Parking Ordinance

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 9, 2009

Aldermen approve parking ordinance

By Jason C. Mattox

The City of Batesville adopted a parking ordinance Wednesday that prohibits parking anywhere in a residential area that is not designed for parking.

In past months, aldermen have voiced concerns about homes with cars parked in the street or in the front yard for long periods of time.

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In the ordinance, which will take effect in February, exceptions given for the ordinance are family gatherings and parties, but vehicles are prohibited from being parked for more than 24 hours.

In a rough draft of the ordinance, discussed Wednesday, the exceptions listed examples of holiday gatherings.

“They could just have a family gathering every day from November to January,” Ward 3 Alderman Stan Harrison said.

Harrison said the ordinance would also give people the ability to use their discretion.

Code Enforcement Office administrator Pam Comer advised aldermen that some residents in the city would find a way around the restrictions.

“You know you will have someone who will bring in a load of gravel to make their driveway bigger,” she said.

Ward 1 Alderman Bill Dugger suggested giving an initial warning before fines are given out for violations.

“The reason we want to do this is to correct the problem,” he said. “We aren’t trying to break anyone.???

Fines for violations are outlined as follows:

• First offense- $500 and/or 30 days in jail

• Second offense- $750 and/or 60 days in jail

• Third offense- $1,000 and/or 90 days in jail

In other board business:

•Aldermen voted to increase the fine for shoplifting to $1,000 for first offenses after a motion from Ward 2 Alderman Rufus Manley.

“Southaven has a $1,000 fine, and shoplifting is essentially non-existent there anymore,” he said. “When we do this, word will get around and people will stop trying it here.”