Montgomery Village News Articles

From the EVP's desk: Driving factors of limited parking


One of the topics that I hear about most from residents is parking. Folks always want to know why there isn’t enough parking; why we can’t add more parking; why parking is so strict/why are pickup trucks not allowed; or why did my car get towed. Like many aspects of living in a planned community, it comes down to governing documents or policies, and in some cases, history and zoning—Montgomery Village is no exception.

First, it’s important to understand that parking personal vehicles in your neighborhood (designated spaces, visitor spaces, driveways, roadways, etc.) is a process governed by the individual associations, not Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF). MVF has no authority when it comes to private or county streets; we only manage our privately owned parking lots. And, those lots are intended for the use of patrons of MVF-owned facilities and amenities.

Second, even though parking rules may be similar across Village communities, there are no blanket rules; consult your association’s governing documents and parking policy for all the specifics. Stipulations like “no pickup trucks” often stem from the timeframe in which the documents were established. And while there may be mechanisms in place for the documents to change, the actuality of having enough homeowners to vote for those changes is often a very difficult feat.

So, why are there “so few parking spaces”? The number of spaces in each community or in each parking lot is determined by Montgomery County through zoning ordinance. When each community was built, zoning and parking requirements (and frankly, the number of cars at each household) were vastly different. Although that has changed over the last 60 years, one cannot simply just add more parking spaces or pave over greenspace to create more parking areas. To do this, a site plan amendment would need to be filed—which would cost the individual associations a lot of money—not to mention permitting, construction and additional reserve costs. With a significant change in impervious surface, additional stormwater management areas would also need to be installed and maintained, thus generating even more additional costs. And, at the end of the day, these costs need to be accounted for in each association’s budget, which means an increase in your local assessment to add those provisions to the services you already pay for.

Many Village associations have gone to—or are in the process of implementing—a parking permit system to curb the number of excess vehicles in their neighborhoods. This may be to help control overflow from other areas or from anyone monopolizing all the visitor spaces in any particular area. In these cases, each homeowner is provided a certain number of permits or spaces, and any additional cars must be parked elsewhere, such as on county streets. Given that commercial vehicles are parked along county streets, finding additional parking is downright difficult.

Then “why can’t we just park at the community center overnight”? Over the years, MVF has investigated this possibility, but there are numerous practical and administrative hurdles with this concept. Recently, the MVF Board of Directors approved a pilot program which allows for 25 residents to rent additional parking at the Apple Ridge Recreation Area on a quarterly basis. This program will be monitored and evaluated after one year.

Finding a place to park all the cars in Montgomery Village would be “spot on,” but, the same issue exists around the county. The simple fact is, we have more cars than parking spaces, and there is really not any room to grow.

2023 Year in Review at MV Parks
Letter to the Editor – Don O’Neill