Toledo TIckets Residents For Parking In Their Own Driveways

I live in a city, but in a house with a driveway, which makes me extraordinarily blessed in the parking department. Not so much if I lived in Toledo, Ohio, though. Police The mayor’s office there are is handing out tickets to people for parking in their own driveways.

Turns out that it’s illegal to park on any unpaved surface in Toledo…and that includes gravel or dirt driveways.

Ohioans Ticketed For Parking In Own Driveways [WTVG]

(Photo: hagner_james)


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  1. 1234tu says:

    So they are going to generate some revenue by harassing innocent homeowners. Nice.

    • Megladon says:


      I think its time for homeowners to start cleaning their guns in their driveway. My money says either they skip your car, or they dont make it to your car.

      • leprendun says:

        @Megladon: That’s an intelligent comment–actually shoot someone for wrongfully giving you a ticket. That certainly warrants deadly force.

        • Darkest Daze says:

          @leprendun: It may not warrant it, but if enough people get shot, Toledo police may think twice about giving stupid tickets.

          It’ll only require about 20 or so people to sacrifice their freedom (and 20 officers) to get the point across.

          • Bailen says:

            @Darkest Daze: I do believe that is the first step to hardline suicide bomber style thinking! Bravo!

            • Darkest Daze says:

              @Bailen: Never said I condone or even think it’s a good/smart idea. But I believe guarding your property is slightly different then going to highly populated places and taking out civilians….either way, both would be signs of someone with a clear deficiency on what is right or wrong.

          • Firethorn says:

            @Darkest Daze:
            One problem with your idea was that it wasn’t the cops giving the tickets, it was a commissioner.

            “Thursday the mayor’s streets, bridges and harbor commissioner Sue Frederick ticketed cars in their owners’ yards all along Holland-Sylvania Road.”

        • Shawn Gould says:


          Who said they had to shoot to Kill? :)

          A couple of busted up legs and arms should do the trick nicely

          • cluberti says:

            @Shawn Gould: True – living to tell of the horrors can be far better than martyrdom ;). Seriously though, if enough people decide not to pay, and start protesting, I’m pretty sure the other folks in Toledo will also see this as being as stupid as it sounds (ticketing me for parking otherwise legally on MY private property???). Political pressure should work about as well as a bullet to the arm or leg, I would think.

            • Alternate says:

              @cluberti: I think the solution here is simple. If they try to ticket your car on your property, tell them to leave because they are trespassing in your property, and if they dont immediately leave call the police and file a complaint.

              • PencilSharp says:

                @Alternate: One li’l problem with that line of thinking, Alt: As city officials, they have the ability to enter anywhere in the city limits to fulfill their duties (including being asshats about parking on an unpaved surface, a law obviously against people parking on the grass next to city streets). Meter readers also need access to your property as a customer of their utility, and have the same power.

                It is true that gunplay is a little excessive as a solution here; however, a full-blown recall of every single elected official in Toledo would get the point across very clearly…

        • Saboth says:


          He didn’t say kill them…maybe just maim them a little.

          And yeah, I agree…government in general has gotten out of hand. Supposedly the people run the country, and the government works for them, but these days it’s the other way around.

    • GyroMight says:

      @1234tu: Sounds to me like the city is just trying to clean up it’s image. I mean who in the city has a unpaved driveway? I use to live in the country of southern Indiana and had a gravel driveway, but I can’t imagine having that or a dirt driveway in the city.

      Pony up the $500 and get your driveway tarred.

      • DefineStatutory says:


        $500? Someone hasn’t had stuff paved recently.

        • qcgallus says:

          @DefineStatutory: Am I the only one that’s bothered by the discussion that entailed killing/incapacitating cops because of a traffic ticket?? I know it was in jest, but poor taste all around.

          • DoktorGoku says:

            @qcgallus: I think it’s less due to a traffic ticket, and more due to people entering private property without a warrant. When the government becomes so intrusive that it starts chucking out the Bill of Rights (Unreasonable search and seizure), people are going to get jumpy.

            I’m not saying it directly applies in this situation- I don’t know, as I’m not a lawyer- but that would be my speculation on the matter.

      • qcgallus says:

        @FoxBearDog: I used to live in southern Indiana too (Martinsville) and gravel driveways are just standard there. Hell, they are all OVER Indiana. But I too can’t get a gravel driveway in a city. Maybe it’s not a driveway? Just a spot to park? My apartment building here in Minneapolis had that–we had a gravel spot behind the apartment to park cars for a bit. They then paved it over because it looked kind of crappy.

        Seriously folks, pony up the money and have your driveway paved.

  2. The-Lone-Gunman says:

    Isn’t the driveway on private property?

    Doesn’t there have to be some sort of filed complaint/warrant before the police can come onto private property?

    I’m confused.

    • HunterZ says:

      @The-Lone-Gunman: It’s possible that the government has some kind of an easement that they’re using as a loophole, but yeah it seems fishy to me.

    • Project_J187 says:

      @The-Lone-Gunman: The city of Toledo dusted off there copy of loopy laws and started enforcing. What’s not to get?

