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Town Council Unanimously Approves Revisions to Booting Regulations; Revised Sign Ordinance in the Works

By Paul T. Choate

Planning and Inspections Director Bill Bailey shows council members a mock of what the color-coded signs might look like. Photo by Paul T. Choate
Planning and Inspections Director Bill Bailey shows council members a mock of what the color-coded signs might look like. Photo by Paul T. Choate

Feb. 20, 2013. On Tuesday evening, the Boone Town Council approved new revisions to their vehicle booting regulations, which were proposed in December following council members hearing numerous complaints about booting.

Following well over an hour of discussion at the Jan. 15 Boone Town Council meeting, action on the controversial booting regulations was tabled for another month.

Revisions proposed in January included requiring a sign at every parking space rather than every three, requiring a parking lot attendant to be clearly identified and remain with a booted car, and listing the names of all businesses a parking lot is designated for – either within the town’s Primary Fire District or the entire town.

As for the new booting regulations, employees of booting companies will be required to respond to a call from someone whose vehicle has been booted within 15 minutes. Additionally, the town can now require a booting company employee to stay with the booted vehicle until the owner returns if the town receives three or more complaints in a three-month period about the booting company not responding promptly.

Parking lot attendants for booting companies must be clearly identified. If they are sitting in a vehicle, that vehicle must be clearly identified as an on-duty booting company vehicle either via signage or flashing lights.

Based on some complaints council members said they had heard recently, another provision added is that it shall be unlawful to allow more than one boot be put on a single vehicle. Cars can still be booted and later towed.

Action was not taken on changes to the town’s sign ordinance, and council members provided some direction to town attorney Sam Furgiuele and town staff on what they would like to see in a revised sign ordinance. The idea of color-coded signs – red text for private lots and green text for public lots – was popular with the council. Additional warning signs could also be required in larger parking lots.

Councilman Andy Ball said he would like to see a requirement for a sign for every three to five spaces, but Councilwoman Jamie Leigh raised concerns over a requirement such as that for larger parking lots such as at Boone Mall or Walmart.

“I can’t imagine the mall parking lot full of signs,” Leigh said. “I think if we do a good enough job at the entrances … I don’t have any need for signs within parking lots. It just adds to the clutter.”

The suggestion was made that for very large parking lots, signs for rows rather than spaces placed on already existing light poles might be an alternative. Though not passed, council members did not oppose this idea.

The town attorney and town staff will continue working to prepare a new draft for amendments to the sign ordinance. No official date of when that draft will be presented to council was set.