Parking meter grace period mulled

The City Council is looking for a more gracious treatment of drivers who overstay their time limits at meters and city parking lots.

Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Pearson proposed Tuesday a grace period of five minutes per paid hour on the meters and city parking lot machines, with a goal of reducing the rancor and complaints from drivers who are ticketed.

“We are always hearing, ‘I was just two minutes late,’ and ‘I am never coming to Laguna Beach again’,” Pearson said. “I thought a grace period would demonstrate good will.”

City Manager Ken Frank was directed to come back to the council with a program. The logistics will be simple to implement on new meters that were approved for purchase Tuesday, less so on older meters, he said. And it may not do the trick.


“But I can see [drivers] coming in and saying, ‘You only gave me five minutes [grace period]’,” Councilwoman Jane Egly said.

But the grace period will give the city a comeback to complaints of too-hasty ticketing, Pearson said.

BARBARA DIAMOND can be reached at (949) 494-4321 or