Herndon adds parking restrictions, new $50 fees

Herndon passed an ordinance on Jan. 25, 2022 that restricts how close vehicles can park to driveways. (Courtesy Town of Herndon)

Following longstanding and growing complaints over parking issues, Town of Herndon officials adopted an ordinance yesterday (Tuesday) to restrict how close drivers could park to driveways, one of several changes to overhaul parking rules.

“This is the number one issue in the town of Herndon,” Councilmember Pradip Dhakal said of parking problems, referring to commercial vehicles parking in the town as well as vehicles with expired tags.

The changes, approved by Herndon Town Council, go into effect immediately. Among the new rules, the ordinance:

  • bans various vehicles — such as those weighing more than 12,000 pounds or being longer than 21 feet — from parking in residential areas for more than two hours at a time
  • restricts recreational vehicles from temporarily parking longer than 72 hours on a residential street
  • allows the town to impose $50 fines on motorists who block curb ramps; it also allows officials to fine drivers $50 if they park within 5 feet of a driveway

Herndon police had recommended restricting parking within 10 feet of a driveway, but council revised a proposed ordinance following a public hearing. Previously, the town could only fine vehicles $50 if a vehicle blocked access to a driveway.

Police Chief Maggie DeBoard said people recognized how Herndon’s parking was considerably less restrictive than neighboring Fairfax and Loudoun counties. She said one person defiantly challenged the town’s parking enforcement officer regarding how close a vehicle could be to a driveway.

DeBoard said last week during a work session that the town’s first approach is educating drivers before issuing tickets.

During the public hearing, homeowner Pat Voltmer of Missouri Avenue said she and neighbors have been filing weekly complaints since August due to large six- to 10-wheel vehicles taking up overflow parking on streets. The parking problems also made turning around on streets difficult and dangerous for service trucks, she said.

Residents also had voiced a safety issue over limited visibility when leaving driveways due to jam-packed streets, and frustrations also came from parked vehicles interfering with trash pickup.

“It makes me feel that now is the time to act. Probably before was the time to act,” Councilmember Sean Regan said.

Council members suggested further parking issues could be explored, such as adding more stop signs in the town.

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