A City Charged This Woman More Than $100,000 for Parking on Her Own Property
Sandy Martinez says that fine, along with another $63,500 for driveway cracks and a downed fence, violates Florida's constitution.
JACOB SULLUM | 2.25.2021 4:25 PM
Sandy Martinez has a car. So do her two adult children and her sister. When all four cars were parked at Martinez's home in Lantana, Florida, two of them sometimes extended slightly beyond the driveway, which is flanked by her lawn and a walkway. Because that violation of Lantana's municipal code is punishable by a fine of $250 per day, the city is demanding more than $100,000 from her, plus another $63,500 for cracks in the driveway and a fence that was blown over in a storm . . . Martinez's street has no curbs and is not wide enough to accommodate parked cars. She and her relatives therefore could not legally or safely park on the street, leaving the driveway as the only option. But as the complaint notes, "parking on one's own front yard space, even a tiny bit, is illegal in Lantana."
And then there was the fence. Because it was downed by a major storm, the repair was covered by insurance. But the claim took quite a while to process, and meanwhile Martinez could not afford to fix the fence. The delay resulted in $125 daily fines for 379 days, totaling $47,375ó"several times the cost of the repair and substantially more than the cost of a completely new fence."
All told, Martinez is on the hook for $165,250, plus interest. Although she "is now fully in compliance and has not had any new cases opened against her," the lawsuit says, the only way she could begin to cover that debt would be selling her home. But even that option is not feasible, because she "would never realize nearly enough profit from the sale of the Home to pay both her mortgage and the City's fines."
full article: Reason dot com
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