Residential permit program cuts down on parking near campus

Sady Swanson

Three neighborhoods around Fort Collins require parking permits so non-residents cannot park there. Two additional neighborhoods are being considered for the program.  (Photo credit: Collegian archives)
Three neighborhoods around Fort Collins require parking permits so non-residents cannot park there. Two additional neighborhoods are being considered for the program. (Photo credit: Collegian archives)

The Residential Parking Permit Program, currently established in three neighborhoods, aims to reduce non-resident vehicles parked in residential areas.

“It’s designed to preserve and protect quality of life in neighborhoods,” Fort Collins Parking Services Manager Randy Hensley said.

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The program is active in the Sheely, Mantz and Spring Court neighborhoods. Residents in these neighborhoods must obtain a parking permit for themselves and for guests. Residents can get their first permit for free, the second one for $15, the third for $40, the fourth for $100 and the fifth for $200. Residents may not obtain more than five residential permits per house.

“If you have a guest, you need to let (parking services) know or your guest might get a parking violation,” Hensley said.

Residents can get free guest permits that are good for 24 hours. If a guest is staying longer, that permit is $10.

Christian Guenther, a senior natural resources management student at Colorado State University, has lived in the Sheely neighborhood since Aug. 2013.

Guenther said his house had not been affected too much by the program because it is so far west that it is still a far walk to campus. However, he did say the permit program makes it harder to have friends over.

“It’s kind of hard to organize having big groups of friends come over, just because you have to be wary of the parking service people coming through and writing tickets if you park there for too long,” Guenther said.

Guenther said he has not run into much trouble with the program since it was put into place in March 2014.

“Before I got my permit for my car, I got a ticket once,” Guenther said. “I went into the office and they were able to revoke it because I could prove that I live there. … The city is pretty understanding and flexible.”

Hensley said that the program does have disadvantages, like having to renew a residential permit once a year, but overall it is better for the residents to be able to park in front of their own houses.

Hensley said the city is working on implementing the program in two more neighborhoods, Old Prospect and University North. They are still in the public outreach process, where they reach out to the residents through public meetings and mailings or phone calls.

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“We will continue to process neighborhoods where we’ve received complaints,” Hensley said. “We want to make sure we are very upfront (with residents).”

Residential Parking Permit Programs may be created in neighborhoods where over 50 percent of responding residents approve of the program, according to the city website.

Problem areas include neighborhoods near the CSU campus because students, staff and faculty drive to work or school and do not want to buy a parking pass, Hensley said. Near downtown is another problem area because of the two-hour parking limit and the parking garages requiring permits.

Even though CSU is not directly involved in the program, Hensley said they have been supportive of the program and recognize how the University affects the residents.

“We believe the neighborhood parking program provides a useful tool for neighborhoods as the University and the city continue to grow,” CSU Senior Communications Coordinator Dell Rae Ciaravola said.

Collegian City Beat Reporter Sady Swanson can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter at @sadyswan.