Washing your own car in your own driveway is now a crime in Garden City, New York. Two residents of the Long Island community learned about the strange ordinance the hard way when a police officer told them to stop.
The village ordinance in Garden City makes it illegal to do any sort of work on cars including washing or detailing them in public view, even on private property. Eric Jeer and Jonathan Schmidt found out about the ordinance when a police officer came over and told them not to wash a used Volkswagen Jeer that had just been purchased.
Even the police officer sent to enforce the ordinance was clearly astounded and embarrassed by it, as a popular YouTube video of the incident shows. The officer actually had a copy of the ordinance in his hands when he walked up to the two men.
Your Neighbor Doesn’t Like You
The incident began after one of Jeer’s neighbors called police and reported that the men were washing the car. The officer came over and advised them to halt.
When one of the men asked what was happening the officer clearly admitted that the matter was personal.
“The problem being your neighbor doesn’t like you,” the officer said.
The policeman, who is identified as Officer Bounaiuto in some news stories, had as hard a time believing the ordinance as the car washers did. He also showed a great deal of contempt for the ordinance.
“I don’t make this [expletive] up,” the officer stated, referring to the ordinance. To ensure compliance, the officer read the ordinance.
But Neighbor Had Washed Car
One of the men complained that their neighbor regularly washed his Corvette in public view on the same street and had no problem. The officer had no response to this except to say he wouldn’t ticket the men if they didn’t wash the car.
Such ordinances can go unenforced for years until somebody makes a complaint. As Off The Grid News reported, a couple in Miami Shores, Florida, was recently forced to tear out a vegetable garden they had raised for 17 years because it was in violation of a zoning ordinance barring front-yard gardens.
Story continues below video. Warning: Language
How To Fight Back
The best way to deal with such ordinances? Put political pressure on city hall. Don’t get into a fight or argument with the police; take the battle to elected officials.
Politicians often will back down and change or repeal such ordinances if voters demand it. The city council in Orlando, Florida, recently changed the law to allow front-yard vegetable gardens after an outcry from gardeners and environmental groups.
Voters can also repeal such laws by putting measures on the ballot. Voters in Coral Gables, Florida, were able to overturn an ordinance that banned the parking of pickup trucks in residential neighborhoods.
You might be shocked by what’s banned in some communities. If you don’t like what you see in your local ordinances, let your local politicians know you want them changed.
Does your city or town have a dumb ordinance? Let us know in the comments section below.