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If Council Gives Its OK Wednesday, New Booting Ordinance Takes Effect July 24

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Turns out, after months of trying to come up with some solution for Deep Ellum and downtown's parking-lot boot boom, the Dallas City Council's ready to vote on the issue after all. A proposed amendment to Chapter 48C of the Dallas City Code has been added to this week's council meeting -- it's Addendum Item No. 15 -- and, should the council give its OK at its final meeting before the summer break, the ordinance will go into effect July 24.

Should the council decide to go with the recommendation made by the Economic Development Committee last week, and it likely will, then the city won't require parking lot owners to issue paper receipts before they boot. Instead, they'll be allowed to use video verification. Read the summary for yourself, before diving in for the details:

On June 16, 2009, the Council's Economic Development Committee was briefed and recommended staff's proposal with the modifications that: (1) as an alternative to providing a receipt, an enforcement company could utilize a video audit procedure as evidence that payment was not received, and, (2) staff will monitor immobilization complaints and report back to the Transportation and Environment Committee within twelve-months.

The proposed new ordinance is consistent with Senate Bill 2153 that requires vehicle immobilization service companies to be licensed by the state. The bill has been sent to the govenor, and if it is not vetoed it will become law on September 1, 2009.

If approved by the Council, the new code requirements will be effective on July 24, 2009. This provides time for the City to license the vehicle immobilization service companies, permit the vehicle immobilization operators, and adopt the video audit procedure as provided in the ordinance. It also affords parking lot owners and licensees a period of time to install signs, obtain the required insurance, and meet the record keeping and service standard requirements of the ordinance.

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