Gresham, Ore., City Council Proposes Restrictive Towing Ordinance

Oct 14th, 2010 | By | Category: National News

The city council of Gresham, Ore., discussed a proposed ordinance Tuesday, Oct. 12, that would stop predatory towing and standardize fees for towing companies operating on private parking lots, according to a news report.

The ordinance would require all towers operating in Gresham to apply for a free towing license in addition to their required business license, the report states. The towing license would come with a set of agreements about how tow trucks can operate and what towers can charge, as well as allow the city to penalize out-of-line companies.

Currently, there are no regulations on how much towing companies can charge in Gresham. The new system would ban hidden fees and would model charges after Portland, Ore., where it costs about $150 to retrieve an impounded vehicle, according to the report.

Under the proposed ordinance private lots would be required to clearly post warning signs, and towers would be prevented from lurking. They would also be required to return a car for free if the driver arrives before the tow truck drives away, the report states.

The ordinance would also require licensed towers to have storage lots within five miles of the city, a move that raised concerns from the mayor and councilor, who pointed out the city didn’t need any more lots, according to the report.

The initiative was originally proposed by Council President David Widmark and Councilor Paul Warr-King in response to public complaints. Junginger then worked with Assistant City Attorney Ashley Berman to create the ordinance, with public input as well, according to the report.