(1) The definitions set forth in Section 6.08.010, Provo City Code, shall apply to this Section.
(2) An owner or a person in lawful possession or control of real property may, to the extent authorized by this Section, tow away or boot any unauthorized vehicle located on the property. An unauthorized vehicle is any vehicle parked or stopped in violation of private property parking regulations which govern parking for authorized tenants and visitors or which restrict parking in a loading zone, handicapped zone, fire lane, or a no parking zone.
(3) No person may conduct a towing or parking enforcement operation unless:
(a) Authorized by the owner of the private property on which the vehicle is located, or the owner’s agent; or
(b) Requested by a peace officer or by an order of a person acting on behalf of a law enforcement agency.
(4) Except as otherwise ordered by a peace officer or a person acting on behalf of a law enforcement agency, after performing a towing operation without the vehicle owner’s knowledge, the tow operator shall report the towing of the vehicle to the Provo City Police Dispatcher within the soonest of one (1) hour or immediately upon arriving at the place of storage or impound of the vehicle using the current published non-emergency telephone number of the Provo Police Department. The report shall include:
(a) The vehicle’s description, including its vehicle identification number and license number or other identification number issued by a state agency;
(b) The name of the person, firm or corporation impounding or towing the vehicle;
(c) The name of the person who requested removal of the vehicle;
(d) The date, time, and location of the vehicle’s removal;
(e) Reason(s) for removal of the vehicle;
(f) The location where the subject vehicle will be kept; and
(g) A telephone number, staffed twenty-four (24) hours a day, which an owner can call to arrange for release of the vehicle.
(5) No person may conduct a towing or parking enforcement operation at a parking lot having four (4) or more parking spaces other than on a vehicle which has been continuously parked in such a lot for more than seventy-two (72) hours, unless:
(a) “No parking” areas, restricted parking spaces, and visitor parking spaces, if any, are clearly marked with signage installed in such a manner as to provide adequate notice to those utilizing the parking area, including marking of the boundaries between the subject parking lot and any adjoining parking lot owned by another person; and
(b) A conspicuous sign posted at, or immediately adjacent to, each entrance to the property provides notice that unauthorized vehicles may be towed from the parking lot or booted. Each such sign shall:
(i) Be at least eighteen (18) inches by twenty-four (24) inches in size;
(ii) Give warning, in large reflective lettering, that unauthorized vehicles may be towed or booted;
(iii) Give the name and telephone number of business(es) authorized to conduct a towing or parking enforcement operation on the property;
(iv) State the fees charged for towing and parking enforcement operations; and
(v) Be posted within approximately five (5) feet of each entrance to a parking lot.
(A) For purposes of this Subsection, a parking lot entrance shall mean any access allowing the entrance or exit of a vehicle between a private parking lot and a City street unless such access is not the property of the parking lot owner. In such case, the parking lot entrance shall mean:
(I) The intersection of the parking lot property line and the property line of the access point; or
(II) Any privately owned road connected to a public right-of-way leading to the entrance of a parking lot located on private property.
(B) A sign posted directly over a driveway leading to an underground lot shall be deemed to meet the location requirements of this Subsection.
(C) If signs cannot be posted within five (5) feet from the entrance to a parking lot for reasons of practical difficulty (such as the necessity of drilling a hole through concrete, removing a tree or shrubs, or because of an immediately adjacent private driveway not owned by the owner of the parking lot), a sign may be placed as close as reasonably practicable to the parking lot entrance. However, no sign shall be further than thirty (30) feet from the edge of the curb that borders the private property.
(6) No person may conduct a towing or parking enforcement operation regarding a vehicle located on private property unless:
(a) The owner of the subject real property or the owner’s agent:
(ii) Discloses in writing to each tenant of the property when the tenant first occupies the property:
(A) The rules which govern the use of parking areas;
(B) That parking a vehicle in violation of such rules may subject the vehicle to a towing or parking enforcement operation; and
(C) That the tenant may contest a towing or parking enforcement operation as provided in this Chapter;
(b) The towing or parking enforcement business conducting the operation:
(i) Except as otherwise provided in Subsection (7) of this Section, receives from the property owner or the owner’s agent, who shall not be affiliated in any way with the towing or parking enforcement business, a written or telephonic request for each towing or parking enforcement of a particular vehicle;
(ii) Posts a copy of the towing or parking enforcement business’s fee schedule in a prominent place at the location where vehicles are released from storage; and
(iii) Maintains personnel authorized to release any vehicle to its owner twenty-four (24) hours each day and who can respond within one (1) hour of a request for release of a vehicle;
(c) The towing or parking enforcement business employee who conducts, or attempts to conduct, a towing or parking enforcement operation:
(i) Wears either:
(A) A readily identifiable shirt, blouse, or other top article of clothing with the name of the business and the first name of the employee contained thereon and readable from a distance of six (6) feet; or
(B) A prominently visible identification badge on the front of employee’s clothing with the name of the business and the first name of the employee contained thereon and readable from a distance of six (6) feet;
(ii) Possesses evidence of:
(A) Either (I) a written or telephonic towing or parking enforcement request from the property owner or the owner’s agent, or (II) the contract required by Subsection (7) of this Section and certification as a Provo City certified towing or parking enforcement business, and
(B) The fee schedule required by Subsection (6)(b)(ii) of this Section;
(iii) Upon request, provides the name and telephone number of the property owner or owner’s agent, and shows the evidence required by Subsection (6)(c)(ii) of this Section to:
(A) A person whose vehicle is subject to the towing or parking enforcement operation; and
(B) Any law enforcement officer;
(iv) Prior to mechanically connecting a vehicle to a tow truck or booting a vehicle, documents, through the use of date- and time-stamped digital photography or digital video, the precise nature of the violation of the private property parking regulations; and
(v) Upon booting a vehicle, places a notice on the driver’s door window which indicates:
(A) In large letters, “This vehicle has been booted”;
(B) The name and telephone number of the towing or parking enforcement business and the name of the person that immobilized the vehicle;
(C) A telephone number, staffed twenty-four (24) hours a day, which the vehicle owner may call to arrange for release of the vehicle;
(D) Applicable fees; and
(E) The following statement:
A person who tows or boots a vehicle unlawfully may be subject to criminal and civil penalties as provided in Section 9.31.110 of the Provo City Code. A person whose vehicle is towed or booted shall be entitled, upon request, to the name and telephone number of the owner of the property or owner’s agent where the tow or boot occurred.
