Farmington parking scofflaws get opportunity for redemption

While parking “scofflaws” will start paying more for multiple tickets in Farmington, they will also have an opportunity to redeem themselves.

City council members on Monday unanimously moved to increase to $100 the penalty for four or more parking tickets. But they included additional language to address concerns about creating a parking “life sentence.”

Public Safety Director Frank Demers said concerns expressed during the first reading of the measure led to new language that allows a reset when a period of five years lapses between violations.

Mayor Pro Tem Sara Bowman called that time frame “more than sufficient.”

“This is just our way of having some recourse against the folks who are intentionally violating,” she said, adding that the violation travels with the vehicle, so motorists have other “fresh start” opportunities.

“The point of this ordinance is to change behavior,” council member Maria Taylor said. “I think allowing them to get back into the good graces of our ordinance will help in that regard.”

Later in the meeting, Taylor said she would also like to focus on the root of the problem, incentivizing businesses to share private parking spaces. She pointed out that downtown Farmington has more than 1,500 private spaces that are largely underutilized.