      FYI, in Texas you have to get out at an intersection and fire your pistol in the air 3 times if a woman is driving. (seriously)

      • gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

        @Project_J187: what if i don’t own a pistol?

      • wardawg says:

        @Project_J187: I thought shooting a firearm in the air was a felony in most states?

      • WraithSama says:

        I’d like to see someone use that archaic law as justification to stop at intersections and starting firing their gun into the air. The police would likely arrest the person for all the other laws that violates, but the question is, would the antiquated law get them off the hook?

      • CompyPaq says:

        @Project_J187: You haven’t been allowed to carry pistols around in public in Texas since reconstruction. So nice going.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        @Project_J187: pretty sure i read once that in texas you also need to get out and look for horses at a 4 way intersection, but it wasn’t in a legal document so i have no official reference

      • Canino says:

        @Project_J187: FYI, in Texas you have to get out at an intersection and fire your pistol in the air 3 times if a woman is driving. (seriously)

        Please. Most of those “crazy old laws” are urban legends.

        All of the State of Texas’ laws and statutes are online and searchable at the State website. I invite you to find anything remotely similar to what you said and post the link here.

      • The-Lone-Gunman says:

        @Project_J187: FYI, in Texas you have to get out at an intersection and fire your pistol in the air 3 times if a woman is driving. (seriously)

        This reminds me how much I missed my ex-wife when she drove.

        My aim is considerably better now. (seriously)

    • humphrmi says:

      @The-Lone-Gunman: I’m not saying it’s right, but the government can *actually* limit what you can do on private property. For instance, killing someone. Or parking on gravel.

      Yeah, admittedly, they are two extreme opposite examples, but the point is, argue that the law is wrong, not that the government can pass laws limiting what you do on your property. You’ll always lose the latter argument.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @The-Lone-Gunman: I’m sure it’s a zoning law. My city is very specific about what my driveway can be like, what my garage can be like, how I can foot my kid’s swingset, etc.

      • Megan Squier says:

        @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): Where do you live? I can understand basic guidelines restricting how close any buildings on your property can be to your property line but how you foot your kid’s swingset?? That’s nuts!

        Maybe I’m just a bumpkin but most of these regulations seem pretty stupid. What if you like to work on cars and don’t have the garage space for all of your vehicles so you drop down some gravel to make extra parking places? What’s the issue with that? Or is working on your own car illegal in some jurisdictions too? That would really piss off my husband because he likes to work on cars (and motorcycles) to unwind after a hard day at the office. They’d have one VERY ticked off software engineer on their hands in that situation!

        Luckily, we live outside of Huntsville, AL (Madison County unincorporated area) where you can do pretty much anything you want to on your property aside from some obvious exceptions. Mainly, don’t turn your ENTIRE yard into a junkyard without getting a permit first. Other than that as long as your in a non HOA neighborhood, you can do pretty much anything within reason. Heck, Huntsville city is pretty reasonable too!

        • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

          @Megan Squier: Peoria, and it’s a limit on concrete-footed outbuildings and structures. If you want more than one, basically, you have to get a variance, so people can’t build, like, second houses on single-house lots.

          If you wanted drop gravel in your yard for all your vehicles, you couldn’t do that here. You’d either have to move somewhere with enough space or get a variance from the city (and they’d make you pave, not gravel). But these are smaller urban lots … ONE car would take up basically your whole front yard and it would look god-awful. (I’m generally pretty laissez faire about what people do in their yards and I think some of the zoning rules are moronic, but junker cars in the yard or permanently parked in the street looks terrible and has a significant property-value impact in an urban neighborhood where everyone’s constantly worried about urban blight.) Also, I can fit about five or six cars in my driveway plus two more in the garage (we tend to have detached, set-back garages — due to an older zoning law that didn’t allow garages attached to houses because of fire and carbon monoxide risk, before car engines got safer — so you have to go past the whole house on the driveway, so driveways are long).

          Really most of the zoning laws are pretty common sense — you can’t keep a trash pile, you can’t have compost that attracts rats, you can’t have an outhouse — and only rarely do you run up against a problem: like we’d like to put up a concrete-footed pergola but we already have a concrete-footed outbuilding garage, but that wouldn’t be a hard variance to get; or we knew a guy who had a dispute with a contractor, the contractor left a pile of materials on his property, and it SAT for about eight months before code enforcement ticketed him for a trash pile.

          But I think the best part is, we don’t really HAVE HOAs because we have zoning laws and code enforcement. Neighborhoods stay maintained to an acceptable community standard without having to get an HOA involved — but if you disagree with a code section, you have the means to try to change it, and if you have a dispute with the city over a code violation, you have due process rights and the city is limited (by state and federal constitutions and by state law) in what it can regulate, which HOAs often aren’t. So if your husband wanted to gravel up his front yard for his cars, he could approach his council person, petition the city council, approach his state rep, even get it put on the ballot as a local referendum. He might not win, but he’d at least have a bunch of recourse.

          • downwithmonstercable says:

            @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): Ahh just saw your other post. Makes sense. Although still a bit over the top IMO.

            • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

              @downwithmonstercable: Virtually all of the zoning/code laws have reasons behind them, and the reasons typically make good sense. I was confused, for example, when I moved here as to why the rules on compost piles were so strict. Someone explained to me that that’s because this is a river-side city and has river rats, and improperly-done compost will draw rats into neighborhoods. NO THANK YOU! I am DELIGHTED to comply with these relatively restrictive compost rules in the interest of avoiding rats!

              But, again, the really crucial part is that you have recourse against the city, the opportunity to change the laws through the democratic process, and the chance to pursue a variance — and go to court over it if necessary. Which ISN’T the case with an HOA in most cases. And of course if you’re THAT pissed off about it, you can always run for office and make changes that way. (Which, incidentally, I did this spring when I got super-pissed at how the school board was wasting taxpayer money. And, somewhat to my surprise, I actually won.)

              Like if we build our pergola, which we want to concrete-food mainly to prevent the wood from rotting quickly, the city would probably just rubber-stamp that variance because we’re obviously NOT trying to circumvent the rules and build an amusement park or a second house in our backyard. Whereas (NOT MAKING THIS UP) the family that decided calling a plumber was too expensive and started defecating in their backyard — thank God for zoning laws that got their asses (ha ha) ticketed repeatedly and expensively until they fixed it.

              • RandomZero says:

                @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): I’m sorely tempted to move there, just for your compost laws. I’m in a rural section of a harbour city. We get particularly large and aggressive wharf rats, raccoons, coyotes, and black bears. And composting – in a flimsy plastic bin that keeps out approximately nothing – is mandated by law, with fines for people with food waste in their regular garbage.

                Yeah, it goes about as well as you would expect.

      • downwithmonstercable says:

        @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): That sounds more like homeowner’s association rules. They really have laws about that stuff on private property where you live?

      • subtlefrog says:

        @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): To be fair, it sounds like they don’t have a problem with the driveway BEING gravel, only with the car being parked on gravel. So is that a zoning law issue still? I have no clue about law stuff.

    • Coles_Law says:

      @The-Lone-Gunman: It depends. Here in Incoming Tornado, KS, you cannot have one of those metal assemble-in-a-weekend garages because any serious storm will demonstrate exactly how portable those things are. It’s possible the city got tired of people dragging gravel and mud into the road.

    • HiPwr says:

      @The-Lone-Gunman: Game wardens are able to go onto private property and enforce laws all they want. Being on private property doesn’t shield you from everything.

    • supercereal says:

      @The-Lone-Gunman: I don’t see how this is any different than building inspections or something similar. It’s illegal for your private home to have parts that are not up to city code, and nobody makes a fuss about that.

    • etla says:

      @The-Lone-Gunman: @Megan Squier:

      The people who push for these laws are exactly the people who think a car you aren’t driving everyday is an eyesore. This law is intended to stop just what you’re proposing.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Doesn’t there have to be some sort of filed complaint/warrant before the police can come onto private property?

      @The-Lone-Gunman: The tickets weren’t written by cops:

      Thursday the mayor’s streets, bridges and harbor commissioner Sue Frederick ticketed cars in their owners’ yards all along Holland-Sylvania Road.

      So I guess that’s how they got around that.

  3. henwy says:

    That’s pretty dicky, but on the otherhand, gravel driveways suck. Hmmm. I think we should just call it even and move on.

    • ludwigk says:

      @henwy: Except that people with gravel driveways can’t move on. They either need to have that law rescinded, or pave their driveways, neither of which is trivial.

    • PencilSharp says:

      @henwy: As the owner of a gravel driveway, I absolutely agree: they do suck. If this is such an issue, though, perhaps the city should pave all those driveways as a public service.

      Oops. Wait. That would cost Toledo money, instead of raising it thru asshat fees…

      • bwcbwc says:

        @PencilSharp: And if any city needs to raise money, it’s Toledo.

        Still, this is way out of hand. The fact that it isn’t the police handing out the tickets just reeks of corruption. Time for a recall vote, public meetings etc.

        As far as the private property “issue”, that’s a non-starter. Cities routinely issue citations for building code violations on private property. There may be a jurisdictional issue as to whether city commissioners can issue parking citations vs. code citations, but nothing about private property will stand up unless they’re in an area that requires a search warrant.

    • cortana says:

      @henwy: What I’d do, is go out and buy 4 large paving stones, and place those down so that car tires would fit nicely on them when parked. Then i’m parked on a paved surface, and the cops can go pound gravel.

  4. chatterboxwriting says:

    Do we know what kind of vehicles these people had? My godmother lives in Toledo and she has mentioned that any kind of vehicle like a camper has to be parked on pavement. She’s never mentioned anything about regular vehicles though.

  5. MikeB says:

    Actually, it isn’t the police that are ticketing the cars.

    Thursday the mayor’s streets, bridges and harbor commissioner Sue Frederick ticketed cars in their owners’ yards all along Holland-Sylvania Road.

    You can see a longer story here []

    It appears that a city council member is paying the fines for the people ticketed. And is looking at legislation that would only allow police to write parking tickets.

    • dohtem says:

      @mbouchard: Holy Toledo!

