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Friday, September 24, 2021

During every home football game, parking at UF is known to be a nightmare.

To cure this headache, residents living in homes near campus have opened their properties for fans to park their vehicles for a fee.

But during a Gainesville City Commission meeting Thursday, the commission voted to approve a petition proposing new changes to gameday parking that will require homeowners to get a new special event permit if they wish to continue charging people to park.

The petition was brought to the commission almost a year ago in response to complaints from residents about trash, heavy traffic and noise caused by tailgating events during football seasons.

With the new permit comes new regulations according to the petition:

-Parking on gameday will be allowed from 8 a.m. to midnight, or three hours after the end of the game, whichever happens sooner. Vehicles can be parked overnight and can only be picked up the day after the event between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m.

-All trash, signs and other physical items must be removed from the property by 6 p.m. the day after the event ends.

-If portable toilets are used on the properties, they may be placed the day prior to the event and need to be removed by 6 p.m. on the second day after the event. If an event is on Saturday, the toilet would need to be removed by 6 p.m. Monday.

-All parking areas have to be located on private property.

-Residents must display their special event parking permits on-site during each event.

According to the petition, the city’s Code Enforcement division will have the power to issue $250 fines for residents who break the new rules.

The commission decided Thursday to not start issuing fines under the new regulations until the 2013 season.

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In 2009, the commission implemented a business tax for owners who wish to charge for parking on their properties.

With the new proposal, residents will have pay to obtain a new special event permit to charge for parking on their properties. The price will be the same as the business tax — $52.50. The permits will be valid for an entire football season.

Commissioner Thomas Hawkins said the city staff is currently working on a draft of the ordinance.

A first review of the ordinance may happen in late September or early October, he said.

Contact Chris Alcantara at calcantara@alligator.org.

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