The Prince George's County Council passed a bill this week that would allow the county executive to restrict parking in residential areas to persons who live in the area.
In response to what Council Member Parris Glendening called "a growing problem" of commuter parking in several residential communities, the council voted 10 to 0 to allow the creation of parking permit areas.
In other action, the council approved the Clinton-Tanglewood Sectional Map Amendment which introduces a comprehensive design to the zoning of commercial, industrial and residential properties in the rapidly expanding south-central part of the county.
When proposed by planners earlier this spring, the Clinton-Tanglewood SMA would have created pockets of industrial and commercial areas in newly developing residential communities.
But when resident of those communities, especially those in the Tanglewood and Chris-Mar areas, opposed the plan, the council down-zoned much of the proposed employment areas and left most of the land in residential zoning.
This week's vote on the final proposal, which was passed unanimously, came as scores of those same residents sat facing the council.
The residents had left the hearing before the parking permit bill was adopted, but as several council members indicated, "Any homeowner in Prince George's County will benefit by its passage."
The bill, sponsored by Council Member Francis B. Francois, is similar to legislation in te District of Columbia, Montgomery County and Arlington and is aimed primarily at commuters who park their cars on residential side streets and take the bus to work.
The bill would set restrictions on parking more than three consecutive hours between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, excluding holidays, in posted areas.
The bill also would permit municipalities to request that the county impose and enforce parking permit areas within its corporate limits.
The towns of Cheverly and College Park have already instituted parking bans on several residential streets.
"There already is a growing problem in the Prince George's Plaza area, Hyattsville and University Park," said Glendening. "Combined with Metro it will provide an impossible impact on those areas."
A hearing on the permit request must be held in or near the area to be restricted and exceptions will be made for service or delivery vehicles, automobiles with special handicapped license plates and any emergency vehicles.