BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - In July and November, Joel Lee found parking tickets on the windshield of his car that was parked in his own driveway.
"I should be able to leave my car here," explained Lee to 7 Problem Solver Michael Schwartz on Wednesday.
Turns out the two tickets, which add up to $120, are due to a City of Buffalo law. City Charter Chapter 307 - Section 48 states;
No person shall park a vehicle in any unpaved portion of the area between the front lot line and the front building line, or in any unpaved portion of the side yard of any lot, on which any portion of the main structure is used for residential purposes.
The city said the Common Council approved this ordinance for multiple reasons. That includes the appearance of cars on a lawn or unpaved area, vehicles tearing up any unpaved surface, and to protect the ground from chemicals. The city said if fluid from a vehicle leaks into soil it could impact drinking water.
Schwartz asked Lee if he knew about the law. "No, I had no idea, because no one has come out here," emphasized Lee. He wished a parking enforcer explained why it was illegal to park on his gravel driveway, instead of just leaving tickets. He paid for both.
Lee said he reached out to multiple city officials, and the parking department, but couldn't get any answers.
Lee said his neighbor also got tickets for the same thing in the three-car driveway. Their landlord said they could park there, before they knew it was illegal.
Lee is now looking into options so he doesn't have to park on the street, including if he needs a permit to have his driveway paved.
If you have any consumer problems you need help getting answers to, email Michael at 7ProblemSolvers@wkbw.com