Hesperia resident George Pond is frustrated with what he sees as inconsistent availability of handicapped parking spaces.


"I've got a really, really bad leg and I have to use a cane. I can walk, but I can't walk a very long distance," he said. "Since all of this happened two years ago, I become more aware of the inconsistencies."


He has to walk farther than he'd like when visiting Hesperia's new Civic Plaza Park, behind city hall and the library.


"Over at the civic center park, there's absolutely no parking, handicapped, disabled parking," he said. "It's only on the street," and those parking spaces fill up quickly when there's a big event at the park.


Pond called the city, and they directed him to park in one of the handicapped spaces by the library or city hall, he said.


He's equally frustrated with some of the handicapped parking spaces in the Jess Ranch area.


"At the Bank of America in [that] shopping center, there's two or three parking spaces way off to the left of the front door," Pond said. "Right in front, there's two or three spaces for hybrid automobiles. I thought 'well, that's really important.' ... So, I have to park further away than the guy who isn't handicapped."


"For the most part, when we see upgrades or new projects, we have to apply state and federal accessibility standards," said Hesperia's Principal Planner, Dave Reno. "There are hardship exceptions that can be applied for existing buildings or topography, or whatever."


Handicapped parking rules are set out by the 1990 federal American with Disabilities Act.


According to spokeswoman Sierra Webb, the town of Apple Valley "goes by ADA standards."


The act's guidelines outline the number of disabled parking spaces needed per business and their accessibility.


"For most smaller spaces, I think it's one per 25. When you get to 600 or 700 spaces, the percentage drops off," Reno said. "The spaces have to be located in the most convenient places, nearest the entrances."


Outside the Jess Ranch Target store, one shopper was more concerned about the enforcement of the handicapped parking laws.


"If you are handicapped, you are not allowed to park there unless you're the one getting out of the vehicle to go in the store," said Apple Valley resident Sherry Conner. "That aggravates me badly."


Conner hands out fliers to those parking illegally and she finds that many with handicapped placards are some of the biggest violators of the law.


The fliers address placard drivers who violate the law, those with no placard and those who are "flat ignorant people."


"You can be handicapped, but you don't have the right to infringe on my parking rights," Conner said.


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.