Fewer fines for parking violations?

Concerns over the severity of parking violation fines led the Kyle City Council to approve tentative changes to the rules.

While council members approved reducing parking violation fines on first reading, the updated parking ordinance is going to be reviewed by city staff and legal counsel before being brought back June 6.

“It is not ready for final passage,” Mayor Todd Webster said. “It definitely needs to be cleaned up.”

Changes to Kyle’s parking ordinance came after city officials wanted to reduce the amount of fines paid by those who violate the ordinance.

The updated parking ordinance creates four tiers of parking violations, with fines ranging from $20 to $250.

Previously, the amounts fined for parking violations were up in the $200 range, which is inconsistent with what’s fined in other communities, Webster said.

“This is taking parking fines, that most of the time are probably getting reduced at the court level, from the $200 range to $20,” Webster said.

While courts can reduce parking fines, there is a set $70 minimum fine, Councilmember Travis Mitchell said.

“I was mind-boggled that you could receive a $250 citation for parking in front of your house the wrong way,” Mitchell said. “The punishment doesn’t fit the crime.”

While it may seem like the parking ordinance is creating fines, its intent is to reduce fines for minor parking violations, Mitchell said.

Level 4 violations, fined no less than $250, include violations regarding disabled parking.

According to the ordinance, any penalty not paid within 15 days of the date due is subject to an additional fee of 50 percent the original penalty.

The ordinance prohibits parking more than two vehicles, or any commercial vehicles and semi-trailers, in a vacant lot of a single-family residential area.

According to the ordinance, parking a vehicle on a public street in a single-family residential area for more than 24 hours or parking a large commercial or construction vehicle for more than 60 minutes, except during active use, is prohibited.

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