County supervisors have updated the rules governing residential permit parking districts, with an eye toward better control of overflow parking around high schools and Metro stops.
Since 2009, the county has established seven residential permit parking districts in neighborhoods across the county. In those areas, drivers must have a county-issued permit to park, or risk a fine. The districts are targeted at neighborhoods where parking was taken up by people from outside the neighborhood, such as by high school students trying to avoid paying the fee to park at school.
Today, those cover 401 households in Abby Circle, Farmwel Hunt, Ashbrier, Sterling Park, Rockhill Estates, Sterling Park, and Stone Ridge. Four of those districts are next door to a high school.
New rules adopted Nov. 14 standardize the process for creating new districts, and expand the areas that qualify. To request a new county-administered parking district, residents must collect signatures from 75 percent of the residential addresses in the area or at least 60 percent of the addresses on each block. Now, they must also collect those signatures within a year, whereas before there was no time limit. Qualifying areas are expanded from 0.4 miles to 0.5 miles from a current or planned high school or Metro stop, and now also include areas around college campuses.
Fees for those passes have also been changed, now to $10 per permit per year. The fine for improperly displaying a permit is doubled from $25 to $50. That, along with other fee changes, such as for books of guest passes, is expected to reduce the program’s budget deficit, costing the county Department of Transportation and Capital Infrastructure $13,000 a year instead of $18,000.
And those passes—currently window stickers—will be improved to be specific to each district and harder to duplicate or pass among vehicles.
The county has also established a process for closing a parking district if needed, and a way to set up a temporary district during a construction project or special situations. Those are at least six months long and have similar requirements for signatures.
Other regulations still apply, such as that there must be at least 100 parking spaces in the district, with at least half taken up by nonresidents. The Board of Supervisors must approve all parking districts, and the county can waive those requirements on a case-by-case basis.
Supervisors approved those changes 6-0-3, with supervisors Geary M. Higgins (R-Catoctin), Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles) and Koran T. Saines (D-Sterling) absent.