Stillwater Parking Commission Continues Yard Parking Discussion Tonight

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An example of what will no longer be allowed if the yard parking ordinance is approved by the Stillwater City Council.

The Stillwater Planning Commission will continue discussions about regulating the parking of vehicles on unimproved surfaces in front and side yards of residential homes Wednesday night at City Hall.

Last spring, a resident asked the council to consider regulating the parking of vehicles on unimproved surfaces in the front yard of homes, saying it is a “public nuisance of visual blight,” and reduces property values in Stillwater.

As a result, the council directed the Planning Commission to look into drafting regulations for a yard parking ordinance.

The possible amendments to the city’s off-street parking code would regulate parking vehicles, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, boats, golf carts, and the like, on “unimproved” surfaces in front and side yards of homes.

Yard Parking Discussions

The parking surface standards are still being determined, but the amendments to city code being discussed during Wednesday’s Planning Commission meeting include:

  • “Vehicles” must be parked on an “improved” surface in front or side yards in residential neighborhoods.
  • An “improved” parking surface consists of asphalt or concrete, and must be graded and so it drains all surface water from the area, drainage will not be allowed to cross sidewalks; paver driveways with six to eight inches of Class 5 gravel and minimum one inch sand setting bed;
  • Parking in the yard or on gravel will not be allowed unless the parking area is already gravel, in which case it will be grandfathered in as a “legal non-conforming driveway”;
  • Legal non-conforming driveway gravel parking areas may be maintained, but not expanded.
  • If the property owner chooses to maintain the legal non-conforming parking area, a minimum of 4 inches of compacted Class 5 material must be maintained, and the surface must have edging on all sides.
  • No more than 50% of the front yard can be covered in parking surface
  • The parking surface must have a minimum side yard setback of 5 feet.
  • A permit is required to construct an off-street facility or driveway.

If you have questions about yard parking or the possible regulations impacting yard parking, contact Abbi Wittman at 651-430-8822 or awittman@ci.stillwater.mn.us.

Upcoming Hearings:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 10 Stillwater Planning Commission: Continued discussion on possible yard parking ordinance. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Stillwater City Hall
  • Tuesday, March 8 City Council Meeting: First reading and public hearing regarding yard parking ordinance amendments
  • Tuesday, March 15 City Council Meeting: Final consideration of ordinance amendments

Watch the Jan. 13 public hearing about yard parking:

Stillwater Yard Parking Draft Ordinance Amendment