A complex problem: Illegal parking signs in a Va. Beach neighborhood

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Summer is the time of year when droves of people head to the beach, many of them looking for a place to park.

However, some residents in the north end are taking matters into their own hands, trying to stop that from happening — at least in their yards. But the problem is they are stopping beachgoers from parking on a public right of way.

“The parking situation in the north end is an ongoing problem that wave had for many, many years,” said Valerie Henchel, with Virginia Beach Traffic Engineering.

The City of Virginia Beach often fields calls about illegal parking signs outside homes in the north end.

“Any city right of way is considered public parking. It’s a public beach in Virginia Beach,” Henchel said.

“It’s not that we are being rude or crude, it’s just saying, ‘Guys, don’t park in front of somebody’s house and then when you do park, pick up your trash,’” north end resident Phil Dickerson said.

He isn’t as concerned about where people park as much as he doesn’t like what’s left behind.

“We get tired after a while of picking up the dirty diapers and feminine hygiene products, clothes, trash, beer cans,” Dickerson said.

The city owns the first few feet of land in front of the homes, thus making it available for public parking.

“They still should be courteous to not block somebody’s house,” Dickerson said.

The city’s traffic engineering department gets 30 to 40 calls about illegal signs each year.

A legal, city posted sign will have a sticker on the back, detailing the punishment for defacing or removing it. All others will not.

If a sign is found to be illegal, crews will put a bright orange sticker on it for it to be removed in 10 days. If it’s not gone by then, the city will remove it. That’s parking enforcement the area civic league supports.

“If you’re going to live on the Oceanfront, you can buy homes down here, you’ve got to know up front that you’ve gotta share that space with the rest of the public because the beach belongs to everyone,” Kimberly Goold, with the North End Virginia Beach Civic League said.

Henchel said anyone going to the beach should avoid blocking anyone’s driveway and don’t litter. She also said people living in the north end should avoid taking the law into their own hands. If residents see an illegal sign, report it.

This isn’t the first time 10 On Your Side has covered parking problems at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront — specifically in the north end. Our Any Fox told you about similar problems back in 2008. In that story, he reported the civic league wanted the city to set up a task force to deal with what’s allowed and what isn’t.

There has been no formal agreement between the city and the civic league, but Goold said the league has a committee that addresses parking and makes sure homeowners know the rules.