BY COUNCILOR LITTLE:
The city of Duluth does ordain:
Section 1. That Chapter 33 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, as amended, is hereby amended to add a new Section 33-88.3 which reads as follows:
Sec. 33-88.3. Handicapped parking at meters-time limits.
Pursuant to the authority of Minnesota Statutes, Section 169.345 Subd. 1 (2), the city council may, by resolution, establish one or more zones in which there is a limit on the maximum amount of time during which a vehicle displaying handicapped insignia parked at a metered parking space in that zone shall be exempt from paying the meter fee applicable to said space, provided that any such limitation shall be separately posted on official signs in conformance with the requirements of that Statute.
Section 2. This ordinance shall take effect 30 days from and after its passage and publication.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: The purpose of this ordinance is to allow the designation of time limits on the ability of persons having “handicapped” indicia on the vehicles to park at no cost at parking meters in specified zones in the city.
Presently, Minnesota Statutes provide that any vehicle displaying a handicapped insignia must be allowed to park at meters for free and for as long as the vehicle remains there. It does, however, allow a local parking authority to limit the amount of time that this right can be exercised by posting appropriate signage. At this time the city does not have the authority in its City Code to allow it to impose such limitations.
This has created some problems in various areas of town, particularly in the vicinity of the Fond du Luth Casino where persons with handicapped indicia on their vehicles are parking at meters in front of other businesses for extended periods of time while their owners are at the casino. This makes it inconvenient for customers of those businesses to shop with the affected merchants, generally depressing the level of commercial activities in the area.
This ordinance would allow the council to establish limitations on the time when handicapped indicia would entitle the owners to free and unlimited parking at meters, encouraging turn-over of the metered parking and helping to invigorate business activity in the area. Of course, persons with handicapped indicia would still be able to park at meters for free up to the specified time limits, would be able to park without time limits at spaces designated as “Disability Parking” spaces and would continue to have recourse to the “bingo ramp” which was originally constructed with their needs in mind.
The commission on disabilities has reviewed and acceded to this change in policy.