleased with the outcome. "I think it really supports the whole notion of the university and the city working together to address these quality of life issues," Dewey Harris, part of the task force, said. Officials admit the new ordinance could be a bit difficult to enforce, but they say it's a step in the right direction. Part of this problem stems from a lack of parking on the university campus. UNCW officials insist they do have adequate provisions for student parking, and say students just don't want to use the shuttles to and from lots that are farther away. A detailed explanation of the new ordinance will go out in the mail before it's enforced.

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