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What Do You Think About the Decision to Tow Cars from Private Lot on Kentucky?

Lot owner's decision to start to towing cars from downtown Petaluma has angered many residents and visitors

A couple of weeks ago, that the owner of the Bank of America parking lot on Kentucky and East Washington had started towing cars.

The lot is a popular parking spot for people going out downtown in the evening and residents have been furious about going out for dinner or drinks only to find their cars towed at the end of the evening. Some think their cars are stolen and phone the police, only to find out about the new policy.

Patch reached lot owner Elias Husary, who said the decision was based on protecting himself from any potential liabilities.

“There is trash, broken bottles, vomit and beer glasses in the lot and all of that poses a lot of liabilities to me,” Husary said. “If someone backs into a car because they are drunk, I can be held liable.”

Husary said he put out notices two weeks before to let everyone know of the new policy.

“I’m not against businesses and very pro-Petaluma, but this has been an ongoing issue for a while and we thought this was the best way to deal with it,” he said.

But the decision may also have something to do with economics. If you look closely at the "No Parking" sign, it offers drivers who don't want to be towed a chance to purchase a monthly permit.

What do you think about this decision? Does downtown Petaluma need another parking lot? Share your thoughts with us.

Seana Gause October 19, 2011 at 01:37 PM
So residents can pay for additional parking, and the nonsense with the drunk people will stop. Totally within the owner's rights and a completely reasonable solution.
Chad M. October 19, 2011 at 02:52 PM
I completely understand why the owner would do this, and he has every right. The keyword here is "Private" parking lot.
tony October 19, 2011 at 03:09 PM
Agree that the owner has every legal and reasonable right to control his property. Unfortunately the drunk problem won't go away, it will just move. Now I'm NOT for prohibition and I DO like that there's some nightlife in town, but some drinkers are kinda slobs. Anyone see the nasty messes the PetBlvd & Kentucky St merchants have to clean up in the morning in front of their stores?
Steven Norwin October 19, 2011 at 03:09 PM
It's his lot and he can do what he wants.
Craig Marston October 19, 2011 at 03:25 PM
This lot has become important to citizens and business, maybe the city can offer legal services to help with her liability ? Let's work together to better Petaluma.
Concerned Citizen October 19, 2011 at 03:25 PM
Two things need to happen: The owner should, at least temporarily, erect a better sign indicating the No Parking- tow policy (the article indicates drivers have to "Look closely" to see the current language), and people need to read. This is really a non-issue in the scheme of things.
charles merrill October 19, 2011 at 03:56 PM
How about placing one of those small parking machines at the lot entrance for use after the bank closes? Many private lots in San Francisco use such machines. A solution could be reached if the owner & the city could work together. Charles Merrill
Nancy October 19, 2011 at 04:19 PM
I doubt the City has financial resources to offer any assistance, legal or otherwise.
Bradford A Morris October 19, 2011 at 05:19 PM
The owner has a right to do what he wants however is this action a smart one? I think the owner should install a gate that would close after house preventing any cars to enter if they did not have any reason to be there. That's call cost of doing business. Sometime you have to make changes. It is wrong he should have to do that but to keep please and not to look like the bad guy he should of come up with a solution. Even the idea Charles Merrill had but with a parking attendent is a way for a proffit on a parking lot getting nothing now after hours. Why do people not think first?
Bradford A Morris October 19, 2011 at 05:32 PM
Mr. Merrill you have a solution - good idea. I think if you truly want to keep damages and debris away from the lot have an attendant and charge for parking and limit the parking to certain hours after the regular day hours are over. The owner would make money on his investment and not appear like a jerk to some . It is wrong when an owner has to keep bending not getting his rights but it is what it is. So enclose the parking lot with a iron fence and gate or just just the gate. Again have an attendant and make the extra money. Why do people not think first and cause problems for so many?
Lynn King October 19, 2011 at 09:29 PM
Interesting responses - apparently some feel that the the owner's property rights come second to the rights of trespassers who leave debris on his property. Would it be different if a stranger's car was parked in front of your private residence and left behind garbage and vomit after running in to your neighbor's cars? Is that the cost of living on a public street? Would you be a jerk if you objected?
Jack Lenio October 20, 2011 at 02:56 PM
Yes I agree this is a "private" lot. Parking here is the same as choosing to park in my home driveway. Is that OK. NO! I can always find public parking in the downtown area. Walking is good for everyone.
Mikhael October 21, 2011 at 08:54 PM
Where as I completely agree that this is a private lot and there-fore the owner has every right to do what's necessary to protect it, I truly appreciate Charles Merrill's suggestion. The owner might as well make some extra money whilst providing a safe place to park at night within walking distance of everything downtown. If people can afford to spend a night on the town, they can afford to pay for their parking. It seems to me that the bigger issue though is the amount of people that get drunk around town and then wander back to their cars to drive home. Another way to solve this issue would be to extend the hours of our local transportation so that people could take a bus across town instead of having to drive from bar to bar.
Nicholas Littlejohn October 28, 2011 at 07:59 PM
There is a great book, "The high cost of free parking". People should have to pay to make a polluting decision, I feel. We're all better for it.
kitty October 30, 2011 at 02:57 PM
I understand the vomiting, Bank of America makes me sick too!!!!!!!
Bookworm November 13, 2011 at 08:16 AM
I agree that people should walk more. I understand that the owner of the lot has the right to tow. I don't understand why the sign could not have said "Starting September 2011..." so we would know this was a new policy that was being enforced. I don't understand why it should cost almost $300 to redeem your car when the tow company has had it for 5 minutes or 2 hours. I don't understand why the tow company doesn't tell people that it will be $45 less if they wait until the next day "regular business hours." I would like to see some figures on how many cars have been towed.
Avery Schlacter October 07, 2013 at 11:09 AM
I do think <a href="http://www.abbystowing.com/services/">Louisville towing</a> can be expensive but if you know you park your car in a spot where it can get towed then you should accept the consequences.

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