A San Francisco couple is now taking a different approach to how they park after receiving a $1,500 fine for parking in their own driveway.
It’s something the two have done for nearly 40 years, but the city’s planning department says their parking habits have violated the planning code.
According to the local ABC news affiliate, it’s a violation to park vehicles in a setback that is in front of a house, which is exactly what Judy and Ed Craine did. Their home sits on a steep hill that makes parking on the street a challenge. So, they parked on the driveway in front of their house, which they did for the last 36 years.
However, someone filed a complaint to the city about the Craine and two of their neighbors for the same violation.
San Francisco Planning Chief Dan Sider told ABC 7 that he understood the owners’ frustration, but the city enacted the law to ensure homeowners didn’t fill their front yards with cars, which seems like something one should be able to do on their own property, especially when the yard is a slab of concrete.
The couple received a $1,542 fine with the threat of another $250 every day their car remained on the car-pad. The two emailed the city, expecting it to admit that there had been a mistake, but the city held firm.
Instead, the planning department said that it could be possible for the couple to obtain a waiver if they could prove parking was a historical use at the house. All the evidence the couple could find did not satisfy the city’s standards.
While the couple will no longer be allowed to use their car-pad for parking, the city did discharge the fine without the couple having to pay after they removed their car from the car-pad.
According to ABC 7, the city also informed the couple that they could build a car-port or garage on their car-pad, which would allow them to park there.