Open Letter

It has been said that the Town parking ordinance makes no sense. It may be hard for some to understand, but not for most. In fact, others say they can’t understand why people park in the yard, especially if you live in a neighborhood.

It is true most of our neighborhoods have gotten older, many were built in the 70s and 80s. Neighborhoods go through cycles just like everything else. Homes are new, people flock to them, great school district, affordable, that describes some of our neighborhoods, years ago. Now there are plenty of new neighborhoods being built outside of Irmo, same great school district, but at higher prices, and affordable to a lot of people. Some of our neighborhoods are not competing well. Cycles go up, down, then back up. Yes, we as a Council can do nothing waiting for these neighborhoods to hit rock bottom and then cycle up as part of the natural process, or we can do something to stop the downward trend and make changes that will stop the things that are assisting, attributing to the downward motion. As they say “doing the same thing expecting different results is insanity.”

Yes, many have made neighborhood blight an issue during election time, but never followed through. Since the 2015 election the new Council has made changes to ordinances in Town to address this deterioration of our neighborhoods. Some changes have been addressing minimum home maintenance, gutters and shutters falling off, low yard maintenance (keeping your grass cut), and the unsightly ordinance was clarified. Items that most homeowners would assume is part of living in a home and wanting your neighborhood to be the best and the look the best.

As these neighborhoods deteriorated, so did their draw to home buyers. Causing home prices to fall in order to create a sale, or if no sale, let them foreclose. Some homes did sell at reduced prices, becoming rentals, and the accompanying issues with these homes, yard upkeep and low home maintenance, parking in the yard, etc. Foreclosures create their own issues with surrounding homes, and values. And the last recession, real estate, mortgage crash all helped with the downward effects on these neighborhoods.

Yes we can do nothing, or we can make changes. We have, or at least some of us have, and we need to continue. Parking in the yard has done a lot to deter new home buyers from even looking at some of our neighborhoods. Ride through some of our older neighborhoods, Coatesworth, Friarsgate, especially New Friarsgate, really get out and ride through. Don’t sit at your computer screen on some Facebook page and complain about some Council members wanting to fix a problem. Go look at some of the homes that others have to live next to. Come by and pick me up, and I’ll ride along and show you what the “other neighbors” are talking about and asking us to do something. Maybe then it will make better sense.

Call me at my shop 749-3939 or stop by at 96 Ashbourne Road. And if you are one of the people that does want Council to address parking in the yard, neighborhood deterioration, please email me at [email protected] I will forward to others. Come to our meeting 7pm – this Tuesday, January 16 and speak up. Let the other Council hear you. We will see if they really listen.

 

Thanks,

Making Irmo Better Even When the Going Gets Tough,

Mayor Hardy King