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OJAI : City Hikes Fines for Parking Citations

Ojai has doubled and tripled the fines for parking citations after learning that some residents and visitors preferred paying the cheap tickets rather than abiding by parking laws.

The new fines for exceeding the limit in a two-hour parking zone will jump from $7 to $20.

Fines for violations such as blocking a driveway, or parking in a crosswalk or in a no-parking zone will increase from $12 to $25.

The increases will take effect as soon as the new tickets are printed, officials said.

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Ojai’s new fines are still lower than those in many other communities, City Manager Andrew Belknap said.

For example, the fine for exceeding the limit in a two-hour parking zone is $25 in Ventura, Oxnard, Camarillo and Santa Paula.

But that fee soon may go up to $30 due to a $5 increase imposed by the county Sept. 15 after a new state law required a $2 hike per citation.

Belknap said those changes triggered a review of Ojai’s very low fees.

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The city discovered that it spent $34,000 for parking enforcement over a two-year period, while ticket revenue was merely $12,000.

Lt. Ken Kipp of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department station in Ojai said the previous fines did not discourage motorists--particularly those from out of town--from abusing the time limits on the city’s free parking spaces.

“They ask how much it will cost them if they go over and then say, ‘Is that all?’ ”


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