Can I bring legal action on the city for me to be able to keep parking in my back yard for lack of somewhere else to park?

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Can I bring legal action on the city for me to be able to keep parking in my back yard for lack of somewhere else to park?

I have to park my car in my back yard and don’t have a driveway. This house never has had a driveway and I have no other place to park my car. I have been parking back there for 20 years or so because I can’t park out in front of my house since it is an emergency route and have a sign in front of my house that says I can’t park there after 1 inch of snow is on the ground. I am disabled and can’t afford to pay to have a driveway made on my property. I got a letter from the city to park somewhere else or be fined. Can I legally leave my car where it is?

Asked on November 18, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If (as I presume) the zoning and/or parking laws in your municipality do not allow parking in your backyard, then while you can petition the city (e.g. at town council meetings; through the mayor's office; etc.) to change the rules or allow an exception, you cannot compel them through a legal action: there is no legal requirement to alter their zoning or parking ordinances because of the personal circumstances of a single citizen. The fact that you have a combination of disability and inability to pay for a driveway does not give you a right to park in your backyard.


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