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For a community where vehicles are meant to be garaged, Rancho Murieta has a lot of cars sitting in driveways. That's Carl Gaither's observation after a recent late-night drive around the North and South. He counted over 250 vehicles "single-parked and double-parked and sometimes triple-parked in the driveway and 11 cars parked on the street."

"Our parking situation is not getting any better," he told the Rancho Murieta Association board last week.

In Gaither's view, the choice is between enforcing the CC&Rs or changing them "so you can have four or five cars and park in the street. I'm not sure people want that here."

He referred to a failed CC&R amendment that would have allowed two cars to be parked in a driveway, saying, "We tried to get something like that through ... and it didn't make it. It seems that people like to have clean streets, clean driveways. One car per person, I'm not sure that that's going to work."

Carl Gaither

As he drove around the community late at night, about every 10th home had a second car in the drive, Carl Gaither told the RMA board.

"If you're a young person, you have to drive to get anywhere out here to do anything," said Director Dick Cox.

"I think it's even probably worse than we've described," President Jack Cooper said. "There are a lot of (garages) half-filled with storage and a car or two in the driveway."

"There are garages on the South that don't have any cars in them. They're full of crap," said Cox.

"And some on the North, too," Cooper added.

Architectural Manager Mark Parsons blamed undersized garages for starting "this driveway parking fiasco."

Cooper termed street and driveway parking "a major problem and eyesore, and I don't think, given the current real estate market, you need any other distractions from your property."

On the other hand, as the board approved three additional driveway parking variances, Cooper said it was "difficult to say no when people have a legitimate right or reason ... a guy pays $350,000 or $400,000 for his house and you tell him he can't park his car in the driveway."

There are now more than 300 driveway parking permits that allow one car to be parked in the driveway, and 41 variances allowing parking for more than one vehicle in the driveway.

"Something's askew with that variance for the second car," Gaither commented. "I would say as I was driving by homes, every 10th home had a second car in the driveway."

The RMA pays Community Services District Security for five hours of overnight driveway parking enforcement a month.

The board talked about requiring all resident vehicles to have barcodes and issuing special decals for vehicles that have variances so they can be readily identified for enforcement purposes. The decals would be issued after an annual review of the variance.

The RMA meeting took place a week after more than a dozen vehicles were burglarized, most of them while parked in driveways. Two cars were burglarized while they were parked in garages where the overhead door had been left open, another CC&R violation.

Televised RMA meetings to continue

A suggestion to discontinue recording and televising RMA meetings was abandoned without a vote early in the meeting.

In February, Director Bonita Jones suggested ending the long-time practice of videotaping meetings for broadcast on Channel 5 to reduce costs and boost attendance.

Tuesday, after General Manager David Stiffler read a memo from Jones, who was absent, directors commented on the suggestion.

Director Chris Pedersen said he had heard from many members about the issue. "They stopped me at the store, they stopped me taking my kids to school. ... They said don't stop the broadcasts."

"One good thing that comes out of this is we're getting a response from the community," said General Manager David Stiffler. "People are watching."

Director Paul Gumbinger said he had talked to Jones and "she was really talking about the quality of the broadcast. A lot of times the audio isn't exactly perfect... She would really like to see it improved."

Marklin Brown's picture
Joined: 08/12/2007
Posts: 196
Post rating: 104

Driveway Parking

I see one of those silver linings here. The easily targeted vehicles in the driveways seem to be keeping the vandals out of homes.

Wilbur Haines's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 474
Post rating: 470

I still don't get it

over 341 homes have documented approvals to park in the driveway. Carl noticed about 250 cars. Yeah, and....?

Of greater interest is Carl's unscientific guess that one in ten driveways had two cars in them. That does require a formal variance.

There are 41 variances. On a list that can be sorted for Security's use by street address for easy lookup.

So exactly what is the unmanageable problem which warrants creation of yet another layer of "sticker" bureaucracy to identify which are those 41 homes? What am I missing here?

Steve Kent's picture
Joined: 10/07/2007
Posts: 34
Post rating: 0

Televised RMA meetings

"Director Paul Gumbinger said he had talked to Jones and "she was really talking about the quality of the broadcast. A lot of times the audio isn't exactly perfect... She would really like to see it improved.""

For Paul Gumbinger to make a stupid statement like that is ridiculous! What a spin meister!!! We all saw the tape and heard her specific recommendation to STOP televising meetings and hold Town Hall meetings and she would be the chair! What a way to improve communications. I'm glad the BOD, in their infinite wisdom, didn't get a motion and didn't vote.

Some of us were discussing this issue and the odds were 10 to 1 that Bonita would not be at this meeting! I WON!

Send Bonita back to her kindergarten class where she's on an equal level with her students and you might think of sending Gumbinger with her..... 

Mike Burnett's picture
Joined: 07/31/2007
Posts: 183
Post rating: 0

Driveway Vehicle Parking


It has been a long time since I was invloved in these discussions, but I thought this was all hashed out back in 2003 when you were chanllenging the RMA Staff and BOD's enforcement of the permits. 

Didn't we all agree that everyone has an inherent right in the CC&R's to park one authorized vehicle in their driveway?  I thought the discussion was around parking a second car and if the resident could show that they were using their garage to the full extent, then they could park a second car in the driveway before a permit was required.

For instance, I have a three car garage and park four authorized vehicles in the garage (three cars and a golf cart).  I have four cars, so one is parked in my driveway.  If someone is visiting and they have a car, then that would make a second car in my driveway. 

The discussion over the permits was, what is really required for processing a permit.  If I remember correctly, we directed staff to stop requiring permits for the 1st authorized vehicle and even the second authorized vehicle as long as the garage was full of authorized vehicles.  The permits were only for an exception, such as temporarily storing materials during a remodel or the like.

There are homes in RMA that do not even have a garage.  to make the requirements work it has to be applied fairly for everyone.  So if a home without a garage has two vehicles parked in their driveway, the RMA can't hold the homeowner with a garage to a different standard. 

Maybe we should require that all home build three car garages and make it a retroactive requirement?

What is reasonable?????????

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