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Using Landscape Stones For Curbs


cj1

  

28 members have voted

  1. 1. Is it acceptable to place your own makeshift curbstones along the street adjacent to your property ?

    • yes
    • no
    • maybe ( at certain times, nearby constr. etc.)


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I see quite a few residents here in The Heights using landscaping stones as makeshift curbstones along the street side(s) of their property to block others from pulling off or parking. Most of these are place in public right-of-way. What is everyone’s general take on this ?

I can see reasons why some people would want to do this and why others would hate it. IANAL, but I recall seeing in either the city or state code a law which makes upkeep of the right-of-way the responsibility of the adjacent property. If someone is doing that, I can see they would want to keep it nice which is hard to do if it’s used as a parking lot. Construction workers are the worst offenders, but there is always one or two who will park in front of someone else’s property instead of their own on a regular basis.

On the other hand, there are legitimate times when it has to be used, like when large gathering in the neighborhood and it is the only place available. I also see that makeshift curbstones would create a liability risk, again though not a lawyer talking. What if someone has an accident and hits one? I would assume you could be sued no matter how inconsequential a role it played in the accident.

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I do not have confirmation on this, but I have heard that if you put in pipe and cover your ditch, the City requires you to make the area inaccessible for parking. Most of the places that I see the stones are near speed humps, where homeowners are attempting to keep motorists from driving on the grass to avoid the hump.

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I do not have confirmation on this, but I have heard that if you put in pipe and cover your ditch, the City requires you to make the area inaccessible for parking.

Not true but if the resulting parking blocks a sidewalk, you can be ticketed.

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I do not have confirmation on this, but I have heard that if you put in pipe and cover your ditch, the City requires you to make the area inaccessible for parking. Most of the places that I see the stones are near speed humps, where homeowners are attempting to keep motorists from driving on the grass to avoid the hump.

The city does have a limit on the amount of linear feet of ditch you can cover... otherwise, the ditches would obviously be useless for drainage. Our neighbors just got cited for violating this and the city made them dig up their culvert and put it back as open ditch. However, like most COH ordinances this one seems to be sporadically enforced as evidenced from a quick drive around the neighborhood.

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I find this practice incredibly rude. One of the reasons that I chose the Heights over Rice Military was the prospect of available street parking. I think it's terrible when you have more than one guest over and they have to park three houses away because your misnomer "neighbors" have infringed upon space that is a public street.

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I find this practice incredibly rude. One of the reasons that I chose the Heights over Rice Military was the prospect of available street parking. I think it's terrible when you have more than one guest over and they have to park three houses away because your misnomer "neighbors" have infringed upon space that is a public street.

I agree. It makes me laugh that people want to keep the small strip of grass between the ditch and road beautiful. It's a ditch.... get over yourself! :)

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I agree. It makes me laugh that people want to keep the small strip of grass between the ditch and road beautiful. It's a ditch.... get over yourself! :)

What if it isn't a ditch, just ROW? Should the property owner not maintain it and not care?

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Strange this came up - I have a situation in which a neighbor (or a regular visitor of a neighbor) parks in front of my house --- pretty much every day. Sometimes, they leave town with the car parked there for days. It is legal parking as far as I know (at least for a certain amount of time), but they routinely abuse the privilege. They do this because the streetside in front of their house slopes quickly to the ditch.

It is annoying, and I am going to discuss with the neighbor. They do have options -- their own driveway and streetside parking in front of other houses.

If they don't cooperate (which is unlikely - they seem like normal folk), then I would put in some large stones because the situation would justify it. There is not much reason way my porch view must be eternally blocked by their vehicle.

In other words, circumstances matter on this issue.

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Strange this came up - I have a situation in which a neighbor (or a regular visitor of a neighbor) parks in front of my house --- pretty much every day. Sometimes, they leave town with the car parked there for days. It is legal parking as far as I know (at least for a certain amount of time), but they routinely abuse the privilege. They do this because the streetside in front of their house slopes quickly to the ditch.

