City corner column: Violating juvenile curfew could cost up to $500
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Q: Does the City of Victoria have a juvenile curfew? If there is one, are parents legally bound to monitor their minor-aged children during curfew?
A: Yes to both questions. It is unlawful for unsupervised minors younger than 17 years old to be in any public place or on the premises of any commercial establishment between 12:01 a.m. and 6 a.m. Monday through Friday, and between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
It is also illegal for minors to be in any public place or on the premises of a commercial establishment between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. when their school is in session. Offenders are ticketed for a misdemeanor offense and their parents are notified. Fines for breaking curfew can reach $500. If a minor is ticketed three times in a 24-month period, he or she is subject to appropriate action by a juvenile court.
A parent of a minor commits an offense if he or she knowingly permits, or by insufficient control allows a minor to remain in any public place or on the premises of any commercial establishment during curfew hours. For example, a parent who tells their minor-aged child "do whatever you want" may be cited for breaking curfew.
For more information about the curfew, call the Victoria Police Department at 361-485-3700.
Q: What are the hours of the city pool?
A: The Gary T. Moses Municipal Pool, at 201 S. Ben Wilson St., is open from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday.
The cost is $1 per person. For more information on the pool contact Parks and Recreation at 361-485-3200 or e-mail to: email@example.com.
Q: Does the city repair burned out street lights?
A: Ninety-nine percent of Victoria street lights in Victoria are maintained by AEP. The best number to report burned out street lights is 866-223-8508. It helps to have the pole number written down - this is the number on the pole that is at eye level or slightly higher. You will be given an order number to check the status of the replacement.
Q: Is a building permit required for 8-by-10 foot storage shed that I want to put in my backyard?
A: No. A building permit is not required for any residential structure that is less than 200 square feet. You do need to anchor the building, however. If you are going to place a storage building on your property, it is always a good idea to check with our Building and Permit Department at 700 Main Center. They can help you keep the storage shed away from the property lines and utility easements, and make sure it is not in the 100-year floodplain. For more information about city permits, call 361-485-3320.
Q: Do I need a permit to hold a garage sale? Is there an online list of garage sales permitted by the city?
A: Yes, you need a permit to hold a garage sale. The city secretary web page has great online services for garage sale aficionados. First, you can buy your garage sale permits online for $8 if you pay with a credit card or debit card. Second, residents can hold one garage sale every six months and you can find out online when you can hold your next garage sale. And finally, you can print out a list of permitted garage sales for the entire city for any weekend you want to hit the garage sales. To access this online information, browse to the city website: www.victoriatx.org and click on the "City Secretary" web page.
Q: Is it against the law to park on the wrong side of the street at night?
A: Yes, and actually it is against the law to park on the wrong side of the street at any time. Section 545 of the Texas Transportation Code states that "an operator who stops or parks on a two-way roadway shall do so with the right-hand wheels of the vehicle parallel to and within 18 inches of the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway."
Send your questions and comments for any city department or activity to City of Victoria, Public Information Office, P.O. Box 1758, Victoria, TX 77902, or firstname.lastname@example.org.