One tire on the grass = citation? Huh?

From the I-had-no-idea-such-a-law-existed files:

My neighbors pulled out a couple of small trees next to their driveway to create a patch of dirt, upon which they will be laying cement. Why? Because the police recently gave them a $35.00 citation due to one of their car’s tires being on the grass instead of on the driveway (it holds three cars; the garage is not used for parking).

What is the rationale behind this law? I can see not wanting cars parked on the yard itself–though we’ve all seen it many times–but what’s the big flap over one tire out of place?

Sounds more like a township ordinance than a law. It should be easy enough to find out why the ordinance was written. Probably because of complaints of residents in some other case. If the ordinance is outdated or over zealously being enforced then the local counselman should be contacted to try and change it.

Well, I don’t know where this place is, but I’d guess the ordinance is against parking on the lawn. This is no doubt done to prevent the widespread appearance of cars up on blocks on the grass. It’s an aesthetic thing.

I was told something similar by a city councilman here in the OKC area. Warr Acres, Edmond, Village, Nichols Hills, Norman, Moore, all have similar ordinances. Even so, I can drive around in different neighborhoods of OKC proper and see lawn cars. I guess the OKC itself doesn’t have that law.

BTW, Nichols Hills has gone so far as to prohibit any vehicle parking in the street between Midnight and 6:00am. Yes, NH is a little more upscale in general. Large homes on huge lots. A lot of my business comes from NH.

A friend of mine got a ticket for parking his car on his lawn in Elmhurst, IL once, too.

It’s not an upscale community, just a middle-class one, in eastern L.A. county.

I just thought it was a bit of overreaction to one stray tire.

Meanwhile, when I take my evening stroll around the tract, I see no fewer than a dozen old wrecks sitting in driveways, collecting dust and spider webs, license plates falling off, tires flat, creeping rust, etc. But these four-wheel eyesores are allowed to sit and fester and be aesthetically unappealing because they’re parked in the driveways instead of the yard.

It don’t make no sense to me.

In Pasadena, TX, a friend of mine had a Beetle planter in his yard. That’s right. He took a nonrunning early 60s Bug, pushed it into a shallow grave, and used it as a planter for various flowers and bushes. CARnivorousPLANT, indeed!

Well, that sounds like one jim-dandy idea! But you can bet the folks around here won’t think of it. Those clunker junkers will sit in those driveways until doomsday. I’m counting.

viva, I suspect it has something to do with some ordinance concerning the grass and watering because of the drought. Sounds like the cops are looking for any reason to increase revenue. (What parking laws aren’t)

Side note: I once hosted a party in college at my house where all the drunks were driven home, except one. His car was parked on the street, keys in the ignition, not running and the doors were locked. We couldn’t wake him for nothing. But since the keys were in the ignition, he could still get nailed for being in control (the same as DUI here and in OH, trust me I know). Anyway, we wrestled the car onto my lawn to get him off the street.

Sure enough, I and those staying over were treated by a visit about 2 hours later by the cops. They were curious why we hadn’t reported the accident. (They thought he jumped the curb and we didn’t know) When we explained the situation the lead officer gave me a glare. You see, they can’t nail you unless you’re on a public road or not wanted on the private property. Neither if any of them sees you on said road or property. In addition, they couldn’t take our story to a prosecutor as we were all shitfaced and the claim would never stand up in court.

In the end we asked if they could jimmy the lock so we could drag him in the house to keep an eye on him and make sure he didn’t wake up and try to drive. They did this, thank God. I was still coherent enough to worry about my Homeowner’s liability if he went and killed someone.

While the cop was leaving he gave me a stern look and said, “We’ll be watching this place.”

Last party I ever had at that house.

You guys have laws telling you where you can and cannot park your car on your own property?

Yeesh. I mean, I can understand there being rules about parking unoperative vehicles on your property. But a perfectly functioning car? One should be able to park it anywhere one wants, provided it’s on owned soil! How weird.

NoClueBoy: I’m pretty sure we have similar ordinances about parking cars in your yard up here in Tulsa and the surrounding cities. The thing is, I think they only ticket you if someone calls and complains(I could be wrong). Might be the same way in OKC.

As for the OP, that’s just ridiculous. I’m fine with ordinances that prevent you from parking a car in your yard, but ticketing someone for missing their driveway with one tire sounds like nitpicking. I’m with duffer, they’re trying to make some extra cash. If they need to make some money, they should start ticketing people who take up more than one space in a parking lot. Man, they could make millions off that.

Paragraph one:

Well, to be fair, the most egregious examples are “communities”. You know, neighborhoods with rules. Then “community” was hijacked to mean an entire city or larger.

Paragraph 2:

This is a great myth in the Western world. We Americans don’t own our land. We own it in a sense that no private citizen or business can lay claim to it. But we do have to pay tax on it. Even land deemed unfit for use or habitation. If you have deed to it, you owe the tax. Don’t pay the tax? It’s absorbed into the county or state or Feds (depending who you owe the tax to) and sold at auction to make up what “they lost”. I’ll defend this by saying it’s about the most fair system devised by man so far, but it’s still bullshit that you never really own the land you own.

Hell, if anyone really owned their land, they would have no need for building permits to finish a basement.

I for one am glad for ordinances that prohibit parking cars on the lawn or leaving it up on blocks for days on end. It makes the property look trashy and makes the properties around it look trashy. Then some people start to think that there’s no need to do upkeep or maintenance on their properties because the neighborhood is kind of trashy anyway. Then the people who do do maintenance get disgusted and move, and people who are comfortable with a trashy unkempt neighborhood move in. Pretty soon the whole area is a dump.

In the OP’s case, though, I think the police went a little overboard. You might try writing a nice letter explaining that the parker had just accidentally gotten one tire on the lawn, and could they please reconsider the ticket. Might work.

Was the car in violation a Chevy Citation, by any chance?

As for the OP’s Q about 1 tire! I talked to a city planner/inspector type guy today, and mentioned the subject in passing. (I had to get some permits) He said that Yes, one tire will get you a citation because in their eyes, there is no difference betwen barely parking on the lawn and being totally on the lawn. So. in his eyes, the citation is not an over reaction, it is simply a to the letter application of the ordinance.

Following the letter of the law is only a good idea about half of the time, and I don’t believe this is one of those times.

RE: what duffer said about cars being up on blocks for ages, reconsider what I said earlier about all the eyesores left in driveways to rot for all eternity while the nice cars get cited for one creeping tire. Something ain’t making sense here.

Oh, and NCB, just for making that crack about the Chevy Citation, I’m gonna send you some Trek-krap that my brother brought back from Vegas. (Sorry, we ate the dark chocolate gold-pressed latinum bar already. :smiley: )

What? :confused:

Sorry, Duffer!

That was me quoting missbunny, not you—though I didn’t do very well, I must admit.

I disagree. Most likely, it’s a money thing. The local govt wants money. It gets money by hitting people with fines whenever possible. Another possiblity, it could be a cop on a power trip.