Driveways in Long Beach create street parking nightmare

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LONG BEACH -

Newly elevated homes in Long Beach have created an opportunity for homeowners to build larger driveways, but have also taken away much of the street parking in the city’s west end.

For decades, most of the parking in the area has been on the street. Driveways were either small or non-existent. Many bungalows were built with no driveway at all.

After Superstorm Sandy, many residents elevated their houses and added enough driveway space to fit four cars.

Though that is convenient for the people living in those homes, the double-wide driveways have dramatically cut the amount of available parking on the street.

Some say that's a big problem – especially where the beach, restaurants and bars bring in big crowds over the summer.

Many people who live in the west end say it's simply not fair that their neighbors could essentially take away all of the street parking in front of their houses. There are also complaints that many of the new driveways are often left empty.

“It compounds the issue when they don't actually use it,” says Kristen White, of Long Beach. “They use it for a family get-together, they put their patio furniture in there. And they don't actually use it for parking.”

News 12 spoke with the city's Building Commissioner Scott Kemins, who said homeowners can legally cut out up to 25 feet of curb with no special permission, as long as it's to create off-street parking.

He did admit the expanded driveways have created some headaches.

Furthermore, newly renovated single-family homes are required to have at least one off-street parking spot.

The city says more than 1,000 homes have been elevated, and hundreds more are going through the process right now.

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