A.M. from Lee County, Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
In our condo neighborhood, each unit has one assigned carport parking space per unit. However, there are plenty of parking spaces. I just don’t think it’s fair for residents to have to take whatever is available if they have no carport. I don’t understand why each unit does not have at least two assigned spaces per unit. Most people have at least 2 cars per unit. People that actually live here permanently. I don’t get it.
It is really annoying when random guests sometimes park in closer spots to the units that the actual residents permanently live in. I feel guests should park further away from the unit as they normally stay a couple of hours. I dislike not having a regular parking spot I can feel assured I will have each day I come home. Also, the neighbor upstairs wants the parking I prefer. I like mine because it’s closer to the window, where I can see it. The upstairs neighbor has a better panoramic view of the parking than I do. Having assigned parking is a good peace of mind and may create harmony. It’s an almost annoying mental parking war preference.
Only because I see plenty of available parking for each unit plus guests, do I think it is reasonable to have at least two parking spaces. Carports do not matter. Just a number of the unit would be nice! It will also help keep track of cars that does not belong here for the HOA or reporting purposes. I have seen two cars that did not belong here parked for months taking closer spaces for storage. This is illegal. We have stickers that show who are the residents. It is a gated community with a virtual security. Is there anything that could prohibit a HOA from assigning two parking spots in a neighborhood with plenty of parking spots? Most units have very little parking spaces, but this unit is not like most I have seen. Would doing this add to the deed? What are good reasons to suggest the HOA consider this? I think we have the space for this to happen.
Mister Condo replies:
A.M., you certainly feel passionately about the parking lot arrangements at your condo and, if you read this column regularly, you know that you are not alone. Any high-density housing (HDH) association like a condo or apartment building typically faces parking shortages. Depending on whether or not the spaces are deeded, the Board is usually the only folks that can do anything about it. That is, if there is anything that can be done at all. The problem is simple: too many vehicles for the available parking spaces. Some folks get parking close to them; some folks have to walk further; some get carports; some do not; some residents have special needs and may require handicapped spaces; and so on and so on. When the developer had control of the property, initial decisions were made about how to divvy up the parking. In many associations that original parking lot plan is the one that is used forever. However, that doesn’t mean the Board can’t change the parking arrangements for parking lots that are commonly owned by the association. The problem is for the Board to determine what is fair, what is popular, what is required, and how to manage the common element in the best interest of the association. Changing parking lot assignments can be very unpopular with residents who like it the way it is. They are likely to retaliate by voting Board members out of office for messing with their parking spaces. There is no simple solution. However, you are free to propose what you like to the Board for their consideration. You might even consider running for the Board to help bring about the change you seek. Either way, it is not going to be an easy battle. All the best!