Town of Herndon explores ways to crack down on lingering parking issues

The Town of Herndon is considering a holistic plan to crack down on parking issues throughout the town — a move that some officials say is necessary and long overdue.

At a Herndon Town Council meeting earlier this month, Herndon Police Chief Maggie DeBoard said that issues with parking have grown over the last two years, resulting in a mounting number of complaints regarding overcrowded neighborhoods, oversized commercial vehicles in residential areas, and other issues.

‘To be frank, Herndon has become the dumping ground for these [commercial] vehicles because there are no restrictions here,” DeBoard said, noting that some of these issues have been ongoing for 20 years.

Unlike Fairfax and Loudoun counties, the Town of Herndon has no specific parking restrictions for oversized commercial vehicles in residential areas, motor homes parking on public streets, and vehicles parking too close to driveways. The town’s code lacks specific language regarding the dimensions of restricted commercial vehicles and a highly nonspecific law simply states that parking is prohibited in “a manner that is blocking a public or private driveway.”

Increased density in the area and projected population increases have created what DeBoard called a “real compression issue.”

Council member Jasbinder Singh said that some parking restrictions might be too onerous for some neighborhoods where parking is already limited and there are no alternatives for parking.

“We have a very different character in Herndon,” Singh said, particularly in neighborhoods where residents rely on commercial vehicles for their livelihoods. “There are a lot of crowded neighborhoods.”

Calls to address parking issues in the town are not new.

In 2017, the town responded by hiring a parking enforcement officer and using a ticketing device to catch offenders. In August, the Herndon Town Council tabled a plan to limit parking near driveways, instead asking the police department and the town’s attorney to evaluate parking issues from a more holistic standpoint.

The council is expected to continue discussion on the issue following the Dec. 7 meeting.

Currently, DeBoard said that some people take advantage of the town’s lack of restrictions by simply leaving their vehicles in neighborhoods to avoid parking fees at Dulles International Airport.

Councilmember Sean Regan suggested considering residential zoned parking, which sets aside controlled parking zones by permits.

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