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  1. #1
    venitian is offline Junior Member
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    When is a driveway not a driveway?

    What is the name of your state? CA

    I got a parking ticket for blocking a non-functioning driveway. The curb is sloped like a driveway, but there is a fence, so the driveway is not functional. It must have been a functional at some point in the past, but the owner put up a fence blocking his own driveway. There are no signs that indicate it is a driveway, or 'No Parking', and at night, you can't really see the sloping to indicate it's a driveway; I saw the fence and assumed it was OK to park there.

    Can I fight it?
  2. #2
    seniorjudge is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by venitian
    What is the name of your state? CA

    I got a parking ticket for blocking a non-functioning driveway. The curb is sloped like a driveway, but there is a fence, so the driveway is not functional. It must have been a functional at some point in the past, but the owner put up a fence blocking his own driveway. There are no signs that indicate it is a driveway, or 'No Parking', and at night, you can't really see the sloping to indicate it's a driveway; I saw the fence and assumed it was OK to park there.

    Can I fight it?
    Q: Can I fight it?

    A: First tell us how "driveway" is defined in the city ordinances AND the EXACT language of the ordinance under which you were cited.
    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  3. #3
    averad is offline Member
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    I see a lot of "fences" placed in drive ways to stop people from turning around. I wouldn_t ever park where the sidewalk breaks, dips or is colored differently.
  4. #4
    venitian is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorjudge
    Q: Can I fight it?

    A: First tell us how "driveway" is defined in the city ordinances AND the EXACT language of the ordinance under which you were cited.
    This is in Venice, CA and I was cited under 22500 (e):

    "22500. No person shall stop, park, or leave standing any vehicle whether attended or unattended, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the directions of a peace officer or official traffic control device, in any of the following places:
    ....
    (e) In front of a public or private driveway, except that a bus engaged as a common carrier, schoolbus, or a taxicab may stop to load or unload passengers when authorized by local authorities pursuant to an ordinance.

    In unincorporated territory, where the entrance of a private road or driveway is not delineated by an opening in a curb or by other curb construction, so much of the surface of the ground as is paved, surfaced, or otherwise plainly marked by vehicle use as a private road or driveway entrance, shall constitute a driveway. "

    I looked up driveway in the vehicle code on the DMV website and this is what I got:
    "Private Road or Driveway
    490. “Private road or driveway” is a way or place in
    private ownership and used for vehicular travel by the owner
    and those having express or implied permission from the
    owner but not by other members of the public."

    Does this mean that a dip in the curb about yeah wide is a driveway? What is there was a wall instead of a fence?

    The fence (~3ft wide) is enclosing the whole front yard, with a small gate (normal~3ft wide) to allow entrance into the yard and has shrubs growing around it. You could get a bicycle through the gate, but there is no way that you could pull into that driveway.

    Thanks!
  5. #5
    seniorjudge is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by venitian
    This is in Venice, CA and I was cited under 22500 (e):

    "22500. No person shall stop, park, or leave standing any vehicle whether attended or unattended, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the directions of a peace officer or official traffic control device, in any of the following places:
    ....
    (e) In front of a public or private driveway, except that a bus engaged as a common carrier, schoolbus, or a taxicab may stop to load or unload passengers when authorized by local authorities pursuant to an ordinance.

    In unincorporated territory, where the entrance of a private road or driveway is not delineated by an opening in a curb or by other curb construction, so much of the surface of the ground as is paved, surfaced, or otherwise plainly marked by vehicle use as a private road or driveway entrance, shall constitute a driveway. "

    I looked up driveway in the vehicle code on the DMV website and this is what I got:
    "Private Road or Driveway
    490. “Private road or driveway” is a way or place in
    private ownership and used for vehicular travel by the owner
    and those having express or implied permission from the
    owner but not by other members of the public."

    Does this mean that a dip in the curb about yeah wide is a driveway? What is there was a wall instead of a fence?

    The fence (~3ft wide) is enclosing the whole front yard, with a small gate (normal~3ft wide) to allow entrance into the yard and has shrubs growing around it. You could get a bicycle through the gate, but there is no way that you could pull into that driveway.

    Thanks!

    Sounds like to me you're guilty on all counts.

    I park at a place very similar in the Garden District, so I won't be surprised when NOLA tickets me. They need the money....
    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  6. #6
    venitian is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorjudge
    Sounds like to me you're guilty on all counts.

    I park at a place very similar in the Garden District, so I won't be surprised when NOLA tickets me. They need the money....
    Can you please explain to me why I'm guilty on all counts? I don't quite understand the language, is it because there is a gate, even though it's not wide enough? As far as LA needing it, can I instead choose to send the amount of the ticket to NOLA?

    Thanks!
  7. #7
    seniorjudge is offline Senior Member
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    Okay, here is what you did:

    "22500. No person shall stop, park, or leave standing any vehicle whether attended or unattended, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the directions of a peace officer or official traffic control device, in any of the following places:
    ....
    (e) In front of a public or private driveway, except that a bus engaged as a common carrier, schoolbus, or a taxicab may stop to load or unload passengers when authorized by local authorities pursuant to an ordinance.



