Q Our city has paid parking meters in certain areas of downtown. We are considering allowing citizens to park in certain city-owned lots off street, using a paid permit rather than parking meters. The permits would not be exclusive or guarantee a particular parking space, but would allow permitees to park in any available space, if available. Would such a scheme be permissible?

A Section 21-37-23 provides that a municipality may establish and construct municipal parking facilities “for motor vehicles belonging to members of the general public…” Based on this language, we are of the opinion that such a permitting scheme is only permissible if the permits are made available to all segments of the general public on an equal basis. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Watkins, Jr., March 22, 2019)