Zillow – From Bird Baths To Basketball, There’s Probably A State Law About It
Before you add that soaking tub to your new master bath, think twice. If you live in Prunedale, CA, and you already have a tub in another bathroom, you’ll be breaking the law.
Silly, outdated, nonsense-based laws exist on the books in every state in the country. A good number of these laws regulate what you can and can’t do in your own home. While it’s doubtful many of these laws are actually enforced, some are.
In Peoria, Il., for example, it’s against the law to install a driveway basketball hoop – for real.
Olajide Giwa, senior urban planner for the City of Peoria, says the no-hoops edict is part of a zoning ordinance that regulates how residents can use their front yards.
“The ordinance says the 25 yards in front of a home cannot include any accessory structure – nothing other than your driveway,” he says. “A freestanding basketball hoop is an accessory. It’s sort of OK if the hoop is fastened to an attached garage, because the garage is considered part of the house. It’s a fine line.”
Giwa says the city of 115,000 is not anti-basketball. “It’s just that the ordinance says the hoops have to be in the back yard.”
So, are fines being accessed to those who violate the law? Are repeat offenders being hauled off to jail?
“Zoning enforcement is complaint driven,” Giwa says. “It’s impossible for our officers to drive around the city looking for hoops, so we rely on people to complain. They’re really not a major issue but we do hear about them because people don’t like the noise and they don’t like balls bouncing onto their cars.”
He says once offenders are notified, they typically take the hoops down – but there are those who try to fight City Hall. If homeowners don’t comply, they can be fined up to $500 per day they’re in violation of the ordinance. “Some people are stubborn,” he says, “and will let the fines accumulate until they owe the city thousands and thousands of dollars.”
There are dozens of unusual laws that dictate what you can and can’t do with your home. Of course, many of these regulations are not enforced, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth noting:
- It’s illegal to raise alligators in your home in Corpus Christie, Texas.
- No more than six girls may live in any house in Maricopa County, AZ. Similarly, four women may not rent an apartment together in University City, Mo.
- Cars are the only items allowed in garages inLong Beach, CA.
- It’s against the law to water your lawn while it’s raining in Holyoke, MA.
- All bathtubs must have feet in Minnesota.
- Want to park in your own driveway? You could be ticketed for doing that in Pittsburgh, thanks to an ordinance that requires the purchase of a $225 permit if you wish to park within 30 feet of a street.
- Call the lawn service. According to Michigan State Extension Service, it’s illegal to have thistle, ragweed or morning glory growing on your property in that state.
- The installation of bathtubs is prohibited in Topeka, KS.
- No matter how dirty your sink gets, it’s illegal to scrub it if you live in Baltimore.
- Horses may not be kept in bathtubs in South Carolina.
- It’s illegal to have water in your bird bath in New York City. According to the New York Times, violators are subject to fines up to $2,000.