It is annoying, and I am going to discuss with the neighbor. They do have options -- their own driveway and streetside parking in front of other houses.

If they don't cooperate (which is unlikely - they seem like normal folk), then I would put in some large stones because the situation would justify it. There is not much reason way my porch view must be eternally blocked by their vehicle.

In other words, circumstances matter on this issue.

The streets are public right-of-ways, so there is no "abuse of the privilege" if somebody is parking there regularly.

Your instincts are correct though - talk with your neighbor about not parking there so much. You may have a hard time rationalizing it to a reasonable person if your only point is that a parked car spoils the view from your porch, but at least you are having a dialogue with the neighbor, and that is where this sort of thing should be settled.

Don't spread rocks in the street; they are obstacles and hazards and it is probably illegal.

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I find this practice incredibly rude. One of the reasons that I chose the Heights over Rice Military was the prospect of available street parking. I think it's terrible when you have more than one guest over and they have to park three houses away because your misnomer "neighbors" have infringed upon space that is a public street.

I agree that it is rude, but it's also equally as rude for someone to park in front of your house when they have space in front of theirs, especially if you take care of the right--of-way and they don't.. Someone else said "who cares, it's only a strip of grass" but it's actually quite large in some places and left untended detracts from the value of all the houses around. Aside from that, it seems the nicer you keep it the more other people want to park there, kind of like the way birds always poop on the shiny, clean cars first.

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It probably goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that placing obstacles in the public right of way to essentially claim property owned by all for oneself probably makes a statement about the people that live there. Having a neighbor who shows his artwork to groups regularly, perhaps I could complain more than most, but there just seems to be more important things to complain about than another resident parking on the street and grass that they paid for.

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The streets are public right-of-ways, so there is no "abuse of the privilege" if somebody is parking there regularly.

Your instincts are correct though - talk with your neighbor about not parking there so much. You may have a hard time rationalizing it to a reasonable person if your only point is that a parked car spoils the view from your porch, but at least you are having a dialogue with the neighbor, and that is where this sort of thing should be settled.

Don't spread rocks in the street; they are obstacles and hazards and it is probably illegal.

To clarify, I am referring to rocks on the grass between the ditch and the street. I obviously would not put rocks in the street.

It is my understanding that a car cannot be parked over a certain amount of time. Whether that is 12 hours, 24 hours, or more, I'm not sure, but to put this in perspective, there has been a car parked there for 3 or 4 days now. Anyone know the rule on that?

The overall rationale goes beyond the view from my front porch -- it is generally just poor form which is of course perfectly legal.

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I'm glad we have a real curb. I am anal about the yard and wouldn't like people parking all over it, my guests or not and my land technically or not.

Rocks to prevent ANYONE from parking there? Well, maybe for safety reasons (that picture of the car in the ditch in the other thread), or if people kept running over your mailbox or something. I really don't care who parks in front of my yard, but maybe I would if it happened all time.

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It probably goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that placing obstacles in the public right of way to essentially claim property owned by all for oneself probably makes a statement about the people that live there. Having a neighbor who shows his artwork to groups regularly, perhaps I could complain more than most, but there just seems to be more important things to complain about than another resident parking on the street and grass that they paid for.

I agree for the most part, but would your thinking change if a neighbor parked in front of your house every day? I have no current plans to put rocks anywhere, and I, like you, think we should try to maximize our parking. In other words, I want the space in front of my house available for my visitors and for other neighbors' visitors.

But how do we handle a situation where a neighbor essentially takes over the spot in front of your house and is unwilling to park elsewhere? It's a legal parking spot that has been taken by this 1 neighbor on a daily, pretty much constant, basis. Consider his car just 1 very large, ugly rock, made in Detroit, in the right of way. This large rock is preventing anyone else from parking there -- including my visitors and my other neighbors' visitors.

Does that change anything or shift things in the judgment scheme you are using here?

Does that make any statement about the person parking his car there daily?

