Our commission is trying to require all vehicles parked in back yards to be on a hard surface. I think the goal is good but the enforcement will be a challenge to the parking officer. At one meeting a commission member said because the neighborhoods "are old" is why we need this new rule. I went out and did some research over the weekend. My question is more sociological than planning but please give me your two cents.
I drove around the older neighborhoods in my town and many people have old cars, boat trailers, etc. in their back yards. Mind you most of these properties have driveways off of the street as well. I then drove around a large nearby town where the neighborhoods are more dense with only alley access to the garages and in the older neighborhoods (which is also upper-middle-class) there were no cars, boats, or vehicles in the rear yards. In the suburbs where people have driveways there were no boats or other vehicles in the rear yards. We already don't allow junk vehicles in yards so it's not a question of "poor people keeping junk" but why do our residents (both wealthy and not wealthy) keep so many cars and vehicles in the rear yards that the commission even needs to propose an ordinance? Why do the nicer old neighborhoods with less off-street parking in other cities not have this problem but it is a huge eyesore in a town where almost everyone has a driveway?
On a personal note - I've longed wanted a Jeep Wrangler for off-roading but can't bear to think of keeping it in the rear yard. It would just look tacky.