Sunday, November 22, 2009

Carports Under Question in Maryland Heights as Many Contain Storage Items and Junk; Crestwood Looks to Regulate

The Maryland Heights City Council has banned new carports for houses and insisted that cars, not junk, occupy the older ones. The ordinance, enacted by a 6-1 vote last month, allows residents to replace their carports if they are destroyed by fire or, for instance, are leveled by a tornado.

Officials insist they're not anti-carport and have nothing against the 1,500 homes with carports now in Maryland Heights. They say their goal is to improve the appearance of neighborhoods and upgrade the city's housing.

New carports will still be permitted for apartments and condominiums.

One resident said a single-car garage would be so narrow you couldn't even open the car doors on both sides. He said his neighbor, who has a garage, has to unload groceries and then pull into the garage."

Of the complaint that some carports are used for storage, one resident said "That's true in some cases, but not in the majority of cases. Some of these carports are very attractive; some have lattice work."

It's not that people are clamoring to build carports, in Maryland Heights or anywhere else. Only a couple have been built for houses in Maryland Heights in the last three decades, as new home buyers are demanding garages, the bigger the better.

Maryland Heights officials say that they devoted nine meetings to the subject of carports and that the city did an intensive study to locate every home in the community with a carport.

The staff also took photographs of some of the messiest carports and presented them as evidence to City Council.

The ordinance starts off by saying, "Carports have the potential to negatively impact neighborhood character." St. Louis County has also been looking into the use of carports for storage. It downgrades a neighborhood and can have a negative impact on the value of homes in a neighborhood.

We're not sure if there is an ordinance in Crestwood prohibiting the construction of new carports, but Crestwood's City Council just passed an ordinance regulating carports. The ordinance says only trashcans and cars can be stored there, not furniture, or any other items. It's estimated 95% of people care about the appearance of their house, but there is always the 5% that will trash things up if there is no law prohibiting them from doing so.

A bigger problem than junk on carports is the storage of boats, recreational vehicles, trailers, cars and other vehicles on soil adjacent to ones house. See the photo below that appeared with this article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Thanks, Neighbor.


1 comment:

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