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Students vs residents

New parking regulations cause headaches for Kyle homeowners

Recently enacted parking regulations for an eastside Kyle subdivision is leading to headaches for some homeowners.

Those new rules are forcing some to have to compete with each other and high school students for parking space, while also making sure they’re inside the law.

The most recent chapter in the saga came Aug. 28 when Kyle resident Raymond Mapp addressed a parking ticket he recently received in the Southlake Ranch subdivision, located near Lehman High. Mapp said during the Kyle council citizens’ comment period that he received a ticket on one of several vehicles he owns because he failed to move it by 8 a.m.

The ticket was the result of a rule change made over the summer, when residents worked with Kyle city leaders to develop parking regulations in Southlake Ranch and Plum Creek. The move was to address the issue of limited parking space caused by high school students parking their vehicles in the neighborhood and on narrow streets.

Warning signs indicate no parking between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday on a handful of streets in Southlake Ranch and Plum Creek.

However, many residents own multiple vehicles, which can make parking legally difficult to do under the new regulations.

Mapp proposed neighborhood residents be granted permits to park on the street.

“I need some kind of permit or something that allows me to park. I’m literally just parked outside my driveway and I don’t see anything wrong with that,” Mapp said. “I understand that there are kids that go to school parked all over the place, but the people that live there have got to have the right to park their vehicles.”

Jeff Barnett, Kyle Police Chief, said his officers warned residents of Mapp’s neighborhood the week prior to giving citations.

“The signs posted originally said no parking (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) over the summer,” Barnett said. “They were changed to 8 to 5 Aug. 17 in compliance with the city council ordinance. I recall my officers taking questions from those residents over the phone.”

Discussion regarding student vehicles congesting area subdivisions has been ongoing for several years. Students unwilling to pay parking fees at high school campuses is believed to be one reason.

Students can park at Lehman’s campus if they purchase a parking pass, which costs $50 for general parking and $75 for closer, senior spots.

Parking on Hays’ campus costs $50 for general parking and $100 for closer, senior spots. Students are only eligible for the pass with a valid driver’s license and proof of car insurance.

Both campuses still have passes and spots available, according to Tim Savoy, Hays CISD chief communications officer. As of Aug. 29, the district has 1,542 sophomores, 1,394 juniors and 1,300 seniors. Students typically obtain a driver’s license in their sophomore or junior year.

The district rearranged parking on the campuses to offer more spots. School officials also monitor security cameras in the parking lots and illegally parked cars are booted.

There is no current solution allowing neighborhood residents to park on their streets legally between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the week.

Kyle Mayor Travis Mitchell said city leaders will consider looking into possible exceptions to the new regulations.

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