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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Another Victim of the City of Fullerton

This week I received a message from another victim of Fullerton’s overnight parking ticket law:

I m living in Fullerton. Today family get another 2 tickets for over night  
parking. we have 1 car garage.we dont know what to do. :(
We see no sign of "not allowing to park over night"...very tressfull but  
dont know what to do :
Can you please give me advice?

I didn’t correct the spelling and punctuation, but I think you get the message.

It is true that most Fullerton neighborhoods don’t have signs prohibiting overnight parking.  The City of Fullerton can get away with that because state law only requires such signs on the edges of the city.  You may have noticed them as you drive into Fullerton from La Habra, Buena Park, Anaheim, Placentia, or Brea.

Once you know that overnight parking is banned, it is indeed stressful if you have nowhere else to park.  You could get parking tickets ever night.  I have seen the Fullerton Police give tickets on one night and come back and do it again on the same street two nights later.

If you contact the City of Fullerton for help, you will discover it has evolved into a greedy bureaucratic monster.  Click on this link and you can see for yourself:

Look at the $475 non-refundable fee to for a Select Street Exemption.  Do you want to apply for a hardship exemption?  That will be $250, please.

Don’t think that it is like that everywhere.  In Brea you can apply for an overnight parking permit online for $25.

As I’ve been saying for a long time ( and, we need to convince the Fullerton City Council to change this ridiculous overnight parking law.  Another election is coming up, and I’m inviting all the Fullerton City Council candidates to comment on this.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Disabled Veteran and Purple Heart Recipient is a Victim of Fullerton’s Utterly Failed Overnight Parking Policy

As I’ve mentioned many times before, many cities let anyone park on the street overnight.  Others cities restrict it, but they offer overnight parking permits for those who need them.

In Fullerton, the overnight parking policy evolved into a chaotic mess.  In 1924, the Fullerton City Council banned overnight parking on all streets.  In those days, there weren’t that many cars, so there wasn’t that much of a problem.  However, through the years the population increased and the number of cars grew, so a change was needed.  The city enacted a system of exempting certain streets from the overnight parking law.  Do you know what happens when you do that?  I won’t park on my street because I might get a ticket, but your street is exempt, so I’ll park there.  This is not a theoretical problem—I’m about to give you a real example.

The Purple Heart is awarded to military personnel who are killed or wounded in combat.  This week, a Purple Heart recipient, who is disabled and handicapped and lives in Fullerton, contacted me.  He has a house on Drake Avenue with a single-car driveway.  He has two cars, and his street is exempt from overnight parking enforcement, so he should be able to park one car on the street in front of his house.  Unfortunately, there are apartments nearby on Amerige Avenue, where overnight parking is prohibited.  Consequently, those apartment dwellers park in front of his house!

He sent me this photograph, which was taken at the corner of Drake and Amerige Avenues, looking south to the corner of Commonwealth and Drake.  He wrote me the following: “There are 20 spaces shown here on Drake signed for overnight parking, in this photo of these 20 cars parked at 630pm.  NOT ONE OF THESE CARS ARE FROM DRAKE.  Every one of these are from the apartments on East Amerige and Richman Ave.”

This is a vivid example of Fullerton’s utterly failed overnight parking policy.  It needs to be changed now!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Three dollars and one phone call

