Judy and Ed Craine have parked their car in the driveway in front of their home for more than 30 years. Now they have been fined $1,500 for doing so. The authorities justify the fine with decades-old city regulations

For decades, San Francisco residents Judy and Ed Craine enjoyed their parking lot right in front of their home in the very hilly, residential neighborhood of Noe Valley. Because for the past 36 years they haven’t parked their car on the steep street, but on their driveway. But now the couple has received a hefty fine: They should pay a fine of $1,542 for parking on their own property. And if they don’t remove their cart, they have to pay a $250 per day fee.

The Craines tell ABC that the San Francisco zoning bureau is enforcing a decades-old statute that prohibits motor vehicles of any kind from being parked in the lot or near the home unless there is a garage or a covered porch to.

Couple from San Francisco must provide proof of parking space usage

“We were very surprised. I texted them back and said it had to be a bug,” says Judy Craine It’s amazing,” adds her husband. “Inexplicable.”

The Craines believe the square has been used as a car park since the house was built in 1910. The planning office told the couple that the city would waive the fine if they could prove the space had historically been used as a parking lot.

The couple then dug up an old photo of their daughter from 34 years ago, standing in the driveway next to a car. But the authorities informed them that the picture was not old enough.

Age-old parking ordinance has aesthetic reasons

Eventually, Ed Craine scoured the web until he found a blurry 1938 aerial photo on Google of a car—or possibly a horse-drawn carriage—pulling into the home’s driveway. Because the object was only recognizable as a dark spot, the planning department said the photo was not conclusive evidence.

When asked, the head of the planning department told the broadcaster that the regulations were put in place decades ago for aesthetic reasons and that no exceptions can be made. “I understand that the owner is frustrated. I think I would feel the same way in their situation,” he replied. “But the planning law does not allow the city to protect illegal uses simply because they have flown under the radar for an extended period of time.

Fine case dropped against San Francisco couple

The use of the driveway was brought to the attention of the authority through an anonymous complaint filed not only against the Craines, but also against two of their neighbors who have also faced the same violation.

Eventually, the city dropped the case against the Craines and lifted the fines after the couple agreed not to use the parking lot again.

City officials told the Craines that the couple can build a canopy over the lot or a garage if they want to continue parking there.

Watch the video: This Welsh dog appears to have a short temper. When his owner leaves him in the car while shopping, he starts a loud protest – with the horn of her car.

Those: ABC-News