Why are rocks not acceptable but crappy cars just fine? If they're both occupying the right of way 24/7 (or close to it), seems to me they're both bad.

I do agree with you that this is unimportant, but I could not resist. And with my 50 or so posts to your 10,000, I hope you'll grant me some minor rant leeway. :P

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I agree for the most part, but would your thinking change if a neighbor parked in front of your house every day? I have no current plans to put rocks anywhere, and I, like you, think we should try to maximize our parking. In other words, I want the space in front of my house available for my visitors and for other neighbors' visitors.

But how do we handle a situation where a neighbor essentially takes over the spot in front of your house and is unwilling to park elsewhere? It's a legal parking spot that has been taken by this 1 neighbor on a daily, pretty much constant, basis. Consider his car just 1 very large, ugly rock, made in Detroit, in the right of way. This large rock is preventing anyone else from parking there -- including my visitors and my other neighbors' visitors.

Does that change anything or shift things in the judgment scheme you are using here?

Does that make any statement about the person parking his car there daily?

Why are rocks not acceptable but crappy cars just fine? If they're both occupying the right of way 24/7 (or close to it), seems to me they're both bad.

I do agree with you that this is unimportant, but I could not resist. And with my 50 or so posts to your 10,000, I hope you'll grant me some minor rant leeway. :P

I happen to agree... I used to live in West Philly, and people there, for reasons I still don't understand, would abandon cars pretty often. Twice, cars were abandoned in front of our house, taking up our only parking spot. Other times, neighbors would park and leave their car there for days, as you describe. It was a little different because on-street parking was the only parking available, so we were really in a fix without our spot. But the annoyance of seeing someone's junked-out car in front of your house every day was very real.

It's rude and inconsiderate of your neighbor. I don't know what the solution is, however, outside of convincing the neighbor not to park there.

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I agree for the most part, but would your thinking change if a neighbor parked in front of your house every day? I have no current plans to put rocks anywhere, and I, like you, think we should try to maximize our parking. In other words, I want the space in front of my house available for my visitors and for other neighbors' visitors.

But how do we handle a situation where a neighbor essentially takes over the spot in front of your house and is unwilling to park elsewhere? It's a legal parking spot that has been taken by this 1 neighbor on a daily, pretty much constant, basis. Consider his car just 1 very large, ugly rock, made in Detroit, in the right of way. This large rock is preventing anyone else from parking there -- including my visitors and my other neighbors' visitors.

Does that change anything or shift things in the judgment scheme you are using here?

Does that make any statement about the person parking his car there daily?

Why are rocks not acceptable but crappy cars just fine? If they're both occupying the right of way 24/7 (or close to it), seems to me they're both bad.

I do agree with you that this is unimportant, but I could not resist. And with my 50 or so posts to your 10,000, I hope you'll grant me some minor rant leeway. :P

By all means, rant away, and I certainly agree that a neighbor who is perfectly content to kill the grass in front of your house rather than his speaks volumes about that person, too, just like the rocks speak.

I have noted on many other threads with irksome neighbors that my preferred solution is to talk to them about it. While there is always someone who demands that you stand up for your rights by doing something that makes clear that you will take no crap from anyone, that approach usually leaves an angry neighbor, and leaves you constantly watching to see if he will exact his revenge upon you or your property...usually in the dead of night, and in a way that you cannot prove was him. I also note that in a later post you suggest that the car stays for days. I would verify what the maximum time for parked cars is, then approach the neighbor about the repeated and longterm parking of the car, noting that it is illegal after a certain point, but more importantly, that it is killing the grass. Ask if he wouldn't mind moving it around a bit, so that the grass has a chance to survive.

If after reasoning with him, no improvement occurs, a well placed boulder or two would give EXACTLY the statement that you are looking for...that insensitivity to your grass will be met by insensitivity to his parking needs. In fact, what I would probably do is less permanent. I would trim my trees and shrubs and place the brush in his parking space, preferably a few weeks before heavy trash day.

