Parking is at a premium in many parts of East San Jose.
Neighbors complain they often have to park far from their homes because a stranger is in their spot. Now one local leader is trying to change that by requiring parking permits on the East Side.
Some resident have resorted to placing orange cones to save themselves a parking spot.
"There is a problem because sometimes there is a car parked in front of the house," neighbor Hector D'Lira said. "So there's no place for us to park our cars."
The mystery cars can be left there for up to three days, residents said. The orange cones sometimes deter strangers from taking the parking spots.
Resident Victor Gonzalez said he often has to park one or two blocks away -- or even on his lawn. Gonzalez understands the parking crunch because with the high cost of living, there are two to three families to a home. And each needs at least one car, so they park anywhere they can find a spot.
"It is unfair that families in East San Jose can't park in their own homes," said Rolando Bonilla, a San Jose planning commissioner.
Bonilla is pitching a parking permit pilot program for the area. It would work similar to a program in the Naglee Park neighborhood, which keeps out cars driven by San Jose State University students.
"We're not asking for anything fancy," Bonilla said. "Just asking for a program that allows us the opportunity to park in the front of our homes. And not have to wake up in the morning to put up the orange cones or even paint the sidewalk red because we can't park in our own community."
Bonilla's proposal waives the normal permit fee for homeowners. The planning commissioner still needs to get the city council to take up his proposal, which he hopes to get going by next week.