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Published: Thursday, 6/18/2009

Toledo says parking legal on gravel drives

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The Finkbeiner administration assured residents yesterday that gravel driveways are perfectly legal but parking vehicles on gravel-covered areas in the front or side lots of a home is against the law.

Sue Frederick, commissioner of Toledo's division of streets, bridges, and harbor, was criticized Tuesday by Councilman D. Michael Collins for writing tickets to homeowners in his district.

Residents on North Holland-Sylvania Road complained to the city after receiving the $25 tickets for parking on their own property. They are among 50 tickets Ms. Frederick has written since becoming commissioner about six months ago.

"The thing that concerns is me is the misperception that you cannot park on a gravel driveway," she said. "Of course you can. But you can't create a gravel pad for additional parking in your front or side lot."

She said that's why people along North Holland-Sylvania got tickets.

Mr. Collins said the ticketing blitz bordered on "insanity," and said he would make certain homeowners do not have to pay the $25 fines.

He promised to pay the fines himself if they are not rescinded.

Charles Robertson of 503 North Holland-Sylvania said yesterday he would probably pay the fine, even though he has parked his truck in the location where it was ticketed for 43 years.

The city's commissioner of streets, bridges, and harbor is permitted to write tickets.

The tickets used by Ms. Frederick misspelled the word violation as "violatation."

Dan Wagner, president of the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association, said he may go to court to prevent employees from the city's streets department from writing parking tickets.

Megan Robson, Mayor Carty Finkbeiner's spokesman, said the law prohibits parking on any unpaved portion of a front or side lot in any residence district, or upon any portion of a vacant lot in any residence district.

"As a point of clarification, no parking citations have been issued for having or parking on a gravel driveway," Mrs. Robson said in a statement. "However, the prior existing gravel driveway cannot be extended to accommodate additional parking."

Contact Ignazio Messina at:

imessina@theblade.com

or 419-724-6171.



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