Sec. 17-103. No parking, limited public parking, paid parking, police parking, handicapped parking, public parking lots.
   The official parking map as adopted by the town council shall establish the areas throughout the corporate limits of the town, where such activities shall or shall not take place. No full-time or extended duration parking shall be allowed in public parking areas. Paid parking shall run from the 1st of March of each calendar year through the 31st of October of each calendar year
   (1)   Two (2)-hour only parking areas. Certain areas designated on the Surf City Parking Map shall be reserved for two (2)-hour parking only.
   (2)   Designated no parking areas. Except as may qualify for residential exceptions, based on written criteria established by the Town Manager, no public parking shall be allowed in any areas not established on the adopted parking map.
   (3)   Designated right-of-way parking areas for temporary relief. Certain rights-of-way may be designated as available parking without having to validate parking on Sundays from 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The areas included in this designation are as follows:
         1.   N. Topsail Drive to Wilmington Ave; Wilmington Ave. to N. Shore Drive; and N. Shore Drive to End of Block
         2.   N. New River Drive to Wilmington Ave.; Wilmington Ave. to N. Topsail Drive; and N. Topsail Drive to End of Block
   (4)   Designated handicap parking privileges shall be allowed in the town to all handicap persons pursuant to the provisions of G.S. 51-56a(b) and 14-253, and shall be free of charge in designated handicap parking areas only.
   (5)   Landowner parking passes. Those individuals owning real property located within the corporate boundaries shall receive two (2) seasonal parking passes free of charge. The passes are nontransferable.
         a.   Condominium. Owners of real property within condominium units shall receive similar treatment as landowner parking passes as noted above. However, condominium units must be habitable structures and provide for occupancy.
   (6)   Issuance of parking citation. When one of the violations identified in this section has occurred, the law enforcement officer or other person, authorized by and whose enforcement duties are as defined by the chief of police detecting the apparent violation is authorized to take the state and license plate number of the vehicle involved, and to place a parking ticket in or on the vehicle involved, or to serve the ticket if the owner or operator is present.
   (7)   Civil penalty.
         a.   For each violation as set forth below, there shall be a fixed civil penalty charge as established by the town council and displayed in the town's budget for unlawful parking, said violations being set forth as follows:
            1.   Expired time parking.
            2.   Parking over the specified time limit.
            3.   Protrusion beyond designated parking areas.
            4.   Reverse parking in a designated public parking space.
            5.   Double parking.
            6.   Parking in a controlled residential parking area.
            7.   Vehicles parked so as to obstruct sidewalk, private driveway, crosswalk, or bike lanes.
            8.   Vehicles parked unattended in commercial and passenger loading zones.
            9.   Vehicles parked in front of or within five (5) feet in either direction of a private driveway or road.
            10.   Oversize vehicles parked on town streets.
            11.   Vehicles parked on medians.
            12.   Vehicles parked in "no parking anytime" zone.
            If a violation is not paid within thirty (30) days of issuance, the debt shall be deemed to be delinquent and subject to debt set off and shall be collected by the finance department.
            a.   The finance director may accept payments in full and final settlement of the claim or claims, rights or rights of action which the town may have to enforce such penalties, by civil action in the nature of debt. A failure to pay the penalty within the prescribed time shall subject the offender to a civil action in the nature of debt for the stated penalty plus additional penalties for each separate parking violation ticket, as set forth by the Surf City Annual Budget and subject to periodic change by the town council.
            b.   A violation listed in this section shall not constitute a misdemeanor or infraction punishable under G.S. 14-4, but instead shall be subject to the civil penalties fixed by subsection (a) of this section and the civil remedies provided by G.S. 160A-175. Any properly designated town official is authorized to take legal action in the nature of a civil suit for the collection of a debt when the civil penalty, including the delinquent civil penalty, has not been paid.
            c.   The civil penalties imposed by this section and the proceeds therefrom, as collected by payment, civil action, or otherwise, shall belong to the town and shall be paid into the general fund of the town under such conditions as prescribed by the annual budget.
