HUNTINGTON BEACH : Parking at Broken Meters to Be Banned

Drivers in this beach community soon will be without one excuse for overtime parking at a meter.

A new city ordinance is scheduled for final passage tonight that would make it illegal to park in front of a broken parking meter.

In the past, drivers could successfully appeal a parking ticket by notifying police that the meter was broken. Police, in turn, would notify the city’s Community Services Department, which would investigate and verify that the meter was broken.

Jim B. Engle, the city’s acting director of community services, said the old method was costly for two reasons.


“It caused a lot of wasted manpower, and it possibly encouraged people to break the parking meters,” Engle said. “What seems to be happening now is that some people are deliberately breaking meters by stuffing foreign material into the coin slots.”

The new ordinance, which received 6-0 approval on first reading by the City Council on May 21, would go into effect 30 days after final passage. During that 30 days, the city staff would have decals or signs put on all parking meters alerting motorists to the new change in law.

“We’ve got 1,400 parking meters in the city, so we’ve got some work to do,” Engle said. But he added that the project is well worth the effort because of cost savings resulting from fewer broken meters.