KC Skyline

City Clerk Web Search

Search the Ordinances:

Legislation #: 081185 Introduction Date: 11/20/2008
Type: Ordinance Effective Date: 12/14/2008
Sponsor: COUNCILMEMBERS CIRCO, CURLS, GOTTSTEIN, JOLLY, MARCASON, SANDERS BROOKS, SHARP AND SKAGGS
Title: Amending Chapter 76, Code of Ordinances, by repealing Section 76-281, Definitions, and enacting a new section of like number and subject matter, and enacting new Sections 76-289 through 76-291, and a new division, Division Four, Non Consent Tow and Booting, consisting of Sections 76-402 through 76-416.

Legislation History
DateMinutesDescription
11/20/2008 Filed by the Clerk's office
11/20/2008 Referred to Public Safety and Neighborhoods Committee
12/3/2008 Advance and Do Pass as a Committee Substitute, Debate
12/4/2008 Councilmember Sharp Move to Amend
12/4/2008 Passed as Substituted and Amended

View Attachments
FileTypeSizeDescription
081185.pdf Authenticated 553K Authenticated
081185 comm sub to cd bks-com.doc Advertise Notice 80K revised compared version
nonconsentfact.doc Fact Sheet 155K Fact Sheet
http://kansascity.granicus.com/ViewSearchResults.php?view_id=2&keywords=081185 Video Link 0K http://kansascity.granicus.com/ViewSearchResults.php?view_id=2&keywords=081185
01350com.doc Advertise Notice 97K compared version

Printer Friendly Version

COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR ORDINANCE NO. 081185, AS AMENDED

 

Amending Chapter 76, Code of Ordinances, by repealing Section 76-281, Definitions, and enacting a new section of like number and subject matter, and enacting new Sections 76-289 through 76-291, and a new division, Division Four, Non Consent Tow and Booting, consisting of Sections 76-402 through 76-416.

 

WHEREAS, the Council of the City of Kansas City has determined that it is in the public interest, safety and welfare of the City of Kansas City to amend Chapter 76 to regulate without consent towing from privately owned parking lots within the city limits of Kansas City; and

 

WHEREAS, the Council of the City of Kansas City has determined that it is in the public interest, safety and welfare of the City of Kansas City to amend Chapter 76 to regulate vehicle immobilization devices within the city limits of Kansas City; and

 

WHEREAS, the City Council believes that the proposed safety related ordinance would promote the public safety of both visitors and residents of the City by contributing to a decrease in the potential for confrontation and violence between vehicle owners and the persons who tow their vehicles, a decrease in bodily injury and property damage caused by faulty tow truck vehicles and equipment or by incompetent, negligent and criminal actions of tow truck operators and drivers; a decrease in the number of false auto theft reports processed by the police department, thereby allowing the police to devote more time to responding to more critical public safety situations; and a decrease in auto theft incidents and an increase in the recovery of stolen autos by allowing the police to more quickly and efficiently determine when a car has been stolen, rather than towed, and take appropriate actions; NOW, THEREFORE,

 

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF KANSAS CITY:

 

Section 1. That Chapter 76, Code of Ordinances of the City of Kansas City, Missouri, is hereby amended by repealing Section 76-281, Definitions, and enacting a new section of like number and subject matter, and enacting new Sections 76-289 through 76-291, and a new division, Division Four, Non Consent Tow and Booting, consisting of Sections 76-402 through 76-416.

 

Sec. 76-281.  Definitions.

 

The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

 

Boot means any wheel immobilization device that is attached to a vehicle that prevents the vehicle from being driven

 

Director  means the director of neighborhood and community services. 

 

Person  means any individual, assumed name entity, partnership, joint venture, association, corporation or other legal entity.

 

Motor vehicle or vehicle means:

 

(1)    any motor vehicle designed primarily for the transportation of no more than ten persons, including the driver, and having a registered gross weight of 7,500 pounds or less; and

 

(2)    any motor vehicle designed primarily for the transportation of property, such as pick-up trucks and panel trucks, and having a registered gross weight of 7,500 pounds or less.

 

Retrieval fee means the compensation payable for the retrieval of a towed motor vehicle, during the periods of time prescribed in section 76-404, from a facility owned, operated, leased or used by a tow truck service, whether that facility is located within or beyond the City of Kansas City.

