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The Daily Tar Heel

Committee to Address Towing Concerns

The new towing committee will have goals similar to those held by the last year's rental licensing task force.

The committee was formed with the the help of the N.C. General Assembly, which in May passed a bill giving both Chapel Hill and Greenville the right to draft an ordinance regulating towing. The bill passed nearly two months after it was filed.

Some residents recently have complained that businesses tow at random, prompting the committee to establish a policy regulating the practice.

It will focus on everything from posting signs indicating tow-away zones to setting a reasonable price for retrieving the vehicle.

The committee will be similar to the rental licensing task force created last year to assess landlord accountability. Organizers say they hope to bring all viewpoints to the table.

"We're trying to pull together a group of interested people and have a conversation about the ordinance," said Aaron Nelson, president of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce.

"We hope to be able to pull together some merchants, some of those involved in towing, some people who have been towed and some other folks to have some round table conversations."

Matt O'Brien, a member of Student Congress who is interested in bringing student concerns to the committee, said the town needs a towing ordinance.

"Basically there's no real definitive limits on towing practices, and as students we are the most towed because we park everywhere," O'Brien said.

"This law now gives way for extortion to happen," he added, explaining that towers now can tow a car and charge the owner whatever they want.

Nelson said the committee is the first step in creating a policy that is fair to all parties.

"We've just begun," he said.

"We hope Chapel Hill will adopt a fair and reasonable ordinance that will allow business to appropriately regulate their lots and at the same time those with cars will be treated fairly."

The City Editor can be reached

at citydesk@unc.edu.

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