J.B. from New Haven County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Our current parking rules include a stipulation that you must park your car front-end in. Do you know what the reasoning behind this might be? The rules were drafted in the 60s & 70s, and no one seems to remember why this one made it in.
Mister Condo replies:
J.B., thanks for writing. Many condo associations that formed in the 60s and 70s used a fairly standard set of condo rules and bylaws to make up their declaration. A developer could amend the document to include the real estate details, maps, boundaries and such and submit the plan to the local municipality for approval. Voila! Generic rules and clauses suitable for 99% of the condos being built at that time!
For the most part, one of the things all condos have in common is that the parking is tight and limited. Parking lots are often backed up to buildings and neighbor’s driveways are either shared or abutting. Think about cars that were around 30 to 40 years ago. Do you remember having to start the old gas guzzler 15 minutes early to let it warm up on a cold New England morning? Where would you want that carbon dioxide exhaust, noise, and soot heading? Towards your building? I don’t think so. This clause made its way into many condo docs because it provided a way to keep the complaints about cars to a minimum.
Modern cars are more efficient. For the most part they are also quieter but the rule still makes sense for many associations and, to this day, the rule is routinely found in condo documents. With cleaner, quieter cars and certainly with electric cars, it may not make much sense. However, unless your association is willing to change the rule, it will stand as the rule of the association. Now you know why! All the best!