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Discussion Starter #1
I am in the process of teaching Summer basic home/yard guard duties. I have a problem that can be made better in my efforts for her with this if I get the assistance of neighboring businesses.

I am the first house off a small business street that runs thru our residential area. An otherwise sleepy area has changed in the 16 years since I bought my house. The traffic from the restaurant across the alley, along with a very popular restaurant that just opened 150 feet away has turned my front street area into a parking lot....

I'm trying to train Summer to alert to some strangers in our neighborhood. I called the cops 3 days ago because someone (crack head couple) in the middle of the day was trying to break into the cars parked in front of my house.

The oddity is, the city realized the parking issue here 4 years ago and purchased a parking lot for public use that will hold 80 cars. The italian food restaurant, I just noticed has put up a sign in their parking lot today (40 feet away from the public parking lot) their customers only, others will be towed.

That's all fine and good but I know for a fact that rather than park in the business lot 40 feet away, the owner parks in front of my house every day and he instructs his employees to park in front of my house to provide more space for his customers. The new restaurant lol - 75 feet away and more problems. there's a parking fight jocking for position daily to park in front of my house, same thing. Sometimes the 18 wheeler refrigerated trucks park in front of my house (at 8am) to unload goods to the restaurants. My window rattles from their idling engines and refer units.

All this while the public lot (across the busy street) provided for the business district sits empty..... I've politely talked to the employees, truck drivers and owners over time. They ignore me. I've contacted the city and one of the councilmen said when it becomes too much of a problem - they'll make this buffer area between business and residential a no parking zone.

I'm trying to train Summer to be suspicious and bark when strangers loiter around my property. All was going well with this until summer started and again, the traffic increased 10 fold. I want to put signs up tomorrow - requesting that business district customers, staff and owners use business district parking.... Am I about to head into a battle I cannot win? There are only 3 houses on my block and the other 2 have their house fronts on the other side street. I hate to go to the city because that will draw a line in the sand and I am friendly with the owner. But, my quality of life and efforts to keep my place crime free are being hampered....
 

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Do you have a car?

After they go home park your car there, instead of in your drive or in your garage. Go and buy a 300 dollar beater. Park it there. Your brother's away in the service, great, park his car there.

Really the street does not belong to you. So, if the space is empty, they can take it. But they have to go home sometime. When they do, slip your old nasty car in there and problem solved. You have to buy it plates, and probably have to add it to your insurance, but a second vehicle with only one driver doesn't cost all that much.

Ok, so let's say you have a garage and a drive and you choose to park your car in the street in front of your house. You would be doing the exact same thing that this business is doing. They are trying to save the parking spots for their guests. So they park on the street. You would rather have fewer people near your house, you you park in the street. There is no law that you must park in your drive or garage.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Do you have a car?

After they go home park your car there, instead of in your drive or in your garage. Go and buy a 300 dollar beater. Park it there. Your brother's away in the service, great, park his car there.

Really the street does not belong to you. So, if the space is empty, they can take it. But they have to go home sometime. When they do, slip your old nasty car in there and problem solved. You have to buy it plates, and probably have to add it to your insurance, but a second vehicle with only one driver doesn't cost all that much.

Ok, so let's say you have a garage and a drive and you choose to park your car in the street in front of your house. You would be doing the exact same thing that this business is doing. They are trying to save the parking spots for their guests. So they park on the street. You would rather have fewer people near your house, you you park in the street. There is no law that you must park in your drive or garage.
Lol, no I don't have a car. I have never driven a car. What the councilman told me is this would fall into "spillover" from a business area into a residential area. It's about more than one parking space, it's about the noise, crime and disruption that comes when you have business spill over into a residential area....Trust me, the transients and crime increase when you are bordering a street like this gets crazy sometimes. Further, the city is a little miffed that they spent $350k to provide this parking lot and business owners and their employees won't use it let alone they encourage their customers to use it.

They spent 4.5 million last year on a 2 story parking lot down by our small old town business district on the lake and same thing- they won't use it and it's free too. The reason is the same - too lazy to walk 50 feet.... So, I have that on my side, along with the 10 fold increase in crime rates in my immediate area in the summer.

I am the single owner that 15 years ago, when this was still a sleepy block (day) drove away the gangs and needle users from my alley (me and my GSD- 2 bites on him- LE said good job). I worked with LE to clean this place up and when I called, they were here in 5 minutes or less - they once arrested 14 people for drugs next door because I lined them up with the right time.

