The city declares snow emergencies for major snow events of three inches or more. During a snow emergency, you must park your vehicle off the street to avoid ticketing and towing until the street is plowed to the curb. As soon as your street is plowed to the curb, you may again park vehicles on the street.
How Will I Know if a Snow Emergency Is In Effect?
The city announces snow emergencies on this website and in local media. You can also use any of the following to find out if a snow emergency has been declared:
- Sign up for ParkAlert, St. Louis Park’s citizen notification system. The system automatically calls all phone numbers listed in the white and yellow pages, but signing up lets you choose how you want to be contacted. Choose text messages, emails, cell phone calls, land line calls or all of the above.
- Download the MyStLouisPark app for Apple or Android. The app will display an alert when a snow emergency is in effect.
- Follow the city’s social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Nextdoor.
- Call the Winter Parking Hotline at 952.924.2180.
- Three inches of snow is the guideline for declaring a snow emergency. Once the three-inch threshold is met, day or night, vehicles must be moved off the street.
- In an effort to be proactive whenever possible, the city uses a combination of available forecasts and can declare a snow emergency in advance of a storm. Example: Leading forecasts call for the city to receive 4 to 7 inches of snow between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Dec. 15. The city would proactively announce during the evening of Dec. 15 that a snow emergency will be in effect at 11 p.m. Dec. 15.
- Vehicles parked on a street during a snow emergency are subject to ticketing. If your vehicle remains on the street 12 hours after it’s ticketed, it will be towed.
- The snow emergency will remain in effect until your street is plowed to the curb. As soon as your street is plowed to the curb, you may again park vehicles on the street.
- Snow removal operations are not changing. The city will provide the same high-quality service following the same pattern it has in the past — plowing main roads and then moving into neighborhoods.
- The new proactive approach also provides additional flexibility. If the city received three back-to-back snow events of two inches each for three days, for instance, it could declare a snow emergency if needed to plow streets. Or, in the spring if there is more than three inches of snow predicted, but also high temperatures the following day that would likely melt the snow, the city could decide not to call a snow emergency.
Winter Parking Exemptions
St. Louis Park's snow removal ordinance restricts on street parking once three inches of snow has accumulated. There are some exceptions to the ordinance, but only in select locations where ample off-street parking is limited. On these selected streets, parking within the first 24 hours of the snow emergency going into effect is allowed. All vehicles must be moved within 48 hours or are subject to ticketing and towing.
View the winter parking exemptions map to locate the areas that are exempt or call 952.924.2562.
If You Are Plowed In, Ticketed or Towed
If your vehicle is ticketed or plowed-in, dig it out immediately and move it to a driveway, garage or plowed street. City ordinance prohibits parking within 50 feet (about two car lengths) of any snow left behind when plows go around parked cars. You can be ticketed and towed if you park too close to an unplowed area of the street.
If your vehicle is towed, call Bobby & Steve's at 952.944.9955, option 3, to find out where to pick up your vehicle.
Winter Parking Permits
Households that do not have enough space to park at least two vehicles off the street, may apply for a winter parking permit if they meet one of these conditions:
- The household has no garage or driveway (no permit fee, limit two permits per household).
- The household has off-street parking for only one vehicle but owns two vehicles (no permit fee, limit one permit per household).
- The household has off-street parking for only one vehicle but owns three or more vehicles (one free permit and $125 for one additional permit, limit two permits per household).
- The household has off-street parking for two vehicles but owns three or more vehicles ($125 per permit, limit two permits per household).
- The household requires the aid of a licensed caregiver and does not have off-street parking for the caregiver's vehicle ($25 for caregiver's permit; limit of one caregiver permit per household).
Download the winter parking permit application or call 952.924.2562 to have one mailed to you.
Even if you have a parking permit, you must move your car to a plowed section of the street on the second day of plowing. If you don’t dig out your car and move it to a plowed street, you can be ticketed and towed.
High School Area Parking & Permits Related to Medical Needs
View the "How do I get a parking permit" FAQ for more information.
General Parking Reminders
48 Hours Only: When snowfall is not a factor, city ordinance prohibits vehicles from being parked on the street for more than 48 consecutive hours. If your vehicle receives an Overtime Parking Warning, your vehicle will be cited and towed within 48 hours of the warning. Questions? Call the St. Louis Park Police Department at 952.924.2600.
Parking Distance from Driveways and Alleys: No vehicle may be parked within five feet of a public or private driveway or alley.
Parallel Parking: When parallel parking, vehicles must be parked in the direction of traffic and the curbside wheels must be within 12 inches of the curb. Vehicles may not be parked closer than four feet to another parked vehicle.
Angle Parking: Where streets have been signed or marked for angle parking, vehicles must be parked at the angle indicated by the signs or street markings.
Lawns and Curb Areas: No vehicles may be parked or stored in front yard setback areas or on the public right-of-way (the area just behind the curb). All driveways and all areas intended to be utilized for parking spaces shall be constructed of bituminous asphalt, concrete or pavers. Such surfacing shall be approved by the city engineer and maintained in good repair.
Junk Vehicles: Vehicles that have expired license tabs or are not legally street operable must be removed from the property or stored inside a closed garage, not a carport. Junk vehicles may not be stored outdoors under a tarp, on an open trailer, or on a lawn.
Multiple Vehicles: Any household can park up to three passenger vehicles outside its garage. If there are more than three licensed drivers in the household, up to five passenger vehicles can be parked outside of the garage. However, only one passenger vehicle per licensed driver is allowed.