BY REBECCA BENNETT — On Dec. 7, the Hyattsville City Council approved three ordinances related to impervious surfaces and street parking. Changes include:

  • Certain impervious surfaces that were existing and permitted prior to 2004 are now legal
  • Adding gravel to an existing driveway is considered maintenance and no longer requires a permit
  • Regular maintenance to an existing driveway does not require a permit
  • No parking is allowed within three feet of a driveway apron (where the apron begins to slope down)

Anyone needing a paved surfaces permit can obtain one from the Hyattsville City Department of Public Works.

At the Nov. 2 discussion of ordinance prohibiting parking close to driveway aprons, Assistant City Administrator Jim Chandler said the existing section was vague. “The distance of three feet – it was a judgement on our part,” he said.  “We thought that by creating a standard by which residents had a clear understanding how close a car could come to their driveway before it was a violation was important to have.”

“The good neighbor thing to do is to make sure you have an adequate distance for your neighbor to park in their driveway,” Chandler said.

Councilmember Edouard Haba (Ward 4) said he has personally received many complaints about residents not being able to get in and out of their driveways.

Chandler said he was not aware of how many street parking spaces would be lost with the new law.  He also said some driveways would still be difficult to get in and out of with a car parked across the street.

Code enforcement will not be driving around and issuing tickets for offenders of the three-foot-from-driveways street parking ordinance, according to the assistant city administrator. Rather, the city will answer calls for service from residents.  Chandler said the city reasonably gets complaints from residents about people parking literally on top of their driveways.

According to Community Services Director Jake Rollow, residents who encounter this problem repeatedly can request the city paint the curb yellow within three-feet of the driveway. Curbs will not be painted citywide, he said, because of the cost and the lack of necessity.

The three ordinances received a second reading on Dec. 21.