    • SabreDC says:

      @mbouchard: That’s interesting. I didn’t realize that a legislative branch (even on the local/municipal level) had the authority to execute the laws (as police officers in an executive branch). As someone who worked in state and federal governments at the executive and legislative levels, it seems to be improper for a legislative entity such as a city council (one responsible for making the laws) to also enforce the laws.

      • MikeB says:

        @SabreDC: We have a division in the city government were I live that enforces parking downtown. But they only ticket people downtown, no place else. Have never heard a thing close to this before.

        • SabreDC says:

          @mbouchard: They are probably under contract by the city, like a parking authority. In that case, they aren’t actually government, but a private contractor (like Philadelphia’s Parking Authority).

  6. I Love New Jersey says:

    Sounds like the mayor will probably not be mayor after that recall vote in November.

  7. wvFrugan says:

    This is key: “Turns out that it’s illegal to park on any unpaved surface in Toledo…and that includes gravel or dirt driveways.”

    Where I live we have the same law and I believe it started out as a tool to stop people from having their own private junk yards on the front lawn and to prevent parking on a mess and then dragging mud & gravel onto public roads. As is often the case, it gets twisted, here to raise $. Where I live they used it to get back at a local business that was just outside city limits & won a suit to not pay local B&O taxes: their parking lot was a location appropriate gravel lot in good shape but located within city limits, unlike the business building itself. They made him pave it. At the same time, a local bar & a church had gravel parking lots that were in poor repair and not appropriate for the locations & always caused mud & gravel to be drug onto the road.

    • jaydez says:

      @wvFrugan: The town I grew up in had a problem like that. They eventually passed a law and required everyone to have a 12′ paved area at the end of the driveway that connects to the road. That seemed to fix the problem… oh, and town town paid half of the cost to install it.

  8. SpruceStreetPhil - in a new Pine flavor says:

    and what happens if all you have is a gravel driveway??

    I say someone goes to the mayors house and rips up his driveway so he has nowhere to park… or just vote him out of office, either way suits me fine.

    If I lived there, had the desire and wealth, I would run on the ticket that I’m not a d-bag and doesn’t misuse laws like that guy. /points finger

    • pb5000 says:

      @SpruceStreetPhil – but ya gotta take market, the bridge is out: They are trying to recall the Toledo mayor: []

      This is also the same mayor that had a plan to relocate all the deaf people to closer to the airport: []

      • wardawg says:

        @pb5000: That’s offensively ignorant, just because deaf people can’t hear the airplanes doesn’t mean they can’t feel the vibrations…

        • SpruceStreetPhil - in a new Pine flavor says:

          @wardawg: I say we move all the blind people to the ugly parts of town.

          Then we should move all the Asians to chinatown (no matter what language or culture they actually are)

          After that all the Jews get their own special part, specifically walled off for them called the Ghetto.


          or we don’t suggest crap like that because we are civilized people who don’t slash mayors’ tires for encouraging civil workers to give tickets. No we don’t do that. no we don’t… no…

  9. tricky1 says:

    Same thing in my city, but I hardly see it enforced.

  10. wcnghj says:

    MHM, excuse me while I install a gate at the end of my driveway you cannot see through.

  11. BigFoot_Pete says:

    Sounds like a class-action lawsuit for trespassing might just be brewing.

    • tbonekatz says:

      I don’t think it would qualify as trespassing if there is a city ordnance against parking on an unpaved surface. Same as ordnances that say your grass can only be so tall. If you don’t mow it, the city comes on your property and mows it for you (and sends you a bill).

      • Skaperen says:

        @tbonekatz: One has to be able to park SOMEWHERE on their property. The city should have a right to make sure cars are not just parked anywhere. But a place that is clearly arranged as a driveway, even if it is gravel or dirt, is perfectly valid … in a moral sense … for parking. The city should not have the authority to go beyond making laws against the activities that harm others. So tell me how it is that forcing people to spend money to pave a driveway changes that harm factor.

        • DefineStatutory says:


          Actually, there’s no law that says you have to be able to park on your property. Lots of homes don’t have off street parking.

      • HogwartsAlum says:


        There is a house in my neighborhood that had grass three feet tall; I’m not exaggerating. I went by it on my walk several times and there was a Health Department notice posted on the sidewalk outside.

        Last week I walked by there and someone had cut the grass and the notice was gone. I don’t know if anyone even lives there.

    • Canino says:

      @BigFoot_Pete: To sue someone successfully you must show financial loss. I doubt if you can convince a lawyer to take a case of suing someone for trespassing, and there’s even less chance of convincing a judge or jury to award you anything.

      • DefineStatutory says:


        Get your common sense out of here! This here’s America…and if I want to sue someone, I’ll dadgum sue them!

        I’m so sick of people throwing out the “Sue them!” card. It shows the general ignorance that most people have of how the law actualy works.

  12. LostTurntable says:

    I’m originally from Toledo (I escaped several years ago) and I think it’s worth mentioning that they have one of the stupidest mayors in America, Carty Finkbeiner. He suggested that the city could make money by selling houses near the airport to deaf people, he’s parked in handicapped spots and left his dog in the car in the summer, he nearly picked a fight with the chief of police, and he woulnd’t let the Marines do their training in the city because they “scare people.”

