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Yakima City Council approves downtown parking changes

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(The Center Square) – Yakima has followed through in changing on-street downtown parking to help businesses being negatively impacted by nearby parking spaces being taken up all day.

The Yakima City Council passed new rules in the form of two resolutions at Tuesday’s meeting. Both passed in a 6-1 vote.

The legislation reduces parking infraction fines from $50 to $20, lowers the monthly parking permit fee from $50 per month to $20 per month for parking lots, and reduces the number of monthly permits from 60% of the total spaces to 40%

The council also made downtown Yakima parking lot parking free for three hours.

The Center Square previously reported on spotty enforcement of parking since the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning parking space turnover in downtown Yakima has been minimal.

Parking space turnover is vital to nearby businesses because there can be a loss of customers due to a lack of convenient spaces for customer use.

There are no changes to free 2-hour parking. Instead, the city intends to more efficiently enforce the parking limits to ensure there is improved parking space turnover.

The city council extended its current moratorium on enforcement of parking on downtown streets and city-owned parking lots through May 31. During the extended moratorium, warnings will be issued for parking enforcement but no fines will be levied.

According to the city, enforcement will resume June 1.

Parking infractions that will be enforced include parking in a fire lane, parking in front of a fire hydrant, parking in a manner that creates a public safety hazard, and unlawfully parking in a disabled designated spot.