Neighbors fed up with parking fines on Notre Dame game days - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Neighbors fed up with parking fines on Notre Dame game days

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Back in 2007 the South Bend Common Council approved an ordinance for one-day residential event parking.

The ordinances started because of homes near Notre Dame who were allowing people to park on their grass on game days. Under this ordinance, residents have to pay for parking permits, but just six years later, people say they're fed up with the fees.

"They were $100 fines, so that hits you in the pocket," said Carlo Calabrese Sr., father of Notre Dame linebacker Carlo Calabrese Jr..

When the Calabrese's bought a house in South Bend to be close to Notre Dame to watch their son Carlo play for the Irish they didn't know about the lawn parking ordinances. Two tickets later, they got the message that they needed to get a permit if they wanted their friends and family members to park on their lawn.

The Calabrese's have bought permits ever since. The family says they are more than happy to follow the law, but that does not mean they think it is fair.

"Back in New Jersey where we're from there's no such law. People park wherever they can find a space as long as they're not in front of a fire hydrant or someone's driveway then it's fair game," said Calabrese. "Find your spot and go to the game."

They are not the only family who would like to see some change. Dan Young started a petition in his neighborhood to let the South Bend Common Council know they should not have to pay.  According to him 87% percent of his neighbors signed it.

Young is tired of giving his friends a lesson on how to park at his house.

"I have to have a 20 minute dissertation about making sure you park this way, make sure you park that way, do not let the rubber touch the grass," said Young.

Council president Derek Dieter says this law is not in place as a money maker for the city. He says its all about public safety.

"If a police or fire truck or ambulance can't get through because it doesn't just end up with just my buddies parking it becomes a big mess," said Dieter.

The common council was supposed to vote on a possible law change Monday, but pushed the decision back until September 9th.

That means the Calabrese's and Young's will have to pay for their friends and relatives to park at their houses for at least the first Notre Dame game.

"We'll see what happens with that. If it passes great. It'd be nice to not a get a ticket," said Calabrese.

Young said that the signs up in his neighborhood, which say you will be fined for parking on the street during ND home games, have alleviated any safety risks for emergency responders. Young does not believe getting rid of the ordinance will create any hazards.

Some families want to see the law change because many of them are not charging people to park at their houses. They would understand if the city continues to charge those people who are making $20 or $30 a car to park in their yard.

Some council members say this should have been brought to their attention back in February or January, so they could make a decision long before football season started. Now that it has been delayed many of the families have to apply for permits for each week there's a game.

Most of the people in the neighborhoods would normally get a annual pass instead of buying permits on a game to game basis. The Calabrese's say their yearly permit costs them roughly $200 to park 8 cars in their yard for all six home games.

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