BELGRADE — On October 17, the Belgrade city council held a meeting to rework the city’s parking code. They said every chair in the room was full. A majority of those who attended the meeting live in the Prescott Ranch subdivision.
Margaux Marsh has lived in Prescott Ranch for two years. She says her favorite thing about the neighborhood is how safe she feels with her kids when they’re playing outside.
“The appeal of the neighborhood is having the streets clear and safe for kids,” said Marsh. “Especially in the wintertime when the snow is getting plowed, not having RVs and stuff covered in snow is nice.”
Marsh says she’s heard a lot of concerns from her neighbors when it comes to parking.
When Annette Stenger purchased her home at Prescott Ranch, she signed a Home Owner Association (HOA) agreement to abide by certain parking rules. She says the council is not living up to its original agreement.
“One of those rules was no overnight parking,” said Stenger. “We’re very frustrated, all of us who appeared that evening and wrote letters to the council.”
The agreement with the HOA was that they could give notices to people parked over a 24-hour period and possibly fine them, but…
“All of a sudden we hear from the city council that they no longer wish to honor that,” said Stenger.
In the October 17 meeting, the council considered reworking the parking code but decided to save formal action for the upcoming meeting on November 7.
Police Chief Dustin Lensing said it’s time for the current parking codes to be updated.
“The city has grown exponentially and therefore the demands on parking have changed,” said Chief Lensing.
Stenger says the HOA hopes to find a compromise to keep Prescott Ranch the way it is. Since the streets within the subdivision are public streets, Lensing said that would be complicated.
“If any parking laws, ordinances, infractions are enforced on the roadway, they should be issued by the city of Belgrade who owns and controls those streets,” said Lensing.
Even so, Prescott Ranch residents remain hopeful.
"We’re hoping we can come to a mutual agreement,” said Stenger.