Real Estate Law
Have Real Estate Law Questions? Ask a Real Estate Lawyer.
Q. Recently, I had to visit my doctor at his office in Orange. As I have been issued a handicapped parking placard, I pulled into an open disabled parking space near the building and placed my placard on the rearview mirror.
A security guard approached and directed me to vacate the spot, pointing to a tiny blue sign which had been attached below the regular disabled sign. The small sign read "1120 W. La Veta only. Violators will be towed. CVC 22658 (a), OPD."
Are property owners allowed to impose such restrictions on the use of disabled parking spots?
- XXXXX XXXXX, Fountain Valley
A. It appears that this restriction is legal, according to Steve Haskins, a spokesman for the Department of Motor Vehicles.
"While the DMV distributes disabled plates and placards, parking regulations are the purview of local authorities, as are the enforcement of those laws," he said.
Haskins explained how the use of disabled placards can be restricted on private property that is marked per California Vehicle Code 22511.57, which affirms that "... local authorities may, by ordinance or resolution, prohibit or restrict the parking or the standing of a vehicle ... of a privately owned or operated off-street facility."
In the article you mentioned, the parking space was reserved for those visiting a particular office. They own the property and can restrict parking to their visitors regardless of whether it is a regular space or handicapped. This is the answer I gave you above. You can restrict certain spaces to visitors regardless or whether they are handicapped or not. However, you would have trouble trying to say someone was not disabled when the state says they are.
You can do this through a rule or bylaw but I prefer a major change to be through the bylaws.
Thank you but one last thing. You didn't address and I forgot to add in my first reply about the fact they are not using their garage to park, they are using it for storage. Here's two comments on this, the first from Beth Grimm a CA HOA real estate lawyer and the second from this website, just answer.
Questions often come up about parking spaces. A disabled owner wants a parking space closer to the unit entry and the Board is dealing with a situation where spaces are assigned on the deeds. Does that always absolve the HOA? No. It does not always absolve. Sometime the owners really want special favors for the household residents that are not disabled. For example, in one case that came across my desk, there were two residents, one with a heart condition and one perfectly healthy young (40's) male roomate. While the unit was assigned one parking space very close, the disabled resident demanded assignment of one of the close open parking spaces as a handicapped designated space. This would have given the two residents the assigned spot plus an extra parking space (since the disabled resident was apparently the only person in the complex qualified to park in a disabled space). The Board said "No" to that. So far, no repercussions.
#2 Ask Your Real Estate Law Question. Real Estate Law Experts Answer You ASAP. I live in a private community in Los Angeles Counnty. There is a board of 5. Our Bylaws and CC&R's have not been changed in 12 years and currently there is no parking on the street allowed. Not even visitor parking. That being said handicap parking is not addressed and my mother-in-law lives with us and parks on the street with here complient hanger on the rearview mirror displayed. Our garge and driveway are full and the slope on driveway makes it hard for her to get out. The board has sent us a letter wanting us off the street. Is there anything in the fair housing act or ADA that can help us fight this. We are a private community, but there has to be help. The boards legal council said that there is some presidence for them to do this. However they were advised not to go into this area because if someone tried to fight them they would most likely lose. Please help us. What can we site to fight this. Optional Information: Castaic, California
ACCEPTED Based on your facts, you may not have as good a case as you may think, because you state that your garage and driveway are "full." If your garage is full of something other than vehicles, and/or you have more vehicles than were originally permitted to be garaged on the premises as part of the CC&Rs, then the HOA can argue that it's not disciminating against your mother due to her disability, but that it is simply enforcing the CC&Rs in a neutral fashion against any vehicle which is parked in an unauthorized manner. California's Disabled Person's Act (Civil Code Section 54, et. seq.) provides that no one who leases housing accomodations can refuse to permit a tenant from altering the premises so as to make reasonable access by a disabled person. And, this law might be implied against the common areas of an HOA community. However, if you have space available on private property where your mother-in-law can enter and exit a vehicle, then the HOA can reasonably require that you use the space for that purpose.But, if that space is being used for storage of something other than vehicles, or you have more vehicles than are permitted by your CC&Rs, then the HOA can require you to use that space. It would be different if there were no space for any parking.
I wasn't thinking it would change your answer. I did think that it would enable us to request that he use his assigned parking for it's intended purpose before we make any changes to bylaws or rules. If that workied we might not have to take any further steps that involve more cost such as adding to the bylaws.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).