It is my understanding that I have the right to peaceful use and enjoyment of my property as an owner. That, our city council has sworn (lol) to uphold as our city continues to grow by leaps and bounds as a tourist destination. So, even though I stand alone on this block, in this situation- it's happening all over the city where commercial and residential adjoin....
 

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Ok then. Can't help you. I am four miles from the nearest gas station, restaurant, post office, store. No one tries to park on the street in front of my house, because there is no where to go.

Even when the Amish couple across the street have the meeting at their home this week, they have plenty of room for horses and buggies. Other than a black church about a mile away down a little road across the rail road tracks there are no public buildings anywhere close to me.

I live in the sticks.

I like it.

You kind of have to drive though.
 

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I'm not really sure what you could do at this point. It sounds like the businesses are going to overrun your area. Especially the crime aspect of the situation. There's definitely nothing you can do about the decisions others make. You might be able to do something about everyone parking in front of your house though.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for your reply. I know that progress will roll. But, I'm hoping for the best for the next couple of years here. I do think I have a good chance getting my area posted with no parking. I think its time to get tough and stand up for my rights. Summer will be 2 tomorrow and she's done such a good job at learning to patrol and protect me. We had a setback on that today and it's because she's confused with all the goings on.... that's messing with my quality of life....
 

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I have relatives in Baltimore City. They live on a residential street that abuts businesses. The Homewood Campus of JHU is also nearby. The city has designated my mother's and surrounding streets as 'permit only' 2 hour parking. Not sure if that is something your city does. Only homeowners on those streets can purchase a permit. It would not keep restaurant guests from parking in front of your house, but it would keep employees from parking there. The rule for 2 hour parking is that you cannot move your car to a different space in the same area. You would still get a ticket.
 

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Oh man, that sucks :( sounds like a terrible situation, it must be if you feel the need to use Summer as a guard dog. What if one of these meth-heads jumps the fence and tries to hurt you two? Or tosses some poison over for Summer?

I'm not sure if you have mentioned this anywhere (and pls forgive me if you have or find it offensive - I don't mean it to be), but have you considered moving? I know you've been there a long time and have put a lot of effort into the health of your neighborhood, but like you said, it's negatively impacting your quality of life with no foreseeable (and agreeable for you) outcome. Life is so short, and they're making yours unpleasant :(

And that's not to mention the dodgy people hanging around your house and potentially harming you :mad: it's just not fair to you or your wellbeing
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have relatives in Baltimore City. They live on a residential street that abuts businesses. The Homewood Campus of JHU is also nearby. The city has designated my mother's and surrounding streets as 'permit only' 2 hour parking. Not sure if that is something your city does. Only homeowners on those streets can purchase a permit. It would not keep restaurant guests from parking in front of your house, but it would keep employees from parking there. The rule for 2 hour parking is that you cannot move your car to a different space in the same area. You would still get a ticket.
This sounds like what I should ask for. It's mostly the employees. The patrons are primarily Fri & Sat night and I can live with that. The employees take their breaks in their car so there's pretty much always someone sitting in their car in front of my house. It's weird when I'm out doing yardwork or something. Opening my curtain - it's like having an audience, they're 20 feet away.

I never realised that some people get to work every day 20 minutes or so before their shift and just sit in their car. One guy, I asked to park across the street (there's an unoccupied house there) so he could blast his music as loud as he wanted without bugging anybody. He said sure no problem. That lasted 2 days and he's right back in front of my house again. Ironically, it's his car that was the first I caught the people trying to break into and called the cops and gave them descriptions.

This is the stuff, how's Summer going to know to bark and alert for strangers with all this stuff going on? She didn't even acknowledge the thieves trying to break into the cars because strangers are the norm...I don't think that's a good enough reason for the city to impose parking restrictions though...
 

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But - it is enough that employees are causing disruption to your daily routine and quality of life. Loud music, running motors, taking up parking spaces on your street, etc. It doesn't matter that you don't have a car. Even non-car residents are allowed to purchase visitor passes, for their guests/ family members who park there. I would definitely push for that, if I were you.

Permit parking may, at least, make parking in front of your house less desirable to both employees and customers. Good luck!
 

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One city I used to live in had a chronic problem in residential districts near the state office area. What they did was create a "zone" where residential permits were required for parking longer than 2 hours.

