Parking Ordinance Changes
This past summer, after careful review of our old city ordinance, consideration of the enforceability of current ordinances around the state, and input from the community, the City Council made significant changes in passing a new parking ordinance. That ordinance is now Chapter 6 of the City Municipal Code. A few key points that motorists and residents need to know are outlined below:
- The parking ordinance is now a civil, not a traffic or criminal violation. That means that the owner of the vehicle is strictly liable or responsible for any parking violations.
- Winter parking restrictions based solely on the time of the year are no longer part of the ordinance. Instead, motorists will not be allowed to park on public streets under the following weather conditions:
- During a snowstorm where snow or ice are accumulating on the street; and,
- After a snow event until the pavement has been plowed and cleared from edge to edge of the street. This may be a day or two after the snowstorm, depending on the magnitude of the storm.
- Parking any vehicle, any time of the year on a City-maintained roadway for longer than forty-eight (48) consecutive hours, or less if there is a sign giving notice of a time limitation. This time limitation is consistent with Utah State Traffic code regarding parking on state maintained roadways. This includes trailers, boats, dumpsters, or storage devices encumbering City roadways.
- Inoperable vehicles are prohibited from being parked, stored, abandoned, or otherwise left on any street, park strip, curb, city-owned property or right of way at any time. If a vehicle is “broken down” and must be left on a roadway until a tow truck or other arrangements are made to move the vehicle, those facts will be considered when the City contemplates enforcement. However, that movement must be within the 48 hour time period. Also, if the vehicle is parked in a manner that creates a safety hazard, inhibits the regular flow of traffic, or prevents snow removal or other road-work that is occurring, the vehicle may be towed and the owner cited immediately.
A few commonly asked questions about the legality of parking on the roadway are also listed below and addressed as prohibited parking in the city ordinance. It is unlawful to park in the following areas:
- Within fifteen (15) feet of a fire hydrant. This is enforceable whether there are other notices about the fire hydrant or not. (ie. red curb, signs, etc.)
- Within twenty (20) feet of a crosswalk.
- Within thirty (30) feet upon the approach of a stop sign, yield sign, flashing signal, or other traffic control device (not including speed limit signs).
- In a marked bus stop.
- In front of a private driveway. (This includes the resident themselves)
- Within an intersection or a roundabout.
- On the roadway side of any lawfully parked vehicle or trailer. (Double Parking)
- Across any portion of a sidewalk. Wherever there is a prohibition designated by the city by signs or red curb painting.
On occasion, the City understands that there may be a need for an obstruction to last longer than forty-eight (48) hours. As an example, this may be a construction project where a dumpster or trailer is needed to be on the roadway. Or, a resident is moving and requests a storage trailer be allowed longer than the above time period. In a case such as this, a permit may be granted for up to fourteen (14) days to allow an exception to occur. A fee may be associated with that permit, as well as assurance or guarantee that the public street will not be damaged by the activity. There are also restrictions as to where these exceptions may be made, and in no case will exceptions be made to parking within crosswalks, clear-view ordinance areas, sidewalks, or interference with a public utility. If you need a permit, you should contact the City for instructions on obtaining and posting that permit.
When a violation is observed, the police may issue a warning or a notice of violation. If a notice of violation is issued, the owner of the vehicle may pay the fine on line, in person, or by mail. Instructions on payment are included on the notice of violation that will be left on the vehicle observed in violation of the city ordinance. The fines at this time are as follows:
Disabled/Handicap Parking Violation $200.00
All other Parking Violations are a set fine of $80.00, but are substantially reduced if paid or appealed in a timely manner. If the citation is paid within fourteen (14) days, the fine is $20.00, and between fifteen (15) and thirty (30) days, the fine is $40.00. If an appeal is scheduled within either of these two time frames, and the hearing officer rules against the appellee, the fine is still assessed as if it would have been paid within that time period.
In summary, the City has made these changes to be more effective in our parking regulations and compliance. A key point of these changes have been to encourage compliance, not to create a parking program that is a revenue source. In other words, if we don’t have to issue one citation, that would be success. However, if violations are observed, the City will be issuing notices of violation, as well as towing vehicles that are continually observed in violation of the code or are immediate safety hazards or impediments to clearing our roadways.
Please refer to the City Code, Title 6, Chapter 2 and Title 7, Chapter 1 for all of the specifics that are not addressed in this article.