In response to complaints about unfair towing practices, the Chapel Hill Town Council is prepared to crack down on private towing companies and parking lot owners.
The council is considering a stricter towing ordinance requiring clearer signs and an opportunity to pay with credit and debit cards. It could also include a cap on towing fees townwide.
Council member Gene Pease said the ordinance is a way for the town to tackle the rise in number of complaints this year.
“It’s more aggressive towing than it’s been in the past,” he said. “And that’s why we’re concerned.”
The draft is based on recommendations from the Chapel Hill Police Department and the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership’s parking task force.
Pease said he hopes this will improve the downtown business environment.
“I want to be much tougher on the predatory towing because I think it gives us a bad image,” he said. “I’d like people to be a little more chill on this towing thing because I don’t think it’s good for business.”
At a public hearing Tuesday, Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue said residents are concerned about the use of video surveillance to enforce walk-off policies where businesses tow shortly after people park and leave the premises.
The ordinance would require lot owners to post signs warning of the surveillance and policies.