Is It Illegal To Park On Your Lawn In Missouri or Illinois?
Friday night my town's police department posted a note on their Facebook page reminding folks that it's a City Ordinance violation to park your vehicle on your front lawn. That didn't go over very well, with some residents getting chirpy at the police department about it. I figured it needed a little more investigation. So is it illegal to park on your front lawn in Missouri or Illinois?
No, neither state prohibits it outright. However, many cities do have laws against it. I tried searching Google to find out what motivates cities and towns to prohibit the practice. Yet what I wound up with was a lot of articles talking about cities banning the practice.
VEHQ.com says parking your vehicle on grass for a few hours won't do much damage to the grass or your vehicle. However, long-term parking on a lawn is bad news for both.
For the grass, any leaks your vehicle has will damage the grass. Over time the soil under your car will cave and make indentations where the vehicle is parked. Sometimes the ruts left by your vehicle pulling out are superficial and can be repaired. Other times, you'll need to resod the area.
It's also bad for your vehicle. The grass is full of moisture. That moisture, as it evaporates will get into the nooks and crannies of your vehicle's undercarriage, and eventually break down the protective coatings of the vehicle. That's not good.
Of course, I don't think any town is passing this law to protect your vehicle. It might have something to do with property values, and the type of image the town or city wants to project to people living there, working there, or passing through.
Family Handyman doesn't directly address parking your car on your front lawn, but they do cite bad neighbors with a junk-strewn yard or an unsightly yard overrun with stuff as a couple of things that can bring down the value of your property.
Tom Horn, whose business is real estate appraisal, addressed the question of whether or not having a clunker parked in your front yard helps your property value in his Birmingham Appraisal Blog a decade ago.
He says he could have made it his shortest blog ever with one word, "no." However, he elaborated by explaining that old cars parked in yards contribute to neighborhood blight, which drives neighborhood property values down. According to Horn, this is one of the reasons cities and towns have ordinances against people parking on their lawns.
When it comes to municipal parking laws, each town or city is a little different. In many cities and towns, there probably is a way for you to turn part of your front yard into a parking spot, provided you meet the municipal code of the city. What I'm talking about here is can you just park your car on the grass in your front yard?
Sedalia - No.
Warrensburg - No.
St. Louis - No
Kansas City - No
Grandview - No
Lee's Summit - No
Chicago - No
Collinsville - No
Quincy - No
It may not be a state law, but if you live in a town or city in Illinois or Missouri, there's a good chance it's not permitted. Whether the police enforce the code, that's another story altogether.