SAVANNAH, Ga. (CBS Atlanta/AP) — City inspectors in Savannah are targeting a type of blight that some residents don’t realize is illegal — parking cars in the yard.

City officials are spending the month of May issuing written warnings, but plan to start handing out citations and fines as early as next month. A Savannah city ordinance allows for $15 fines for cars parked in yards unless they’re within 5 feet of a driveway and parallel to it.

Local officials say automobiles parked on lawns tend to tear up grass and leave ruts, and they add to visual blight that brings down a neighborhood’s appearance.

Resident Cleo Warren believes the city should worry about fixing up the streets rather than people parking in their yard.

“They could fix those streets,” Warren told The Florida Times-Union. “It tears cars up, especially if they don’t know the neighborhood. Why are they worried about my property when they’re causing damage to other people’s property?”

Maria Torriente, however, believes this is a good move by the city.

“We don’t like to see how they destroy the yard,” Torriente told the Times-Union. “We’re proud of our neighborhood, and we don’t want the blight.”

Savannah’s Property Maintenance department is hoping the warnings being distributed now give residents a chance to avoid paying fines later.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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