Last weekend, Irmo police handed out 48 tickets to motorists who parked on the town’s streets. On Thursday, the Irmo Town Council is holding a special meeting to consider repealing the city’s ban on street parking.
“I guess they (police) went out and got a little too energetic to council’s taste,” Town Administrator Bob Brown said.
After a furor from those who received the tickets, all 48 — and their $25 fines — were voided on Monday, Brown said.
The action followed protests on social media about the tickets, which were given without warning for violating a rule that some town officials say is seldom enforced.
The Town Council will meet Thursday at 7 p.m. at Town Hall to consider a proposal to allow parking on every street in the town of 12,000 residents that straddles the border of Lexington and Richland counties.
The meeting will be held as town officials prepare crack down on what they see as a bigger parking problem — in front yards. Parking cars in front yards hurts the appearance of neighborhoods, town officials believe.
“You can’t park in your yard and you can’t do it on the street, creating an obvious conflict,” Councilman Barry Walker said. “Everything needs to be put on hold until we can figure out what is the correct way to go about this.”
Town officials want to stop parking in front yards to thwart behavior seen as signs of blight taking root. “Our main thing is to maintain property values,” Councilwoman Kathy Condom said.
About 200 of 4,800 homeowners in town recently received warnings that under a rule recently adopted by council members, vehicles can only be parked in designated areas away from front doors. The rule takes effect in February.
After handing out the warnings, police then decided to crack down on street parking, a ban that Brown and Condom said has been enforced occasionally but never en masse as happened during the weekend.
The ban was adopted in the mid-1980s to assure passage on narrow roads and prevent collisions with parked vehicles, Brown said.
Police Chief Don Perry couldn’t be reached for comment Monday.
Tim Flach: 803-771-8483