Although I haven’t seen any overnight parking tickets in my neighborhood lately, there has been recent activity from others on this blog.  This makes me believe that the Fullerton Police Department has been issuing overnight parking tickets in other areas of the city.
How can we stop them?  We need to change the law.  They won’t be able to enforce a law that doesn’t exist.  To do that, we need to make it clear to the Fullerton City Council that the present situation is absolutely unacceptable.
Before you get started, here is an important point to remember.  People in Fullerton City government are programmed to think that if you are complaining about overnight parking tickets, you mean petitioning to get your street exempt. They will tell you that you will need signatures from a majority of the property owners on your street, and then you have to pay a $475 fee for a so-called engineering study.  Do you really believe that it takes an engineer to count how parking spaces there are on your street?  The study is then fed through the city bureaucracy and is voted upon.  If it is denied, you investment is lost. 
It is hard to think up a dumber way to deal with overnight parking.  I doubt if you really want to even attempt this, but let’s suppose for a moment that you and your neighbors go through this long and complicated process and you are successful.  Now your street is exempt from overnight parking.  You went through all that, and you only fixed the problem on one street!  What everyone else in Fullerton?  They have to go through that whole thing for their street.  What about people on nearby streets?  They might be tempted to park overnight on your street now.  Moreover, there might be some people on your street (such as elderly neighbors) who never had an overnight parking problem to start with.
It is time to replace Fullerton’s system with something similar to what the nearby cities do.   Many Southern California cities don’t ban overnight parking at all, and they seem to do fine without it.  The cities that do restrict overnight parking make parking permits available at a reasonable price.  As you can see, Fullerton’s approach is harsh, archaic, inefficient, and just plan ridiculous. 
We need to make it clear to the Fullerton City Council that they have to change the overnight parking law.  Phone calls and letters get more attention than emails, so here is what I suggest:
1.       Call the Fullerton City Council at (714) 738-6311.  As I explained above, you have to tell them they need to change the law to be in line with what other cities do; otherwise, they will think you want to make your street exempt from overnight parking enforcement.
2.       Write a letter to each of the five members of the Fullerton City Council:
Jennifer Fitzgerald
Jan Flory
Doug Chaffee
Greg Sebourn
Bruce Whitaker

This is their address: 303 W. Commonwealth Avenue, Fullerton, CA 92832.  Again, when you write to them, make it clear that they need to change the overnight parking law.

3.       Get your friends and family members who live in Fullerton to do the same thing.

This will cost you the price of five postage stamps, which is less than three dollars.  If the Fullerton City Council members get hundreds of letters and phone calls, they will have to take notice.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Fullerton Tyranny

I know that Thomas Jefferson lived long before automobiles were even invented.  However, regarding Fullerton’s overnight parking law, this quote from him is very appropriate:

For a variety of reasons, some people have to park their cars on the street at night in Fullerton.  They may have visitors staying with them, older children living at home, or construction going on in their driveway.  This list goes on and on.  Whenever you do it, however, you do so in fear of an overnight parking ticket.  And not just one parking ticket—the Fullerton police have been known  to ticket the same vehicles multiple times within a very short span. This means you fear your city government, and according to Thomas Jefferson, that is tyranny. 

We need to turn the tide.  Let’s make the City of Fullerton afraid of us instead!  Contact the Fullerton City Council and demand a change to the overnight parking law.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Don’t expect help or support from this page

This link will take you to this webpage that is part of mygovhelp.  It is part of the City of Fullerton, CA Citizen Support Center.  This page is dedicated to this question: How do I get an overnight parking permit?

That is definitely a good question.  Since 1924, overnight parking has been illegal in most of Fullerton.  For some of us, however, it is not always possible to park off of the street.  We might have small garages or short driveways.  Some families have older children, and they need their own cars in order to function.  Every other city (that I’ve seen so far) that bans overnight parking also has a permit program for those who need to park on the street at night.  Well, if you click on the web page, here is the answer you’ll see:

The City does not issue overnight parking permits. Residents can petition the City to have their streets removed from the overnight parking prohibition. Further information may be obtained by calling the Fullerton Traffic Engineering Office at (714) 738-6845.

The ludicrousness of trying to get your street removed from the overnight parking prohibition has already been expounded upon on this blog, and I have no desire to repeat it here. 

Do you need help or support from the City of Fullerton?  When it comes to overnight parking, you won’t find it.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

How the City of Fullerton welcomes you to town

Moving into a new home is stressful.  You have to pack, arrange for the utilities to be turned on, move in, unpack, and get acquainted with your new neighborhood.  If you are moving to Fullerton, there is one more thing to worry about.  Many people moving are shocked to discover how ruthless the city government is.  (I was one of them.)  The City of Fullerton is still enforcing its 1924 ban on overnight parking, and as a matter of official policy, the City discriminates against renters.  (Renters are banned from even applying for “Hardship Exemptions,” Fullerton’s version of overnight parking permits.)  Read a recent example of how City of Fullerton is making some new residents suffer at this website:

Saturday, August 1, 2015

If the City of Fullerton creates an overnight parking permit system, will that just be an excuse to collect our money?

