Parking regulations hidden within rulebook

Hidden deep within the City of Platteville Municipal Code, one is able to find the ordinance on types of surfaces allowable for parking a vehicle.

 

After some digging, it will be seen not within the parking regulations section but in “Chapter 22” on zoning.

 

Had it not been for the Platteville Police Department’s officers handing out warning notices on Tuesday, Oct. 22, many of the city’s 11,224 residents, as of the 2010 Census, may not have known.

 

“The warnings are a response to complaints received by the city council and the police department,” Lt. Bruce Buchholtz of the Platteville Police Department said.

 

For the University of Wisconsin-Platteville students, especially freshmen and transfer students who may be unfamiliar with the area, it may be more difficult to learn about city-specific laws and codes, without having to learn from mistakes.

 

“This is an expensive citation, especially for students who may not know,” Lt. Buchholtz said.

 

Platteville’s Municipal Code states, in its section on zoning, last revised on June 9, 2013, under “Surfacing,” “(a) All off-street parking areas and driveways shall have an improved surface consisting of a hard surface of bituminous paving over a base course, Portland cement concrete, seal coating or a brick, paver or block design laid over a base with adequate load bearing capacity… (c) All off-street parking areas shall be graded and surfaced with a hard surface, properly drained. Such properties with parking area(s) for five or more vehicles shall have aisles and spaces clearly marked. Hard surfaced parking areas shall be maintained to remain dust free and generally smooth, and parking space and aisle markings shall be maintained to be clearly discernible.”

 

In addition to describing the allowed parking area types, the Platteville PD’s notice states that “no vehicles of any kind may be parked on lawn or landscaped areas.”

 

Anna Strand, sophomore media studies major, lives in Southwest Hall and does not see a problem with parking on the grass in town or on the UW-Platteville campus.

 

“I’ve never had to park on the street,” Strand said. “My [off-campus] friends live in apartments with parking available on the street.”

 

“We do see parking on the grass occasionally and do issue citations. It is not allowed to park on the grass on any campus grounds by a state statute,” Scott Marquardt of the University Police Department said.

 

The University Police deal with parking citations differently than the Platteville Police Department, issuing a citation fine of $20 if the statute is broken.

 

Off campus, the story differs.

 

“Eleven warnings have been issued this year, compared to 61 last year, in the same time frame,” Lt. Buchholtz said.

 

Platteville’s City Code consists of an introduction and 46 chapters, which are available online at www.plateville.org, and also contains ordinances that are punishable by law.

 

According to the police notice, “forfeitures for violations of this ordinance range from $200.50 to $326.50.”

 

“No citations have been issued this year by the police department, but the city inspector has issued two at the department’s request,” Lt. Buchholtz said.