The City Council unanimously passed an ordinance last week prohibiting valet services from using public parking spaces, beginning in mid-April. A violation of the ordinance will be a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $499.
Businesses may be exempted from the ordinance, however, by getting a permit from the city manager. City Atty. Carl K. Newton indicated that the exception provision is intended primarily for special events.
Merchants complained late last year that they were losing business because valets for Wiliker's restaurant, which opened in November, were using the public parking structure at Morningside Drive and Center Place. Wiliker's stopped using the valet service in early December.
The restaurant owner, Dave Fansler, attended the council meeting and did not speak against the ordinance.