It took long enough, but the Dallas City Council finally got around to the parking-lot booting ordinance -- and it passed council almost unanimously. There was but one "nay" vote: newcomer Ann Margolin, who said, well, "I understand there has been a lot of work to get this done, but I have to say I don't have enough time to digest this right now, and I am reluctant to vote on something I don't understand. ... The rushed nature is troublesome to me." Well, sure, Ann. Rushed. Or the opposite.
The new ordinance says, quite simply, that parking lot operators looking to boot patrons in Deep Ellum need to provide a receipt; they have until January 1, 2010, to either set up a machine or put attendants in place to issue paper slips proving the patron paid up. (Till then, video auditing will still be allowed.) Deep Ellum, of course, is where this whole ruckus started many months ago. By July 1, any parking lot outside of Deep Ellum charging more than $1 per hour or $5 for special events will have to provide receipts. Then, come January 1, 2011, that receipt requirement will go into effect citywide; don't matter how much the lots charge.
So, in short, if a lot doesn't give a receipt, they can't boot by this time next year.
"This item was brought up to protect our public downtown, to promote downtown, to help provide a positive experience downtown," said Pauline Medrano by way of introduction. "I've always learned you increase sales by [enticing] your regular customers to return and to attract new customers, and I believe this will help us downtown."
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Update: Angela Hunt posted an item about the passing of the parking-lot booting ordinance.