Enumclaw to once again start enforcing downtown parking rules

Those who linger in downtown Enumclaw parking spaces could soon be in for a costly surprise.

Members of the City Council approved an initial reading of an ordinance that aims to prevent automobiles from sitting – for more than a few hours – on the busiest streets in the downtown core.

The measure is expected to be on the Oct. 9 agenda for final passage and there’s no reason to believe the ordinance will not receive council blessing.

Parking in Enumclaw has been debated for years, as employees of downtown businesses join with downtown residents to claim many of the in-demand, on-street parking spaces. It has long been a thorn in the side of downtown merchants who want easy parking for paying customers.

The latest effort to appease the business community started in May when the Chamber of Commerce hosted a gathering that included business owners, Mayor Liz Reynolds and a representative of the Enumclaw Police Department.

That led to a series of recommendations which, in turn, led to the ordinance now before the council.

“Historically, the police department has not proactively enforced the current two-hour time limit,” City Administrator Chris Searcy said when introducing the ordinance during the council’s Sept. 25 gathering.

It looks like that’s about to change.

The ordinance under consideration would make one concession — changing the current two-hour limit to three hours — but clamps down in other areas. The fine for violators would jump from $20 to $40 and, more important, enforcement would be done on a random and proactive basis.

The new rules would apply to the following six segments of city streets: both Cole and Railroad streets between Washington and Stevenson avenues; and Initial, Griffin, Myrtle and Marshall avenues, all between Railroad and Wells streets.

The ordinance heading for final approval also includes a $2,000 expenditure to change signs in the downtown core and reflect the new parking standards.