Parking scofflaws in downtown Delaware will soon pay more for failure to move their vehicles in a timely fashion.
Delaware City Council on Monday voted unanimously to update its parking enforcement ordinance for the first time in nearly a quarter century.
The new ordinance will not take effect for 30 days.
Parking tickets are set to increase from the current $3 to $7 for over time if paid by midnight at a meter; from $5 to $10 for over time if not paid by midnight at a meter; from $10 to $40 for over the limit at two-hour parking spots; and from $15 to $25 for parking in a prohibited spot.
City officials hope the steeper fines will deter people from overstaying their allotted time in a spot, especially in the two-hour areas utilized by downtown businesses.
“We’re not really interested in raising a lot of revenue or being enforcement heavy,” said Police Chief Bruce Pijanowski.
In addition, if a vehicle has had three tickets in 30 days or five tickets in 60 days, ticket fees will be doubled; the $10 late fee for tickets more than 30 days old will increase to $20.
Under the updated ordinance, a vehicle will be immobilized if it has three or more unpaid parking tickets that are more than 30 days old; the vehicle or the registered owner has accumulated five or more parking tickets in a 30-day period; or the vehicle or its registered owner has accumulated 15 or more parking tickets in any calender year.
A $100 fee, plus the cost of all outstanding parking tickets, will need to be paid to remove the boot. If the payment is not made within two hours, the city will tow the vehicle. Tampering with the boot will result in charges of criminal damaging or theft.
City officials say that 29 vehicles could have been booted in the past 12 months.
In 2014, 365 parking tickets were paid in court after three months of notices were issued.
“We’re going to make our best effort to publicize (the changes),” said City Attorney Darren Shulman.
City officials will also explore the possibility of adding the technology to allow parking tickets to be paid online.