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(a) Special parking locations and privileges for persons with disabilities that limit or impair the ability to walk, also known as handicapped parking spaces or disability parking spaces, shall be provided and designated by the Municipality and all agencies and intrumentalities thereof at all offices and facilities where parking is provided, whether owned, rented or leased, and at all publicly owned parking garages. The locations shall be designated through the posting of an elevated sign, whether permanently affixed or movable, imprinted with the international symbol of access, and shall be reasonably close to exits, entrances, elevators and ramps. All elevated signs posted in accordance with this subsection and Ohio R C. 3781.111(C) shall be mounted on a fixed or movable post, and the distance from the ground to the top edge of the sign shall measure five feet. If a new sign or a replacement sign designating a special parking location is posted on or after October 14, 1999, there also shall be affixed upon the surface of that sign or affixed next to the designating sign a notice that states the fine applicable for the offense of parking a motor vehicle in the special designated parking location if the motor vehicle is not legally entitled to be parked in that location.
(b) (1) No person shall stop, stand or park any motor vehicle at special parking locations provided for in subsection (a) hereof or at special clearly marked parking locations provided in or on privately owned parking lots, parking garages or other parking areas and designated in accordance with subsection (a) hereof, unless one of the following applies:
A. The motor vehicle is being operated by or for the transport of a person with a disability that limits or impairs the ability to walk and is displaying a valid removable windshield placard or special license plates.
B. The motor vehicle is being operated by or for the transport of a handicapped person and is displaying a parking card or special handicapped license plates.
(2) Any motor vehicle that is parked in a special marked parking location in violation of paragraph (a) of this section may be towed or otherwise removed from the parking location by the law enforcement agency of the municipality. A motor vehicle that is so towed or removed shall not be released to its owner until the owner presents proof of ownership of the motor vehicle and pays all towing and storage fees normally imposed by the municipality for towing and storing motor vehicles. If the motor vehicle is a leased vehicle, it shall not be released to the lessee until the lessee presents proof that that person is the lessee of the motor vehicle and pays all towing and storage fees normally imposed by the municipality for towing and storing motor vehicles.
(3) If a person is charged with a violation of subsection (a) of this section, it is an affirmative defense to the charge that the person suffered an injury not more than 72 hours prior to the time the person was issued the ticket or citation and that, because of the injury, the person meets at least one of the criteria contained in Ohio R.C. 4503.44(A)(1).
(c) When a motor vehicle is being operated by or for the transport of a person with a disability that limits or impairs the ability to walk and is displaying a removable windshield placard or a temporary removable windshield placard or special license plates, or when a motor vehicle is being operated by or for the transport of a handicapped person and is displaying a parking card or special handicapped license plates, the motor vehicle is permitted to park for a period of four hours in a marked handicap parking space, except those handicapped spaces set forth in Section 351.173 or where a local ordinance provides otherwise.
(d) No owner of an office, facility or parking garage where special parking locations are required to be designated in accordance with subsection (a) hereof shall fail to properly mark the special parking locations in accordance with that subsection or fail to maintain the markings of the special locations, including the erection and maintenance of the fixed or movable signs.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a person or organization to apply for a removable windshield placard or special license plates if the parking card or special license plates issued to the person or organization under prior law have not expired or been surrendered or revoked.
(f) As used in this section:
(1) “Person with a disability that limits or impairs the ability to walk” shall have the same meaning as in R.C. Section 4503.44, as amended.
(2) “Special license plates” and “removable windshield placard” mean any license plates or removable windshield placard or temporary removable windshield placard issued under Ohio R.C. 4503.41 or 4503.44, and also mean any substantially similar license plates or removable windshield placard or temporary removable windshield placard issued by a state, district, county or sovereignty.
(g) Whoever violates subsection (d) of this section shall be punished as follows:
(1) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b)(1)(A) or (b)(1)(B) of this section, the offender shall be issued a warning;
(2) If the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of subsection (d) of this section, or a state law or municipal ordinance that is substantially similar to this section, the offender shall not be issued a warning but shall be fined $25 for each parking location that is not properly marked or whose markings are not properly maintained.
(h) Whoever violates subsection (b)(1)(A) or (b)(l)(B) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than $250 nor more than $500, but in no case shall an offender be sentenced to any term of imprisonment.
(1) Arrest or conviction for a violation of subsection (b)(1)(A). or (b)(1)(B). of this section does not constitute a criminal record and need not be reported by the person so arrested or convicted in response to any inquiries contained in any application for employment, license, or other right or privilege, or made in connection with the person’s appearance as a witness.
(2) Every fine collected under this division shall be paid by the Clerk of the Court to the municipality. Except as provided in this division, the municipality shall use the fine moneys it receives under this division to pay the expenses it incurs in complying with the signage and notice requirements contained in subsection (a) of this section. The municipality may use up to 50% of each fine it receives under this division to pay the costs of educational, advocacy, support, and assistive technology programs for persons with disabilities, and for public improvements within the municipality that benefit or assist persons with disabilities, if governmental agencies or nonprofit organizations offer the programs.
(i) This section does not apply to streets or parts thereof where angle parking is lawfully permitted. However, no angle parking shall be permitted on a State Route unless an unoccupied roadway width of not less than twenty-five feet is available for free-moving traffic. Whoever violates any other provision of this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor and shall be subject to the penalty provided in Section 307.01.
(Ord. A-2794. Passed 8-11-14.)