 

Storage fee means the compensation payable for the storage of a towed motor vehicle that has been stored at or in a facility owned, operated, leased or used by a tow truck service, whether that facility is located within or beyond the City of Kansas City.

 

Tow, tows, or towing means the act of removing, by tow truck, a motor vehicle from privately-owned property within the City of Kansas City where it is parked. The mere preparation of a motor vehicle for removal by a tow truck or the attachment of a motor vehicle to a tow truck, or both, does not, for purposes of this chapter, constitute a "tow" or "towing."

 

Towing fee means the compensation payable for the towing of a motor vehicle.

 

Tow service business  means any person, firm, association, corporation, partnership or organization engaged in the operation of one or more tow vehicles for a fee or as part or as part of an auto salvage, auto repair or junk business. 

 

Tow vehicle  means any motor vehicle which is designed or equipped to or which does in fact provide any towing service, including but not limited to towing, pushing or car starting, for which a fee is charged or as part of an auto salvage, auto repair or junk business; except that vehicle transports or multicar hauling vehicles shall not be construed to mean tow vehicles for the purpose of this article; provided, however, rollback tow vehicles capable of towing two vehicles are not excluded from the definition of tow vehicles. 

 

Tow vehicle operator or operator means any individual who, as an employee of or otherwise for a tow service business, tows motor vehicles.

 

Vehicle immobilization means the impounding, incapacitating or immobilizing of any vehicle, whether motorized or not, without the permission of the owner or agent of the owner of the vehicle by the use of any device, wheel clamp, object barrel, boot, mechanism or method, either attached to the vehicle or not, by the owner or agent of the property upon which the vehicle is parked, that does not allow the owner of the vehicle or authorized agent to freely move the vehicle from the place where it is immobilized.

 

Vehicle immobilization service means any person, firm, association, corporation, partnership or organization engaged in the operation of vehicle immobilization for a fee.

 

Sec. 76-289. Price Schedule and Authorization for Tow.

 

(a) The owners of all tow vehicles operating in the City shall prepare and file in triplicate with the Director a schedule of prices to be charged for the towing and storage of vehicles. Such schedule may be based on time, mileage, weight, or a combination of both. In addition the schedule must include the minimum charge for any undertaking involving towing and storage. One copy of said schedule shall be retained by the Director, one copy shall be returned to the tow truck owner and one (1) copy shall be forwarded to the police department. 

 

(b)   It shall be unlawful to charge a sum in excess of that authorized by the schedule filed with the Director.

 

(c)   Prior to the undertaking of any tow, the tow vehicle operator shall present the schedule of prices to the customer for his examination..

 

Sec. 76-290.  Statement Required.

 

(a) Prior to the undertaking of a tow, the tow vehicle operator shall obtain the name and the business or home telephone number of the person authorizing the tow. Such tow vehicle operator shall supply this information, upon request, to any law enforcement officer. 

 

(b)   All persons operating a tow vehicle shall keep in their possession a pad of printed statements containing his name and the address of his place of business, and after towing a vehicle shall prepare one of said printed statements in duplicate and furnish the original to the owner of the vehicle or to his authorized representative. The statement shall contain the following information:

 

(1)    The full name and address of the tow vehicle operator and driver number if applicable;

 

(2)    The state license plate number and unit number of the tow vehicle;

 

(3)    The state license number and the state vehicle identification number of the vehicle towed;

 

(4)    The total amount charged for towing, including the number of miles towed and the storage rate per day or price thereof; and

 

(5)    Any other information required by the Director.

 

(c)   A duplicate of each statement shall be retained by the tow vehicle operator for a period of three (3) years and shall be exhibited by him upon demand by the Director or his authorized representative.

 

Sec 76-291.  Exemptions.

 

The provision of Section 76-290(b) of this chapter shall not be applicable to any person operating a tow vehicle under the terms of a written contract for a specific period of time with any person, firm or corporation to tow, transport, convey or move vehicles owned, controlled or in the custody of such person, firm or corporation to a specific location so designated, for consideration set forth in such contract; provided that the said person has in his possession at all times while towing, transporting, conveying or moving any such vehicle, such contract or an affidavit which shall recite the existence of the said contract, the name, address and phone number of the contracting parties, the term of the contract and the scope of services to be performed. Any person seeking exemption under this provision shall display such contract or affidavit when required to do so by any law enforcement officer.  

