Astoria hopes a $100 fine will curb parking and traffic issues near the Goonies house in Uppertown.
The City Council held a first reading of an ordinance Monday night to modify city code and enhance the fees people will have to pay if they violate parking rules in the neighborhood. City councilors will hold a second reading and officially adopt the ordinance at a meeting in November.
The city has already posted a number of signs — “No Stopping;” “No Parking” — in the area with only a moderate level of compliance, according to City Manager Brett Estes and Police Chief Geoff Spalding,
Spalding, after meeting with neighbors this month, does not plan to extend the existing signage. Instead, he proposed the addition of another sign: “Enhanced Fine Zone — $100 Fine.”
The neighborhood has long been a draw to tourists hoping for a glimpse of the house featured in the 1985 cult classic, “The Goonies.”
Parking problems reached their height when the Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce staged a celebration of the film’s 30th anniversary in 2015. The iconic house saw thousands of visitors almost every day that summer. A few months after the celebration, the city and the chamber actively tried to keep fans away from the house and homemade signs bloomed on the street, pleading, arguing and demanding that fans behave themselves, find somewhere else to park and visit other sites in Astoria.
The city later put up official signs in an attempt to solve the parking issues. Since the signs went up, things have not been as bad as they used to be, City Public Works Director Jeff Harrington said at earlier meetings. But the signs have not completely solved the problem.
City Councilor Bruce Jones, who represents Uppertown, thanked Spalding and Harrington for their work with the neighborhood.
“This is a really good recommendation for a first step,” he said, while offering his own take on the phenomenon. “Most fundamentally, it’s a problem of around the world these crazy people think that was a good movie,” he said.