EL MIRAGE, AZ (3TV/CBS5) Some residents living at Rancho El Mirage are upset their homeowner's association is still fining residents for cars parked on the street in front of their homes, during this time of Governor Ducey's stay-at-home order.
"Our HOA should be working to help the community, not be fining them during these stressful times," said Eric Schmidt, a resident at Rancho El Mirage.
The HOA rules state that vehicles aren't supposed to be parked in the street. Still, Schmidt argues that many people have gotten laid off, have family staying with them, or are simply sheltering in place, leaving little room to park in driveways.
"They have no other choice but to park on the street because we don't have much for residential parking here," Schmidt said. He thinks that the policy needs to be suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This isn't the time for an HOA to be targeting our community and giving them fines." Schmidt says he was fined around $250 after an inspector saw a truck in front of his house earlier this week. He says he'd pay the fine, though the truck wasn't his, and the type of truck cited by the inspector doesn't actually exist.
"We called the HOA and told them it wasn't our vehicle," Schmidt said. "They stated it was a Ford Ram, which was kind of funny to begin with."
In a statement, Rancho El Mirage's HOA said:
The Board sympathizes with resident frustration regarding its enforcement of the parking restrictions. In the event that residents require parking in addition to their driveway and garage parking spaces, the Board encourages residents to contact the Association to evaluate additional parking options.
The HOA went on in its statement to cite emergency access along the neighborhood's narrow streets as one of the reasons for their ban on curbside parking.
And some residents in the community say they agree with the rule, even in these strange times. "I think the fines should continue on going on, and I think they should patrol it," said Joseph Garcia. "If we had an emergency where an ambulance or fire trucks had to get in here, there could be a possibility with two cars parked across from each other that they could not get through."