Saving, blocking shoveled-out parking places in York County – city offense or not?

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YORK, Pa. -- What would you do in this situation: you spend hours shoveling out a parking spot after having inches and inches of snow dumped on it, all to find someone has taken that place?

Some people in York have now taken some 'proactive' measures to ensure they do not lose their parking spot.

On streets like this, there’s no limit to the ways people have saved their dug out spots.

What these people don't realize, though, is that they're breaking city code, and the price to pay for the spot can be pretty high.

A stroller, a string of lawn chairs, furniture, trash bins, and even some trash - the methods some people in York are using to block and save their parking spots.

"The practice of putting items in a shoveled-out parking space to save that space for yourself is a violation of city ordinance. However, we do understand the frustration of spending an hour shoveling out a vehicle and having someone else take advantage of that,” said Steve Buffington, York City’s Deputy Director of Permits, Planning, and Zoning.

So, for now, the city says its being patient with people who decide to hold a parking place.

"Yeah, I put two chairs on my spot, and I’m going to go fix them now in case somebody steal my spot,” said Justin who lives on Pennsylvania Avenue in York.

Justin holds two places he shoveled out, and he’s not alone.

"You see a lot of chairs out here so people come out and shovel, and they don’t want their spots taken,” said Aaron Johnson who also lives on Pennsylvania Avenue.

All along the road, people place household items in their shoveled-out spaces.

"People spend hours shoveling so they don’t want nobody to take their spot,” added Johnson.

It makes people like Johnson wonder what would happen if someone took another persons’ hard-earned, shoveled-out spot?

"Well probably like me, just kind of stand here and watch to see who comes out and to see whose car it is so you just kind of wait and just keep watching and hopefully they’ll leave, and you can run out and get your spot back,” laughed Johnson.

On East Cottage Place, it’s the same story.

"Lot of people saving spots across the street, down the street here, saving the spots they dug out. I can understand both sides of the story too, but you know, we need parking in York, said Tom Kuhn from York County.

Once the city starts ticketing for spot saving, that chair holding a place outside your home can cost up to 600 dollars - quite the price to pay for parking.

City officials did not give a timeline of when they'll ticket for the spot saving, and they want to remind people that others are allowed to take spots on public streets. However, they did begin giving out citations for sidewalk cleaning if there has not been an attempt to clear off the snow.