BY NICK DIAMANTIDES
By a 3-2 vote during its Tuesday meeting, the Signal Hill City Council adopted an ordinance regulating the parking of recreational vehicles, trailers and other oversized vehicles. Starting early next year, with certain exemptions, owners of such vehicles parked without a permit on Signal Hill’s public streets will be subject to a $60 fine and may have their vehicles towed away as well.
The ordinance establishes an oversized-vehicle parking permit, valid for 72 hours, with a $20 fee for each permit. Signal Hill residents may purchase no more than 12 such permits during any calendar year and non-residents may purchase up to six.
In a few weeks, the Signal Hill Police Department (SHPD) will begin educating the public on which vehicles are required to have a permit. During the first 60 days of the ordinance’s commencement, the SHPD will only issue warning tickets. Coucilmembers Tina Hansen and Ed Wilson said they voted against the law because they felt it should have been crafted to draw a sharper distinction between residents and non-residents.
In another action, the council voted unanimously to raise the city’s water rate by five percent beginning January 1, 2009. The city sent all 3,400 water customers notice of the planned increase two months ago and only 17 – less than one half of one percent – sent letters protesting the rate change. On the average, city residential water customers use 1,500 cubic feet of water per month. The increase will raise the average water bill by approximately $1.35 per month. Another five percent increase will go into effect on January 1, 2010.
The next meeting of the Signal Hill City Council will take place Wednesday, November 12 at 7 p.m. in the council chamber of City Hall. (The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday because City Hall will be closed on November 11 in observance of Veterans Day.)