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California: Handicapped Van Earns HOA Parking Tickets
Aliso Viejo, California homeowners association issues parking tickets to an elderly couple who parked a handicapped van in their own driveway.

Laguna AudubonA homeowners association in Aliso Viejo, California placed a $5500 lien on the home of an elderly couple because they parked an ordinary white van in their own driveway. Family members use the van to transport the eighty-two year old Lenand and Carol Henderson. The driveway allows the use of a wheelchair ramp that provides better access to the van, which is important to Lenand Henderson who has been taken to the hospital three times since the parking dispute began.

"We're not doing it to make money off of the fines," homeowner board President Dan Newkirk told the Orange County Register newspaper. "It's just important to get people's attention about what the rules are."

The Laguna Audubon II association began paying Patrol Masters to ticket anyone not leaving a vehicle in a "designated parking area" in May 2006. The move has sparked outrage in the community, but the ticketing persists to discourage motorists from parking on the community streets or in driveways. The Hendersons received $1400 in these parking tickets on the grounds that the van, which has no special markings beyond a handicapped license plate, was a "commercial vehicle." The association placed a lien on the property after the couple refused to pay the fines.

Source: Face-off over parking takes a toll (Orange County Register (CA), 7/30/2007)

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