Couple Fined for Using Their Own Driveway


Finding parking can be a nightmare in most cities. A San Francisco couple had been parking in the driveway of their cottage for the past 36 years before they were suddenly given a $1,500 ticket.

The city’s planning department told Judy and Ed Craine that it’s illegal to park in the front of a house unless accompanied by a garage or cover. The pair had been using their carpad for decades to house their vehicle instead of parking on the steep hill they live on.

The city’s planning department sent the couple an email stating that they couldn’t park on the pad anymore. Along with that, they were given a $1,542 fine, plus $250 per day if they didn’t get their car off of the pad.

Judy sent an email back asking if there was some type of mistake. The city’s planning department, told them it was illegal to park in the front of a house.

“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 said.

Ed and Judy had been using their carport as a parking spot for nearly four decades. As far as they could tell, the space was used for parking since the house was built back in 1910, one of the first in their neighborhood.

To prove their innocence, they had to convince the planning department that parking was a historic use on the lot in order to get a waiver. “We could be grandfathered in. If we show them a historical photo that showed a car… or a horse-drawn buggy in the carport,” said Judy.

The couple combed through hundreds of historic photos until they arrived at a photo from 1938 that showed their exact home with a car or horse-and-buggy pulling into the driveway.

Originally, the planning department wasn’t convinced but after a long, extensive process, the couple can now park in their driveway again. The planning department reversed its decision, saying there was enough evidence to show that the space had been used for parking since the 1950s. The change has been grandfathered in as legal.


Related Content