My recent blog about a Burnaby homeowner going “berserk” and saying he owned the parking spots out front of his home elicited a lot of stories and reaction from readers.
Some defended what the guy did, not how he did it, giving all sorts of reasons why homeowners should be able to claim the spots in front of their homes even though they are public streets.
"They should be declared mine because it's my house and I take car of the landscaping next to the street," wrote one North Burnaby owner. "Why should I have to look at somebody's dirty car out my front window.
Um, wow, that's really some logic, sir.
Another issue was “monster houses” on their block.
“Although this incident was handled terribly by the complainant I can understand his frustration,” wrote Shirley. “I live in an area of Burnaby where ‘monster houses’ are going up on lots that leave no room for parking. Often these houses have 2 or 3 suites adding to the problem. Where I live, cars park up and down my street like a used car lot, then walk up a lane to where they live. Often these cars are there for 2-3 days at a time. City of Burnaby bylaws state if a car is parked in front of your house for more than 3 hours between 8 AM and 5 PM, they are in violation and can be ticketed.”
OK, sure, some areas have a time limit on them, but insisting that nobody ever park in front of your home is ridiculous.
Also, so what if a house is big. The street is for everyone to park on. If they use a spot, then you’ll just have to park a little farther away from your home.
Several people wrote in about how some homeowners take things so far that they put up fake “no parking” in front of their homes or put out orange road cones to block people from parking in the spot. Apparently these techniques actually fool people.
You can’t do that. It’s a public street, not your private domain.
What’s weird is that many of these homeowners have parking spaces out back or driveways in their front yards – but they still don’t want anyone parking in front of their homes.
Plenty of times I’ve gone to cover a crime on a quiet residential street, park on the street so I can do an interview but have the homeowner give me a dirty look like I shouldn’t be there.
It’s. A. Public. Street.
“I once received an $80-something ticket from the city on a Saturday morning on Victoria day weekend because my girlfriend was parked for more than I think it was 3 hours in front of the neighbour’s house,” wrote someone else. “He didn't need the spot as he had one car and parked in his driveway. Apparently he knew the bylaw person personally and phoned him to drop by. That's Burnaby for you.”
Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.