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Tickets For Parking In Own Driveway – DC

From the Washington DC radio station WTOP:

Beverly Anderson stands in her driveway – the exact spot where she received a ticket from the city.

Driveways in D.C. Now a No-Parking Zone

April 24, 2009

Beverly Anderson is mad as hell. She just started to get tickets for parking in her own driveway.

That’s right. The District of Columbia is ticketing people who park their cars in their own driveways.

"This is clearly an attempt by the city to extort money out of property owners," Anderson tells WTOP.

Anderson has received two of the $20 tickets in the past month. Anderson has owned the Capitol Hill house (and the driveway, so she thought) for more than ten years and has never gotten a ticket. And she’s not alone.

It seems Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton has also been breaking the law in the eyes of the D.C. Department of Public Works.

"Not only has the Congresswoman been ticketed in her own driveway, she has received a towing ticket on her car parked in her driveway," writes Sonsyrea Tate Montgomery, a spokesperson for Norton. "She did what any other Member would do -and any resident. She contacted her Council Member, Tommy Wells, who assured her the Council will take care of this problem even if it means passing a new law."

D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) says he’s been getting lots of complaints.

"For the first time in anyone’s memory," Wells says. "People are starting to get ticketed in their own driveways. This is ridiculous and we’re going to get to the bottom of it." …

So what does the law say?

"Any area between the property line and the building restriction line shall be considered as private property set aside and treated as public space under the care and maintenance of the property owner."

Basically what that means is most property owners in the District don’t own the land between their front door and the sidewalk, but they are responsible for taking care of it. It’s why you can get a ticket for drinking beer on your front porch in the Nation’s Capital. You’re technically on public space. It’s also why the city can ticket you for parking in your own driveway if you don’t pull your car deep enough into the driveway beyond the façade of your house or building

To be clear, we’re not talking about people who park in shallow driveways and let the rear of their cars block the sidewalk. The cars are off the road, off the sidewalk and in the driveway – just not far enough back for the city.

"This is ludicrous," Anderson says, "We were three feet away from the sidewalk. People have parked here for thirty years."

When Anderson complained to a supervisor at DPW she was told that she could lease the property from the District and avoid future tickets. Anderson, who uses the house as a place of business to see clients and regularly has several cars in her large three car driveway, scoffs at that idea. "The city is not going to extort money out of me," she says.

Mike Carter, Deputy Director for DPW says nobody is extorting money from anyone.

"These regulations have been in effect for some time," Carter says. "This is nothing new and we have been enforcing it city-wide."

Carter says the enforcement of the no parking on public space regulation is done in a consistent manner and adds that "citizens know they cant park in public space."

As for the offer to lease the public space back to the property owner, John Lisle with the District Department of Transportation says there is an application process for such a permit. Lisle says it could cost a property owner thousands of dollars per year, but very few applications have been submitted over the years

Is this not all too emblematic for the way government has encroached upon our lives?

When Anderson complained to a supervisor at DPW she was told that she could lease the property from the District and avoid future tickets.

But it’s not a money grab.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Saturday, April 25th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

20 Responses to “Tickets For Parking In Own Driveway – DC”

  1. And They want to run a State ?

  2. Confucius

    I can’t think of a town more deserving. Hope and Change!

  3. GetBackJack

    Socialism/Marxism/Communism

    These are nothing but criminal mafias.

    I beg you, please understand this. A few aggressive ‘candidates’ for office corral the power We The People lend to ‘the state’ and create a mafia for themselves.

    The mafia runs skims, numbers, protection rackets and any number of illegal operations in order to live of people like a virus in the body. There is no difference today between what we know as gangs and mafias, and what most governments have morphed into.

    The aphorism goes … when the people discover they can vote themselves the Treasury, etc etc … well, that happened a long time ago. We’re now in the last stage when government has figured out how to morph into a Mafia … and live off us like a virus in the body. They will not go willingly, easily nor ever let go of the power they have taken for themselves. Can you understand this?

    For some reason dumbfounding to me, ‘Conservatives’ have gone soft and insane, imagining in their fitful fantasies that they can cure this condition by votes, ballots and legislation.

    You’re not just mistaken, you are fatally mistaken. Once a dog gets the taste of blood in his mind, there’s only one remedy. Once a stallion figures out you can be frightened, there’s only one cure. Once a politician and a bureaucrat team up to live off you live a virus, there’s only one cure.

    You’re just too timid to admit it.

  4. 64dodger

    It appears that this qualifies as a taking of property by the city without just compensation, which would be a violoation of most state laws including eminent domain laws.

  5. proreason

    Where I live, the police are giving traffic tickets at twice the rate they were a year ago. You see them every couple of miles on the road now.

    They must have detected a significant lapse in public safety.

    Meanwhile, the papers are filled with stories of budget problems with the local municipalities. Must be a coincidence

    • jrmcdonald

      I have the same thing where I live. Must be isolated you think?

    • curvyred

      I live in a very nice small 3rd class city – I own a big victorian home with unfortunately “unstreet parking”

      They recently removed a sign that read (I kid you not) “no parking in between signs”, the street has multitudes of signs many of which indicate “two hour parking” etc.