(vi) Upon towing a vehicle, takes the vehicle directly to a storage lot that complies with the requirements of state law and this Section. Once the vehicle is mechanically connected to the tow truck, the tow operator may only disconnect the vehicle (A) upon arrival at the storage lot, (B) to release the vehicle to the driver, owner, or owner’s agent, or (C) to abandon the tow and leave the vehicle where the tow operator originally found it.
(d) Any person conducting a towing or parking enforcement operation of a vehicle located on private property shall:
(i) Maintain the documentation required under Subsection (6)(c)(iv) of this Section for no less than one (1) year;
(ii) Make available, prior to taking payment for the towing or parking enforcement operation, a copy of the documentation required under Subsection (6)(c)(iv) of this Section, upon request by any of the following:
(A) The driver or owner of the vehicle that was subject to the towing or parking enforcement operation, or the owner’s agent; and
(B) Any law enforcement officer; and
(iii) Prior to taking any payment related to a towing or parking enforcement operation, provide the driver or owner of the towed or booted vehicle, or the owner’s authorized agent, with a statement of the owner’s rights regarding towing and parking enforcement operations that has been approved by the Provo City Mayor’s Office.
(7) The written or telephonic request required under Subsection (6)(b)(i) of this Section prior to initiating a towing or parking enforcement operation is not required if all of the following requirements are met:
(a) The towing or parking enforcement business conducting the towing or parking enforcement operation has been designated as a Provo City certified towing or parking enforcement business by the Mayor, or the Mayor’s designee;
(i) A licensed towing or parking enforcement business may seek this designation by completing and signing a written application on a form provided by the City.
(ii) The licensed applicant business shall be granted this designation upon satisfying the Mayor, or the Mayor’s designee, that the applicant’s business operations comply with all of the contractual obligations required under Subsection (7)(c) of this Section.
(b) The owner of the property where the towing or parking enforcement operation takes place complies with all the contractual obligations required under Subsection (7)(c) of this Section; and
(c) The towing and parking enforcement business and the private property owner must have, and comply with, a contract that contains provisions documenting and requiring all of the following:
(i) A right of appeal to the property owner by the owner or operator of the vehicle booted or towed;
(ii) The right of the property owner to grant the appeal and waive part or all of the fees and charges incurred by the appellant;
(iii) A documented plan for providing adequate visitor parking;
(iv) Reasonable, as determined by the Mayor or the Mayor’s designee, temporary permit parking on a 24/7 availability basis for any property where the owner requires permit parking;
(v) Signage that, in the Mayor or Mayor’s designee’s reasonable opinion, provides fair notice to all persons of all limitations on parking on the property; and
(vi) A limitation of the towing or parking enforcement operator’s total maximum fees and charges for booting or otherwise immobilizing a vehicle to sixty dollars ($60.00) and the total maximum fees and charges for towing a vehicle to one hundred seventy-five dollars ($175.00), including the first day of storage (subsequent days of storage may be charged in accordance with the rules and rates set forth in Rule R909-19-13, Utah Administrative Code).
(d) It is a violation of this Section to conduct a towing or parking enforcement operation without a written or telephonic request pursuant to this Subsection (7) if either party to a contract described in Subsection (7)(c) of this Section fails to comply with a contract provision required under Subsection (7)(c) of this Section.
(e) Appeals by towing or parking enforcement operators or property owners of decisions by the Mayor, or the Mayor’s designee, made under this Subsection (7) may be appealed to a hearing examiner to be appointed by the Mayor in accordance with Section 3.06.010, Provo City Code.
(8) A booted vehicle may not be removed from the site sooner than two (2) hours after the time of booting.
