Parking fines set to rise in Farmville, as council will vote in May

Published 6:04 am Wednesday, April 10, 2024

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It could soon be more expensive to get parking fines in the Town of Farmville. During their Wednesday, April 3 work session, council members went through a proposed update to the parking ordinance which changes both penalties and when they’re enforced. 

Parking meters downtown are getting replaced and Farmville is getting several electric vehicle charging stations in the area. Town staff suggested this as a good time to look at the full ordinance, to see what other changes are needed as a result. Town Administrator Scott Davis looked over the ordinance, meeting with both Police Chief Andy Ellington and Farmville Town Attorney Gary Elder before making several changes for council to consider. He suggested that heavier fines might encourage people to follow the rules. 

“If you put some teeth into something, people are more likely to abide by what you have set out to do, such as pay the meters instead of us issuing you a parking citation,” Davis said. 

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And by putting teeth in the ordinance, he doesn’t mean just increasing the amount owed. If the changes are approved, anyone with three or more unpaid parking citations would run the risk of having their vehicle or trailer either immobilized or towed. At that point, in order to get the vehicle back, the owner would have to both pay the fines and all costs involved with the removal and storage of the vehicle. If the owner still refuses to pay by then, the town would be legally allowed to sell the vehicle. 

“We have a few folks who have collected quite a few (tickets) and have not paid at this point,” Farmville Mayor Brian Vincent said during the work session. “(This provides) a mechanism that perhaps incentivizes them to pay up before they collect a glove box worth of parking citations.”

Detailing what parking fines include

So we’ve talked about what happens if you don’t pay. Let’s break down what exactly the violations are and how much each one would be. This first one is brand new, as it involves the electric vehicle charging stations. To be clear, Virginia state law says you can’t just sit in the parking spot and not charge the vehicle. If you’re in one of those charging stations, your car has to be actually charging. If not, you’ll get hit with a $25 fine. 

Now this next tier of violations, 16 in total, involves a $50 fine for each. But that’s only if you pay within the first 15 days after getting the fine. Wait any longer and the fine increases to $100. 

This list includes: 

  1. Violating the Meter Ordinance
  2. Overtime Parking 
  3. Parking with Left Side to Curb
  4. Parking on Sidewalk
  5. Double Parking
  6. Parking in a Loading Zone
  7. Blocking a Driveway
  8. Parking Within 20 ft of Intersection 
  9. Parking in Permit Zone
  10. Parking in Spaces Marked Resident Parking Only
  11. Parking in a Prohibited Zone
  12. Parking at a Yellow Painted Curb
  13. Parking in a No Parking Anytime Space
  14. Parking in a No Parking – Designated Hours Space
  15. Parking in a No Parking for Dual Wheeled Vehicles Space
  16. Caught With Expired Registration or State Inspection

Again, if you’re caught doing any of the 16 things mentioned above, that’s a $50 fine to start, increased to $100 if you don’t pay it within a 15-day window. 

The fines increase from there. If you park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant or in a fire zone, that would be a $75 fine, rising to $150 if not paid within 15 days. If you park in a handicapped spot, that would be a $150 fine, rising to $200 if not paid within 15 days. 

When do they apply 

To be clear, this would apply to all tickets given after the ordinance is passed. Also, parking meters would operate from Monday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., regardless of the time of year. That means if Christmas falls on a Saturday, the meters are running. Fourth of July is on a Friday? Meters are still running. 

Some council members said they wanted people to pay attention to the changes, before they end up with tickets. 

“I’d just like for somebody to point out to (residents) to pay attention to what the fines are, so that they don’t get these tickets,” said Farmville Councilman Thomas Pairet. “They’re gonna realize that it’s not cheap when you get a ticket in the town of Farmville.” 

Now if anyone has a comment to make about these proposed parking fines, the public hearing will take place during the council’s regular meeting in May. That’ll be Wednesday, May 8, with the meeting set to start at 6 p.m. in council chambers at town hall. If council members vote on the changes that night, they would take effect the next day.