 

DIVISION FOUR.

NON CONSENT TOW AND BOOTING

 

Sec. 76-402.  Applicability.

 

This division applies (i) to the towing, by a tow service business, of motor vehicles from privately-owned property within the City of Kansas City without the consent of the vehicle owner or driver or a law enforcement officer being present, (ii) to the fees that are charged for such towing of vehicles, and (iii) to the fees that are charged for the storage and retrieval of such towed vehicles. The division does not apply to the towing of motor vehicles from public streets and other locations within the city that is performed pursuant to an ordinance or contract with the City of Kansas City, or to the storage of such vehicles.


Sec. 76-403. Towing and storage fees and regulations.

 

(a)   The maximum fees that may be charged for the towing of motor vehicles and for the storage and, when specifically authorized by this section, the retrieval of such towed vehicles are as follows:

 

(1)    for the towing of a motor vehicle, the maximum fee shall be $150.00;

 

(2)    for the storage of a towed motor vehicle, the maximum fee for each 24-hour period of storage, or portion thereof, shall be $30.00; and

 

(3) for the retrieval of a towed motor vehicle during hours other than 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, the maximum fee shall be $25.00.

 

(b)   It shall be unlawful for any person to charge a towing fee, storage fee or retrieval fee that exceeds the fees established by subsection (a).

 

(c)   If the owner of a motor vehicle is present and capable of removing the vehicle before it is removed by a tow vehicle operator, the vehicle shall not be towed; provided, that in such an event, the owner of the vehicle shall be liable for a reasonable fee, not to exceed one half of the regular towing fee, in lieu of towing, payable to the tow vehicle operator. This fee shall only apply if the tow truck is attached to the offending vehicle and the offending vehicle has been lifted so at least two of the tires are off the ground and still on the lot.

(d) Except for the removal of motor vehicles authorized by a law enforcement agency, a towing company shall not remove or commence the removal of motor vehicles from private property without first obtaining written authorization from the property owner or lessee, or an employee or agent thereof, who must be present at the time of removal or commencement of the removal. All written authorizations shall be maintained for at least three years by the towing company. General authorization to remove or commence removal of motor vehicles at the towing company's discretion shall not be delegated to a towing company or its affiliates except in the case of motor vehicles unlawfully parked within fifteen feet of a fire hydrant or in a fire lane designated by a fire department or the state fire marshal.

(e) The Director may review fees established through this ordinance bi-annually, from the date of adoption of this ordinance, and may adjust the fees based upon the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumer (CPI-U).

Sec. 76-404. Notice of tow.

 

Prior to towing any motor vehicle, the tow service business or operator shall contact the city's police department and provide the following information:

 

(a)   the name of the tow service business and operator;

 

(b)   a description of the vehicle to be towed, including its year, make, model, vehicle identification number and license plate number;

 

(c)   the date and time of the tow;

 

(d)   the address of the location from which the vehicle is being towed; and

 

(e)   the name and address of the facility to which the vehicle is to be delivered and stored, and from which the vehicle may be retrieved.

 

(f) If the vehicle to be towed is reported as stolen the tow company shall not remove the vehicle, and provide the location and vehicle description to Police.

 

Sec. 76-405. Hours of operation of storage facilities.

 

Any tow service business that tows a motor vehicle from a location within the city shall take the vehicle to a storage facility from which towed vehicles may be retrieved 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It shall be unlawful to charge any additional fees, other than the fees allowed pursuant to Section 76-403(a), to reclaim a vehicle.


Sec. 76-406. Methods of payment.

 

A tow business service, tow vehicle operator and storage facility operator shall accept payment for any towing fee, storage fee, retrieval fee and the "in lieu of towing" fee as set out in section 76-403 in each of the following ways:

 

(a)   cash in United States currency;

 

(b)   travelers' checks or money orders payable in United States currency; and

 

(c)   Visa, MasterCard or Discovery credit card. There shall be no additional charge for the use of a credit card.


