McHenry increases parking permit fees for those who work and live downtown

Permits for downtown workers will rise sixfold

Entry sign for McHenry, Illinois

Buying a McHenry parking sticker for the city’s downtown lots does not guarantee a parking spot, city officials said.

It does mean that residents living in downtown McHenry can park overnight in city lots without getting a ticket, and that those working downtown can park for more than four hours without a ticket.

It also will cost more for the stickers, which were first approved by the McHenry City Council in 2021.

After a unanimous vote Monday, prices for those resident permits are now $100 a year, up from $60 annually. People who work downtown and seek a permit will see an even larger, sixfold cost increase from $10 a year to $60.

The parking permits allow holders to use lots including Riverside Drive Central Alleyway parking, two Court Street lots, the Green Street lot and the Main Street North and South lots.

The city also will limit the number of residential and business permits sold for each lot, officials said.

Last year, McHenry sold a total of 61 parking permits, Assistant City Clerk Monte Johnson said.

There are signs in the city lots that designate where permit parking is allowed, said Bill Hobson, director of parks and recreation. His department is responsible for downtown aesthetics.

“We need to do a little better job with signage,” Hobson said, adding that “we should designate where we want permit parking to be.”

One business that bought 13 permits for its employees told him they were OK with the increase, Johnson said.

He said he did not talk to all business owners or residents buying permits, as the council had not yet voted on the change.