Duncan Drive is typical of many neighborhoods in Rancho El Dorado. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

This year, residents of one of Maricopa’s oldest homeowners associations have been notified multiple times to get their vehicles off the streets by Aug. 1.

The initial notice from community manager Dawn Haskin said the HOA board “decided to take action by adopting Parking Rules and Regulations … and has contracted with a parking patrol company to monitor and issue citations.”

Residents and guests are required to park their vehicles in their garages, carports or driveways. The rules also apply to RVs, one-ton trucks, mobile homes, trailers, camper shells, boats and hang gliders. The early version of the parking regulations, which have been in the Rancho El Dorado HOA’s Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions for years, had violating vehicles threatened with being towed rather than cited and fined, but with little enforcement.

Up to now, Rancho El Dorado has been a mix of neighborhoods, some where vehicles are rarely seen on the street and others where cars and trucks line the street in both directions.

The crackdown on parking in Rancho El Dorado comes after years of debate about the legality of enforcing HOA rules on public streets. Maricopa Meadows HOA recently tangled with the idea of ticketing street-parked vehicles but changed course because it does not have the legal authority that Rancho El Dorado HOA has.

It’s a matter of timing.

Rancho El Dorado HOA’s declaration of CC&R’s was established in 2000. That date is important. In 2013, state lawmakers created Arizona Revised Statute 33-1818, a very brief law that states an HOA cannot regulate parking on city-owned streets.

“Many communities with similar street-parking restrictions struggle with enforcement issues due to the common misconception that associations cannot regulate parking on public streets,” Haskin said in the community letter.

For several HOAs in Maricopa, that is the case.

However, the final sentence of the law reads: “This section applies only to those planned communities for which the declaration is recorded after December 31, 2014.” Rancho El Dorado was among the HOAs with CC&R’s grandfathered in and allowed to enforce its parking restrictions.

The board’s action to do so drew divided responses from homeowners in person and on local social media pages.

Kevin Moreland: I am so against people parking on this street. We have had neighbors in our area park on the street up to four to five vehicles at night up to four months. I was worried that garbage trucks or emergency vehicles would not be able to get through.

Shannon Gorbahn: I have a car and my husband has a car. The driveways are so small they barely fit. We don’t park in the garage because we utilize that space for many, many garage items, and even if we did, wouldn’t solve the problem. How about our teenage daughter who also has a car? That’s three cars now, and no guests can visit unless someone isn’t home; remember, can’t park on the gravel that can fit our third car.

Barbara Price: Thank goodness. I am so tired of the people on my street parking all their vehicles on the street. I also don’t understand why ppl can’t park their cars in the garage. I always thought that a garage was for vehicles. I have a truck and when I pull out of my garage it’s pretty difficult most times trying not to hit the vehicles that are always parked across the street from me. Kudos to the HOA.

Tiffany Hardiman: Yeah, we’ve lived here for 15 years and my husband’s truck doesn’t fit in our garage and when he parks in our driveway his back end hangs over the sidewalk. We’ve gotten warning letters in the past from the HOA about his back end hanging over the sidewalk. So, we don’t really have a choice but to park in the street

Homeowners and renters are being asked to register their vehicles and request variances for special circumstances.

“Guests may only park in the street for limited time periods but never overnight unless a parking pass has been obtained by the Association,” Haskin told residents.

This story appears in the August issue of InMaricopa.