Fine increase for those who leave unattended vehicles on SLO streets for 72+ hours

Posted at 7:02 PM, Aug 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-22 22:17:01-04

The City of San Luis Obispo recently adopted a resolution which increases the fine associated with leaving unattended vehicles on city streets for more than 72 hours.

"We are looking at this as a new tool to try and encourage people to not store their vehicles and their trailers in the neighborhood and rather than going right to an immediate tow, we will issue a citation," said Tim Bochum, San Luis Obispo Deputy Director of Public Works.

The San Luis Obispo City Council voted 3-2 this past Tuesday to increase the parking violation for drivers who leave their unattended vehicles on city streets for more than 72 hours from $33 to $75.

Bochum says the city council looked at similar cities, like Santa Barbara, that are along the coast and home to university campuses, when they were determining how much they would increase the fine.

"Santa Barbara is set at about $78 so we felt the 75 was about the right mix for what we do at this point in time," Bochum said.

Cal Poly Student Miranda Knight said parking surrounding campus can be challenging, which has led many to park in surrounding residential areas.

"I live on a street where people often do park there for days and even weeks sometimes and just leave their car in the same spot and it can be frustrating for people who do live there like me," Knight said. "So I can definitely get behind something that is going to stop people from dumping their cars for weeks on end."

Despite the council adopting the new measure this week, it will not be effective until September 1.

The city also wants to remind citizens that if and when they are fined and find themselves in financial hardship, they can partake in an appeals process in which they could qualify to make payments and or get the fine reduced.