To fix the overnight parking mess in Fullerton, there are two options.  One is to completely overturn the overnight parking ordinance and allow anyone to park overnight on any Fullerton street where daytime parking is legal.  That would give us the most freedom, but there would undoubtedly be considerable resistance to such a proposal.  The other option is for Fullerton to issue overnight parking permits.  This is the approach of other cities that otherwise ban overnight parking.  Since overnight parking would still be controlled, this approach might be more acceptable to those who complain about cars parked on the street.

However, some might feel that a parking permit system is just an excuse for the City of Fullerton to collect more money.  Given the history of the Fullerton bureaucracy, this is definitely a legitimate concern.  As I wrote in my post called “Stop theFullerton bureaucracy,”as of 2006, when Fullerton established “Hardship Exemptions” (overnight parking permits that are rarely issued and are only available to owners of single-family home), the price was $290 for the first year, and $140 each year after that.  This is absurdly ridiculous.  A La Habra overnight parking permit costs $34.60.  In Brea it is only $18 plus $1 shipping/handling. 

How much should a parking permit cost?  Just enough to cover the cost of managing the parking permit program.  In Brea, the price seems to be reasonable.  If Fullerton adopts a real overnight parking permit system (that all residents can participate in), we need to make sure it doesn’t become a cash cow.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Fullerton’s utter disregard for the disabled

There is a post of mine from almost a year ago called “Fullerton’s utter disregard for the California Constitution.”  I’ve come to realize that the City of Fullerton not only disregards the constitution; sadly, it disregards disabled people also.

I don’t believe this is an exaggeration.  Back in 2010, ABC7 Eyewitness News even ran a story on how Fullerton’s overnight parking law was impacting a disabled Vietnam veteran.  The story is archived here, and I urge you to read it.

That was five years ago, and things haven’t changed.  On the “ChangeFullerton’s Overnight Parking Law” Facebook page, there is a post from May 27 of this year that says, “my cousin had to park in the street because his dad is disabled and needs the drive way and his tickets just stacked up. This is ableism.”  According to Wikipedia, ableism is "a form of discrimination or social prejudice against people with disabilities.” 

My post from 11/23/13 is called “The City of Fullerton: An embarrassment to this country.”  Now I’d like to add that ableism is another example of how the City of Fullerton is an embarrassment, not only to the state, but to the whole country.

Please do two things:

1.   Stop and think for a moment about what life would be like if you were disabled; for example, confined to a wheelchair.  Consider how difficult it would be to move around and function.  Now on top of that, what if you had to worry about overnight parking tickets because you live in Fullerton, a city that still enforces an overnight parking law from 1924? 

2.     Please contact the Fullerton City Council directly.  Don’t bother with any City departments, because they can’t change the law and they will only give you a robotic response.  Ask your friends and family in Fullerton to do the same thing.  Tell them Fullerton’s overnight parking law MUST be changed!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Fullerton busybodies: Please find something else to do

In January I wrote a post called “Busybody neighbors and overnight parking.”  Today I noticed an April 29 post on the “Change Fullerton’s Overnight Parking Law”Facebook page that is along the same line.  The writer said “[t]he Fullerton Police dept. says you will only be cited for parking on the street if someone calls on your vehicle.”  In other words, the overnight parking tickets are being issued because of busybody Fullertonians.

If you are a busybody, please find something else to do.  If your neighbors park overnight on the street, there might be a very good reason for it.  They might have visitors, or they could have a construction project going on.  Maybe they have older children that need cars, and there aren’t enough parking spaces for everyone.  If you call the police just because they park on the street at night, that is mean, and they have to pay $35 for each ticket.  Remember, if there is a disaster, you might need help from those neighbors!

If a car has been parked in exactly the same spot for days and days, I agree something should be done.  Throughout Fullerton (and most other cities that I’m aware of), a car cannot be parked on the street in the same spot for more than 72 hours.  I’ve seen cars that sit in the same spot for weeks, and some even had cobwebs!  

Those car owners are not being good neighbors.  They are obviously not using the car, and they need to store it somewhere else.  However, when it comes to us who park our heavily used vehicles on the street because we have no alternative, please give us a break.

New posts on the Facebook page

Check out the latest posts on the "Change Fullerton's Overnight Parking Law" Facebook page.  Folks, it really is time for a change.  However, it won't happen until enough of us protest to the Fullerton City Council.