Downtown Port St. Joe [ Holly Graham Atkins | Contributed ]
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Port St. Joe passes downtown parking ordinance

At their Aug. 15 meeting, the Port St. Joe Board of City Commissioners unanimously passed a parking ordinance that will install fines for certain parking infractions along Reid Avenue.

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.

A first reading was held for the ordinance at the city’s Aug. 1 meeting.

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…”

Among the new rules outlined, Ordinance 602 prevents 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 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.

“We hope to have a little more orderly parking on Reid Avenue. That’s our goal,” said Mayor Rex Buzzett during the Aug. 15 meeting. “We’ll see how that goes, and hopefully we can get people to volunteer to park in our new First Street parking lot if they have larger vehicles.”

Commissioners Brett Lowry and Eric Langston were absent from the Aug. 15 meeting.

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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