But it’s now the official rule in Markham, where leaving your car on part of your own property can result in you getting a ticket.
Local councillors passed the regulation Tuesday night, banning any expanded driveways in the city and issuing a warning to those whose parking space currently covers more than 75 percent of their front yard.
If they leave their cars on that extra width, they’ll be given tickets for the offence. And fines could range as high as $1,500.
Under the changes, the maximum allowed measurement of a driveway is the width of a garage door plus an additional two metres. Or it could be 6.1 metres, but only if at least 40 percent of their yard is devoted to green space.
And they’ll also be tagged if they park on the street overnight without a permit – a license that costs at least $70 a month.
The plan is designed to prevent Markham from turning into a paved-over concrete jungle.
It’s estimated there are at least 17,000 expanded driveways in the area, where parking is tight. But when council refused to exempt those who already had their space expanded, it raised a furor among voters.
CityNews first told you about the plan last April. And residents weren’t happy about it then. They’re livid now.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous,” fumes Peter Sommer. “I don’t think they understand what they’ve done.”
But Councillor George McKelvey, who also has a now useless expanded driveway, counters the town knew exactly what it was doing.
“The bedrooms were put in the house to sleep in, the garage was put in the house to park the cars,” he retorts.
Sommer claims that response shows how out of touch local politicians are. “We always park two cars in the garage,” he explains. “We have five cars.”
He then asks the question many are wondering. “Is there nothing more pressing in Markham that needs to be addressed?”
McKelvey agrees the issue isn’t compeltely settled.
“I think that we need to go back and visit that because there are some areas where people are going to be restricted to two cars,” he notes.
The town vows to begin with an education program and won’t start handing out fines until at least 2008.
But not everyone who passed the law will be there by then. Angry voters are already pledging to make this an election issue this November, and threaten to turf out those who supported the idea.