CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — People who frequent Cole Park are complaining about the lack of available parking spaces recently in the park's lot.
"When I used to come over here, it wasn't like that," parkgoer Emily Rodriguez said. "It would always be empty, and now it's really full all the time."
The reason the parking lot is so full right now sits next door. The Marina Del Sol condominium complex parking garage recently was deemed unsafe by an engineer, and is being torn down, leaving the owners of most of the complex's 123 condos don't have parking spots.
That's when they looked next door.
"They all wanted to park in Cole Park because they thought, since they were Corpus Christi residents, they should be able to park there," Marina Del Sol General Manager Hank Read said.
KRIS 6 News brought the issue to the Corpus Christi Parks and Recreation Department on Tuesday. They released a statement this afternoon.
“Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention," the statement from Director Jermel Stevenson said. "We have begun researching the matter and are working with Marina del Sol management for a solution to the parking at Cole Park. Marina Del Sol management has been notified to inform its tenants that parking after curfew at Cole Park is not allowed. This is an opportunity to educate the tenants as to park guidelines. We look forward to working with our neighbors as park patrons.”
The curfew at Cole Park is 10 p.m., and dozens of cars still were parked there past that time Tuesday night. Read said the city told him they'd give condo owners a couple of days to move their cars overnight before resorting to ticketing, or even towing.
"It puts (condo owners) in a tight position," Read said. "We'll just have to do what we have to do."
One thing he's doing is making an arrangement with the First United Methodist Church, just a half-mile north of Marina Del Sol on Ocean Drive. Condo owners will be able to park there and then get shuttled home. But that doesn't solve the problem.
"They have a limited number of parking places over there," Read said. "They don't have a total of 200, but we'll do what we can do. We'll squeeze them in where we can."