Edited by RedScare
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In fact, what I would probably do is less permanent. I would trim my trees and shrubs and place the brush in his parking space, preferably a few weeks before heavy trash day.

better hope they aren't good friends with a neighborhood protection officer. sounds like a ticket waiting to happen.

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i always consider the rocks Jeep Parking... one time I wanted to park on the street and the house had giant rocks blocking the ROW so i just parked on top of the rocks... they actually said something about it too, "we should have you towed". Now how would this hold up according to the law? What if i defaced their rocks with my tires?

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In other words, I want the space in front of my house available for my visitors and for other neighbors' visitors.

But how do we handle a situation where a neighbor essentially takes over the spot in front of your house and is unwilling to park elsewhere? It's a legal parking spot that has been taken by this 1 neighbor on a daily, pretty much constant, basis. Consider his car just 1 very large, ugly rock, made in Detroit, in the right of way. This large rock is preventing anyone else from parking there -- including my visitors and my other neighbors' visitors.

Does that make any statement about the person parking his car there daily?

Why are rocks not acceptable but crappy cars just fine? If they're both occupying the right of way 24/7 (or close to it), seems to me they're both bad.

I'm not sure if you're "demonizing" your neighbor. According to what you posted, you have not spoken to this neighbor, so you do not know if they are unwilling to park elsewhere. Plus, you posted that they do not park in front of their own house because there is no space next to the drainage ditch to do so.

This scenario makes no statement about the person who is parking there. How can somebody parking on a public street be considered rude if they are unaware they are offending anybody?

A car is not a rock, and depending on the size of the rock, the car may be easier to move out of the way if the situation calls for it, or the rocks may cause more tire damage if it is run over (Monster Trucks and Jeeps excepted, of course).

How do you handle it after you have spoken with the neighbor and have not convinced them not to park there? Claiming the space with your own car or construction cones seems more reasonable to me than rocks, since the perception of permanance the lithologic statement makes suggests an individual claim on public property. But in the end, it's just a public parking space, so don't get into a block feud about it.

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I'm not sure if you're "demonizing" your neighbor. According to what you posted, you have not spoken to this neighbor, so you do not know if they are unwilling to park elsewhere. Plus, you posted that they do not park in front of their own house because there is no space next to the drainage ditch to do so.

This scenario makes no statement about the person who is parking there. How can somebody parking on a public street be considered rude if they are unaware they are offending anybody?

This seems to be a recurring theme. We often get posts asking opinions on what to do about neighbors when no one has apparently spoken to the neighbor. This would seem to almost always be the logical first step. More draconian measures, including calling the parking nazis, should always be considered last.

I thought of this post this morning after blocking my next door neighbor's parking in order to let workers into my yard. When she mentioned that contractors were coming to her house, too, I moved my truck and parked in the other neighbor's driveway, thinking that they were already on vacation. Turns out they aren't leaving until tomorrow, so they simply blocked me in and went inside. Everyone got a good laugh when they made me beg to get my truck out of their driveway.

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This seems to be a recurring theme. We often get posts asking opinions on what to do about neighbors when no one has apparently spoken to the neighbor. This would seem to almost always be the logical first step. More draconian measures, including calling the parking nazis, should always be considered last.

Totally agree -- communication usually is a good first step, and I will have a polite discussion with the neighbor. The car has been there for 7 straight days, so now would be a good time to bring it up. They seem like fine folk and should understand.

In my post, I was reacting more to the idea that installing large rocks or some other type of obstruction was universally and always "bad".

My point was that if this neighbor was unwilling (post-discussion) to change his parking habits, perhaps rocks are a little bit more warranted. A talking point since this is a poll -- I wanted to see if that generated any "maybe" votes. Didn't appear to which was interesting.

Regardless of how this neighborly chat goes, I will not be putting in rocks. They are heavy, and I am lazy -- and I think that having an available parking spot trumps the potential downside of 1 car monopolizing it.

