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Making room: Royal City to consider permit-only parking

by CHERYL SCHWEIZER
Staff Writer | January 12, 2022 1:00 AM

ROYAL CITY — The Royal City City Council will discuss an ordinance to allow city officials to establish permit-only parking zones.

And if the ordinance is approved, council members are considering a permit-only parking zone on Poplar Street Northeast, which would require vehicle owners to have a parking permit, good for 24 hours, to park on the street. Royal City Finance Director Shilo Christensen said council members haven’t decided yet whether it will be a section of Poplar Street Northeast, or the entire street.

Council members approved a no-parking zone along the north side of the street in October.

“That street really isn’t designed to have parking on both sides,” said Royal City Mayor Kent Anderson.

Christensen said it’s a draft ordinance, and as such, still subject to change. Violators will be subject to fines, the amount of which is still to be determined.

If the ordinance is passed, drivers would receive warnings before the city starts issuing citations.

“We’re going to educate first, but there comes a time when that doesn’t work,” Anderson said.

Like most cities in Grant County, Royal City has an agreement with Grant County District Court to provide municipal court services. County and city officials have negotiated changes to that agreement, which could cause municipal court costs to go up and in turn have an impact on new fines, Anderson said.

The Reino Del Cielo Apartments are on the south side of Poplar Street Northeast, and Anderson said the parking problem seems to be a result of overflow from the apartments.

“We’ve got people parking in other people’s spaces (at the apartment complex),” Anderson said.

Other residents are forced to park on the street, and that causes problems for drivers trying to use the street.

The permit would be issued to the registered owner of the vehicle, Christensen said, and the driver would have to be a resident of the apartment complex. Permit holders also would be required to have car insurance.

The permits would have to be renewed periodically. Christensen said the council hasn’t decided yet how long permits would be valid.

There is visitor parking in the apartment complex, Christensen said, and if that’s full, there are streets adjacent to Poplar that have room for parking.

“If you’re visiting, there are options out there,” he said.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at cschweizer@columbiabasinherald.com.