City Could Crack Down On Repeat Overnight Parkers

By: Tony Tagliavia Email
By: Tony Tagliavia Email

The next time you leave your car on the street overnight in Lansing, you could wake up to find your car gone -- off to the impound lot.

"At the fourth offense," Councilmember Tim Kaltenbach said. "The police, at their discretion, could have the car towed."

It's the most serious penalty under consideration to target what Kaltenbach says has become a problem for residents and the city.

"They essentailly use the streets ... as their driveway," he said.

Towing could only happen after four offenses in a 30-day period under Kaltenbach's proposed ordinance. Repeat offenders who don't meet that threshold could still face bigger fines. Right now, an overnight parking citation costs around $7.

"The second offense would cost more, the third offense would cost more. The fourth offense would cost more," Kaltenbach said.

The Fourth Ward councilmember says people in the Westside neighborhood tell him they're concerned about safety because occasionally, they see cars they don't recognize on the streets.

There are also concerns about the impact on city services like plowing and street sweeping. Tony Lister, who lives in the Westside neighborhood, says he can see that point.

"If there are cars parked there, then [the plowers and sweepers] have to go around," he said. "Doesn't really get it done."

But a few blocks away, Scott Russo says it's not enough of a problem in his neighborhood to justify towing cars.

"I think it's a little excessive," he said.

Russo and others told us they're worried it's just another way to squeeze money out of residents. But Kaltenbach says the ordinance is not targeted at residents who occasionally forget to bring their car in.

That's something Patrick Kapp can go along with.

"If somebody does it repeatedly, then obviously they have to get a clue and move it," he said.

There will be a stronger incentive to do just that if the proposed penalties become law. A public hearing on the ordinance has been set for June 18.


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