Homeowners fined $2200 for parking in their OWN driveway

·3-min read

A couple has been fined more than $2200 for parking their car in the same place they have parked it for decades — in their own driveway.

Judy and Ed Craine have lived in San Fransisco for more than 30 years and to avoid parking on the street, they park their car in the driveway, in front of their home.

They live on top of a steep hill, so they go up their street and park in their carpad, right outside their home and Mr Craine said he has been marking there "every day and night".

However, the San Francisco Planning Department recently slapped the couple with a $1542 ($A2247) parking fine for parking their car on their own property.

Judy and Ed Craine have been parking their car in the same spot for decades before they go the $2100 fine. Source: KGO-TV
Judy and Ed Craine have been parking their car in the same spot for decades before they go the $2100 fine. Source: KGO-TV

"To all of a sudden to be told you can't use something that we could use for years, it's startling. Inexplicable," Mr Craine told local news station KGO-TV.

Ms Craine said she wrote to the planning department to suggest that perhaps there had been a mistake.

However, there was no mistake. The planning department said there was a ban that had been in place for decades that prohibits vehicles of any kind from being parked on a carpad or setback in front of a house.

The ban was due to "aesthetic" reasons, ABC News reported.

The Craine's vehicle seems to snugly fit outside of their home on their carpad, off the driveway and not obscuring the footpath, as seen in the local news broadcast.

In addition to the fine, they were also told they would have to pay $250 ($A360) a day if they didn't move their car from their carpad.

To fight this, the couple was told they had to prove their lot had a history of vehicles being parked out the front.

The couple lives on top of a steep hill, so parking in front of their home is out of convenience. Source: KGO-TV
The couple lives on top of a steep hill, so parking in front of their home is out of convenience. Source: KGO-TV

The Craines found a picture of their daughter out the front of their home, which was taken more than 30 years ago. In the photo, the side of the car is seen out the front of their home, in the same spot it is parked presently.

That picture was not good enough for the planning department, so the couple went back even further in time trying to prove a history of cars or horse-and-buggies, were parked outside their home.

They thought their luck was about to turn when they came across a photo from 1938, where it appears a vehicle or a horse-drawn cart was pulling into the driveway of their home.

However, that photo wasn't good enough either, as it was "too fuzzy", Ms Craine said.

Anonymous tip-off led to fine

It turns out the Craines were turned in to the planning department by an anonymous tip and two of their neighbours were also handed fines.

Planning Chief Dan Sider told KGO-TV the rule came in years ago to make sure "front yards don't turn into parking lots".

However, if you have a garage, it is okay to park your vehicle outside of it.

Pictured is Hill Rise, San Francisco
San Francisco is known for its hills. Source: Hoberman Collection/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

In an email to KGO-TV, Mr Sider recognised the couple is frustrated by the rule.

"I think I would feel the same way in their situation," he said.

Now the couple has to park on the hill, however, the case has been closed and the Craines did not have to pay the fine.

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