Peaceful and quiet enjoyment is the right to the unimpaired enjoyment and use of any property that has been leased, sold, or conveyed. Our right to peaceful and quiet enjoyment has been grievously challenged by the Irmo Town Council.
We do not want our neighbors to have parked cars on blocks, in disrepair, or parked haphazardly throughout their yards. This deteriorates the visual appeal of our neighborhoods. What we DO believe is that each household has a right to use their property as they deem necessary for the coming and going of their families. This may include parking adjacent to driveways and/or just off the curb on the edge of a yard. We should not be legally required to install anything on our properties for parking. Installation should be a voluntary choice.
Current Inefficiency in Enforcement:
Irmo Police Department is doing their best to enforce this ordinance as ordered by the Town Council. We do not fault IPD for the ordinance. We fault Town Council for voting in a vague and difficult to enforce law. For example, multiple residents have reported visitors to their homes being approached and harassed by officers. One resident’s disabled guest was approached by an officer and delayed in her visit while being educated on the ordinance even though it did not apply to her: for 1), she was disabled, and 2) she was a visitor. Another resident was abated and told her parking pad was inadequate. Other residents received abatement notices while in the middle of switching vehicles around in the driveway because a tire was barely off the curb and on the grass. Another received a notice for the hood of their car being over the grass even though the tires of the vehicle were clearly on the driveway. Multiple home owners have been told they must call and report visitors every time they have guests so they would not receive notices. Although this was later dismissed, it shows the inefficiency of enforcing the ordinance.
Targeted areas – Non-HOA neighborhoods:
We believe the non-HOA neighborhoods in Irmo are the target of this ordinance, primarily the Friarsgate neighborhoods. Neighborhoods with Home Owner’s Associations (HOA’s) have parking regulations that their residents voluntarily comply with. They often seek out these neighborhoods due to their regulations. The non-HOA neighborhoods are often sought out to allow more freedom in what a resident can do with their property. At the time of a recent article in The State Newspaper, 101 parking abatement notices had been issued –all the them in or near the Friarsgate neighborhood.
Discrimination Against Certain Demographics in Irmo:
In order to comply with the new ordinance, residents must purchase and put down “approved” material to create a parking pad on their property. If they do not comply, they are fined $1087.50. If they do not pay the fine, and/or do not put down a parking pad, they may face jail time and have a criminal offense on their record. Friarsgate is a non-HOA neighborhood made up of affordable homes occupied by many hard working middle class households, fixed income retirees, veterans, single parents, underpaid and overworked Irmo police officers, and those doing their best to try and get ahead –these are the heroes of Irmo. How is this not targeting a specific group of people?
The Conversations Up To This Point:
We have talked with Irmo Council members at meetings as well as individually. Our concerns were ignored, and now we are seeing them played out. Many have met with Council members one-on-one and have been ignored. There were promises of working towards compromise once the ordinance passed, but that is had to be passed first. Residents have offered suggestions towards compromise and were dismissed. The Council members who supported this ordinance have yet to offer their promised compromise.
Where We Are Now:
We believe there is no other recourse except to file a formal petition to force a Council vote to repeal this Yard Parking Ordinance. This ordinance has violated our right to peaceful enjoyment of our property.
Following the SC Election Commission’s guidelines, we are requesting signatures of registered voters in Irmo Town Limits who agree that this ordinance is an overreach of government into citizen’s private lives. You will need to provide your voter registration/certificate number and voter precinct, both of which you can look up at https://info.scvotes.sc.gov. There will be petitions available to sign at the Friarsgate Tennis Courts on Friarsgate Boulevard on the following dates and times:
September 6, 4-7 pm
September 7, 4-7 pm
September 8, 9-11 am
September 10, 4-7 pm
September 11, 4-7 pm
September 12, 8-10 am, 4-7 pm
September 13, 4-7 pm
September 14, 4-7 pm
September 15, 9-11 am, 4-7 pm
Gloria Jordan and Brandi Clarkson
Concerned Irmo Residents