In a special meeting held July 20, the Port St. Joe Board of City Commissioners held their first reading for a parking ordinance, which would install a fine for certain parking infractions along Reid Avenue and other streets in downtown.
Ordinance 602 has been in the works since March, when Port St. Joe Police Chief Jake Richards and City Attorney Clayton McCahill began to look into it after complaints surfaced on social media around Spring Break.
Reading the ordinance to the commissioners, McCahill said it was “an ordinance of the city of Port St. Joe, Florida establishing a parking ordinance for the city, providing the authority to do so, providing what constitutes a parking violation, providing for fines/penalties…”
If passed at its second reading, Ordinance 602 would prevent cars from parking outside of marked parking lines or parking at the incorrect angle according to naked parking lines. It would also fine parked vehicles that obstruct either the flow of traffic by extending too far into the city’s downtown roadways or obstruct passenger traffic by blocking sidewalks.
The parking ordinance goes on to prohibit large vehicles such as tractor trailers and mobile homes from parking anywhere in the city’s downtown district.
The owner of a vehicle found to be in violation of the ordinance would receive a ticket for $65, and an additional $40 late fee will be added after 30 days.
According to the proposed ordinance, “no funds collected pursuant to this ordinance shall be used for any expenditure other than those related to parking issues within the city.” It goes on to provide an exception that up to 20 percent of this revenue can be spent elsewhere with vote of the commissioners, but it then must be paid back into the parking fund at a later date.
A second reading will be held for the ordinance at the city’s August 15 meeting.