Leisure World now fining parking violators

Leisure World's security department is now writing tickets for parking violations in the gated community. Previously, errantly parked vehicles were issued "courtesy notices" that carried no fines. Photo by Mark S. Scott

Leisure World is now issuing parking tickets that could result in fines and towing for violators. The Golden Rain Foundation, which represents more than 9,000 residents, recently approved changes to its bylaws that prohibit parking on major streets. It effectively eliminates overnight parking for residents and guests, unless they arrange for parking passes in advance. Leisure World’s security department started issuing citations this month.

Fines range from $20 to $200, and cover violations such as not having a permit, parking in red or handicapped spaces, and exceeding allotted parking times. Previously, Leisure World security placed “courtesy notices,” which look like parking citations but carried no fines, on vehicles errantly parked.

While the tickets are ostensibly being written to ensure residents’ access to amenities, a secondary purpose is to discourage residents with multiple vehicles from using “trust streets” (those maintained by the GRF) to store their vehicles for extended periods of time.

Parking is scarce in the 542-acre community, which swells to nearly 15,000 people during working hours and special events. Though each of the 6,500 condominium units has a designated carport, many households own more than one vehicle. Vehicles belonging to employees, contractors and visitors also add to the parking crunch.

It’s a contentious issue. Some Mutuals, as subdivisions in the gated community are called, limit parking only to their own shareholders. Some are woefully under-parked, with far fewer spaces available to residents than needed, while others have a surplus of space. Residents regularly complain at board meetings that the dearth of available spaces prevents family members and guests from visiting.

Leisure World now fining parking violators