The Last of The Dirty Half Dozen – Lawn Parking

Posted by – Dale Mathes, Code Enforcement Officer

When I was a cop in the City of Detroit, I happened upon a citizen who had parked his car on his front lawn.  Since the City had no ordinance prohibiting such parking, I couldn’t take any police action – but I was curious as to why.

Example of illegal parking

When I asked the gentleman, he explained to me that his car kept getting stolen – the last time right out of his driveway.  So he figured if he parked his car right under his bedroom window, and if thieves tried it again, he would hear them and maybe scare them off.  As someone who personally had no luck keeping cars (I had six vehicles stolen in as many years), I couldn’t help but agree with his logic.  However, parking on the lawn still looked odd and made the neighborhood look bad.

Well, there is a law prohibiting lawn parking in the City of Auburn Hills.   Parking on the grass is one of the “Dirty Half-Dozen” violations that get the most attention from Code Enforcement Officers.  It seemed that during this past relatively mild winter there was an epidemic of lawn parking in our town and it has continued into the warmer weather.

City ordinance permits parking only on an approved surface.  These surfaces include cement, asphalt, gravel, or brick.  This does not mean one can dump a pile of gravel down, ride over it with their car a couple times, and call it an approved surface.

Often we see the “homemade driveways” where a citizen has just driven their car through the same part of the lawn so often that ruts appear like a two-track road Up North – that is not permitted.

Example of illegal parking

If you have questions of what an approved surface should look like, please contact the Community Development Department at 248-364-6900 and we can explain in more detail.

Lawn parking is not only a blight, but it can cause loss of ground cover and erosion, be a potential environmental hazard, and could impede emergency personnel access to your house.  So, please park responsibly and keep off the grass.

We hope you enjoyed Dale Mathes’ blog series on the Dirty Half-Dozen.  If you missed any of the previous blogs, please click on the following links: The Dirty Half-Dozen  /   Son of The Dirty Half-Dozen: The Dreaded Inoperable Vehicle / The Dirty Half-Dozen: Part III:  The Green Monster  /  The Dirty Half-Dozen: Part IV: Blight Busters  /   The Reality of the “Broken Windows” Theory