In an attempt to put some teeth into an existing parking ordinance, the City Council has given sheriff's deputies the authority to ticket vehicles parked on unpaved private property in residential areas.
For years, it has been against the law to park anywhere but in driveways, unless a car has a city permit. A permit is necessary because parking is banned on city streets between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. Until now, only the city's Property Maintenance Appeals Board has been able to enforce parking laws, a process that can take at least a month, but often takes much longer.
To crack down on residents who park vehicles on front lawns, the council voted 3-0 last week to amend the existing parking ordinance and give deputies the power to ticket violators on the spot beginning Aug. 1. Mayor Don Knabe and Councilman Barry A. Rabbitt were absent.
Council members had complained that some residents were using their garages to repair vehicles or store boats and recreational vehicles. But rather than apply for a permit to park their cars on the street, they park on their lawns.