HOA postpones decision on garage inspections

CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- Residents in a South Bay neighborhood spoke out against parking regulations at a heated HOA meeting Tuesday night.

According to Eastlake Trails resident, Becky Niemiec, the Eastlake III Community Association recently notified residents that they could only park on the street if their garages and driveways were full. Residents said the rule is not new, but had never been enforced.

Residents were concerned about a proposed addition to the guidelines: that the HOA could now inspect garages to make sure that the rules were being followed.

“People are extremely upset," Niemiec said. “I guess it's been in our CCR's (covenants, conditions and restrictions), but they've never enforced it. I don't know if they're going to enforce it, but they’ve added that they can come inspect your garages, and that’s what really has people upset -- that they can come in and just randomly inspect to see if you have cars in there,” said Niemiec. “They should not be allowed to go in your garage and invade your privacy.”

Other HOAs have similar rules, but many residents felt that garage inspections were a violation of privacy. Several spoke out at a packed residents-only Board of Directors meeting Tuesday night.

"The energy was pretty high. People were standing outside. They couldn’t even see in the room," Niemiec said.

"Pretty much everyone said: you are not coming into my house," resident Mike Jensen told FOX 5.

Several other homeowners told FOX 5 the HOA garage inspection is going too far, and that parking in the garage isn't an option.

“They’re not coming in this garage,” vowed resident, Marjie Venegas. Venegas said her daughter and son-in-law have no choice but to park their pickup truck in the street. “That truck could not fit in that garage at all,” said Venegas.

Other residents approved of the parking enforcement, saying that their neighborhood has become increasingly congested.

"There’s some safety issues there I think with a lot of cars parking on the street," said resident Josh Bourne. "I think this is an important rule.”

After several people voiced their concerns, the board decided to strike the parking regulations from the guidelines completely until they received more community input, according to Niemiec.

Niemiec said the board will accept community input for 28 days. They plan to meet again to discuss the proposed rules at their October meeting.

"It's a win," Niemiec said. "I'm just impressed that they listened."

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