The latest example of overzealousness in the parking-enforcement realm comes from Jacksonville, Florida, where city council members are mulling an ordinance that would make it illegal for residents to back into their driveways and park facing the street, unless their license-plate information was visible.
The proposal is intended to help city inspectors enforce rules that prohibit residents from storing cars that don't work on their property, reports The Florida Times-Union. Right now, the city's efforts to prevent such blight have hit a snag – with cars parked backward, they can't read the license plates and issue the citation.
So the current proposal would mandate that car owners either park their cars with their rears showing toward the street or, for cars backed into a driveway, the license-plate information must be displayed in two-inch-tall letters that can be seen from the street.
It's only one of several recent parking controversies. Two weeks ago, New Hampshire's highest court upheld the rights of a local group to feed strangers' parking meters before they expired. The city of Keene had argued the efforts of these vehicular Robin Hoods interfered with the city's contracts with meter maids. The group viewed the city's parking enforcement as a "municipal cash grab," writes TheNewspaper.com.
Earlier this year, a homeowners association in suburban Syracuse, New York, sued two of its residents who had the audacity to park their Ford F-150 pickup in their driveway. Provisions in the HOA's bylaws stated only "private, passenger-type pleasure automobiles" could be parked in driveways. Homeowner David Orlando said the pickup was a personal automobile and not used for any commercial purposes.
In late 2013, two men in Garden City, NY, were admonished by police officers as they prepared to wash their Volkswagen Golf in their home driveway. A local ordinance prohibits the washing of cars in public places. In a video of their encounter, the men tell the officers their driveway is not a private residence.
The officer responded, "It's still in public view."