The Brookfield Plan Commission will soon examine a new law that could force residents to pave personal dirt or gravel parking areas.
The commission has instructed village staff to draft a change to the village’s off-street parking rules that would require that all private residence parking spaces be paved with asphalt, concrete or other dust-free materials.
Commissioners agreed the change could be good for the village, but worried about the costs involved.
“I think it should be adopted, but I think it should be implemented with great caution,” said Plan Commissioner Mark Weber. “I know a number of neighbors who would be financially burdened.”
Weber estimated that an average two-car parking space paving job would cost thousands of dollars.
Commissioner Charles Grund said he also approved of the new law, because it reflects similar rules in neighboring communities. The question, he said, is when residents would have to start complying.
“How would enforcement work?” Grund said. “For example, would residents be required to immediately comply, or would people be grand-fathered into the rule?”
The commission is scheduled to examine the draft ordinance at its next meeting at 7:30 p.m., June 30.
Ruth Ann Blyth, the Village of Brookfield’s planning and zoning administrator, said it’s been village belief that the ordinance already required people to keep off dirt or gravel parking areas. However, further scrutiny revealed that the ordinance only requires pavement for people who own three or more vehicles.
The ordinance, amended in 1990, reads “All off-street parking areas, except the two parking spaces required for each single family detached dwelling, shall be paved and have a dust-free surface.”
“The dust-free ordinance we thought we had doesn’t exist,” she said.
Blyth said the new law would help clean up neighborhoods. She said code enforcement would be easier if people didn’t park their cars on their lawns.
“Garages are being under-utilized for the storage of vehicles,” Blyth said.
The Plan Commission will approve or deny the proposed ordinance, and then forward it to the Board of Trustees. The ordinance would have to be approved at the board level to go into effect.