Update on Duluth lawn parking: Enforcement will be stayed
UMD’s Student Association recently met with the city, the Duluth Police Department, the Landlord Association and other students to discuss the issue of increased enforcement of lawn parking.
“The meeting we had with the City and Property owners was wonderful and productive,” said Mike Kenyanya, Student Representative to the Board of Regents for UMD’s Student Association. “I think we learned a lot from the city, and they learned a lot from the students.”
Letters were sent out to homeowners in Duluth earlier this fall informing them that cars parked in front lawns or on illegal parking pads would result in fines for both the car owner and property owner.
The letter specifically targeted areas that were heavily populated with student tenants. However, the tenants themselves were not contacted.
A petition was created to protest this enforcement by UMD students Mike Purtell and Mike Kenyanya. The petition requested that the enforcement be stayed until June 1, 2017, so that students would be aware of their parking situation when they were signing new leases.
The petition received over 1,000 signatures from current students, alumni, parents and others in the community.
After meeting with the Student Association, the city has agreed to the petition’s request and will be staying enforcement until June 1.
“We’re so happy about this decision,” Kenyanya said. “We want to thank everyone who signed the petition or supported us in any other way. It’s a very tangible example of how much power we have as students.”
Despite the stay of the enforcement, the parking situation still remains and students will need to know the legal amount of parking spaces available to them when signing their leases next year.
“Thanks to the City of Duluth for hearing us out,” Kenyanya said. “We invite all students to continue to bring issues to us as they arise.”
According to Kenyanya, UMD Student Association is partnering with Kirby Student Center to help with their new off-campus housing website. This resource will connect students with landlords, help students find subleases and will now list how many parking spots are available at each location.