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If you park on a front yard in Duluth, you'll probably get fined

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Stop parking in front yards in Duluth – it's ugly and unsafe.

And starting Saturday, you could be fined for it.

The City of Duluth will start cracking down on people who illegally park their vehicles in front yards – especially in neighborhoods around the University of Minnesota Duluth and the College of St. Scholastica, where officials have received the most complaints, FOX 21 says.

"The concerns that have been expressed include the destruction of front lawns, the hindering of access to residences by emergency services, harm to the environment, overcrowding and general unsightliness," an August notice sent to people in the area said, according to the Duluth Reader.

Duluth city code regulates where people can park on residential properties (it's illegal to park between the dwelling and the street), with WDIO noting some landlords have installed off-street parking spaces that aren't in compliance with city code – so if tenants keep parking there, they could be ticketed.

The Duluth News Tribune says renters – many of whom are students – are worried about where they're going to park, and are upset they weren't informed that where they've been parking is actually illegal.

The city says the first time a vehicle is parked illegally in a front yard, they'll receive a warning. After that, it'll be a $24 ticket. And the property owner will also face a stiff fine – starting in April, when a vehicle is in violation of the parking rule they will be hit with a $200 "administrative citation," according to reports.

This comes after other efforts to control illegal front yard parking have failed, Mark Bauer, a parking operations specialist with the city, told WDIO. Increasing enforcement – including by fining landlords when their tenants park illegally – is an attempt to provide a "lasting and meaningful impact" to get "this under control."

The Duluth News Tribune says the city has enforced its front yard parking rules sporadically over the years, with the paper noting in 2015 Duluth officials issued 57 citations to owners of illegally parked cars.

Similar parking regulations are in effect in other Minnesota cities, including Mankato and St. Cloud.

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