New towing ordinance in Keizer

A new city ordinance dealing with towing vehicles was adopted by the Keizer City Council on April 3, after its approval at the March 4 city council meeting. 

The ordinance is designed to “protect residents from unreasonable towing rates and unscrupulous practices when vehicles are towed from private property,” according to Keizer Police spokesman Trevor Wenning. 

The ordinance will require towing companies to obtain a private property impound (PPI) tower’s permit in order to legally perform PPI tows within the city of Keizer.

Due to complaints from residents about various towing companies and price gouging, the ordinance will help alleviate these as it now provides a mechanism to better solve these issues. 

Complaints about towers will now be handled by the city manager or, if an appeal is made to the city manager’s decision, then the Keizer hearings officer will make a determination on the complaints validity. 

Tow companies must pay a $50 application fee and submit a PPI towing application detailing their business information. 

Highlights of the ordinance revolve around background checks being performed by the Keizer Police department of all employees of towing businesses that submit an application. 

Businesses that do not meet the criteria of the Keizer Police such as having employees with theft or other related crimes in their backgrounds are not likely to be approved. 

This application will also require towing businesses to renew the permit annually. 

Companies found in violation of the new towing ordinance will receive a $500 fine for each occurrence as well as the revoking of a towing PPI towing permit for Keizer. 

The responsibility does not fall to towing companies alone, as the owners of private parking must place the proper signage for drivers about what can have them towed from the premises.

The ordinance defines a private parking facility as any property used for motor vehicle parking at which the property owner or manager regulates, restricts or reserves parking.

Though not all inclusive, this represents a typical apartment, business complex or parking lot areas like Safeway or Waremart. 

The appropriate signage must be placed at each entry into a parking facility and it must state that parking is regulated, who is authorized to park there, clearly display the PPI tower’s information and where a towed vehicle can be located and have a 24-hour contact line.

For more information contact Lt. Wenning at 503-390-3713.

Contact Quinn Stoddard
[email protected] or 503-390-1051

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