San Francisco couple fined over $1,500 for parking in own driveway
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - A couple who has been parking their car in one place for decades was fined by the city for $1,542 with threats of further charges if they didn't find another place to park in a crowded city.
Judy and Ed Craine live in San Francisco and were happy to have a parking spot of their own in a city where accessible parking spaces can be hard to find amid hills and valleys.
After 36 years of parking in the same place, the city's planning department sent the couple a fine and a warning to charge $250 per day they didn't move their car due to an ordinance forbidding residents from parking in front of a home, even if it is their own.
The couple tried appealing to the city to get a waiver on the fine but were told the only way the fine could be waived was if they could prove the spot had "historical use" as a parking space.
The Craines found a 34-year-old photo of their daughter in front of the home with a car parked there, but the city said the photo wasn't old enough. After combing historical documents, they found one photo that appeared to show a horse-drawn buggy parking in the same spot—but the city then said the photo was too blurry.
Frustrated, the couple stopped parking in front of their home, if only to avoid the hefty fines.
The city did close the case without charging any penalties after the couple got the car out of the roadway and kept it off. The planning department told the Craines they could build a covered carport or garage to continue to park there.