Use sign to end unauthorized parking

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DEAR SUNSPOTS: Sun Spots is a great start to my day. Thank you for all the information you give. I am wondering if you could find out if a homeowner is responsible for vehicles parked on their property without permission.

We have a rather large driveway near a small road. There are mailboxes nearby and people seem to think our yard is a good area to park for a day or two. It worries me that we may somehow become responsible if something happens to those cars. Thanks for your help. — No Name via email

ANSWER: As Sun Spots has noted before, getting a lawyer to comment without all the details and a fee is difficult if not impossible, and Sun Spots is not qualified to speak to legal matters. According to her online research, the issue is complicated and depends on a variety of circumstances, but Sun Spots sees no upside to you in allowing this continuing trespass.

She asked Auburn Deputy Chief Jason Moen, who has been very kind to answer her incessant queries, for his advice, and he suggested you put up No Parking signs. He said you also have the right to have the vehicles towed.

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Sun Spots suggests you go with the signs first, as the car owners may be unaware they are trespassing. You can buy all different kinds of signs online or at your local hardware or home improvement store.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: To the person who was looking for long-term parking (Feb. 13). I have a place for one car; the cost will be $50 for two weeks. — Joe, lobster900@yahoo.com, 344-7676

ANSWER: Sun Spots congratulates Joe on his enterprise, but she’s afraid he’s been undersold. Two other readers offered free parking. However, no one came up with a place that offers free parking all the time.

In the past Sun Spots has left her vehicle in large shopping center parking lots, but she would no longer risk that even with an extremely old vehicle, what with metal theft being so common these days. Not to mention that if a big storm did come while you were gone, the snowplows might push big banks of snow up against your car.

One option that might be slightly cheaper than the airport is the parking garage in downtown Lewiston. Sun Spots found these rates for the municipal garages online:

* Parking garages are free after 6 p.m. on weekdays and on weekends.

* Hourly rate: $1 per hour (daily maximum of $6).

* Resident living in downtown area monthly rate: $42.

* Standard monthly rate: $55.

* Under one hour: Free.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Gosh, if I understand it, all the person needs is someplace safe to park his or her car for a couple of weeks, right?

I live on a farm in Greene. If he or she just wants to drive out here and have us watch his car parked off the road on our property, that’s an easy favor to help someone with, we think.

Can you give him my business email address (so I don’t get a lot of sales calls)? Thanks for all you do. — No Name via email

ANSWER: That’s very nice of you. Sun Spots sent your email to her.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I have a two-car garage on Seventh Street in Auburn. My car occupies one side; the other is empty.

I’d be happy to have No Name use the unoccupied spot for two weeks or longer at no charge.

Good luck to her in decision making. — Claire, Auburn, 786-5589

ANSWER: The decision should be easy. Your offer is by far the best one yet!

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Do you have any information about the closing of Elizabeth Ann oil change in Lewiston?

Could you tell me what happened to Randall Greenwood, who was the manager? — Romeo, Lewiston

ANSWER: Sun Spots spoke to the owner, but she declined to comment.

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be e-mailed to sunspots@sunjournal.com.

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