Motorists who accumulate $100 or more in unpaid parking fines may have their vehicles towed and impounded if found parked in public places in Richmond.
That’s even if they are parked legally when a police officer notices their vehicle.
Previously, a vehicle had to be parked illegally before it could be towed.
The city commission approved final reading of an ordinance Tuesday night authorizing towing of vehicles for which $100 or more is owed in parking fines.
To gain release of their vehicles, motorists will have to pay the towing and impoundment costs in addition to their unpaid fines and penalties.
The ordinance was adopted 4-1 with Commissioner Jason Morgan voting in opposition, saying he disagreed with towing vehicles that were parked legally.
When the first reading was heard two weeks earlier, Police Chief Larry Brock said summoning people to appear before the already crowded district court was ineffective.
Empowering the police to tow persistent violators would deter illegal parking, he said. Officers who write parking tickets on residential streets often find tickets written earlier for the same vehicle have accumulated in the gutter.
“People need to realize there is a consequence to parking illegally and then ignoring citations,” the chief said.
Citations for most violations costs the motorist $5. If not paid within 10 days, a $10 penalty is added. The penalty jumps to $20 for citations not paid within 15 days.
Letters are mailed at the end of each month to the subjects of unpaid citations, according to the city finance office.
When accumulated fines and penalties reach $100, violators will still be summoned to district court, Brock said, but if unresolved, vehicles will be subject to tow.
The commission also passed on final reading an ordinance requiring all apartment complexes to maintain large trash bins, unless they obtained a waiver from the board of adjustments.
The exception was written into the ordinance because some small complexes do not have enough space to place a large trash bin, commonly called a dumpster, said City Attorney Garrett Fowles.
The ordinance was rewritten to eliminate the waiver application fee for complexes that win an exemption.
Previously, dumpsters were required only of new apartment complexes.
In other action,
• Accepted the retirement of City Hall receptionist Virginia Speakman
• Approved the leasing of 48 golf carts from Dever Inc. for Gibson Bay Golf Course
• Agreed to purchase property on Congleton Lane for $14,000 so Richmond Utilities can construct a pump station
• Accepted the bid of Morton Salt Company for sale of up to 1,800 tons of street-treatment salt at $64.98 a ton. If all 1,800 tons are purchased, the city will spend $16,000 less than if the same amount was purchased at the previous year’s price, City Manager Jimmy Howard said. The salt will be purchased using the city’s state aid for streets, he said.
First reading of an ordinance annexing 9.4 acres into to the city at 320 and 360 Boggs Lane also was heard.
Bill Robinson can be reached at brobinson@
or at 624-6622.
Richmond City Commission
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