Couple Faced $250-Per-Day Fee for Parking in Their Driveway

A San Francisco, California couple faced a more than $1,500 fine and $250-per-day fee for parking in the same spot they've used for nearly 40 years.

Judy and Ed Craine have parked their vehicle on the carpad in front of their home for the past 36 years before receiving a complaint.

But recently, the couple received a $1,542 fine for parking on the carpad, with an additional threat of a $250-per-day fee if they didn't move their car.

"To all of a sudden to be told you can't use something that we could use for years. It's, it's startling. Inexplicable," Ed told KGO-TV.

Couple fined for parking in their driveway
A couple in San Francisco, California was fined more than $1,500 for a carpad parking spot in front of their home they had been using for nearly 40 years. The city received an anonymous complaint about carpad as well as two of their neighbors who also parked outside their homes. USGirl/iStock

San Francisco Parking

According to a 2017 survey conducted by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), the city has just under 450,000 public parking spots available including 275,500 on-street and 166,500 located in garages and lots.

SFMTA reported that about 10 percent of public on-street parking is metered, with meter rates due to increase the price by $0.25 on some blocks and lower on others in October.

"Rates may vary by block, by time of day, and weekday or weekend," SFMTA said in a statement Tuesday.

City Ordinance

Craine told KGO-TV that the San Francisco Planning Department cited a city ordinance code that requires personal carpads or setbacks in front of a home to have a garage or cover for the vehicle.

According to SEC. 132 of the City and County of San Francisco Municipal Code, exceptions cannot be made for individuals wanting to park on uncovered carpads.

The city's Planning Chief Dan Sider told KGO-TV that the decades-old ordinance was put in place to preserve aesthetics in the neighborhood and limit residents from keeping several vehicles outside.

"I recognize that the property owner is frustrated. I think I would feel the same way in their situation," Sider said.

Prove It

The planning department told the Craines that if they could prove that the space was historically used for parking they would waive the fine.

The couple presented a photograph of their daughter and a car in the space from 34 years ago but were allegedly told it wasn't old enough since the house was built in 1910.

They also discovered an image online of a vehicle parked in the spot from 1938, but told KGO-TV that they were told the photo was not "clear evidence."

On July 11, the planning department changed its decision, grandfathering the parking space as legal and allowing the Craines to continue to park there.

Anonymous Complaint

Sider told KGO-TV that they were alerted to the parking violation after someone made an anonymous complaint to the city.

The city dropped the fines after the Craines agreed to stop parking their vehicle on the carpad unless they decide to build a garage or cover to comply with the city ordinance.

Newsweek reached out to Ed Craine and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency for comment.

Back in September, Newsweek reported on a shockingly expensive parking spot in Boston, Massachusetts that was listed for sale at $375,000 and a 128-square-foot space located in Seattle, Washington was for sale at $50,000.

In Hong Kong, a parking space broke the record for the most expensive parking spot after it sold for $1.3 million.

Updated 07/12/2022, 2:56 p.m. ET: This story has been updated that the planning committee changed its mind on Monday.