The Kennesaw City Council unanimously approved imposing a three-hour time limit for certain public parking spaces in the city’s downtown at its meeting Monday.
A three-hour time limit will apply to 225 public parking spaces from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week in downtown Kennesaw on Main and Lewis streets next to the BurgerFi and Trackside Grill as well as around the Revival on Main Street development.
Mayor Derek Easterling said the plan was a “team effort” that came from an assembled group of business owners, residents, employees of local businesses and city residents.
“I want everyone to know this is more than just the city’s plan,” Easterling said in an email. “Multiple meetings were held, questions were asked and answered and concerns were addressed. The changes allow us to efficiently utilize downtown parking resources for businesses, residents, and visitors.”
An estimated $1,500 will be spent to construct 30 three-hour parking signs to be installed near the affected spots. Several parking areas downtown will remain unchanged and will not have time restrictions.
Though a time limit will be imposed, parking will still be free, and adherence to the new changes will be enforced by Kennesaw police as part of its officers’ normal patrol.
“Public parking is an expensive and scarce resource, and we don’t charge users for parking.  Our goal is to continue providing free, safe and convenient parking for everyone,” said Easterling.
Councilwoman Yvette Daniel said she thinks the changes will be good for the area and will help local business and residents.
“I think (the time limit) will actually open up the opportunity for it to be more workable for people that are there,” she said. “Most people eat a meal or go to a store during that time … and it will be something better for residents so they don’t have to keep circling and circling (while looking for a space).”
The fine for violating the three-hour limit for the first time is $25 if paid within five days and $40 after five days, according to the ordinance adopted by the City Council. If ticketed again within 180 days of the first offense, the fine increases to $50 if paid within five days and $75 if paid after that period.
A third ticket will require a fine of $100, which jumps to $150 after five days.
After 180 days of the first offense, the fine schedule starts over, according to the ordinance.
If a vehicle has accumulated five or more parking unpaid tickets, the city can tow and impound it, the ordinance states.
In addition to the new parking time limit, the City Council also approved an agreement with the City of Kennesaw and the Kennesaw Downtown Development Authority to add more public parking downtown.
A 10-year ground lease makes 24 parking spaces at 2980 Lewis St., available to the public the site of Dr. Bruce Hester’s dental practice.
An additional 23 spaces set aside for the practice’s staff and patients during business hours will be available in the evening and on weekends.
The city will commit about $18,000 from the city’s general fund to the KDDA to make improvements to the lot in exchange for the use of the spaces.
Over the next month, the city is planning to inform businesses, residents and the general public about the changes, and according to Easterling, signs are anticipated to be posted early this fall.© Copyright 2016, 580 Fairground St. Marietta, GA