      They tried to give me a ticket once for the “no parking between signs” sign – it was almost directly in front of my house – and it was about fifteen feet away from another sign that reads “no parking between here and corner”, the strange thing is it isn’t actually a “corner” but a bend in the road – the corner is around the bend where it intersects with another road. Between my house and the “corner” is a little business complex – (insurance agency/office cleaning supply store)

      I have spoken to the city manager about the signs – especially the corner sign that is still present. I feel it is an illegal way for them to generate more money.

    • heykev

      Get used every means possible (legal or not) used to generate money for your local city, county and state municipalities. Most of them are being bankrupt trying to pay for the retirement plans of the bureaucrats many of them are not fully funded. Cook County here in Illinois has the highest sales tax in the country. Something Berry’s trying to take national, taxing everyone making money past the breaking point. As the baby boomers move into retirement, it will be a huge drag on what’s left of our economy.

      Humm…maybe that will be one of BHO’s next plans, simply euthanize those who are retired as are no longer productive and no longer contributing to society. (end sarcasm)

  6. Colonel1961

    ‘They must have detected a significant lapse in public safety.’ Sarcasm at its best – bravo!

  7. Kilmeny

    I’ve definitely noticed an uptick in ticketing recently, and for minor things that would have been let go only a few years ago. Even in my fairly rural corner of the world….

  8. jobeth

    It doesn’t end with traffic enforcement. We just installed an above ground pool and we’ve noticed a constant, almost daily drive-by by the code enforcement.

    We were expecting a citation because legally you must get a permit for even an above ground pool above a certain size and we only had a temp fence around it until a deck can be built…which also requires a permit. (In this county you have to have a permit to tear down a shed! For real!)

    So far though we haven’t been ticketed but the guy comes into our area almost daily.

    Either the Code Enforcement Office is drumming up new business now that building permits are down or he has a girlfriend in the area.

  9. 12 Gauge Rage

    Ten years ago the city built a new sports arena but didn’t plan it out very carefully. Parking was difficult so most sports fans parked their cars in residential neighborhoods. Realizing what was going on (a.k.a. loss of revenue), city hall sent out tow trucks to haul away cars parked in the streets of the neighborhood. But in the process they were hauling off the cars of the rightful owners living in that area. Lotsa folks got up for work the next day to find their cars gone and a notice that their vehicles had been impounded for unauthorized parking. When city hall realized they’d made a mistake, they had the further gall to tell the homeowners that they would have to buy a special sticker for their cars to prevent them from being towed away again. I forget how it all was resolved but I do remember that all hell broke loose and the voters remembered this when it came time for re-election.

  10. U NO HOO

    ANYONE with sense would never ever live in DC.

    Hmmmm, people run for office…oval offices even…

    First, no vote, now no parking?

    Well, Ted Kennedy and Pineapple Princess Pelosi don’t have a parking problem, I’m sure.

  11. BannedbytheTaliban

    So you have to lease the right to use your own property from the City. Classic. And how about this little bit of redistribution legislation:

    “Any area between the property line and the building restriction line shall be considered as private property set aside and treated as public space under the care and maintenance of the property owner.”

    You have to pay for it, insure it, and maintain it, but it is public property. And if someone trips over your sidewalk and breaks their leg, I’m sure YOU, and not the public, are financially responsible. Want to bet these people that got tickets are democrats? Mrs. Eleanor Holmes Norton most certainly is, and a black feminist to boot. I love when Democrats are victims of their own greed.

  12. catie

    I went from Bristow (where I live) to Manassas Park to take my dog for a haircut and on the way there (it took 30 stinking minutes each way even though mileage wise it’s not that far but I digress) I saw 7 cops and two had people pulled over and on the way home 9 cops and 3 people were pulled over. On my return trip there were 11 cops with one person pulled over and back home another 7 cops were out with no one pulled over. I put my cruise control on.

    U No HOO, I would venture a guess that those two don’t either. I’m actually surprised they got Holmes-Norton. They must not have been aware. I wouldn’t live in the District for anything.

  13. VMAN

    This is exactly what I’ve been saying. Big Federal government is bad and the idiot in chief is dragging this country down but the real problem in this country started at the local level. After the civil war many municipalities throughout the north and south began to implement zoning laws to keep “undesirables” out of their neighborhoods. As time went on more and more seemingly harmless local laws for traffic and such began to creep into towns all over. The advent of the automobile was a big boom for a lot of cities and states. Now they could make laws for our “safety”. Any time a government says a law is for the protection and safety of it’s citizens LOOK OUT!!! Sure there needs to be basic laws to protect “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” but we have gone light years past that. Zoning, permitting and traffic laws are carte blanche for most local thugs to do just about anything they see fit and don’t even get me started on “home owners associations” in “deed restricted communities”. For all of you people who live in one of those places I think “Community” should be replaced with the word commune or communism. The best thing that could be done all across this country is throw out the thugs in charge. Don’t let them try to bribe you by a new park or sports facility or some other crap that you DON”T NEED. Campaign for and elect solid conservatives and for pities sake get rid of those STUPID non partisan elections!!!! THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A NON PARTISAN!!!!!! Some of the people on this very site would vote for the devil if he promised a park or a new sports arena. PLEASE STOP IT!!!

  14. Councilmember Wells, umm…ya think???

    I wonder if the liberal idiot voters in DC are catching on to how wrong they’ve been. Actually, I don’t even think they’re liberal. They’re just uninformed/misinformed idiots.

    No self-defense, no school vouchers, no parking at your own house. You’re making great “progress”!




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