As the Kyle Police Department continues to step up enforcement of parking violations in area neighborhoods, one resident is concerned authorities didn’t give enough warning beforehand.
William Pettit, a resident of Plum Creek in Kyle, said he was recently issued a $140 citation for parking the wrong way on his street.
Pettit said he was surprised to receive the citation after parking the same way without a warning ticket for the past four years.
Pettit said he checked with the Municipal Court regarding the dollar value of the ticket and was told that the price of a parking violation is the same for everyone in the county.
He was confused, however, as to why the Police Department chose to enforce the state-mandated parking laws now versus four years ago.
Shelby Snyder, also a Plum Creek resident, said she also received a citation for parking the wrong direction, but is contesting the ticket based on the extraneous amount.
Snyder also said she did not live in Kyle prior to May so was unaware of the parking laws.
But Kyle Police Chief Jeff Barnett said the increase in citations for parking violations has been a long time coming.
“Officers have been issuing parking citations across the City of Kyle for several weeks due to an influx of resident complaints,” Barnett said.
Barnett said the city originally launched a social media awareness campaign about common parking violations over a year ago to inform residents of the state laws they needed to follow.
“We primarily issue warnings for parking violations, but due to the high number of complaints, we had to start issuing citations,” Barnett said.
In May 2015, the Hays Free Press reported Kyle Police beginning the process of cracking down on parking violations in area neighborhoods.
The reasoning was to curb parking against the flow of traffic, which has been an issue in Plum Creek and other subdivisions. Barnett said the department had received complaints regarding the issue.
Barnett said the department’s campaign against parking violations was primarily conducted through Home Owners’ Associations (HOAs), as well as on social media.
But Barnett said the department didn’t have the resources to send notices in the mail to all Kyle residents.
Barnett said residents who are given citations go and pay those to the Municipal Court, which then pays the majority of that money back to the state. Barnett said the department does not receive money from the citations.
But Pettit said the citation for the parking violation is adding to the overwhelming high cost of living for residents in Kyle.
“Living in Kyle is expensive now. I pay $200 more a month to my mortgage now than I did four years ago due to the increase in county, city and school taxes,” Pettit said.
As far as the state law goes, Barnett said he doesn’t know the reason behind it, but it has been the same law for a long time.
“I have been a police officer for over 24 years and the state parking laws were the same then as they are now,” Barnett said.