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City increases parking fees across board

DEL MAR — From an expired meter to leaving a storage vehicle longer than 72 hours, the price of a parking ticket will soon go up in Del Mar.
Council members unanimously adopted a resolution at the Feb. 2 meeting that will add $5 to all parking violations in the city. The increase — the first since May 2001 — is a result of a new law that raises the citation surcharge the city pays to the state. The funds will be used to rebuild, restore and seismically retrofit many of California’s deteriorating and unsafe courthouses.
Del Mar issues approximately 20,000 parking citations annually. For about the past 15 years, the state has imposed a $1.50 surcharge, resulting in an estimated payment of $30,000 a year. Senate Bill 1407, which goes into effect March 25, will raise the fee to $4.50. Del Mar is essentially passing that increase onto motorists.
Unlike some surrounding cities, Del Mar currently does not issue multiple citations for a same-day parking violation. For example, if a vehicle is cited but not moved before a parking enforcement officer comes by again, a second ticket is not written.
“Del Mar is actually pretty liberal when it comes to that,” Bill Michalsky, a former member of the Traffic and Parking Committee, said.
Don Johnson said he often sees cars ticketed outside his office on 15th Street. “The owner walks by, looks at his car, and then goes shopping and does whatever he needs to do,” Johnson said, adding that a second violation probably should be issued.
“If I didn’t see it all day long I wouldn’t say anything,” he said.
Council members agreed and directed staff to come back with an ordinance change that would end the practice.