Overnight Parking 101

Lansing is cracking down on overnight parking. Here’s what you’ll need to know to avoid a ticket

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The Lansing City Council voted Monday to beef up a city parking ordinance that bans parking from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m.

The Council approved amendments 7-1, with Fourth Ward Councilman Brian Jackson opposed. He argued that the fee is too high for newly created overnight parking permits.

The new rules are slated to go into effect on March 1, 2020. And here’s everything you’ll need to know:

Annual permits will be available to local residents for $125. By March, those who park on city streets between 2-5 a.m. without them should expect to receive tickets. The fine would remain at $25 (or $35 during a snow emergency).

A limit of one annual permit will be available per individual city address. As long as those residents maintain their own address or unit number, those living in split-level homes, multi-family housing, downtown lofts and other apartments will each be eligible to receive an overnight parking permit.

Only residents who demonstrate a need for the extra space will be eligible for permits. Junk-filled garages and commercial vehicles parked at home will not be an adequate justification, officials said, but sole discretion over parking permit applications still rests with the city’s office of parking services. 

Permits will not be issued for recreational vehicles, trailers, boats or vehicles with more than two axles. 

Two temporary permits — for overnight guests, for example  — could also be issued for any given address within the same 72-hour period. Those will be made available for $10 a night for a maximum of three nights. It’s still largely unclear how quickly residents will be able to access those parking passes.

A plan to offer discounted rates to low-income residents is still “under discussion,” but no decisions have yet been made, officials said. As it stands, all residents regardless of income will be asked to pay the flat $125 annual rate should they apply and eventually receive the right to park overnight.

The proposed permits would also only serve as a waiver for the city’s 2-5 a.m. parking restrictions and would carry no additional parking benefits or exceptions to usual meter fees and other fines and costs.

Residents would still be required to vacate streets for snow plowing or other emergency situations as mandated by city officials or else risk automatic revocation of their annual permits without notice. 

A permit will also not guarantee or reserve the rights to any particular parking space. Officials said the goal is for residents to park within reasonable proximity to their registered address, but the ordinance doesn’t appear to specifically limit that distance or restrict where permit holders can park overnight.

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