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Parking

Original post made by Anonlaw, Barron Park, on Jun 6, 2014

What are the rules on parking off-street in Barron Park? I have been continuously harassed by a "neighbor" for parking my car off-street in front of his/her house (not directly in front of the house but in front of the fence next to the house). Due to multiple people living in my household there is not room for all of the cars in my driveway. I was threatened with towing, accused of endangering children, threatened with police contact, repeatedly yelled at, and more. Moving the car further away (still sort of in front of the house) did not help - the threats continued. Does this person actually have ground to tow my car or report me for something? Seems entirely ridiculous that this person needs enough space for 4 cars all to him/herself.

Comments (20)

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Posted by palo alto resident
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 6, 2014 at 5:49 pm

As long as your cars aren't parked for more than 72 hours in a row, you can park wherever you would like.


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Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2014 at 6:28 pm

Sparty is a registered user.

I'd report them to the police


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Posted by Barron parker
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 6, 2014 at 7:03 pm

I had similarly crazy neighbors. In fact, you and I may live only a couple of houses apart. I would call the police and have them inform them about the parking rules. Some people believe that they own the street in front of their house, mistakenly.


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Posted by HUTCH 7.62
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 6, 2014 at 7:50 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 7, 2014 at 7:55 am

Why be rude and provocative? You're living in a house that's underparked. You can coordinate with the other people in your house to share the spaces you have , you can rent an off-street space somewhere else or you can demand to exercise your right to park in the street.

Which makes you a bit like the open carry crowd at a Walmart in Texas parading around with a rifle. Sure you have a right, but you're annoying other people unnecessarily. Be a bigger person and find a plan B.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 7, 2014 at 2:24 pm

Do I detect that Barron Park might be headed towards an RPPP? It works well in CT.


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Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2014 at 7:35 am

I agree that you should have capacity for your vehicles on your property or in front of it. I feel sorry for your neighbor. It's kind if like just blatant over consumption and greed. You don't have enough so you invade the space of your neighbor. Legal, maybe, but are you a good neighbor? No.


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Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2014 at 7:43 am

Actually, another thought for the neighbor who may be reading this thread. Have you looked into code violations at the offenders house? I'm pretty sure it's a requirement for a house to have a minimum of one covered and one driveway space for cars on the property. By using both if those and two spots in front there should be enough room at the offenders house for all their four cars. If it's a rental, which is likely given all the cars, contact the landlord about compliance. Nobody wants to live in a parking lot.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2014 at 7:56 am

This is a very interesting thread.

Similar things happen in areas where there is not enough parking and homes are used/designed for more than two adults. I know it happens around the townhomes on Rickeys Hyatt, and near the townhomes on Meadow and near the townhomes on Loma Verde/Bayshore.

Many of these townhomes have two double bedrooms/bath. That often means four adults with four cars.

Many of the new houses being built on small lots around town also have two double bedrooms/bath - again four adults with four cars.

I suppose we had better get used to rows over street parking in residential areas as well as downtown and Cal Ave.


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Posted by Another anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2014 at 8:27 am

Anon-- it is not the neighbors space, it is the publics space. Do you condone the neighbors abusive behavior? And there are plenty of homes in that do not have the parking that you claim is required. And nothing in this case suggests blatant over consumption and/or greed. Sounds like a territorial neighbor with issues, who does not understand whatbthenterm " public property" means. If I were the original poster, I would call in the police to deal with abusive individual.


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Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2014 at 8:44 am

Do I "condone the neighbor's abusive behavior"? Not if it's abusive. However, I don't believe the original author that it's so one sided. My understanding of this conflict is that the household with too many cars is routinely parking in front of someone elses house and that the neighbor is complaining about it directly with the author. Maybe that's good communication. I can't say. I suspect the author is biased.

I believe that having more stuff than your area can accomodate is on the shameful side. Oozing out into common area is not necessarily totally cool, whatever. Take responsibility for your stuff and don't make the public or one particular neighbor pay for it with any inconvenience whatsoever.

Sorry but I agree with the neighbor. If it's a landlord, but renting the place to too many people, they are personally profiting by renting out public space. Great deal if you can swing it.


