Ideas for parking area, please

RNmomof2 zone 5June 4, 2013

As you can see from the pictures, we need additional parking for cars at our house. Really the ability to park one more would be beneficial. If the small white SUV could be moved farther off of the drive the other vehicles would be able to pull past it without driving in the grass.

My idea is to make some sort of parking pad parallel to the drive moving the mailbox farther down the road. This would allow "Snow White" (the RAV4) to park there, letting the rest of us pull in the drive without fear of scraping a car.

Any ideas how to do this? At the back of the drive there is a small turn-around but not enough for a car to park there without getting hit when we pull out of the garage.

Thanks for your help.

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RNmomof2 zone 5

Another view.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 7:28PM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

Maybe you could post a photo showing the entire driveway. Or a plot plan showing the lot and the drive, dimensions included? When figuring for cars, widths are useful.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 9:57PM
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yardvaark

Also, it would be good to see a photo that squares up with the space between the tree and the house and shows that area (as taken from the opposite side of the drive) ... without any cars in the way. What's the distance between the tree and the building?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 11:01PM
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yardvaark

Also, it would be good to see a photo that squares up with the space between the tree and the house and shows that area (as taken from the opposite side of the drive) ... without any cars in the way. What's the distance between the tree and the building?

It depends on where you live, but there's a chance you may need to obtain a variance for this project.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 11:03PM
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RNmomof2 zone 5

I can get those pictures tomorrow but there is not space there to park a car. The sidewalk is to the side of the sedan and just in front of the SUV. The distance between the house and tree is 16 feet. Obviously the sidewalk could be moved to the street side of the tree and through the vinca to meet up with the existing sidewalk.

A car next to the sedan would be directly over the sidewalk and the tree roots. I would also be concerned about turning radius getting back out around a parked car.

A variance for why? There are houses with front load 3 car garages that take the drive all the way to the street in our neighborhood.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 11:30PM
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yardvaark

Many places restrict parking within the legal front yard unless it is directly in, and part of, the driveway. It's possible to get a ticket for parking off of the driveway. I'm just giving the "heads up," not trying to alarm you since no one here has any idea yet what a solution to your problem might be.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 7:45AM
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lyfia

Hard to tell from your pics, but you could make the driveway wider as long as your restrictions are ok with that. Won't look too good though as it isn't common to do with a side load garage.

You could swing the driveway out further in to create a parking area, but again hard to tell how it would look from the pics.

In either of the above you would likely loose the tree. I'm guessing you have restrictions on what can be done to the right of the driveway. Often there is a distance between properties where nothing can be placed.

Can't see what is behind the driveway, but if nothing is there just extending it further back would allow you the turn-around space and avoid having to loose the tree, but again no idea if something is there to block that. If this one is possible this will allow you for the best look imo and would be less costly as well. Very little to to tie into existing driveway and doesn't need to be as long.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 12:02PM
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RNmomof2 zone 5

Here are the site plans which are planted roughly in the same layout with some plant substitutions. I have dimensions marked on the close up version of the plan.

We live in the county so we don't have many regulations and I don't think the HOA would have a problem that helped solve the problem attractively.

We really only need a few feet to scooch the SUV over off the main area of the drive. The two vehicles in the garage are mini-vans, so fairly wide. Even when the sedan is in the garage someone else still can't park on the end of the drive without blocking access to the garages.

The cars belong to college kids who come and go, but are both here this summer and at least next as well. A solution would also be nice for everyday use as well.

This post was edited by rnmomof2 on Wed, Jun 5, 13 at 12:09

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 12:07PM
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marti8a

What's on the other side of your driveway? Could you put a couple of parking pads over there?

btw, if there is supposed to be a photo in your above post, I can't see it.

This post was edited by marti8a on Wed, Jun 5, 13 at 12:20

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 12:16PM
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RNmomof2 zone 5

At the end of the current turn around, the lot falls away. Fill would need to be brought in and a retaining wall built at the side and end to get the vehicle far enough away from the normal zone that the cars backing out of the garage use.
View from Other side of the drive.

