Is This a Legal Driveway?

Is This a Legal Driveway? title=
Is This a Legal Driveway?
24 Comments
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By an edhat reader

We live in a busy residential area. A neighbor wants to block people from parking on the street that also serves as a back entrance to their house that they rarely use, only for their boat (and they've cleared the sidewalk somehow and put dirt there as well as wood planks get left there). Today we got this note telling us not to park there.

We know this isn't right but does anybody know the legality of this?

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a-1517765543 Feb 04, 2018 09:32 AM
Is This a Legal Driveway?

Not a driveway, just a "hole" punched out of a property line for access. Be warned though, that if you do park there after being warned, "someone" might decide to damage your car. One last thing, it's not legal to leave debris in the road, even if it's meant to get you over the curb.So you could leave a note to your neighbor, "Please don't leave wood in the road." Bottom line: you have every right to park there.

tagdes Feb 04, 2018 09:33 AM
Is This a Legal Driveway?

The stone wall has a gate in it so maybe it's a permitted D/W and they weren't into spending enough to make aesthetically pleasing to their neighbors.

stormet54 Feb 04, 2018 10:12 AM
Is This a Legal Driveway?

What neighborhood is this? He should park one of his vehicles there and move it when access is needed. Or, get a permit and put in a proper driveway.

richyrich Feb 04, 2018 10:37 AM
Is This a Legal Driveway?

Definitely could be a permited legal driveway without the curb being developed. I had a similar situation and people kept blocking my legal access. So after a fair number of warnings I would just call and simply have them towed away. Everybody in the neighborhood got it pretty quickly.

GeneralTree Feb 04, 2018 11:18 AM
Is This a Legal Driveway?

Property access doesn't need to look pretty. You were blocking the neighbor's access. The neighbor left a polite note.

Rylie Feb 04, 2018 12:26 PM
Is This a Legal Driveway?

OP here, thanks for the comments. This is in Goleta near Girsh Park and to clear things up- there are no driveways along this entire side of the street, only sidewalk. On the other side of street are apartments and there are only three driveways that access the apartment buildings/parking. We only parked there because there was nowhere else to park that night (we have two cars and pay for one spot in our apartment area). The neighbor has a different driveways along a different street that goes into their house and this is an "extra" back entrance

a-1517803457 Feb 04, 2018 08:04 PM
Is This a Legal Driveway?

Please contact the City of Goleta regarding this. I think that we all would be very interested in the outcome.
Thanks...

Ahchooo Feb 04, 2018 01:03 PM
Is This a Legal Driveway?

I don't know if it is legal, but they certainly should not leave boards in the gutter, as that will mess up drainage, if we should ever be so fortunate to get any rain. Consider, however, that if they make it into a marked, legal driveway, you will never be able to park there. Right now they ask for access mainly on Saturdays and Mondays. It might be worth talking to them--you could get their permission to park there most days, and they could call you if they need access.

patrick Feb 04, 2018 01:47 PM
Is This a Legal Driveway?

I seriously doubt it is legal. You might check with code enforcement.

Flicka Feb 04, 2018 05:55 PM
Is This a Legal Driveway?

I can't believe it's legal with a curb there. Check with code enforcement. If it's illegal they can inform the homeowner

pxn Feb 04, 2018 06:55 PM
Is This a Legal Driveway?

Your neighbor left a nice note asking for your tolerance. I'd suggest they paint the curb red for the 8-10 feet that they'd like to be kept clear. They probably could put in a concrete apron to the gate if they can't get trivial cooperation from the local neighbors.

BodhiMom Feb 04, 2018 08:42 PM
Is This a Legal Driveway?

Not legal (I hope). We live in the same complex as you OP and can vouch for there being next to no parking available for all the apartments and condos on our small street. These people are selfish and not neighborly in the slightest. Maybe you and I should arbitrarily paint the curb red like one commenter suggested to save parking for ourselves? ;)

Channelfog Feb 05, 2018 02:58 AM
Is This a Legal Driveway?

In the early 80's the house my brother rented on West end of Loma St (Riviera) was sold. The neighbor immediately painted the curb in front red (a mauveish red) as he did not like people parking there. The next time the city public works came around painting curbs they repainted it the proper red color and it has remained a no parking zone ever since though there has been a severe parking shortage there since the early 70's.

Concerned4Calif Feb 05, 2018 08:35 AM
Is This a Legal Driveway?

