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Wildwood Crest looks to ban front lawn parking
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Wildwood Crest looks to ban front lawn parking

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WILDWOOD CREST — Parking is tough in the Crest in July and August.

That could go for most Jersey Shore towns.

But on summer weekends, it can seem like there is not a single spot open in the entire borough.

Homeowners and regular visitors get creative to make sure they have a place for their cars. Some stack multiple vehicles in the same driveway, others avoid driving anywhere on Saturday when they have a good spot.

Others have gone too far, at least as far as the three-member Borough Commission is concerned.

On Wednesday, a public hearing and final vote is planned on an ordinance prohibiting parking on front lawns. The title of the ordinance mentions trailers and boat racks, but according to Mayor Don Cabrera, the biggest issue is cars and trucks pulled up onto lawns.

The ordinance sets fines of between $50 and $500 for each day a vehicle is parked on a lawn, and includes the potential of up to 90 days in county jail. If approved, it will be up to the police to enforce the ordinance.

“A separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues,” reads the ordinance as introduced.

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The borough calls for either grass lawns or crushed stone for front lawns, he said. He does not think they should become parking places.

Some residents have raised the issue with borough officials this summer, Cabrera said. He cited safety concerns, for instance if someone backing out does not see a child. But the primary motivation is aesthetic.

“It just doesn’t look good,” Cabrera said. “It has more of an urban look. We’re a resort community.”

In Wildwood Crest, multiple houses and duplexes have several concrete parking spaces in front of the building, either side by side or along the length of a long driveway. Close to the beach, some have marked parking spots to pull into across the length of the house.

According to Cabrera, the ordinance will not impact those properties, so long as there is a curb cut and a designated space. It will also not affect parking spaces that have stone, concrete or pavers for a car’s tires and grass in between.

Instead, he said, it would keep drivers from pulling onto the stones or grass to fit one more car. That includes those who park halfway onto the grass.

Drivers are going to have to plan ahead, and some may need to walk farther to get to the home or beach house, he said.

The ordinance was introduced unanimously at the Aug. 4 meeting. As part of another discussion at the same meeting, Commissioner David Thompson said parking is never far from the minds of the elected officials in the summer.

“It’s the biggest problem we have in this town. We hear it all the time on every single issue: Parking,” he said.

Contact Bill Barlow:

609-272-7290

bbarlow@pressofac.com

Twitter @jerseynews_bill

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