LITTLETON, Colo. — Residents of a Douglas County housing development are upset their homeowners' association will begin charging them to park on the street.
Before Kregg Flowers bought his Douglas County home in the Cityscapes at Highline development, he asked about parking.
"There's not any room to park here. It's an alley," he said, pointing out the lack of driveways or space near homes. "That was one of my first questions, 'where is the access to parking? Where will our guests park?' The answer was street parking curbside on Channel Drive."
On Monday, Channel Drive was closed for parking because of road repairs, but residents recently learned it is a sign of what is to come.
"The board has decided to implement a paid parking program for on-street overnight parking," stated an email from the Cityscapes at Highline HOA to residents, informing residents if they don't pay an app an annual, weekly or daily permit fee, their cars will be towed starting in August or September.
Several homeowners, including David Ashley, reached out to Contact Denver7 to say they already pay substantial HOA dues, and paid parking was never discussed before they bought their homes.
"All the other fees on top of parking are extreme to me," said David Ashley, who built his home there two years ago and can't fit his vehicle into the garage. "I have to park on the street here. There's a car in front of mine. That's our son's. He's here every other week. So, we're going to have to pay two fees, even though he doesn't live here permanently. That's a lot."
The HOA board president, Barry Carson, said the problem stems from a parking shortage. There are 53 homes in the development and only 20 street parking spaces. Additionally, cars from the apartment complex next door are taking some of the street spots.
The board also stated the money raised from a parking program can be used to pay for road repairs on the private street.
"There has to be a way to balance our space available with the number of cars," said Carson, who said the Board is still taking feedback and has not made a decision, despite what was stated in the community email. "We're open to suggestions. We're trying to solve the problem, too."
Stan Hrincevich, an HOA homeowner advocate with Colorado HOA Forum, said that charging parking fees for revenue is a slippery slope.
"It's not a good policy," said Hrincevich. "What's next? Pay to use the pool? Pay to use the hiking trails? Pay to use anything? It's poor financial management. And it reminds me of the Green Valley Ranch situation."
Hrincevich said more HOAs are charging fines and fees because it's easier than increasing dues or assessments.
Flowers wants the paid parking permits put to a vote, but he said he knows he may end up paying whatever fee his HOA decides to charge.
"It seems like that's the way the world these days," Flowers said. "You just have to live with it."
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