   (8)   Accountability for parking tickets. The chief of police or parking vendor shall cause all parking tickets to be serially numbered and shall cause the records of the issuance and disposition of parking tickets to be so maintained that they can be accounted for. The finance director or parking contractor shall periodically investigate the records for the purpose of determining the disposition of the parking tickets and shall report the result of the investigation to the town manager.
   (9)   Prima facie evidence. It shall be prima facie evidence in any court in the state that any motor vehicle which was parked in violation of any of the provisions listed in this section was parked and left upon such street, alley or public way or place by the person in whose name such vehicle is then registered with the State Division of Motor Vehicles.
   (10)   Enforcement of paid parking in all town public parking spaces.
         a.   The town enforces its paid parking program between March 1st and October 31st of each year. Daily parking during this time period is enforced from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The dates and times for parking enforcement and collection of paid parking are subject to change from time-to-time by the town council. All parking spaces are available for temporary parking only. No parking spaces can be used for commercial purposes or the sale of any vehicle.
         b.   The cost for violations or parking tickets to customers that are in violation of this section are subject to change and shall be addressed in the town's annual budget fee schedule.
         c.   Parking spaces and parking lots are for temporary paid parking. The commercial use of spaces, the selling of automobiles, and parking in multiple spaces without payment for all spaces is prohibited.
         d.   The Town Manager or his designee may immobilize by the use of wheel locks and tow any vehicle which is illegally parked in violation of this chapter or is parking in a town parking space and has three (3) or more outstanding violations. Ability for immobilization will occur upon issuance of the third citation with the first two being unpaid and issued on separate days. For the purpose of determining whether an illegally parked vehicle has had issued against it three (3) or more, unpaid parking tickets issued on at least three (3) separate days, it shall be sufficient if the license plate number of the illegally parked vehicle and the license plate number of the vehicle having received the tickets are the same.
         e.   If a wheel lock is attached to a vehicle, a notice shall be affixed to the windshield or other part of the vehicle so as to be readily visible. The notice shall include the following:
            1.   A warning that the vehicle has been immobilized and that any attempt to move the vehicle may result in damage to the vehicle. The town shall not be responsible for any damage to an immobilized illegally parked vehicle resulting from unauthorized attempts to free or move the vehicle.
            2.   An immobilization fee and any additional parking fees pursuant to the town's annually adopted rate and fee schedule shall be charged for the removal of the wheel lock.
            3.   The address and telephone number to be contacted to pay such charges to have the wheel lock removed.
         f.   If civil penalties are due and the immobilization fee as herein provided are not paid, or satisfactory arrangements in lieu of payment are not made, within twenty-four (24) hours of the attachment of the wheel lock, such vehicle may be towed to any public or private impoundment lot which complies with the provisions of article IV, section 17 of this chapter. If a private contractor tows and stores the vehicle he may impose against the vehicle his customary fees and charges for such services. Once a vehicle has been towed, the town manager or his designee shall mail or cause to have mailed, a notice of towing to the registered owner and lien holders, if any are known, at the address or addresses reported to the town by the state department of motor vehicles.
         g.   Upon payment of all civil penalties and overdue and unpaid parking tickets issued for the vehicle and of all other charges authorized by this section, including immobilization, towing, and storage fees, the vehicle shall be released to the owner or any other person legally entitled to claim possession of the vehicle.
         h.   All towing and storage charges incurred in connection with impounded vehicles shall constitute a lien upon such vehicles as provided in G.S. 44A-2.
         i.   The owner or other person entitled to possession of the vehicle which has been immobilized pursuant to this section may submit a request for hearing to the police chief, or his designee by certified mail, electronically, or personal delivery within ten (10) days from the receipt of the notice provided for in subsection (f) of this section; if a request for a hearing is not made within the allotted time, the right to a hearing shall have been waived. If a hearing is requested, a town dispute statement shall be sent to the requesting party to inform him of the time and place of the hearing, of the basis of the vehicle's immobilization and towing, of the rules governing conduct of the hearing, of the right to present evidence as to why the vehicle should not have been immobilized and towed, and of the right to be represented by counsel. The owner or other person entitled to possession may also submit evidence and statement for review without appearing during the hearing. The chief of police or his designee shall then prepare a written report within three (3) days of the hearing. The report shall state findings and conclusion as to whether the vehicle was properly immobilized and towed and the reasons underlying the committee's conclusion. If it is concluded that the vehicle was improperly immobilized and towed then any improper charges shall be canceled, or if paid, rebated.