Sec. 76-407. Receipt.

 

Upon payment of all towing, storage and, if applicable, retrieval fees, the tow service business or storage facility operator, as the case may be, shall immediately give the vehicle owner or custodian a written receipt that contains the following information:

 

(a)   the name and address of the tow service business;

 

(b)   the address from which the vehicle was towed;

 

(c)   the date and time that the vehicle was towed;

 

(d)   the date and time that the vehicle entered the facility at which it was placed for storage;

 

(e)   an itemized list of all the fees that are being charged; and

 

(f)   a signature of an authorized representative or property owner who requested the tow.

 

Sec. 76-408. Tow Service Business Requirements.

 

A tow service business operating a tow truck pursuant to the authority granted in this chapter shall:

(1) Have and occupy a verifiable business address; and

(2) Have a fenced, secure, and lighted storage lot or an enclosed, secure building for the storage of motor vehicles; and

(3) Be available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Availability shall mean that an employee of the towing company or an answering service answered by a person is able to respond to a tow request; and

(4) Maintain a valid insurance policy issued by an insurer authorized to do business in this state, or a bond or other acceptable surety providing coverage for the death of, or injury to, persons and damage to property for each accident or occurrence in the amount of at least seven hundred fifty thousand dollars per incident; and

(5) Provide workers' compensation insurance for all employees of the towing company if required by Chapter 287, RSMo; and

(6) Maintain current motor vehicle registrations on all tow trucks currently operated within the tow service business fleet.

(7) Maintain the business name, address and phone number on all tow trucks operated within the tow service business fleet.

Sec. 76-409. Towing log or similar record.

 

Every tow service business shall maintain a separate log or other document which shall show, for each motor vehicle that it has towed from a location within the City of Kansas City, the following information:

 

(a)   the date and time that the vehicle was towed;

 

(b)   the date and time that the vehicle entered the facility at which it was placed for storage;

 

(c)   the make, model, year, Vehicle Identification Number, and license plate number of the vehicle;

 

(d)   the address of the property from which the vehicle was removed;

 

(e)   the total mileage of the tow; and

 

(f)   the towing, retrieval and storage fees actually charged.

 

Such log or record shall be maintained for a period of at least three (3) years from the date of each tow, and shall be made available, during normal business hours, for inspection by the city. In addition, the portion of such log or record pertaining to a particular motor vehicle shall be made available, during normal business hours, for inspection by the owner of the vehicle.


Sec. 76-410. Warning signs.

 

It shall be unlawful for any tow service business or operator to tow a motor vehicle unless the area in which the vehicle is parked has been posted by a sign, in plain view, at each entrance and exit that has been permanently installed for a minimum of 24 hours prior to any vehicle being removed. The legible sign shall be a minimum of 17 inches by 22 inches in size with lettering not less than one inch in height and posted so that the bottom of the sign is at least thirty-six inches, but no more than seventy-two (72) inches off the ground and shall include:

 

(1)    a pictorial symbol of a tow truck;

 

(2)    a statement to the effect that any trespassing motor vehicle within the area is subject to towing and storage at the expense of the vehicle owner;

 

(3)    if applicable, the hours and days of the week when trespassing vehicles are subject to towing; and

 

(4)    a telephone number, other than that of the city police department, that may be called and answered 24 hours a day for information regarding the retrieval of a towed vehicle;

 

(5) the maximum fee that will be charged for a towing fee, storage fee, retrieval fee and in lieu of towing fee.

 

provided, that the requirements of this section shall not apply to areas providing parking for single-family, two-family and townhouse dwellings, as such dwellings are defined in the city zoning ordinance.

 


Sec. 76-411. Immobilizing vehicles on a private lot.

 

No one shall engage in vehicle immobilization within the city limits without complying with the provisions of this division. However, this division does not apply to any company that is acting on behalf of a governmental agency.

 

Sec. 76-412. Immobilizing vehicles on private parking lots; signs

required.

