The pay-for-parking season begins this week in Rehoboth, and city commissioners voted May 17 to make a last-second change to how people are allowed to park.
Beginning Friday, May 24, when meters and permits go into effect, drivers will no longer be allowed to back into parking spots.
City Project Cooridnator Evan Miller said the city is transitioning to new technology that allows staff to monitor parking using license plate recognition, so staff must to be able to see license plates.
For the 2019 season, drivers will get one warning from parking officials for backing into a spot. There was some discussion about whether drivers should get warnings for the entirety of the summer. Commissioner Richard Byrne said people will continue to abuse the warnings for as long as they’re allowed.
Once warnings are exhausted, the fine will be $50 per violation. Miller said for warnings, the parking officials will print out parking tickets, with the fine amount being zero.
Commissioner Stan Mills said he recognized the need for the change because of the new technology, but he doesn’t agree with giving people tickets this year, or maybe next, after they’ve learned over the past six years they can back into parking spaces. He said he was against charging $50 for a violation.
The change to head-in parking only is a year-round change, meaning even when the meter season is over, backing into a parking spot is still illegal.
Additional parking changes
Head-in parking isn’t the only change commissioners made to parking for this summer; it’s just the most recent. Back in January, in time for city staff to make changes to signs, commissioners made changes to meter costs, length of meter season and meter hours, the permit season and more.
There is an increase the cost of meters in a significant portion of the commercial district from $2 an hour to $3 an hour – Rehoboth Avenue, from the Boardwalk to Fourth Street; Baltimore and Wilmington avenues, from the Boardwalk to Second Street; and First Street, from Baltimore to Wilmington avenues. On Rehoboth Avenue, from Fourth Street to Canal Street, the meters will remain $2 an hour.
There is a 3-hour time limit for meters on Rehoboth Avenue, on both the island side and the storefront side, making them all uniform.
The number of parking spots designated for use of the post office on Rehoboth Avenue decreased from seven to five.
Metered parking will end at 10 p.m. instead of midnight.
The commissioners voted in favor of codifying the creation of four 30-minute parking spaces in the convention center parking lot for city hall business.
The length of the permit season was extended to mirror the meter season, which means it now ends the second Sunday following Labor Day.
Finally, the weekly parking pass increased from $80 to $90.
Rental property owners, including hotels and motels, can no longer purchase $30 transferable permits.