Azhar Zaidi of suburban Roswell, Ga., is subject to a 6-month jail term for parking six cars in the open at his home, says the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. A Roswell ordinance says only four vehicles parked outside a home can be seen from the street. Many homes in the upscale suburb have two-car garages, so they can legally have six vehicles on the property because two are hidden from view. Zaidi and his family live in a working-class neighborhoods, where enclosed garages are rare.
Neighbors complained to the city’s code enforcement office because they thought Zaidi was running a limousine business from his home – which he was not, according to code inspectors. As the population in metro Atlanta swells, so-called nuisance laws are becoming increasingly common. Cobb County recently created a Quality of Life Unit that targets junked cars and unkempt yards. Several cities have passed laws limiting the number of unrelated people who can live together in residential neighborhoods. Officials say the rules are designed to protect the integrity of neighborhoods. Some advocacy groups say the laws target immigrants. A judge found the law constitutional and sentenced Zaidi to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. He offered to suspend the sentence if Zaidi agreed not to violate the law again. Zaidi declined the offer and filed an appeal.