(9) Except as otherwise provided in this Section, a towing or parking enforcement business conducting a towing or parking enforcement operation pursuant to this Section shall release the subject vehicle to its owner or agent immediately upon payment of applicable fees authorized by this Section or by Rule R909-19, Utah Administrative Code, as amended.
(a) The towing or parking enforcement business shall accept payment offered in cash or by major credit card, but shall not be obligated to accept checks or payment in coins and shall maintain sufficient cash on hand to make change of up to forty dollars ($40.00).
(b) Every towing or parking enforcement business providing services pursuant to this Subsection shall post in a conspicuous place upon its business premises a true copy of this Section.
(c) A parking enforcement business shall be limited to a maximum booting fee, per vehicle, of fifty percent (50%) of the maximum towing rate for non-consent tows as provided in Rule R909-19-12, Utah Administrative Code, and may not charge any other fee for a parking enforcement operation. If an immobilized vehicle is towed, no fee of any kind relating to booting may be charged in addition to towing, storage, or other applicable fees. If a vehicle is towed or booted unlawfully, no fee shall be payable.
(i) If the vehicle owner or agent arrives at the vehicle before the towing or parking enforcement operator has mechanically connected the vehicle to a tow truck or booting device, the towing or parking enforcement operator shall:
(A) Not continue to tow or boot the vehicle; and
(B) Not be entitled to tow or boot the vehicle or to charge any fee whatsoever if the vehicle is promptly removed from the premises.
(ii) If a tow truck is mechanically connected to a vehicle, the tow truck shall be in possession of the vehicle. If the vehicle owner or agent attempts to retrieve the vehicle before the vehicle is removed from the property, the maximum towing or parking enforcement fee shall not exceed fifty percent (50%) of the posted rate schedule.
(e) No parking enforcement fee, other than fees authorized by this Subsection, shall be charged as a condition of releasing a booted vehicle.
(f) A vehicle shall be released immediately upon payment of any required fees authorized by this Section.
(10) Property owners, managers, or their agents shall not receive any consideration whatsoever from any towing or parking enforcement business in exchange for utilizing such business’s services to tow or boot unauthorized vehicles from the owner’s property or for entering into a services agreement with a towing or parking enforcement business.
(11) Any person acting to remove or otherwise disturb any vehicle parked, stalled, or otherwise left on privately owned or controlled property, and any person owning or controlling such private property, or either of them, shall be liable to the owner, owner’s agent, or driver of a vehicle, or each of them, for consequential and incidental damages arising from any interference with the ownership or use of such vehicle which does not comply with the requirements of this Section.
(a) It shall be unlawful to tamper with or remove from a vehicle a lawfully installed boot without the authorization of the towing or parking enforcement operator who applied the boot, which authorization shall not be withheld in violation of state or local law.
(b) It shall be unlawful to disconnect a vehicle mechanically connected to a tow truck without the authorization of the towing or parking enforcement operator lawfully in possession of the vehicle, which authorization shall not be withheld in violation of state or local law.
(c) Violation of this Subsection or any subsection or provision of this Section is a Class B misdemeanor.
(13) In addition to any other penalty, a civil action for damages or to abate a violation of this Chapter may be brought by any aggrieved person.
(a) A person who authorizes, tows, or immobilizes a vehicle from private property in violation of the provisions of this Section is liable in a civil action for a penalty of up to five hundred dollars ($500.00) as the court may determine. A civil action under this Subsection may not be commenced later than one hundred eighty (180) days after occurrence of the violation.
(c) The remedies provided for in this Subsection shall be cumulative and not exclusive.
(d) Nothing in this Section shall preclude prosecution of any crime, including but not limited to criminal mischief, fraud, and theft.
(14) An entity which employs state-certified law enforcement officers may conduct towing and parking enforcement operations on the entity’s property using the entity’s own equipment and personnel so long as the entity certifies annually in writing to the Provo City business license office that:
(a) Restricted parking lots on the entity’s property are marked and posted in a manner that notifies parking lot users, in summary form, of parking restrictions and penalties for improper parking;
(b) Rules which govern parking lot use, including parking restrictions, parking fees, and penalties for improper parking, are regularly distributed to occupants and users of the property, and made readily available to visitors to the property;
(c) Such rules include appeal and dispute resolution provisions;
(d) A person is available twenty-four (24) hours per day who can release an immobilized vehicle; and
(e) A notice is affixed to each immobilized vehicle indicating how an immobilized vehicle may be released.
(15) Any vehicle located within the City which is subject to non-consensual towing shall be towed to a lot that:
(a) Is located within City limits, and
(b) Complies with state law.
1 Code reviser’s note: Ordinance 2013-46, Part II(D), provides that “the amendments to 9.31.110(6)(b), 6(c)(ii), and (7) contained herein shall not apply to any towing company that, on or before January 31, 2014, has submitted an application to be designated as a Provo City Certified Towing and Parking Enforcement Business until either the application has been granted or denied by the Mayor’s Office or until May 1, 2014, whichever is earlier.”