If he is parking off the street ( in his back yard) then he is doing everyone a favor. He could (legally) park in that spot on the street and take up space. He may have a work truck or some other unattractive vehicle that the OP would complain about. The note was polite and he was dealing with it neighbor to neighbor. I think I would try to accomdate this person if I could.

bookman Feb 05, 2018 10:12 AM
Is This a Legal Driveway?

This is not a "driveway," either legal or otherwise. A legal driveway requires an approved cut-out in the curb. Permits for driveway cut-outs are difficult to get approved by the City precisely because of the pressing parking needs in the "older" neighborhoods of our town. Street-side curb space is a public resource for the short-term use everyone -- neighbors, visitors, service providers -- not the private domain of single homeowner.

Zoning laws are on the books for a reason. Leaving polite notes on neighbor's cars is no substitute for adhering to the rules of our urban environments.

ZeroHawk Feb 05, 2018 10:28 AM
Is This a Legal Driveway?

He left a note, being polite, communicating with you or anyone else that he needs access to this gate. What's the problem with that? We have a similar situation on our property that backs into an alley way, if we haul in a boat, or a large work truck, we need to open that gate. We do not need to ask the city for permission to do this, nor anyone else. This is small fries folks...not a big issue. The person left a note, you either abide with the request, or be a total @ss and ignore it. That's not being a good neighbor if you ignore it and if there is plenty of parking in the area, park elsewhere. if you have to park there, do so and leave HIM a note saying you had to and there was no other place to park. simple. our neighborhood on the west side does this and we all work together fine. Just a suggestion...good luck. We all deal with over crowded narrow streets in town and we all should work together, not against each other. We have enough grief with the city as it is.

jqb Feb 05, 2018 06:29 PM
Is This a Legal Driveway?

" What's the problem with that?"

No one said there's any problem with being polite or leaving a note ... but there is a problem with reserving a parking space ... you can't do that.

" you either abide with the request, or be a total @ss and ignore it"

No, that's not being an ass. Look in the mirror for that.

" if there is plenty of parking in the area"

Here's what the OP said: "We wrote on the back saying that we will try to not park there but that we had no other option, that all the other spots were taken."

bookman Feb 05, 2018 11:55 AM
Is This a Legal Driveway?

Zerohawk: "We do not need to ask the city for permission to do this, nor anyone else." Well, yes we do -- just ask them! Clearly, you need a primer on the rules of the road for living in urban environments. You can't do anything you want in an community that you literally share with everybody. The roadways are not anyone's private parking lot or driveway. Driveways can't be put anywhere you'd like whether it's on your property or not. Basic civics. (In parts of this city like mine, you can't even build a wall around your property unless it's set back 10-20 feet from the property line.) If you don't like the laws, then do the hard work of getting them changed. Just don't pretend those laws don't apply to you. They do!

I don't want to -- or have to -- negotiate with anybody who claims to have a private right to public space. Period! It's simple: Play by the rules -- it's not that hard.

a-1517864709 Feb 05, 2018 01:05 PM
Is This a Legal Driveway?

OP - what does the OTHER side of that note say? Looks like another note written on the back....

a-1517866392 Feb 05, 2018 01:33 PM
Is This a Legal Driveway?

All I can make out of the note on the back is what looks like "the sidewalk is not a driveway." What else does it say??

Rylie Feb 05, 2018 04:05 PM
Is This a Legal Driveway?

OP here- We wrote on the back saying that we will try to not park there but that we had no other option, that all the other spots were taken. We put the note on the gate

CivilEngineer Feb 05, 2018 04:15 PM
Is This a Legal Driveway?

It is not legal and you can get the city to bust him if you want. It is a major pain to get a permit for an additional driveway which is why they haven't done it. They can't leave their boat parked there either as that is not allowed. Amazing how other people think that their problems should be solved by your inconvenience.

a-1517927995 Feb 06, 2018 06:39 AM
Is This a Legal Driveway?

For all of you saying this is a polite note, it is clearly not. This is someone breaking the law and ignoring the principle of common courtesy. I do not know local regulations regarding this type of thing, but your neighbor is obviously being a prick.

A polite note would say "This is currently the only way for me to park my XXX and I am asking as your neighbor that, if possible, this area is left clear on Saturdays and Mondays. I know that parking is a pain, but city regulations have made it necessary to store our XXX in a way that is, unfortunately, inconvenient for both us and our neighbors. I would be happy to discuss it with you if you would like - either knock on my door or give me a call at 805-xxx-xxxx."

See? That wasn't so hard, it took me two minutes.

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