City cracks down on parking
Property owners warn locals about parking cars on illegally zoned spaces outside housing. JULIA ENGELBRECHT | The Miami Student
The City of Oxford has begun to send warning letters to property owners around the city for illegally parked cars and some students have already received citations from the Oxford Police Department (OPD).
According to Holly Morrical, owner of College Property Management, the parking issue was first brought up around two months ago in late February when the company received letters from the City of Oxford warning them that there were illegal parking situations on some of their properties.
The evidence of the illegal parking came from helicopter photographs taken every other year by Butler County. Oxford's City Planner, Kathy Dale, said these aerial shots are used for a variety of reasons within Oxford and when looking at the shots they noticed these violations.
Some of the biggest offenders are people parked on lawns, on neighboring property or in driveways that don't have zoning clearance. Dale said most of the properties in Oxford are required to have at least two parking spaces for the residents, but the number of residents who want to bring vehicles often exceeds that.
"Everyone wants their own car," Dale said.
Miami University senior Samantha Ludington has suffered the repercussions of Oxford's parking situation. One of her roommates was ticketed when an OPD officer saw her driving off of their lawn.
"We can fit four or five cars in the driveway, but there are 12 people living here," Ludington said.
It's the possible safety issues that worry Dale and Morrical, who both said students have been parking in alleyways or in make-shift driveways that block emergency routes.
Morrical also said parking on the lawn or in non-zoned areas can cause damage to the lawns or property of students that will be living there the following year.
Dale said if the parking issues are a police matter, the police will issue a citation to the students directly responsible. If the issue is more of a zoning problem, the city will contact the property owners directly.
Morrical said her business had warned every tenant who was in violation and should students choose not to comply with the warnings, the citations given to their business will be handed down directly to tenants.
"It's just a bad situation all around," Morrical said.
Oxford is aware of the parking situation and is trying to work with property owners to work out the kinks before next school year.
"It will hopefully be corrected over the summer," Dale said.
Property owners can apply for zoning permits for any newly created driveways, according to Dale, but the best thing for students to do is check with their property owners to make certain they're not parking on illegal areas.
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