Zinnias and Cosmos are my wife’s favorite flowers.
When we built our new house in 2013, we had a surreal discussion ongoing with the authorities from the Canton of Baselland. The law foresees that for a house the size of our’s two parking spaces must be built. Anyhow, we needed a garage for our 12+ bicycles, but we did find it a bit annoying to give away from our precious land for a second car park – specifically since we do not own a car. But what should one do? It is the law, so we planned for the parking lot.
However, our building application was rejected in the first round. The reason given was, that we would not be allowed to drive backwards out from the parking space into the passing “cantonal” road. I was a bit surprised for two reasons. On one hand, it seemed strange to me, that this small road indeed was a cantonal road – usually being a classification for inter-communal streets. Secondly, all our neighbors (dozens along that road) would drive backwards into the street. So I called the person and asked for details. He agreed, that there was a copy/paste error and the road indeed was not a cantonal road. Instead it apparently is marked in the official map as being a cantonal cycling route. And as for cantonal roads, it is apparently also forbidden to back into cantonal cycling road. Yes, the regulation was new, yes we were the first onto whom this new regulation would be enforced. I explained, that we did not have a car, and had no intention to ever have one. That was not accepted as an argument – I could understand that to a certain extent. If we would sell the house etc.
A few days later, I called him again – going on his nerves obviously. I asked, whether it would be possible to ask all our visitors, to drive backwards INTO the parking place, in order to drive out into the street forward. Nope. He insisted that we needed to plan enough parking space that a turning maneuver would be possible on our own property. Now this put me off. I had no intention to give even more of our precious land for motorized vehicles that we did not own.
Luckily, I was telling my father about it. So he asked me to send him a plan of the situation like we wanted it to be. He then went with his car to a big parking space near where they live. With chalk, he redrew the situation on the tar and started to try, whether it would be possible to turn within the space given. Once he found a (yes, somewhat complicated) way, he watered the tires to make marks on the tar. He repeated the turning maneuver and drew a 1:100 map with the traces. I called my friend in Liestal again and announced him I would send the drawings, which he agreed to look at. So I sent my father’s original drawings in, as a proof that indeed, it was possible to turn within the boundaries given.
When I called the person from the authorities a few days later AGAIN, he would tell me, that the regulation would not allow “complicated” maneuvers. And by the way, the car of my father (4 door family car) would not qualify as a regular car – being 10cm short. Close to a heart attack I asked him whether he could not make use of his unchallenged authority and decide these details in our favor. He did not commit to anything on the phone, but we got the permit the week after. Probably he was afraid I would call half a dozen times again.
So after we moved in, we transformed this second parking space into a flower bed. My wife sowed Zinnia and Cosmos – the best use of car park I guess.