21 Aug 2014
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Northfield Winter Parking Ban Goes into Effect Thursday

The four-month overnight parking rule begins Thursday, Nov. 15.

How much is your favorite overnight parking spot worth to you?

It could cost you $50—or a tow—if you're not up on city code.

Northfield on Thursday puts into effect its annual winter parking ban, which runs through March 15. Regardless if streets are covered with snow or not, parked cars are not allowed on streets overnight without a city-issued permit.

Because it takes residents a few weeks to get in sync with the parking ban each year, the Northfield police honor a grace period through the end of the month.

Once the grace period expires, tickets will be issued with fines for any car parked on city streets from 2-6 a.m.

Each ticket costs a vehicle owner $50, or $70 if not paid within 10 days. After five consecutive parking violations, the vehicle will be towed, according to state statute.

In the case of a snow emergency, all bets are off, Deputy Police Chief Chuck Walerius told Patch. Regardless of the time, vehicles cannot be parked on Northfield streets during a snow emergency.

When there's heavy snowfall, be sure to either visit the  City of Northfield  website or check out  Northfield Patch to see if the city activated a snow emergecy. If cited for parking on the street during a snow emergency, it'll cost a motorist $75 and his or her vehicle could be towed.

There is a reprieve, however.

The Northfield police offer ticketed motorists a chance to appeal their parking citation. Appeal forms can be picked up at the Northfield Safety Center. If satisfied with a driver's explanation—broken down car, visiting relative, etc.—department officials could reduce or eliminate the fine, Walerius said.

And while city-issued permits are typically reserved for downtown residents who live above businesses, permits can be issued for any Northfielder. Walerius said a family with several vehicles may not have enough room in a garage and driveway for all the vehicles, so street parking may be justified.

And that's the sticking point—the justification needs to be there. The permits won't be given to everyone who requests one, Walerius said.

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