City council approves parking violation fee increase

The Winters city council has approved raising the fine for various parking violations in town, the first such increase since parking-related fines were established in 1995.
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FILE: A public parking sign along Abbey Street in Winters. Photo by Matthew Keys

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$30 for most parking-related offenses in Winters, with a larger increase for parking violations related to disabled parking spaces and abandoned vehicles. The fine increase is another step for Winters as the city follows through on plans and promises outlined in the Downtown Parking Master Plan. A volunteer committee who helped put together the strategy said one of the things they wanted to see more of was parking enforcement measures conducted in the business area of Winters. Most of the fines relate to timed parking spaces — the city recently decided to turn some spots into 30 minute parking while leaving the bulk majority of downtown spaces as two-hour zones — though residents aren’t likely to get a ticket anytime soon because the police department doesn’t currently have a parking violation ticket to issue. “I have to readily admit, parking enforcement was not a priority for the Winters Police Department and did not garner my attention until this point and time,” Winters Police Chief John Miller said at last Tuesday’s meeting. But now it is, and Miller promised a ticket was in the works. City council members said the parking fees seemed reasonable, especially when compared to similar fees in other cities: In Vacaville, parking in a fire lane comes with a $108 fine, but in Winters, it’ll cost just $30. From each $30 fine, $11 would go to either Yolo County or the Superior Court of California, according to a city memo reviewed by the Express. “I know this was something that was definitely discussed at the parking committee meetings,” Mayor Bill Biasi said. “If we don’t enforce it, then there wouldn’t be anything that comes of it. It’s definitely a priority.” The enforcement mechanism wasn’t discussed at last Tuesday’s meeting. But at a city council meeting in September, City Manager John Donlevy said enforcement officers would take a relatively low-tech solution by chalking the tires of cars. “We aren’t going to tell people when we’re going to do it,” Donlevy said, suggesting the city wouldn’t be on the hunt for violators every hour of every day. He added that adding parking meters as a parking enforcement tool was not currently being considered by the city.]]>

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