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Posted by Another anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2014 at 8:51 am

"My understanding of this conflict is that the household with too many cars is routinely parking in front of someone elses house and that the neighbor is complaining about it directly with the author."
And therein lies the problem-- the neighbor has nothing to complain about. The street in front of the house is,public property, available for all to park in.
The original poster should check the neighbors house for how many parking spaces they have. Why do they need so many? You claim that there is a requirement for 2 on the property. How many cars does this neighbor have? Maybe it is him that has "more stuff than your area can accommodate".


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Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2014 at 9:05 am

Just because something is legal doesn't mean that doing it is a good thing to do when it bothers, or could bother a neighbor. Could you imagine someone playing the radio in their back yard 24/7, right below the threshold of illegal noise levels? It would be awful. This is just an another example of how one neighbor's behavior is bothering someone else. Communication and compromise are the best way to solve the problem.


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Posted by Another anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2014 at 9:15 am

If it is legal, then end of story. Neighbor has no right to expect a parking space in front of his home. How many cars does this neighbor have? Maybe he is the one who is greedy and over consuming.
As for the radio analogy-- if it is on between , let's say, 10 Pm to 7 AM then the police would probably have the owner turn it off. But that is an example of a spiteful person, who would play a radio 24/7 on purpose?
And just because a person is " bothered" by someone else's behavior, does not mean he has any legal rights to those on street parking spots. Apples and oranges.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2014 at 11:16 am

@another anon - Lots of things are legal that might bother someone. You can run loud power tools in your backyard until 8pm. You can keep chickens. You can build a second story that looks right into your neighbor's backyard.

The starting point is the OP wants to own something big that he doesn't have space to store. He complains that his neighbor is cranky because the OP wants to store it in front of the neighbor's house. Would you be ok with a boat? A trailer? An RV? A storage container? A pile of bricks? A collection of 5 old cars? If your neighbor could build a 10 foot fence it might not matter so much, but that's not allowed.

No one is interfering with anyone's right to drive on the street.

It's clearly rude in a suburban town to regularly store your stuff in front of your neighbor's house. Legal if it's a licensed vehicle stored for less than 72 hours at a time, but rude if you do it all the time. Be rude if you want. Don't be surprised to be unpopular.


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Posted by Another anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Anonymous-- you will note the the OP states that they are not parking in front of the neighbors house. Why is the neighbor so,upset? How many cars do they have? You are correct that plenty of things are legal that bother people, especially in Palo Alto. But if it is legal, then end of story. And if you read the original post, you will see we are talking about car-- not a boat, not an RV, not bricks. The over exaggerations do no good. And we are not talking about storage either-- we are talking about a person using public streets to park their car. Perfectly legitimate and legal. Sounds like the rude person is the neighbor.


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Posted by Anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jun 8, 2014 at 8:32 pm

People who overpopulate their properties to meet their mortgages have no right to impose the resulting cars on their neighbors. This inconsiderate behavior prevents the neighbors (not to mention guests and maintenance workers) from ever parking in front of their own homes. The surplus cars create additional engine and radio noise and often leave trash behind. The bottom line is, no one wants to live in the middle of a parking lot, especially after paying for a mortgage and property taxes in Palo Alto. People should be able to park in front of their own houses.


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 9, 2014 at 5:37 am

What does "off street" mean?


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Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Jun 9, 2014 at 9:13 am

The citizens of Palo Alto have made it pretty clear they don't want to plan for accommodating more growth, so I'm unsure why anyone would be surprised when that inevitable growth starts taxing existing resources?


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 9, 2014 at 10:25 am

Hmmm is a registered user.

Given your town's recent record of nastiness regarding parking, I'd immediately call code enforcement if that dept. still exists. Ask them to come out, check out the scene, tell you if what you're doing is legal, then have them leave info or talk in person to the harassing neighbor. If there's no code enforcement, approach the police dept. Let them know that you're being harassed, why, and that you want to make sure you're not breaking the law and that you're looking for a peaceful solution. In dealing w/the cops, you must emphasize the harassment, and note how long it's going on and that it's not stopping, and that you want to prevent escalation.

If your neighbor doesn't seem to use the area in front of their house for parking, there is no practical reason to justify the reasons behind their behavior.

Lastly, see if the cops can advise you on how to parlay this into a better situation for all involved. Of course, your neighbor shouldn't be involved at all, but in current fashion is the practice of an expanded sense of entitlement.


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