Zoe of Grand Haven asked the Tribune about the parking lots that offer spaces for sale during the busiest times of the Coast Guard Festival. “During festival week, there seems to be a growing trend to sell parking spaces for as much as $20 a shot. Is OK with the city?” she asked.
There is not a specific city regulation that prohibits the practice, as long as it is a designated parking area. Otherwise, it is a private property issue.
No city municipal lots are roped off for space sales. However, some spaces and areas are approved by City Council for use by the festival.
I asked Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke if the city ever runs into any issues or complaints regarding the parking lots during festival week.
“We have frequent issues with unauthorized vehicles parking on private property,” he said. “If we can’t locate the vehicle owner, the owner of the property may have the vehicle towed.”
When certain downtown and waterfront areas are blocked to traffic, such as for the Grand Parade and that night’s fireworks show, Hawke said officers at the traffic points do make allowances for residents and visitors to access parking lots and private homes whenever possible.
“For instance, we have escorted cars in and out of the marina lot when Harbor Drive is closed for the fireworks,” the chief explained. “We maintain and monitor the closures closely, but try to accommodate when we can.”
Most folks along the Grand Parade route plan well in advance to get cars in and out knowing that the streets will be closed just before and until the event is over, Hawke added.