City May Eliminate Parking Permit Fees in Residential Neighborhoods

A parking sign on a College Park street

At this week’s meeting, the City Council introduced an Ordinance to eliminate residential parking permit fees.

Residential permit parking zones have proven to be the most effective means to reduce overcrowded parking in neighborhoods due to non-residents taking parking space from residents and their guests.

Historically, residents have often resisted the establishment of residential permit parking zones due to the annual $10 fee per vehicle. A common opinion is that a resident should not have to pay to park on the street where they live. By eliminating permit fees, some neighborhoods may wish to be included in a residential permit zone to alleviate parking competition on their streets.

Right now, except where otherwise established by Council action, the default number of residential permits issued per address is 5 annual permits, and 2 visitor/guest permits.

The elimination of annual residential permits and visitor permit fees would reduce revenue by approximately $25,000. It is not proposed to eliminate monthly parking permit fees such as in the municipal garage monthly on-street zones.

That said, there are possibilities to make some savings – in other ways, namely through the proposed license plate reader and online registration.

License plate reader used by the University of Maryland Dept of Transportation

License plate reader used by the University of Maryland Dept of Transportation

The FY21 capital improvement budget includes the purchase and installation of License Plate Recognition (LPR) equipment. This will allow migration to residential permit zone vehicle registration by the license plate.

Online registration is also being implemented. These changes will reduce the operational cost of the residential parking permit program by eliminating mailing and physical hangtag permit costs. This will help offset the lost revenue if fees are eliminated. The annual cost of postage and hang tags is approximately $18,000.

In the interim between the adoption of this ordinance and implementation of residential permit zone permitting by online registration, all current annual and bi-annual residential parking permits will be extended without payment of additional permit fees.

[City of College Park]

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3 Comments to “City May Eliminate Parking Permit Fees in Residential Neighborhoods”

  1. By Mary Ann Hartnett, May 28, 2020 @ 12:57 pm

    I think this is a very good decision. Developers will also like this decision since they covered the cost for Zone 4A last year and probably other areas in the City in the past. I highly recommend that the Council approves this measure.

    Should the Council choose not to, I believe Zone parking permits should have additional benefits in the City. I would like to see free parking in the city garage and street/lot meters at all times for vehicles displaying a current hanging tag. Maybe this would bring much needed business to downtown if the students do not return the Fall.

  2. By David Turley, May 29, 2020 @ 2:37 pm

    i still think we need to keep some form to keep out people parking here and taking the Metro thats why it was first put in for. We do have homes that have more cars than allowed and that needs to be addressed as well. Antique cars can have the vintage tag for the year of the car so current tags are not on the car but they have to be in the car so how will that work?

  3. By Fazlul Kabir, May 29, 2020 @ 2:52 pm

    Hi Dave, The City is not taking out the permit parking restriction. It’s just proposing not requiring residents to pay the fees for it.