    • frank64 says:

      @LostTurntable: He seemed like a real jerk during the interview. If he really believed what he was doing was right he would have acted differently. He seemed to have no concern for the people involved. It isn’t that much revenue, really so maybe he or someone was mad or wanted to make a point?

    • hegemonyhog says:

      @LostTurntable: Don’t forget about his Golden Shower – the $9,999 shower he had built in his office for no apparent reason other than that he could.

    • sicknick says:

      @LostTurntable: Not to point out the obvious, but aren’t the people of Toledo even dumber for reelecting him over and over?

      • bwpopper says:

        @sicknick: Yes, they are. Finkbeiner is a very familiar name in Toledo and a Democrat. He wins the primary based on his name recognition and the general election based on his party affiliation. Then the morons that vote straight tickets realize it’s him the day after the election and immediately start circulating recall petitions… And that’s why Toledo is the asshole of the world.

    • friendlynerd says:

      Same situation, same sentiment. He was mayor when I was in high school and I thought he was a moron then. When he was re-elected I was mortified.

    • post_break says:

      @LostTurntable: Yeah I’m stuck here. It’s like having Bush as your mayor and President. Finkbiner is an idiot. He saw someone speeding on the trail once, raced his car up to him to complain and try to get him arrested. In doing so he was breaking the law.

    • Skaperen says:

      @LostTurntable: And he’s a disgrace to the Democratic party, too.

  13. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    I’m waiting for them to start arresting people for loitering in their own yards.

  14. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    This is in Ohio. We were nearly ticketed in Salem, OH once for drinking beer on our front porch. But the cop was a total sh**bag. Maybe he went on to be mayor of Toledo…

  15. Sunny Yeung says:

    If the driveways are private property, then I smell two possible scenarios:

    1. The ticket writers are trespassing.
    2. The ticket writers entered the property without a warrant.

    I think some “fun things” could happen if a lawyer takes these arguments and runs with them.

    • tbonekatz says:

      @Sunny Yeung:
      If the police can see the violation without entering your property, then they don’t need a warrant to deal with the violation. Doesn’t matter if it’s a car in the driveway or pot growing in your flower beds or a domestic disturbance.

    • ColonelK says:

      @Sunny Yeung: The ticket writer’s search is legal because he has probable cause. He can see the car parked “illegally” from the public street. Just like the police may search your car if they smell or see drugs in your car.

      That doesn’t make the tickets any less crappy.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @Sunny Yeung: Where I live, zoning enforcement isn’t constrained by trespassing laws if the violation is visible.

      (Or involves rats, but that’s a whole different thing.)

  16. Robobot says:

    They have a similar law in Hyattsville, MD. If you have so much as one car tire on the grass/gravel on your personal property you get a personal visit from the code enforcer and possibly a ticket. We were visited by a Prince George’s County policeman once because a housemate’s parents were moving him in and they had THREE WHOLE TIRES on the grass by our back door.

    The stupid thing is that Hyattsville isn’t a fancy suburb trying to keep up appearances, in fact it is a violent pit of suck. I hope Toledo is at least nice enough to have silly laws like this.

  17. kpetree10 says:

    Here’s more details and a video from Toledo’s 13abc.

    I live in Toledo and heard about it last night, I couldn’t believe what I saw!

  18. SpruceStreetPhil - in a new Pine flavor says:

    In Philadelphia it is illegal to kiss someone unless you are married to them.

    I could easily see mayor nutter picking up on this “gotcha” theme and going: WE NEED THE MONEY, ANYONE THAT WORKS FOR ANYONE CAN FINE ANYONE FOR KISSING ANYONE (that they are not married to)

    – this is all hogwash

    I read/heard somewhere that the city of Toledo supports its laws. What type of bullsh*t statement is that? Of course it supports its REASONABLE laws. Should New Orleans support the law that you can go the wrong way on a one way street if you have a lantern hanging on the front of your car? Should unmarried people be fined for kissing in Philadelphia?

    This is just another example of the major overhaul that every level of government (especially legislative and executive) needs to go through in this downward spiraling country.

    • Brian James Schend says:

      @SpruceStreetPhil – but ya gotta take market, the bridge is …: I’m sure every one of those laws you cite are BS.

      • jtheletter says:

        @Brian James Schend: Without a reference yourself, how is your comment any more correct or informative than the OP? Honestly, you’re just being asinine.

        The fact is there are a lot of old laws on the books all over the country that don’t make sense given technological and social progress. Some of these laws are used from time to time to selectively harass people, or raise revenue in an underhanded fashion (most likely that’s the case in Toledo). What needs to be done is development of a legislative process whereby old laws are examined and REMOVED when they no longer serve a useful purpose or just plain aren’t being enforced evenly. Sunset provisions of varying length should be the standard for most laws IMHO, as it forces legislative bodies to review and update laws. Otherwise we get this sort of scenario, as well as well-meaning laws that turn out to have loopholes or unforeseen consequences which could then be corrected when the sunset provision brings them up for review.
        It should strike people as odd and worrisome that the primary work of our lawmakers is to add laws, but rarely if ever, to repeal them.
        This would also force politicians to show their true colors when an unpopular law comes up on sunset. They would be forced to approve/repeal/update the law and couldn’t simply side skirt the issue because it’s politically untenable.

