By Tia Lyons
Starting Tuesday, those who receive parking tickets for violating the downtown parking ordinance will have 21 days to pay their fine before going to court and facing additional costs and, possibly, more penalties.
Tanzi Shinpoch, downtown parking code enforcement officer, said tickets that are not reconciled within the allotted time will be turned over to 35th Judicial District Court.
The move is another step in tightening enforcement of the overtime parking limit within the controlled zone in Downtown El Dorado.
Parking within the zone is limited to three hours between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day, except Saturday, Sunday and legal holidays.
Areas within the controlled parking zone include:
• Both sides of Washington between Oak and Cedar.
• Both sides of Jefferson between Oak and Cedar.
• Both sides of Elm between Cleveland and Hill.
• Both sides of Main between Cleveland and Hill.
• Both sides of Hill between Cedar and Elm.
• Both sides of Cedar between Cleveland and Hill.
• The south side of Main between Hill and Jackson.
• The south side of Main between Cleveland and South West Avenue.
In the past, Shinpoch said, parking tickets were issued, and violators either paid the applicable fines or not. The tickets were not submitted to the El Dorado Police Department and district court as other city-issued tickets are.
“No one ever contested them before, until a man showed up to court a couple of weeks ago, but he wasn’t in the system,” Shinpoch said. “We want the public to be aware that from now on, those tickets will be turned over to district court.”
Fines and penalties could pile on if violators do not show up for their scheduled court date.
The court date will appear on the ticket, and violators will receive a reminder in the mail about their court date, Shinpoch said.
If tickets are not paid prior to the court date, defendants will be subject to court costs in addition to the delinquent fine for the parking violation. Defendants could also face additional penalties.
Violators may go to the City Collector’s office in City Hall to pay a parking ticket prior to their court date.
After 21 days, violators must pay tickets and court costs at the EPD.
“They’re getting serious about these parking fines,” Shinpoch said.
The downtown parking ordinance allows for three hours of parking within the controlled zone on the days outlined in the city ordinance.
Shinpoch has said people often misunderstand the ordinance, thinking the time limit applies to parking spaces.
“…and they move to another space throughout the day, but the three hours is for the whole day,” she explained previously. “I’ve left the ordinance on their window with that portion highlighted.”
The fine for overtime parking within the controlled parking zone starts at $10 per violation.
Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.