San Francisco Fines Elderly Couple $1,500 for Parking In Their Own Driveway

How would you feel if you’ve been parking in your driveway every day for 36 years without issue, and then the city suddenly decides to fine you $1,500 for doing that very thing? You’d be upset. Unfortunately, one San Francisco couple has been struck with this very odd conundrum after they received a $1,542 fine from the San Francisco Planning Department for parking in their driveway.

If that wasn’t enough, they would also be fined an extra $250 per day their car was in the driveway too.

But was is the reason behind this? Apparently, there is an old city code that prevents people from parking in front of their homes unless their car is in front of a garage or under a cover of some kind.

When Ed and Judy Craine brought this issue to the city for clarification, they were told they would not be allowed to park in their own driveway fine-free unless they could bring up historical evidence of people using the parking spot. Interestingly enough, Ed managed to discover an aerial photo of their property from 1938 with what appears to be a car pulling in or exiting the driveway. Unfortunately, because the photo was not detailed enough to be considered proof.

This particular code was implemented to prevent front yards from looking like “parking lots”, unless the driveway is in front of a garage. A car cover is also a suitable alternative, which would give the Craines the green light for parking in the driveway.

So how did this couple get in trouble with the city now, instead of 30 years ago? Apparently, the Craines, as well as two of their neighbors were tattled on by an anonymous source to the city planning department.

Eventually, the San Francisco Planning Department canceled the fine after the Craines agreed they would no longer be parking in their driveway. Unless of course, they decide to build a suitable car cover for it. In the meantime, they’ll be parking out on the packed San Francisco streets.

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