      • SpruceStreetPhil - in a new Pine flavor says:

        @Brian James Schend: My Wharton Legal Studies professor would reference them several times in the semester I took his class. Thus STFU facebooker.

  19. enginecraft says:

    our local news had a news segment on this and showed the mayor on a sidewalk answering some questions. A lot of questions related to this he dodged or defended…I guess that’s why he’s facing a recall vote in November. according to one article i read the mayor deputized city workers allowing them to do this.

    • Nighthawke says:

      @enginecraft: He has WAYY overstepped his bounds this time. Deputizing any citizen needs to be done by the leading law enforcement officer. The sheriff needs to step up to the plate and put this bum under house arrest until Nov 7.

      It’s a gold-plated guarantee that he’s gone after the vote.

      Now zoning and deed violations can be cited, but any property owner can dispute that in due process. But was there any before the tickets started to hit the windshields? The article didn’t mention anything, nor do any other previous news articles.

      He’s gone, you can take that and bank on it.

  20. humphrmi says:

    I’m going out on a limb here, and putting on my flame retardant suit just in case.

    Yeah, I get it, we pay for our property and should be able to do whatever the hell we want on it, within reason.

    But here’s the other side. In my town, because of a number of reasons, street parking is extremely limited and houses and apartments with paved designated parking spaces or garages are rare. That’s why, when we shopped our house, we only looked at listings that had garages.

    So a few years ago, when everyone had to have three cars – an SUV, a train car, and a luxury car – folks ran out of room to park and started parking on their lawns. One guy, a neighbor of mine, tore up a strip of grass in his front yard and laid down gravel. He tried to hire a company to pave it, but couldn’t get the permit because most of the area he wanted to pave was on a municipal easement. So instead, he tore up his front lawn and laid down gravel. That’s a great look. Meanwhile, other neighbors just pulled their pieces of shit Dodges up onto their lawns and left them sit there. Pretty soon it was like living in a friggin’ trailer park, until laws got passed and the police cracked down.

    While I agree that there are certain rights that you have when you buy land, you also have responsibilities and neighbors and their property values depend on your property values. And their “peaceful enjoyment” of their property depends on you not turning the block into a used car lot.

    • SpruceStreetPhil - in a new Pine flavor says:

      @humphrmi: The real problem here is that this unenforced law all of a sudden was popping up everywhere. You cannot expect citizens to memorize law codes, thats what lawyers are for.

      People know laws because they are familiar with them through everyday life. You don’t run stop signs, you don’t murder people, you don’t litter, you don’t get in fights with the police chief, you don’t leave your dog in cars during hot days. These are all known because they are either common sense or commonly enforced.

      Now any police officer could go look up some 1800’s obscure law and start enforcing it, but he’d be a douche bag if it no longer applied to society or if the government didn’t at least give warning before enforcement was started again.

      I understand the need for “beauty laws.” Some people keep their places looking like junk-yards and no one wants to look at that, much less live by it. But the mayor should have issued these people warnings instead of fines and because he didn’t he is classified as a Type 1 Ass in my book.

      • humphrmi says:

        @SpruceStreetPhil – but ya gotta take market, the bridge is …: Agreed 100%. And in my (agreed, anecdotal…) case the village I live in made a big deal about new parking regulations when they passed them… mailers, our local community news flier, newspapers, etc. That’s fair.

        • valthun says:

          @humphrmi: here is my take on it. If you watch the video provided in someones post up above. You can see the location that was getting ticketed. These are homes that have been there for years, and for years have had gravel driveways. If this had been the law longer than these homes were built, then whoever built the homes should be on the hook for correcting the error. If the law is younger than those homes, they should have been warned well in advance with plenty of time to resolve the issue.

      • friendlynerd says:

        @SpruceStreetPhil – but ya gotta take market, the bridge is …:
        I see your point, for sure. But being from Toledo (and living in S. Philly actually, hello!) I can say it’s not really the situation here.

        Holland-Sylvania road, mentioned in the article as being heavily ticketed, has some very rural sections with a lot of homes set way back from the street and having gravel driveways. It’s not a case of crowded parking and people parking on the grass…it’s straight-up driveways.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @humphrmi: I also find all the objections to this odd. I know some Consumerist readers DO live in places with no zoning laws whatsoever, but zoning codes specifying how driveways have to be, etc., are not unusual at all. I live in a dense-ish urban area. There are an ENORMOUS number of restrictions on how I maintain my property and what I can do to it, so that I don’t run a tannery or a goat farm or let my house fall down. That’s how humans manage to live in close proximity without killing one another.

      On the flip side, if Toledo has this many gravel driveways AND a law on the books against gravel driveways, something is amiss — and there are typically legal problems with selling a home that has zoning or code violations, so unless people have lived there since quite a long time ago, there’s definitely major issues that need to be resolved before the law is SUDDENLY re-enforced.

    • billy says:

      @humphrmi: “Within reason” is usually defined as “not against the law.” In other words, you CAN do what you want as long as it’s not illegal. In this case, they’ve made something silly illegal.

