Stillwater ponders freedom to park on your front lawn

Stillwater is reconsidering the question of whether we have the freedom to park our car on the front lawn if that’s what we want to do.

The Stillwater Gazette reports the City Council intends to take up a proposed ordinance to ban the practice at a future meeting after tabling it last week.

“We may run into things we don’t appreciate from neighbors, but liberty, independence and freedoms all do require a certain amount of care to achieve,” Stillwater resident Rob Sancartier, who’s been circulating a petition against the ordinance, told the Council. “I can’t beg you enough — vote against the permit and all restrictions.”

Under the proposal, no more than 50 percent of a front yard could be used for parking, and new driveways or parking facilities would need to be constructed with asphalt, concrete or pavers. A city permit would be required to expand or construct driveways. None is required now.

What’s the problem? Some neighbors think it’s ugly when neighbors park on the grass.

A 35-foot mobile home sitting on the front lawn of a neighbor hurts his property values, said resident Eric Solberg, who supports the proposal.

Council Member Tom Weidner says it’s the number-one complaint he hears.