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Parking Going out on a limb...parking enforcement on private lands

Suburb Repairman

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Going out on a limb...

Alrighty, time to pick the throbbing brain...

This question is kind of in the grey area of planning. My city has several gated communities. Normally, these communities would have to create a private security force if they wanted patrolling in their neighborhood. My CA asked me to look into whether the city can contract with a gated community to patrol for traffic violations, etc. within a gated subdivision and if so, how do we go about doing it.

Any thoughts? I know I'm going out on a limb asking ya'll this, so I won't be too upset if no one responds.

Mods, if you think another forum is more appropriate for this, don't hesitate to move it.
 

Repo Man

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That is an intruguing question. In a gated community the streets are private, so many traffic laws wouldn't apply. The traffic and parking laws that are in a gated community are created by them and should therefore are not really enforcable by a city official, unless your ordinance says different.

I guess I would think that the police could not patrol a gated community because there are no ordinances to enforce. I think a good way to approach it would be to have allow police to work a 2nd seperate job in the GC, but the City should not contract out its services.

I guess I would tell the GC that if they want City police patrols, the gates come down, the streets are dedicated, and anyone is allowed to enter the community.

Again this is my opinion, I could be wrong.
 

Cardinal

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My understanding is admittedly poor, but I believe that only a sworn officer may issue a criminal citation (say, speeding versus a parking violation). You may be able to deputize a private force, but would that be advisable? The force would not be under the direct supervision of the police department, yet the city would still be liable for any infractions they might commit. I would not think the risk is worth it.
 

Chet

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Repo is right. At least in our state, they have no traffic enforcement powers on private streets, not even if "contracted".
 

JNL

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Interesting question...

Repo Man said:

I guess I would tell the GC that if they want City police patrols, the gates come down, the streets are dedicated, and anyone is allowed to enter the community.
Amen to that. If it was my city, I would be upset that such services could be seen to sanctioning that type of development. And there would be an uproar if the levels of protection provided to those inside the GC were higher than what was provided to those outside.

If you shut yourself away, you can sort your own security out!

My 2 cents...
 

ludes98

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Contract on police services? I think this would be a no, no. I think you create staffing problems with contract work, and liability would seem problematic.

I have experience as far as GC's go. My parents are addicts. The violations are not civil, but do result in penalties via CCR.
 

el Guapo

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Private roads - No jurisdiction
Public roads - No gates.

I'd be pissed enough to sue if I couldn't get a cop because he was stuck behind a gate in Lilly White Woods while Officer Duffy was tending to the mayor's wife's flat tire.

My thinking: You built the fence, live with the results or pony up to make the changes needed to unscrew yourself.

However, the PD have jurisdiction if the place is within city limits and their is a real crime.

or what Repo said:
1. Bring the streets and utilities up to current code.
2. Dedicate the easements & replat the ground.
3. Drop the gates, and then the fine folks of the city will be glad to welcome you to the clube.

EG likes the nation that allows people to have the option to build gated communities, and have wickedly restrictive covenanats (Be it Caucasian Acres, Hip Hop Hollow, Pride Ridge or Aging Meadows...whoever wants to live together should have the right).

But those places are not for everyone. If you figure out the rules aren't working then make a fair deal with the government and change the rules. But don't expect the government to bail out bad investments by the homeowners or the developer. My gut says this is a scheme between someone on the Presby Village HOA and the CA working on a way to work a "deal" where everyone but the taxpayer wins. Am I close, SR?
 

BKM

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In my city, our city police force CAN enforce traffic rules on the private streets. There is a little sign at the entrance to our biggest gated community, "Rancho Solano" (cue The Simpsons theme song) stating that fact.
 

Suburb Repairman

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el Guapo said:
My gut says this is a scheme between someone on the Presby Village HOA and the CA working on a way to work a "deal" where everyone but the taxpayer wins. Am I close, SR?
This was actually the mayor's idea. I think he's busy politicing for the election in May. The CA didn't think we could do anything (nor did she want to), but asked me to check into it so that way she has something to back it up next time he asks about it.

My feeling was that if you want cops so bad, dedicate your roads to the city and drop the gates. From what I hear, the people in the neighborhood are thinking about removing the gate anyway.
 

otterpop

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I grew up in a gated community that has for years had uniformed sheriff's deputies as the security force - guarding the entrance and patrolling the subdivision, including issuing tickets. For the sake of their job security, the deputies have outside deputies investigate more serious crimes. The way the subdivision handles it, I believe, is the deputies are paid by St. Tammany Parish (Louisiana) and the subdivision reimburses the parish for the salaries and benefits.

The roads are private and the deputies enforce the speed limits. Not sure how they can do that. I do know the deputies don't write many tickets, because ticketing one of these fat-cats can be a fast track out of a very cushy job. Mostly they hassle teenagers and people who are in the subdivision doing deliveries and such.
 

Rem

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I appreciate this is useless information relative to your question but I like to share:

Road rules in Australia are controlled by the states and this in turn has led to some strange differences in rules between the States. Everyone's favourite to cite is that in Victoria, if you wish to turn right (we drive on the left) at an intersection without turning bays, you do so by pulling up next to the kerb on the left of the road, wait for the intersection to clear and then make the turn. I assume the rule came about to minimise queues blocking through traffic before 'S' lanes were developed. Every other state, you turn right from the right lane.

Back to the point - in an effort to reduce inconsistencies, a standard set of rules was developed about two years ago, known as the "Australian Road Rules" Within the new rules, there is a provision governing something called "Road Related Areas". In the main these provisions say if it looks like a road, it is a road and all rules apply.

SR if your Mayor wants to look smart and you want some brownie points, maybe you can cite the Australian decision to police in this way and suggest it is worth considering for your own jurisdiction. Use this link to access the rules and look for road related areas. As an aside, gated communities are rare in Australia - we have none in our City, and the intention of creating the concept of "Road Related Areas" was mainly to deal with parking issues, as I understand it.
 

Suburb Repairman

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otterpop said:
I grew up in a gated community that has for years had uniformed sheriff's deputies as the security force - guarding the entrance and patrolling the subdivision, including issuing tickets...

...The way the subdivision handles it, I believe, is the deputies are paid by St. Tammany Parish (Louisiana) and the subdivision reimburses the parish for the salaries and benefits...

...The roads are private and the deputies enforce the speed limits. Not sure how they can do that...
I think the reimbursement method Otterpop mentioned is what they are talking about wanting to do. It sounds like a lot of hassle for the city when it would be easier (and more legal) to just dedicate the streets and do it the normal way. I'm really not to sure about the legality of issuing tickets within the gated subdivisions. I've got a call into the Texas Municipal League legal department about this too (city attorney charges by the hour, TML is free).

Our subdivision ordinance already requires privately maintained roads to be built to city specs, so all it would take to have them dedicated to the city is knocking down the gate. I've driven through the neighborhood several times and the roads appear to be in good condition.
 

nerudite

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The only type of ticketing I've seen a municipality do on a private street is for parking violations on streets that also double as fire lanes. A lot of private streets I've seen in communities are narrower than the typical street standard for public street, so Fire would slap fire lane restrictions on either side.
 
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