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This is a semi-related issue...the residents of a duplex two doors down from me always have so many vehicles parked both in front of their place and the house next door that they have no place to set out their garbage bin on pickup day. So, they wheel it down to the curb in front of my house. What totally pisses me off is that their container is missing its lid and sometimes isn't retrieved from the street for several days!

Communicating with the neighbors in this case isn't an option since my conversational Spanish isn't very good; plus, they rent month-to-month and seldom stay long-term. The landlord lives off-premises and couldn't care less, as evidenced by mattresses and junk left by former tenants that he piles up in the back yard until someone calls the health dep't. about it.

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This is a semi-related issue...the residents of a duplex two doors down from me always have so many vehicles parked both in front of their place and the house next door that they have no place to set out their garbage bin on pickup day. So, they wheel it down to the curb in front of my house. What totally pisses me off is that their container is missing its lid and sometimes isn't retrieved from the street for several days!

Communicating with the neighbors in this case isn't an option since my conversational Spanish isn't very good; plus, they rent month-to-month and seldom stay long-term. The landlord lives off-premises and couldn't care less, as evidenced by mattresses and junk left by former tenants that he piles up in the back yard until someone calls the health dep't. about it.

Looks like code is on your side.

Sec. 39-61. Defective or overloaded containers.

No person shall use or cause to be used or place or cause to be placed for collection by city or private collectors any garbage or rubbish container which:

(1) Is not of such construction as to have a lid or other closure means which will effectively prevent the spillage or airborne loss of its contents and the entry of vectors or elements of nature; or

(2) It is overloaded so that the lid will not fit securely thereon, or if not equipped with a lid is not securely bound or fastened at the open end; or

(3) Is deteriorated to the extent of endangering collectors or to the extent that the lid will not fit securely or the contents are otherwise not effectively contained therein.

(Code 1968, § 20-15; Ord. No. 81-1524, § 1, 8-11-81; Ord. No. 88-1643, § 4, 10-12-88)

Sec. 39-67. Placement for basic collection service.

(a) Except as otherwise specifically permitted in subsection (... B .) , © or (f) of this section or section 39-65(2) of this Code, basic collection service shall be limited to automated service containers or one-way containers placed at the curbline of a public street in front of the property upon which the garbage or trash was generated.

Edited by musicman
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i always consider the rocks Jeep Parking... one time I wanted to park on the street and the house had giant rocks blocking the ROW so i just parked on top of the rocks... they actually said something about it too, "we should have you towed". Now how would this hold up according to the law? What if i defaced their rocks with my tires?

My neighbor actually has these parking rocks - She placed them touching the street on Waverly - which on my block is extremely narrow. The rocks effectively prevent anyone without a truck or jeep from parking on her 50' section of the block in front of her house. She also has a driveway down the side of her house and will routinely yell at anyone who parks behind her driveway on the street because it makes it difficult to back her car out of her driveway (mostly b/c the rocks prevent her from starting a turn early down her drive). I have instructed people to ignore her at this point, as I have politely let her know that with her rocks taking up an on street parking spot and the fact that every single house on my block has a driveway there are only about 10 on street parking spots as it is...she doesnt care....if you have people over, which we do about once a month, she gets upset with someone over where they parked. Its a lose/lose situation...I would park on the peoples rocks though if it were me. I have done it in the past, and Ill do it again in the future.

I just built a second parking spot in my yard....laid another culvert and covered it up. I was allowed to though - the city does regulate these...you are required to maintain so much open ditch - it varies by size of lot though.

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Looks like code is on your side.

Sec. 39-61. Defective or overloaded containers.

No person shall use or cause to be used or place or cause to be placed for collection by city or private collectors any garbage or rubbish container which:

(1) Is not of such construction as to have a lid or other closure means which will effectively prevent the spillage or airborne loss of its contents and the entry of vectors or elements of nature; or

(2) It is overloaded so that the lid will not fit securely thereon, or if not equipped with a lid is not securely bound or fastened at the open end; or

(3) Is deteriorated to the extent of endangering collectors or to the extent that the lid will not fit securely or the contents are otherwise not effectively contained therein.

