Lakewood City Council votes down parking fine increase

Parking illegally in Lakewood could soon cost repeat offenders up to $500.

LAKEWOOD, Wash. — The Lakewood City Council did not pass a parking fine increase to $500 for repeat offenders on Tuesday.

Currently, parking fines in the city range from $20 to $250.

Lakewood City Attorney Heidi Ann Wachter says current fines aren’t high enough to discourage repeat offenders.

“Law enforcement is experiencing ongoing issues with illegal parking such as parking on sidewalks,” Wachter said in a letter to the city council dated Feb. 12. “Illegal parking can present hazards to pedestrians who must navigate around a vehicle blocking what is intended to be a safe path for the pedestrian. Illegal parking detracts from the appearance of a neighborhood and can create traffic issues.”

If the changes were approved, the first parking offense would have cost $125, the second $250, and the third $500. On the fourth illegal parking offense, the vehicle would have been impounded.

Wachter says the threat of having a vehicle impounded would most likely change repeat offenders’ behavior.

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