 

(a) No one shall immobilize a vehicle, of any size or weight, parked in a private parking lot unless there is a sign conspicuously posted and clearly visible at each vehicle entrance and exit to the property that has been permanently installed for a minimum of 24 hours prior to any vehicle being immobilized. The legible sign shall be a minimum of 17 inches by 22 inches in size with lettering not less than one inch in height and posted so that the bottom of the sign is at least thirty-six inches, but no more than seventy-two (72) inches off the ground.

 

(b) Each sign must provide, at minimum, the following information:

 

(1) In one-inch lettering:

 

i. Property is a Private Lot

 

ii. Vehicles Not Authorized to Park Will Be Immobilized At Owner's Expense

 

(2) In one-inch lettering:

 

i.                     (Name and telephone number of person or company authorized to remove vehicle immobilization device) Vehicle immobilization device may be removed at any time, day or night, upon payment not to exceed $75.00.

 

Sec. 76-413. Notice of Vehicle Immobilization Device; Conditions.

 

(a) Notice. Immediately upon attaching a vehicle immobilization to the vehicle, the vehicle immobilization service shall affix a written notice to the driver's side window containing the following:

 

(1) a warning that any attempt to move the vehicle may result in damage to the vehicle;

 

(2) the name and telephone number of the licensee responsible for removing the device;

 

(3) the maximum fee, as established by ordinance, required to remove the vehicle immobilization device;

 

(4) the time and reason the vehicle was immobilized;

 


(5) Any complaints regarding excessive charges should be reported to the Kansas City, Missouri police department.

 

(b) Other Conditions. Each vehicle immobilization service or employee or agent of the vehicle immobilization service shall observe the following:

 

(1) All vehicle immobilization devices used within the City shall be in safe and proper working condition.

 

(2) Signs identifying the name and phone number shall be affixed to both sides of any vehicle used by a vehicle immobilization service or its agent to perform vehicle immobilization services.

 

(3) All vehicle immobilization services shall have twenty-four (24) hour service and access. All vehicle immobilization services shall respond to all calls for release of a vehicle within one hour of a request for response.

 

(4)                 Charges for damages to vehicle immobilization equipment shall not be governed by this division and shall not prevent the vehicle's release if the removal fee is paid, which is specified in section 76-414.

 

Sec. 76-414. Fee charged for removing vehicle immobilization device.

 

(a) The fee for any and all charges to remove a vehicle immobilization device shall not exceed $ 75.00. The vehicle immobilization service shall accept Visa, Discover, or Master Card in addition to cash. There shall be no additional fee charged for the use of credit cards. The licensee shall provide a receipt upon request of the individual making payment for the removal of the immobilization device, once payment is made.

 

(b) It is unlawful for any person or entity, unless it is acting on behalf of a governmental agency, to place an immobilization device on a motor vehicle parked on the public right-of-way.

 

Sec. 76-415. Emergency Vehicles.

 

Emergency vehicles used in police, fire or medical emergencies shall not be immobilized for any reason. Upon proof that an unmarked vehicle is used for the same purpose, the vehicle immobilization device shall be removed immediately at no charge.

Sec. 76-416. Penalties.

 

(a) Any person violating a provision of this division shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine not to exceed $250 for each violation; provided, that if, in any 12-month period, a person is convicted of having violated one or more provisions of this chapter in conjunction with the towing or vehicle immobilization of more than one motor vehicle, the punishment for each violation in conjunction with the second and any subsequent tow or booting violations in the 12-month period shall be a fine not to exceed $500. or by imprisonment of not more than 180 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

 

(b) The owner of a motor vehicle removed from private property may recover for any damage to the motor vehicle resulting from any act of any person causing the removal of, or removing, the motor vehicle.

 

(c) Any owner of any private property causing the removal of motor vehicles parked on that property is liable to the owner of the motor vehicles for double the storage or towing charges whenever there has been a failure to comply with the requirements of this section.

 

(d) Any towing company, or any affiliate of a towing company, which removes, or commences removal of, motor vehicles from private property without first obtaining written authorization from the property owner or lessee, or an employee or agent thereof, who must be present at the time of removal or commencement of the removal is liable to the owner of the motor vehicle for four times the amount of the towing and storage charges, in addition to any applicable criminal penalty, for a violation of this section.

_____________________________________________

 

Approved as to form and legality:

 

 

___________________________________

Kathy Adams

Assistant City Attorney