This means that while members of the public at large cannot park on a land owner’s private property without permission, nor block the driveway of the land owner, the land owner cannot restrict or deny the parking by the public on the public street in front of his property.
To ensure that a property owner is always able to access his or her property, state law provides protection in Vehicle Code 22500 (e) which prohibits parking in front of a driveway or entrance that is not a curbed driveway.
Municipalities can create restrictions and requirements for parking on the public streets. In Orange County, Ordinance Section 6-4-607 allows the Board of Supervisors to designate areas that require a parking permit. This is of importance in Orange County where so many resort beach cities like Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Coast and San Clemente attract drivers from all over California, especially during the summer months.
A Homeowner’s Association may attempt to restrict parking through its Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R’s). While the authority to do this is clear if the streets are private, it is more clouded if they are public streets. There is nothing specified specifically in the code and no published case law to establish definitively if this is or is not permissible. The only guidance is an unpublished decision by the California Court of Appeals in 1978 which held that a Homeowner’s Association does have the authority to enforce parking rules on public streets within the development if such authority is stated in the CC&R’s. The Homeowner’s Association must have the authority to adopt such rules and must also comply with the Vehicle Code.
Some cities may pass local city ordinances to provide parking restrictions that go beyond what a county does. Examples of these in Orange County include, but are not limited to: In the City of Orange, Municipal Code 10.30.040 allows for the city to restrict parking to require a permit (A) and to allow the City Council to change what areas require permits (C). In the City of Tustin, Ordinance 7925 allows the City Council to create conditions, rules, and regulations on public parking.
In the City of Westminster, Municipal Code 10.44.290 allows the city council to establish permit parking districts to mitigate parking intrusion from outside sources into residential neighborhoods.
California Vehicle Code Section 22500
Westminster Municipal Code 10.44.290 Parking Permit System
The California Association of Homeowners Associations, Parking Rules
City of Orange Municipal Code 10.30.040 – Permit Parking – Portions of Certain Designated Public Streets – The Neighborhood Parking Permit Program
Tustin Ordinance Chapter 9 – Designated Public Parking Areas, 7925 – Establishment of Conditions, Rules, and Regulations