(Code 1968, § 20-15; Ord. No. 81-1524, § 1, 8-11-81; Ord. No. 88-1643, § 4, 10-12-88)

Sec. 39-67. Placement for basic collection service.

(a) Except as otherwise specifically permitted in subsection (... B .) , © or (f) of this section or section 39-65(2) of this Code, basic collection service shall be limited to automated service containers or one-way containers placed at the curbline of a public street in front of the property upon which the garbage or trash was generated.

Thanks for this information. Now, how can I bring the code violations to the attention of: #1 - COH Trash Can Violation Patrol (or whatever); #2 - the idiot landlord; #3 - the non-English-speaking tenants?

The COH trash bin I inherited when I moved into my place has a large horizontal crack, a badly bent metal pickup handle and is so caked with years of dried food scraps that several scrubbings couldn't get it clean. COH refused to provide me with new one, even though I gave them the ID number on the can and reported the damage as caused by previous residents.

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My neighbor actually has these parking rocks - She placed them touching the street on Waverly - which on my block is extremely narrow. The rocks effectively prevent anyone without a truck or jeep from parking on her 50' section of the block in front of her house. She also has a driveway down the side of her house and will routinely yell at anyone who parks behind her driveway on the street because it makes it difficult to back her car out of her driveway (mostly b/c the rocks prevent her from starting a turn early down her drive). I have instructed people to ignore her at this point, as I have politely let her know that with her rocks taking up an on street parking spot and the fact that every single house on my block has a driveway there are only about 10 on street parking spots as it is...she doesnt care....if you have people over, which we do about once a month, she gets upset with someone over where they parked. Its a lose/lose situation...I would park on the peoples rocks though if it were me. I have done it in the past, and Ill do it again in the future.

I just built a second parking spot in my yard....laid another culvert and covered it up. I was allowed to though - the city does regulate these...you are required to maintain so much open ditch - it varies by size of lot though.

She sounds like such a lovely person to have for a neighbor. ;)

Your extra space, is that a head in parking space, or is it parallel to the street? My understanding is that you can put in a 16 foot wide driveway, basically a two car wide parking area, but covering the entire 50 foot width is a non-no...even though one of my neighbors did that (unpermitted, of course).

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She sounds like such a lovely person to have for a neighbor. ;)

Your extra space, is that a head in parking space, or is it parallel to the street? My understanding is that you can put in a 16 foot wide driveway, basically a two car wide parking area, but covering the entire 50 foot width is a non-no...even though one of my neighbors did that (unpermitted, of course).

My driveway is basically built to the side setback on my North side, and my extra parking spot is built to my side setback on my South side - I have 28+ feet of open ditch when combined between the two and counting the setbacks on each side. It is a head in parking space though all the way to the sidewalk. I have an area large enough to park a car between my two drives - in fact, when people come over they frequently park in between my two drives - though when I have alot of folks over, I pack them down my driveway first, then onto the street...its easier for everyone.

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Your extra space, is that a head in parking space, or is it parallel to the street? My understanding is that you can put in a 16 foot wide driveway, basically a two car wide parking area, but covering the entire 50 foot width is a non-no...even though one of my neighbors did that (unpermitted, of course).

i believe code allows the entire 50' width to be covered as long as you put a cleanout box every 32'. when you get your permit, they'll give you the specifics.

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  • 4 weeks later...

i believe code allows the entire 50' width to be covered as long as you put a cleanout box every 32'. when you get your permit, they'll give you the specifics.

Does anyone have more specifics on how to obtain a permit to cover the culvert and build a parking space?

Is the additional parking space which is built over a culvert private, or can anyone park there?

Thanks in advance for any info.

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you might try here for fee schedule and on same page there's link on how to obtain permit. as for making the space private, that's another issue. i've seen people do this to extend their front yard to the street and end up having people park partially over the newly created yard. but if you're making a concreted driveway, hopefully they'll have more respect and not block it or park in it.

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