Next time you park illegally on St. Pete Beach, you’ll be paying more in fines.

The St. Pete Beach City Commission approved a $20 increase for violations on Tuesday night. They are also cracking down on the fine for past-due parking meters.

The violations include improper parking, leaving your car running unattended, leaving your keys in the ignition and parking in a reserved space. The base fee used to be $30, now it’s no less than $50.

If you are late paying that bill, you’ll be forced to pay $15 more.

The changes come after residents who live along the water with limited parking would have their spots taken by beachgoers.

Hap Smith says it's happened to him.

“If they are parking illegally that’s their problem," he said. "Let them pay more money and maybe they will stop.”

St. Pete Beach Mayor Alan Johnson says some residents have to circle their street for hours trying to find a spot.

“I’ve heard stories of people leaving their house on a weekend to go to the grocery store, coming back and they spend two or three hours looking for a space to put their car,” he said.

The ordinance allows the city to ticket the same cars every two hours. The goal is for people to be mindful of where they’re parking.

It’s especially bad at Pass-a-Grille.

“The reason we’re doing this is to change people’s behavior," the mayor said. "Granted, we do make money on it, but that’s not the basic reason."

Here’s how the parking changes:

  • Overtime parking fee increases from $30 to $50
  • Improper parking fee increases from $30 to $50
  • Double parking fee increases from $40 to $60.
  • No parking zone fee increases from $30 to $50.
  • Motor running, unattended fee increases from $30 to $50.
  • Keys in ignition fee increases from $30 to $50.
  • Parking in space reserved for disabled persons remains the same at $255
  • Parking in front of a fire hydrant remains the same at $100.
  • Parking on streets or lots restricted to specific permit parking fee increases from $40 to $60.

The ordinance is effective immediately.

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