    It doesn't say anything about the driveway being used; it just says driveway.

    And what is a driveway?

    In unincorporated territory, where the entrance of a private road or driveway is not delineated by an opening in a curb or by other curb construction, so much of the surface of the ground as is paved, surfaced, or otherwise plainly marked by vehicle use as a private road or driveway entrance, shall constitute a driveway.



    Of course, I could be wrong.
    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  8. #8
    venitian is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorjudge
    Okay, here is what you did:

    "22500. No person shall stop, park, or leave standing any vehicle whether attended or unattended, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the directions of a peace officer or official traffic control device, in any of the following places:
    ....
    (e) In front of a public or private driveway, except that a bus engaged as a common carrier, schoolbus, or a taxicab may stop to load or unload passengers when authorized by local authorities pursuant to an ordinance.



    It doesn't say anything about the driveway being used; it just says driveway.

    And what is a driveway?

    In unincorporated territory, where the entrance of a private road or driveway is not delineated by an opening in a curb or by other curb construction, so much of the surface of the ground as is paved, surfaced, or otherwise plainly marked by vehicle use as a private road or driveway entrance, shall constitute a driveway.

    Of course, I could be wrong.
    Venice is incorporated (under Los Angeles). But what about the DMV's definition of a driveway being for "vehicular travel". I won't fight the $40 (I'll probably have to take a whole day off and that would cost me a lot more), but I just wanted some insight...
  9. #9
    The Occultist is offline Senior Member
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    DMV's definition? If it somehow is a different definition than under city ordinances, then it's irrelevant. According to the city ordinance, a driveway is a driveway, and putting a fence in front of it does not change the fact that it is a driveway.
  10. #10
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by venitian
    Venice is incorporated (under Los Angeles). But what about the DMV's definition of a driveway being for "vehicular travel". I won't fight the $40 (I'll probably have to take a whole day off and that would cost me a lot more), but I just wanted some insight...
    A motorcycle is a motor vehicle ... a bicycle is a vehicle ... there could be any number of vehicles that coule make it up that driveway and through the gate.

    It is not incumbent upon a citing officer to verify with a resident that the driveway is ever used. The fact that it exists and is obvious are all that are required.

    However, since it appears that the driveway was from a long since removed gate (for a trailer or RV, presumably), you MIGHT be able to prevail if you fight the parking ticket and bring in photos. However, you might only waste an hour of your time.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  11. #11
    venitian is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdwJava
    A motorcycle is a motor vehicle ... a bicycle is a vehicle ... there could be any number of vehicles that coule make it up that driveway and through the gate.

    It is not incumbent upon a citing officer to verify with a resident that the driveway is ever used. The fact that it exists and is obvious are all that are required.

    However, since it appears that the driveway was from a long since removed gate (for a trailer or RV, presumably), you MIGHT be able to prevail if you fight the parking ticket and bring in photos. However, you might only waste an hour of your time.

    - Carl
    I drove by today and saw somebody else getting a ticket in that same spot. So I stopped and chatted with the officer. He said that the owner calls and complains about people blocking his driveway, and that, otherwise, he would not ticket it on his own (maybe he's trying to sound nice). He also said that if the fence was made of brick or concrete, he wouldn't ticket even if the owner called. Wow, that sounds to me like a perfect arrangement. The owner has a 'permanent' parking space in front of his house without the 'ugly' driveway getting in the way of his front yard, and the city has a steady supply of $40 suckers!

    I paid my $40 today, but I still don't know what the real definition of a driveway is!
  12. #12
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by venitian
    I paid my $40 today, but I still don't know what the real definition of a driveway is!
    The "real' definition is irrelevant. The "legal" definition in CA is as previously posted:

    CVC 490 "Private road or driveway" is a way or place in private
    ownership and used for vehicular travel by the owner and those having
    express or implied permission from the owner but not by other
    members of the public.


    And most these types of cites are issued as a result of a complaint. We rarely issue driveway cites to private residences without a complaint because the vehicles generally there are the resident's. But! We COULD cite even the resident if we were so inclined.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  13. #13
    venitian is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdwJava
    But! We COULD cite even the resident if we were so inclined.

    - Carl
    Thanks Carl! Maybe one day an eager officer will cite the owner as well (I'd like Karma to catch up with that person!) I'm staying away from dips in the curb from now on....I guess that's my $40 lesson.
  14. #14
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by venitian
    Thanks Carl! Maybe one day an eager officer will cite the owner as well (I'd like Karma to catch up with that person!) I'm staying away from dips in the curb from now on....I guess that's my $40 lesson.
    It's also possible to challenge the cite and, perhaps, mention that the officer is receiving complaints from the resident. It is possible that the city can notice the owner of their intent to properly "curb" the gutter as it is obviously no longer a driveway.

    But, being in the big sprawl of L.A., I doubt that things would move quite so effectively. In my neck of the woods all it would take would be for me to walk down the hall to the Director of Public Works' office.

    Good luck. And it's always best to avoid those sloped driveways even if they go to nowhere.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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