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Gainesville may raise fines for some parking violations
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Gainesville City Council meeting
What: Council will vote on proposed changes to the city’s parking fines
When: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Georgia Mountains Center, 301 Main St. SW, Gainesville

Proposed changes to parking fines:
  • First offense for parking in a fire lane, $100
  • Parking in a handicapped zone, $250
  • Parking on a sidewalk, $50
  • Parking in employee-parking spaces or lot without a permit, $50
  • Other parking violations, $20

Illegally parked residents may be paying much stiffer fines for their transgressions if the City Council approves an ordinance proposed Thursday.

Gainesville City Marshal Debbie Jones proposed raising fines for more than five different parking violations, and the City Council’s main concern was making sure residents would be aware of the changes if approved.

The proposal raises fines for cars parked in fire lanes, handicapped zones, sidewalks and reserved spaces without a permit.

She said fines for those violations have not been changed since 2003.

Jones also asked the council to include a sentence in the current motor vehicles and traffic ordinance to specifically address that it is illegal to park a vehicle on a yellow curb.

Under the proposal, the fine for the first violation of the parking offenses will range from $20 to $250.

The city only charges $10 for most of those offenses except parking in a handicapped zone, which is currently a $100 fine.

Council members expressed concern that the fines would change without residents knowing, but none expressed problems with the cost of the fines.

“These are significant increases, in my opinion. The general public ought to know about it,” Councilman Robert “Bob” Hamrick said.

As with all proposed ordinance changes, City Clerk Denise Jordan said an announcement with the name of the ordinance is published in a legal advertisement.

But council members wanted to go further so residents would know the full extent of the planned changes to the fines. City Manager Kip Padgett proposed putting out a news release about the changes.

“Just let them know what they’re going to be fined, and it will be appreciated,” said Mayor Pro Tempore Danny Dunagan.

The council will likely vote on the proposal Tuesday at its regular 5:30 p.m. meeting at the Georgia Mountains Center.

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