      • DefineStatutory says:


        They didn’t make something silly illegal, they decided to enforce a law that already existed. Its not silly for exactly the reasons Humphrmi brought up, people take the gravel thing to excess and it becomes a blight in the neighborhood.

        I don’t necessairly have an issue with the law, but I don’t like the sudden overnight change in its enforcement.

        • billy says:

          @DefineStatutory: I realize that they are enforcing an old law. I’m sure when it was passed people thought it was silly. Some people seem to think it’s silly now. Some people, obviously, feel otherwise and that’s fine, too. Personally, I don’t think it’s unreasonable.

          My contention is with the line, “Yeah, I get it, we pay for our property and should be able to do whatever the hell we want on it, within reason” (although I realize now that the OP doesn’t necessarily agree with that). Again, “within reason” is ultimately different for everyone, but as long as there is a law about it, there was ostensibly some elected person in the legislature who represents the “people” and thought it was a great idea. Thus, it’s the people’s will and the law is “within reason” until otherwise superseded or struck down.

          Now, on to your contention that you don’t like the “sudden overnight change in its enforcement.” Police officers and other officials always have discretion as to whether they enforce violations of their municipal codes (unless they are somehow directed to do so by court order). Everyone is presumed to know what the laws are in their jurisdiction, too. So you’re complaining that Toledo is enforcing an otherwise “good” law that presumably went years (maybe decades?) without enforcing? Should Toledo send out some type of notice that they were going to be enforcing the laws of the city?

  21. vastrightwing says:

    Prime example of why asking the state to “regulate” anything is always a bad idea. Eventually they will use regulation to coerce you!

    Think it’s still a good idea to have the state “regulate” the sound of commercials now?

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      @vastrightwing: Good God! The next thing you know they’ll be telling us what side of the street we can drive on!

      • SpruceStreetPhil - in a new Pine flavor says:

        @IfThenElvis: side of the street? I always thought it was the middle and oncomers always viciously swerve to get out of your way?? Always seemed fishy to me, but hey, it works.

  22. ShortBus says:

    Toledo is also one of the few cities in America to have had red light traffic cameras for years.

    If you run a red light, a camera snaps a pic of your license plate. A couple weeks later you get a bill in the mail from a private company in AZ. The company installed and maintains all the cameras for free and gives the city a cut of the “ticket” income. Unlike a real traffic ticket, there are no points added to your license nor are the Toledo Police involved. The whole program is simply acts as a giant ATM machine for the city government.

    • SpruceStreetPhil - in a new Pine flavor says:

      @ShortBus: I think we should also privatize the traffic light timing systems, ideally to the same company that operates the traffic light ticketing system. MONEY!!!!!

    • J.Heck says:

      @ShortBus: It does end up on your credit report though if you don’t pay it.

    • The Porkchop Express says:

      @ShortBus: Umm, you should get a ticket for running the red light..right?

      Who cares who gets the money, you’re not supposed to do it because it puts your life and others’ lives in danger. Tickets are supposed to deter this kind of stuff.

      • LibraryGeek says:

        @Lo-Pan: The problem is that too often there have been towns caught reducing the length of the yellow light. Thus, a yellow light that one could reasonably make in another town, was gone too soon and you were suddenly going through a red. Very convenient for the town. There have been studies done showing that the cameras reduce safety because people will suddenly slam their brakes on, not trusting the yellow.

      • SpruceStreetPhil - in a new Pine flavor says:

        @Lo-Pan: You should care who gets the money you’re being fined for running the light. Complete privatisation of everything is a bad thing. Some things (law enforcement) need to be regulated only by the government. (And this is coming out of the mouth of a die hard capitalist.)

  23. katieoh says:

    i used to live right above toledo in michigan. the city’s a shithole and with the economy, things have only gotten worse. everyone was on their high horse because they made ~big money~ working for jeep. hella ignorance. still sucks to be those people right now, though. but, hey, carty’s still rulin’, so… myeh.

    although, and i could be wrong, didn’t a city councilwoman from there try to fight the power and let foreclosed families stay in their homes?

  24. rhys1882 says:

    The article is too vague to make specific sense of what is happening. If there’s a law that says your driveway has to be paved, then it should be they are being ticketed for having an unpaved driveway, not simply parking on it. If they are parking dozens of cars on their front lawn, that’s called a public nuisance and that’s what they should be fined for. Again, not for the actual act of “parking.” Another example is that I know in San Francisco it is illegal to block the sidewalk with a car, even if you are parked in your driveway. Makes sense to me.

    All the article says is there’s a law against parking on unpaved surfaces. My guess is that the law is designed to prohibit people from parking on the side of a road that isn’t supposed to be parked on. For example, more rural country roads that are not paved except for the highway itself. It looks like the mayor is pretty screwy (they are recalling him) and decided to aggressively interpret the law to raise revenue. I doubt any of those tickets will hold up in court. The government has to show a valid reason for infringing on someone’s property rights in that fashion. I don’t see any rational reason for only prohibiting parking on a private property gravel driveway.

