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Artesia City Council Rethinks Parking Violation Fees in Downtown

By Rico Dizon
A new ordinance in the City of Artesia that seeks to reduce the downtown pay parking violation fee from $58 to $40 was deferred for adoption due to new apprehensions and confusions that the City Council received from members of the public.
Expected to be adopted after second reading during the City Council regular meeting last June 10, the Council instead, upon Council Member Miguel Canales suggestion, formed an ad hoc committee to “thresh out the issues and facilitate the implementation of said ordinance.”
Mayor Sally Flowers said, “I received reports that when people add coins to their first deposit the latter is automatically erased.” Also, Flowers added, there is reported confusion over the actual hours of operation in the pay parking lot as signages in the area do not show one uniform message. Pradeepkumar Elayath, Artesia’s Administrative Services Manager, confirmed that the actual hours of operation are from 11 A.M. to 8 P.M.
Elayath added that based on the results of the survey his Staff had conducted it shows that the proposed new pay parking citation fee “is somewhat in the middle with the highest being $50 for the cities like Santa Monica and Culver, and the lowest at $25 in the City of Brea.”
The proposal will amend the first and current ordinance enforced only last January of this year. The current regulation requires pay parking violators to pay the $58 penalty within 21 days from the citation date. Any payment made after 21 days will incur and additional $23 fine.
The move to amend the pay parking citation fee is in response to a number of clamors and concerns raised by Artesia’s downtown merchants foremost of which is the parking violation fee which they find “too high.” One other issue voiced out by the merchants’ spokesperson Dave Kerai at the City Council meeting on April 8, 2013 was the poor lighting at the pay parking lot on 186th St. in the vicinity of the Methodist Church.
In addressing this particular complaint, the City Council has ordered the installation of an additional street light on the South side of 186th St. by Southern California Edison (SCE).
Another concern by the merchants group was the lack of free parking on local streets for the employees who work in the business district. It was agreed by all concern present during the meeting that pending additional on-site parking by employers and public parking lot by the city, affected employees in the area will have to either park in their respective employers’ on-site parking, use the new city public parking lot, carpool with other associates, or think of an alternative means of transportation when going to work.