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City ticketing people for parking in their own driveways

Some Pittsburghers are being ticketed for parking in their own driveways under an obscure ordinance that requires them to pay $225 for a permit if they wish to park within 30 feet of a street.

City council members said they've been getting complaints about the tickets which are issued by the city's Bureau of Building Inspection.

John Jennings, the bureau's acting chief, said the agency is caught in the middle.

The bureau doesn't issue tickets unless residents complain and, often, those complaints aren't prompted by people who park in driveways but by those who create cement or gravel pads in front of their homes.

But those pads are often too close to the street and used to park larger commercial vehicles, which some residents consider eyesores.

Jeffrey Freedman, who lives in Squirrel Hill, said he received a letter stating he may no longer park in his own driveway without facing a fine.

“We have been living in Squirrel Hill for almost 18 years and we have been parking in the driveway for the same amount of time,” Freedman said. “It does request that we go to the building inspector to get a certificate of occupancy.”

Councilman Corey O’Connor said people in his district have received $1,000 to $2,300 fines. He’s now working to get those citations and fines thrown out.

O’Conner said he also hopes to get the ordinance changed so that cars are only required to be 3-5 feet from the sidewalk.