It does sound from your descriptions that this area has had a chronic problem. The "parking" issue seems less a problem than the earlier drug activity. I would think that having the employees and owner of the restaurant(s) park in front of your house would be preferable to having the delivery trucks there. Could you rethink this and encourage those people to park in front of your house?
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
The delivery trucks won't be back in the immediate future. The man that owns the dry cleaners on the corner had a heart attack and that business has been closed down for several months. His employees used to take all the space the trucks use for delivery. Now that they're gone the delivery trucks park where they should. The 6 or 7 delivery trucks come in the morning - the restaurant employees come around 11 am and with two shifts - the last one's leave around 10pm. That's about 16 cars total. I would prefer the 2 hour limit and maybe down the road - permit only. The old dry cleaners is an attractive location and I don't expect it to remain vacant for long, so the truck problem will probably start again.

I just find all of it pretty crazy because 30 feet away there's a public lot with plenty of parking. I mean, these kids aren't wheel chair bound.... Otherwise, if that public lot wasn't right there, I'd just say well too bad for me - that's just the way it is.
 

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Stone, if you have tried just about everything I would sell the house, get a car/ driving license so you can live out of town. Choose sanity if possible.
 

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Of course you could just let the space in front of your house belong to the city, like it does. Your dog doesn't bother with people in that space, good. It's not your space and she doesn't have to police it. You don't have to poke your nose through the curtains and watch them. Just ignore them.

If the noise is unbearable call the police, and complain. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. But if it is a couple of minutes here and a couple of minutes there, well, I wouldn't let it zap my life energy worrying about it.

Are you taking your dog somewhere to teach her how to protect? I think that would be a more productive than trying to control the environment around your property.
 

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A funny but not so funny anctedote about parking and cars and signage in the good old USA...

I live in the busy triangle of Baltimore, Washington, and Annapolis. My street used to be a T where 2 main roads meet. Now, it is a dead end because they rerouted all the traffic elsewhere and currently my property line abuts a wooded area and a bike trail. It's a little sleepy niche' very, very near to so much hustle and bustle. Not only does it attract beavers, herons, raccoons, etc..., it also attracts the odd person who finds it a great place to urinate or the car full of teenagers smoking pot. Strange, right? Mostly everyone is lost that comes down my street. There was a couple that used our dead end street to get busy, bouncing car and all. My husband called the police one night because of it. An officer came. The couple was so involved in their situation that they were undressed and still in action. There was no ticket. No nothing. He told them to leave and that was it. Because there is not a " no parking" sign, the law limits what one can be charged with. The couple was not breaking any law because they were in the car. If they were out of the car, it would be indecent exposure but not so if they are contained in the car. Because there was no sign and there was the assumption of seclusion, no crime was committed. Because the officer warned that couple, they could be charged if they returned but only because they had been previously warned. Any new couple would be free to have their private time without consequence until they are warned. If I lived on a cul de sac or a more suburban street, the expectation of privacy would not have been there so it would have been some sort of offense. The county police patrolled our street at night for a little while after that incident to be sure the couple didn't return. For whatever reason, I can't get a no parking sign posted. The rationale is that it is not a place people should park so there can't be a sign. Laws are strange.
 

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I would hate that too but I don't see what you can change, except maybe talking to the business owner. He's not likely to care about noise in front of your house, though. The permit parking can work, but if the owner can get a bunch of permits for his employees, then they are even more likely to park there. The only way to change that is to make them resident-only, non business permits.
 

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I would hate that too but I don't see what you can change, except maybe talking to the business owner. He's not likely to care about noise in front of your house, though. The permit parking can work, but if the owner can get a bunch of permits for his employees, then they are even more likely to park there. The only way to change that is to make them resident-only, non business permits.
The type of parking permit I mentioned is ONLY for residents - not businesses. Not only could a business owner not get permits for all his employees, he is not entitled to one for himself. He is not a resident. Businesses do not count. Even homeowners are limited in the number of passes they can purchase - generally 2. Parking is limited to 2 hours for non-permit holders. The 2 hour parking limit is not in effect on weekends, or after 6:00PM.
 

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What's ridiculous is that people would prefer to parallel park. Of course if the owner of the business is telling employees to park in the street, and save the lot for guests that can change things. Also, with employees, they might have parked four hours prior when the lot was full. They cannot just step out every fifteen minutes or so and see if a parking spot opened up.

I think that if you want more space, you should move out in the country where you can have 40' or 100' or more to your front door. You don't own the street and trying to control it is, well, I think a first world problem. If we didn't have shoes, and we were starving, we wouldn't be worried about the action the parking space in front of our house gets. Sometimes when we focus on how blessed we truly are, we are less annoyed by everything. When we focus on what everyone else is doing, well it's a downward spiral.
 
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