  25. pjstevens77 says:

    Time for a mass emailing to let him know what a d-bag he is. Here’s the Mayor’s email address:

  26. jwissick says:

    I agree with the intent of the law. People should not be leaking oil and fluids on to the dirt but something that will retain it instead of it going to the water supply.

    I bet the main reason is to prevent people from parking cars on the lawn… which is an eyesore.

  27. post_break says:

    Here is an example of a gravel driveway on the road in question. The house next door also appears to have a gravel driveway.

  28. post_break says:


    Forgot the link!

  29. Bruce Orcutt says:

    There are a number of communities that have “open container” laws in Ohio, which makes drinking alcohol on ANY public facing area, such as private porches, illegal.

  30. adrew says:

    Solution: go to Home Depot and buy $10 worth of concrete patio pavers … one for each tire.


  31. Skin Art Squared says:

    Try living under a double HOA. You can’t change a lightbulb without permission. The 2 rule books are thicker than an L.A. phonebook.

  32. EyeintheLAsky says:

    This one time, in band camp, i was sick and stayed home from work (was living with my dad after just moving back to town).
    Thing was, i normally parked behind my Dads car in the driveway because i normally left for work @ 0430Am, while he left for work @ 0730.

    So, he had to move my car and my sisters cars around so he could get out.
    While doing so, he had parked one of the cars on OUR OWN LAWN, while moving the other two.
    He got a ticket from the parking enforcement officer for having a car parked on the lawn…even though the motor was running and OBVIOUSLY not there for an extended period of time.
    (parking on the street was also a no-no, because we lived in a school zone – DIRECTLY across the street from the school).

    Boy, did the city council get an earful!

  33. Skaperen says:

    The story comes from WTVG. The mayor refused to talk to WTVG. And he used to work for WTVG hosting a Sunday morning talk show called “Carty & Company”. And he did a weekly editorial called “It’s Just Not Right!”.

    Well, Mr. Finkbeiner … what your city is doing … it’s just not right!

  34. Matt Peters says:

    I have had this problem in Tulsa as well. It is a city ordnance in Tulsa that a car have to be parked on a “weather proof” surface. The way to get around it on the cheap is to a home improvement store and buy pavers. Get the cheapest one as they are going to break anyway when you park the car on it. You only need to get enough to make a parking space, the path up to the space does not matter. Good Luck, messing with the city is time consuming.

  35. billlnv says:

    In South Carolina it is legal to beat your wife on the court house steps on Sunday. Try doing that and see how it works out for you. You might be lucky if the cops arrest you before your wife takes matters into her own hands.

  36. nnj says:

    The Mayor better start packing his stuff and cleaning out his office. I could only imagine voters will go out of their way to not vote for him in the next election.

  37. AliceMaz says:

    Carty’s foibles are hilarious when watched from a distance… glad I moved away long ago.

    Anyone remember the city’s “Toled’Oh!” campaign?

  38. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    let’s face it folks there are only a couple of possible reasons for this.

    1. The person writing the ticket needs to meet quota.
    2. The person writing the ticket is a prick or has a problem with someone having a gravel driveway.
    3. The mayor is trying to drum up business for a buddy who owns a paving company.
    4. The mayor owns the paving company.
    5. The mayor and / or ticket issuer are complete morons without the ability to apply laws as intended.

    I suspect #5.

  39. merekat says:

    I live in a suburb of Cincinnati. We got a new Village Manager last year, and she immediately went on a tear about people blocking part of the sidewalk while parked in their own driveways. I park on the street, Mr. Merekat parks in the driveway (he works nights, and parking on our street at 3 or 4 in the morning is hard to find). He has a compact car, but the back bumper juts out about a foot over the sidewalk. One day, everyone in our neighborhood whose car was blocking part of the sidewalk got a warning from the cops. We complained, went to council meetings, met with the Village Manager. Turns out it’s an Ohio law, but the municipality can choose whether or not they wish to enforce it. This particular law had not been enforced for at least 40 years. The problem went away.

    A couple of months ago, the VM started up again, enforcing other laws dealing with parking. There are several of us that think this is a money grab, and hope council reins her in. If not, elections will be held in November, and they’ll get voted out of office.

  40. grandzu says:

    Another fly in the ointment in all of this is that “There is an appeals process but that costs $50”, twice the cost of the ticket.

  41. bagumpity says:

    Simple solution: Four large paving stones. Park just short of where you want to be, place one stone in front of each tire, get back in car and pull forward until tires are completely on the stones. You are no longer parking on an unpaved surface, and I seriously doubt that the relevant statute specifies the size or amount of paving required. This will work for gravel and dirt driveways as well as for lawns.

    Problem Solved.

  42. Smashville says:

    Clearly the problem is that they are parking in a driveway and driving on a parkway.

  43. p012382 says:

    ok.. so.. i live here in toledo! and yup mayor carty finkbiner has done screwed up again! It was in the news recently that he has fired city employees for not living in the city of Toledo, but only to find out that the state of ohio said that is illegal to do! I wouldnt be too surprised if he gets recalled in november because a recall for him is on the november ballot! its obvious that the city wants him out of office!

  44. BreadBoy says:

    What an AssHat

  45. AT203 says:

    Because the link to the video news-story is now dead, here is an article from the Toledo Blade: []