On November 18, 2019, the Opelika City Council approved a newly proposed handicap parking ordinance. State law amended in 2015 and 2018 to authorize the enforcement of handicap parking regulations on private property.
The purpose of the proposed ordinance is to bring the City Code into compliance with the recent changes to state law. If enacted, police officers will have the expanded power and authority to enforce handicap parking regulations on private property.
Primary changes to the ordinance include:
1. Mandatory minimum fines of $50 for the first offense, $200 for the second offense and $500 for the third or subsequent offense.
2. Mandatory community service (40 hours) for the second and subsequent offense.
3. Authorizing police officers to have vehicles illegally parked in parking spaces designated for disabled persons towed away and impounded at the owner’s expense, even though the parking space is located on private property.
4. Making it unlawful for a person to park a vehicle in the hash-marked or cross-striped space that is directly next to an accessible space designated for the parking of vehicles transporting persons with disabilities.