Decatur city leaders considering ordinance banning residents from parking on lawns

WAFF's D'Quan Lee reporting
Published: Jul. 9, 2023 at 11:24 PM CDT

DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - Changes could be coming to Decatur in the form of new ordinances.

Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling says some of their ordinances date back as far as the 1950s, so he and other city leaders are looking to update what they can.

“It’s to the point now of presenting to the planning commission,” the mayor said. And then once adopted by the planning commission, then presenting it to city council for a first reading and ultimately a vote.”

One of those old ordinances deals with where cars can legally park. The city is considering changing it so they can only be in a driveway or on the street.

I spoke to multiple people who live in Decatur who declined to go on camera, but had their car parked on their lawn. A common concern I heard was that the city shouldn’t be telling its citizens what it can and can’t do on their own property.

It’s a concern that Mayor Bowling is already aware of as well.

“They’ll have their right to be able to share that with both the planning commission and with city council. And it’ll be for them to decide if indeed that’s a concern that they’re willing to consider,” he said.

The mayor added should the ordinances pass, there will be provisions to allow people to park on their lawn in special circumstances, such as for funerals or family gatherings.

“We’re not taking away all kinds of rights from our neighborhoods, we’re just trying to make sure we have clean neighborhoods,” Bowling said.

Mayor Bowling says the plan is to have these ordinances voted on later this month. We’ll follow the debates and let you know how those votes go.

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