Landscaping maps.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 12:28PM
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yardvaark

rnmomof2, the way I think you are suggesting a parking space seems like it would be just big enough to use, but one of those patched in looking deals ... not good looking and not how someone would design it if they were creating a space for a client. I don't think the neighbors would view it as enhancing the neighborhood property value. It doesn't look like you have room to create a real parking space, but in the front yard, which I'm sure would initiate some kind of opposition unless it were extra nice.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 9:22PM
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RNmomof2 zone 5

We have a brick border separating the grass and the vinca. What do you think about perhaps 2 feet of pavers along the drive? Just enough to get the car off the drive a little bit.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:01PM
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yardvaark

2' width of pavers that line both sides of the drive all the way from front to back (of the front yard area)? If, as a band-aid at only one spot, it will have a "third world" look about it.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 8:31AM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

You might consider using one of those paver products that allow grass to grow through them, such as Grasscrete or similar. Less obvious than pavers, yet allow for vehicles to park/drive on them while still looking like grass.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 11:56AM
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rosiew

Agree with bahia. Look and research permeable paving options. They would basically disappear when the grass grows in them. And the rain water will seep through to nourish any tree roots nearby.

I wish I could see the drawings better. Can't adjust the resolution. Will try on my iPad later.

Hopes this helps,
Rosie

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 2:41PM
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yardvaark

The only grass blocks that look good are when they are newly installed or installed where they are never used. Upwards of 90% of the time they look very "tired" or like a mud hole. Unlike regular solid pavers, they are pressed ever further into the ground when it's wet and they are driven on. Then they begin to collect puddles. If a car parks on them daily, grass doesn't grow well because of the lack of light. Regular pavers work out much better.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 8:22PM
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RNmomof2 zone 5

Control + increases the size of the text on the screen so the drawings will be larger.

The SUV is here maybe 2x a week for a few hours. Next summer it will be here full time and hopefully the sedan will be an infrequent visitor! One can always hope. :-)

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 8:33PM
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rosiew

mom, thanks for the Control + tip. I didn't know.

Yard, you speak as if you have empirical evidence for all things. You do not. I do not. bahia does not. BUT I have seen both the grass blocks and other permeable pavers perform perfectly. I have seen them installed in what looks like a meadow when empty and filled with tour buses, which, fully loaded, do not change anything. The City of Chicago has installed permeable paving in a huge number of the city's alleys - working toward less storm runoff. I wish you'd quit popping into nearly every discussion with scoffing comments about many other's opinions.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 7:06AM
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yardvaark

"I wish you'd quit popping into nearly every discussion with scoffing comments about many other's opinions."

Rosie, If that's how you see my contributions here, then I think you are experiencing an alternate reality. You want those whose opinions are different from yours to be silent. I want those whose opinions are different from mine to explain the thinking behind their ideas or provide evidence that supports them (which you won't do!) The words "discussion" and "forum" linked together suggest that.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 8:10AM
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rosiew

yard, you should start a new discussion if you want to talk about this. We shouldn't impinge on rnmom0f2's posting.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 1:44PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Interesting that when Rosie cites examples, this isn't considered adequate substantiation. Proper installation per manufacturer's specifications with proper sub-base preparation and sufficient attention to grading will prevent Yard's alleged problems. It is true that cars parked all day/ every day will prevent lawn growth, but the OP mentioned that such parking would be mostly temporary or sporadic, in which case it should work well, be visually unobtrusive, allow water percolation and not have the downside appearance of a widened driveway that has been piecemealed into service for both circulation and parking.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 2:17AM
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lyfia

So what I don't get is why not just park on the grass then if it is just temporary instead of putting in permeable pavers? I mean why go through the expense when in most cases parking on the grass would just be just fine.

Why do you have to build up and add a retaining wall to extend the driveway back? Can't you just extend it with the slope. I mean people park on the sides of the streets in San Francisco and other hilly areas without a problem many times.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 12:10PM
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RNmomof2 zone 5

While not very noticeable from the front pictures, out house is a walkout. The entire first floor is up one flight at the rear of the house. This is why the rear of the drive would need to be built up if extended. The front of a car would be at least 4 feet below the back of the car with this proposal.

At this point we are looking into banding the drive with pavers for a few additional feet. Will have to investigate the permeable pavers as well.

Thanks for all the input.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 9:20PM
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