         j.   It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to remove from a vehicle a wheel lock thereon pursuant to this section or to remove from impoundment any vehicle placed therein pursuant to this section without all civil penalties, immobilization fees and other applicable charges (i.e. parking citation and damage to wheels locks) having first been paid or an approved payment plan having been made.
         k.   The Town Manager is authorized to establish guidelines to adjust the amount of civil penalties imposed pursuant to this section to promote the resolution of any claim against persons with ten (10) or more outstanding delinquent parking tickets.
   (11)   Parking permits.
         a.   The town sells parking permits to non-residents and business employees in the Central Business District in order to make parking more convenient. Parking permits allow vehicles to be parked in a parking lot or space without paying for the service provided.
         b.   Each property owner will be provided two (2) annual passes at no charge. Additional parking passes can be purchased subject to non-resident parking rates.
         c.   Non-resident parking passes can be purchased by individuals who do not own property in the town. Non-resident parking permits are valid in all of the paid parking areas to include right-of-way spaces and parking lots. Vehicles that have a valid parking pass can use the two (2)-hour parking spaces but the permit does not allow any special privileges with regard to the two (2)-hour maximum per space per block. Non-resident parking pass rates are set forth by the Surf City annual budget and subject to periodic change by the town council.
         d.   Business employee parking passes can be purchased by businesses complying with the business registration program and that are located in the central business district. Business employee parking passes may be purchased by businesses which are located in the central business district. Business employee parking passes are only valid in valid rights-of-way and town-owned or leased lots. Employee parking pass rates are set forth by the Town of Surf City annual budget and subject to periodic change by the town council.
   (12)   Paid parking program and other forms of parking. Except for those that may qualify for residential exceptions based on written criteria established by the town manager, time limited public parking areas for rights-of-way and parking lots are designated as follows:
         1.   Time must be on the metered application during enforcement time periods to be valid.
         2.   Resident and non-resident parking permits are allowed in all paid parking spaces without having to pay on the app each time.
         3.   Parking for time periods greater than twenty-four (24) continuous hours in duration is prohibited for lots not located in the central business district (CBD).
   (13)   Public parking lots.
         1.   The town owns or leases numerous parking lots throughout the town. Each of these lots/zones are monitored by the parking application. Motorists that park in these lots must pay for the privilege of parking during times and dates of enforcement. Paid parking lot locations are located on the adopted Surf City Parking Map. Fees for paid parking lots are set forth by the Surf City annual budget and subject to periodic change by the town council.
         2.   Resident, non-resident and business employee parking passes are valid in all public parking lot locations. Parking registration will be valid for not more than twenty-four (24) consecutive hours in public parking lots. Pay by the day vehicles must be removed by 9:00 a.m. the next morning. Lots are subject to the following provisions:
            (i)   Time must be on the space during enforcement time periods to be valid.
            (ii)   Parking passes are allowed in parking spaces without having to pay for the space.
            (iii)   Parking for time periods greater than twenty-four (24) continuous hours in duration is prohibited.
   (14)   Police parking areas. The designation and such locations shall be approved by the police chief.
   (15)   Handicapped parking areas. Handicap parking spaces shall be provided to reasonably accommodate those with disabilities and will not be charged a fee.
   (16)   Public park parking areas. Areas in designated public parks shall have a certain number of parking spaces open and available for park usage and will not be charged a fee. Unlawful usage will result in a violation and citation issued.
   (17)   The town manager or his or her designee may temporarily restrict parking or allow parking at no charge at spaces within parking zones based on special circumstances, including but not limited to emergencies, special events, construction, change in building uses, and actual usage of parking spaces in the zones.
(Ord. No. 2021-03, 3-19-21; Ord. No. 2021-08, 5-4-21; Ord. No. 2021-18, 12-4-21; Ord. No. 2024-02, § I (part), 3-5-2024)