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Whittier Moves to Double Parking Fines

August 27, 1987|MARY LOU FULTON | Times Staff Writer

WHITTIER — The City Council has approved increasing most parking fines by at least 100% after a police study showed that comparable fines in other cities in the Whittier Municipal Court District were substantially higher.

In a separate action Tuesday night, the council voted to increase fees for some police and recreation services because the city has been subsidizing them by more than 50%.

Together with hikes in planning and engineering fees approved by the council earlier this month, the increases are expected to generate nearly $250,000 a year for the city.

Most minor parking violations in Whittier carry an $8 fine. But if the council's action Tuesday is approved by the Bail Committee of the Municipal Court judges of Los Angeles County, fines for parking overtime, alley parking and parking during prohibited hours will jump to $16. In neighboring cities, the police study said, fines for these violations are about $15.

City officials hope the stiffer fines may discourage illegal parking in the crowded Uptown Whittier business district, which has a two-hour parking limit. Workers and shoppers often move their cars repeatedly to avoid being ticketed. On the new fee schedule, the fine for reparking will increase from $8 to $23.

City officials said they could not estimate how much money the increased fines will provide. City Manager Thomas G. Mauk said the fines are likely to take effect this fall after final approval by the council and then by the judges.

A study this year by the consulting firm of David M. Griffith & Associates showed that the city is subsidizing recreation services for which a fee is charged by an average of 80.1% and similar police services by 85.6%.

Fee increases for recreation services, such as classes and rent for community center rooms, will be slight. The city subsidizes these at a rate of $1.1 million a year, and the fee hikes are expected to bring only about $44,000.

Higher fees for six police services are expected to generate about $100,000, reducing the city subsidy to 54%. The city's cost for those services would be cut from $317,900 to $171,700 a year.

Among the items to be increased are fees for false alarms. Previously, before fines were imposed, residents were allowed six false alarms a year and businesses eight. The new fee schedule limits both to four. Fines will increase progressively for additional false alarms.

Whittier police respond to about 3,000 false alarms each year.

Other police service increases include a new $25 charge for recovering impounded vehicles and fees for obtaining copies of police records.

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