WHY BOUNDARIES & RULES ARE NECESSARY

For several reasons, boundaries—specifically, the replacement of posts—are necessary for the parking area adjacent to the Park we hope to name “Barbara Mikulski Urban Experiment at Work Park:”

 

1)         When the City of Baltimore built the Park in 1976, the City also installed large wooden posts complete with chains—creating eight slots for the eight houses.  The Park and parking area together are a single lot known as 7 South Durham Street.

 

2)         The number one responsibility of the neighborhood is care of the GREENSPACE/ POCKET PARK, in exchange for the easement permitting use of the adjacent parking slots by tenants of the Unit block of South Durham Street.  The Parking Slot ends at the curb line of the extended sections of the Park since the alley way is a public Street.  If proper judgment isn’t used lines may have to be drawn and rules enforced through specific penalties not ruling out towing by a private contractor.

 

3)                In the mid-nineties, certain neighbors decided to remove the posts. Though it has been explained that this was necessary because the posts were rotting, it is highly unlikely that all of the posts were rotten, as water seepage happens only from two spots at the Northern end of the block where the posts markings still remain.  Instead of replacing the rotting posts, all were removed.  Of course, there had never been a budget for the care of the posts nor the park since no formal organization had ever been set up; for this reason, collecting money for the purpose of maintenance had been a problem. 

 

4)         The homeowners have now established Unit South Durham Homestead Houses Inc.,      a 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation, for the purpose of maintaining the GREEN-SPACE/PARK. 

 

5)                  The only way to ensure funding for the maintenance of 7 South Durham Street is that the organization has the power to enforce the collection of funds from the member homeowners.  Because of busy lifestyles, volunteers cannot always be counted on for the care and maintenance of the alley POCKET PARK, which is a great asset to the block and the surrounding area.  People walk their dogs and children play and ride tricycles in a peaceful, GREEN public setting sheltered from traffic.  (By contrast, the beautiful but hilly Betty Hyatt Park is situated on busy Baltimore Street.)

 

6)                  Since the parking easement is inextricably connected to care of the park and was established for Homestead Houses tenants only, the parking slots are not subdivided lots and should never be used as chattel.  The owner of a Unit block home is limited to using a parking slot subject to this easement for vehicles that are legally registered to the related home address—apart from occasional guests.  This means no “sub-letting” of parking slots, and no long-term use for vehicles registered to outside addresses.

 

7)                  In the case of rental properties, of which there are now three on the block, the landlord is responsible for keeping up his or her share of the organization’s expenses even if the house is vacant for a time.  It would defeat the design of the model alley, if investors (or any homeowners) were allowed to rent or allow another tenant to use, for an extended period of time, a space that doesn’t legally belong to them in the first place.  (Of course, tenants must be given the benefit of complying with the legal time limit for registering their vehicle to their leased property.) 

 

None of this would be necessary if there hadn’t been significant parking abuse in the past.   THE PARKING EASMENT EXISTS ONLY BECAUSE OF THE ORIGINAL AGREEMENT WITH THE CITY THAT THE HOMESTEAD TENANTS TAKE CARE OF “Ward 2, Section 3, Block 1735, Lot 068,” otherwise known as 7 South Durham Street.

 

 

            ***