RESIDENTS AND public officials might agree downtown is often short on parking, but that doesn’t mean the First Church of Christ Scientist on Lincoln Street can charge the public to park in its vast, underused lot.

Last month, orange “Public Parking” signs appeared on the three streetside pillars in front of the lot, along with signs throughout the lot telling parkers how to pay for their spots using the Air Garage app.

But no one from the church asked the city for permission to operate a paid parking lot, according to planning director Brandon Swanson. The first he learned of the operation was when a resident sent him photos of the signs.

“Not allowed,” he concluded, after reading the rules for ingle-family-residential zoning, which is what the church property is.

“The zoning district still does not allow commercial parking,” Swanson said May 21. “We have made contact, and they will be ceasing.”

This is from Mary Schley, “City puts kibosh on Christian Scientist parking plan,” Carmel Pine Cone, Volume 108, No. 22, June 3-9, 2022.

If you ever want to visit Carmel during almost any season, you’ll notice how difficult it is to find parking. This church had a partial solution but the government knows better.

I remember in the 1960s when Ayn Rand, in her Objectivist Newsletter, had a section called “From the ‘Horror File’.” It often highlighted anti-human comments by various intellectuals and absurd regulations by governments that prevented people from making each other better off. The above is an example of the latter. I’ll shortly give another example, not of a regulation exactly, but of an anti-life (literally) policy.