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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Public vs. private streets

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Nevada, Las Vegas

    How do I find out if a street is public or private and/or do city and state ordinances apply to private streets used by the public?

    During a 2 week visit at a friend's house, the newly formed HOA decided to enforce its CC&R "no parking rule". It is one line stating: "No Person shall park, store or keep on any "Private Street" within the Properties, any vehicle of any kind, unless otherwise permitted by the Governing Documents." When I asked what this meant, the HOA managers each said different things. One says guests vehicles are okay, but not residents. Another says guests okay but not overnight and another says no street parking period. The HOA rules and enforcements are all over the place.

    Unfortunately, I picked the wrong week to visit as I was towed off of the neighborhood street.

    There is no signage restricting parking anywhere and this is not a gated community. The HOA and tow company claim that it is a "private street" and therefore they can write and enforce parking rules as they see fit.

    I found some ordinances that seem to rebut that argument. What are the HOA's powers to tow vehicles?

    NRS 116.350 Limitations regarding regulation of certain roads, streets, alleys or other thoroughfares; permissible regulation of parking or storage of certain vehicles.
    1. In a common-interest community which is not gated or enclosed and the access to which is not restricted or controlled by a person or device, the executive board shall not and the governing documents must not provide for the regulation of any road, street, alley or other thoroughfare the right-of-way of which is accepted by the State or a local government for dedication as a road, street, alley or other thoroughfare for public use.

    Does “Private Street,” referenced above,” apply to the below ordinance and is considered a public access? If so, then neighborhood streets would be regulated by ordinances, like these, written by the city and state correct?

    NRS 484.122 “Premises to which the public has access” defined.
    1. “Premises to which the public has access” means property in private or public ownership onto which members of the public regularly enter, are reasonably likely to enter, or are invited or permitted to enter as invitees or licensees, whether or not access to the property by some members of the public is restricted or controlled by a person or a device.
    2. The term includes, but is not limited to:
    (a) A parking deck, parking garage or other parking structure.
    (b) A paved or unpaved parking lot or other paved or unpaved area where vehicles are parked or are reasonably likely to be parked.
    (c) A way that provides access to or is appurtenant to:
    (1) A place of business;
    (2) A governmental building;
    (3) An apartment building;
    (4) A mobile home park;
    (5) A residential area or residential community which is gated or enclosed or the access to which is restricted or controlled by a person or a device; or
    (6) Any other similar area, community, building or structure
    And if it is a public access road wouldn't the following apply?

    NRS 487.038 Authority of owner or person in lawful possession of real property to have towed therefrom vehicle parked in unauthorized manner: Oral notice to local law enforcement agency required; exceptions to authority; residential real property; costs to be borne by owner of vehicle; other rights and remedies.
    1. Except as otherwise provided in subsections 3 and 4, the owner or person in lawful possession of any real property may, after giving notice pursuant to subsection 2, utilize the services of any tow car operator subject to the jurisdiction of the Nevada Transportation Authority to remove any vehicle parked in an unauthorized manner on that property to the nearest public garage or storage yard if:
    (a) A sign is displayed in plain view on the property declaring public parking to be prohibited or restricted in a certain manner; and
    (b) The sign shows the telephone number of the police department or sheriff’s office.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    First thing I am curious about is , does your local city , county zoning dept have any requirement that street name signs be different color than the signs used by city /county? example: I have seen private road signs up here that are white background , black letters, street name up top and then smaller font underneath street name saying Private Road. That might be something to look into then of course going in and taking pictures of the lack of signage stating it was a towing zone where you were parked and taking your chances with small claims court suing the HOA to get the money returned to you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    With Capt'n Hook
    When the homeowner bought the place, they would/should have received the CR&R. If they are renters, they should have asked/known about the restrictions. They in turn should have let their guest know of it.

    Yes, the HOA can enforce their CR&R.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    So Tinkerbell luvr your feeling is the HOA rules are absolute? Okay, so if HOA's can write rules governing homeowner's guests, what happens to the person who for example, parks his or her car in the neighborhood accidentally perhaps because of a breakdown or a medical emergency? He or she is never warned by a homeowner or never signed a CR & R. Further, could you tell me who NRS 116.350 is written for and what does it mean then?

    Also, what about the signage laws required in NRS 487.038 for towing vehicles? Can the power of the CR & R allow the HOA to ignore the display of no parking signs?

    Anyone else feel I am wasting my time trying to overcome the all powerful CR & R rules written by that legislative body known as the Home Owners Association? They are just under the Supreme Court right?

    Also Farmer, I did come across the following regulating private street signs.
    Title 18 Subdivision Ordinance
    18.12.100 Private Street Requirements.
    (C) Street names for private streets shall bear the words "privately maintained," and shall be a color and design established by the City... ...The color of such as sign must differ distinctly from that used in connection with public streets.
    The street signs are green -- same color as the public street signs -- and do not say "privately maintained."

    And yes, I guess it is off to small claims. Problem is, I don't live in Nevada and returning will cost nearly as much as the tow fees.

    Last edited by h2oboarder; 11-06-2009 at 04:14 AM. Reason: misspelling
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