TO: Board of Supervisors
FROM: Jennifer Kilinski
DATE: May 11, 2016
RE: Julington Creek Plantation Community Development District Towing Policy
The following is an explanation for Julington Creek Plantation Community Development District (the “District”) to implement a towing policy to remove vehicles from certain areas of District Property. As discussed at the April 28th Board Meeting, a recent amendment to Chapter 190 will take effect on July 1, 2016, that clarifies that community development districts may contract with a towing operator to remove vehicles or vessels from district-owned facilities and property. The District must follow the authorization, notice and procedural requirements of section 715.07, Florida Statutes, as though the District was an owner or lessee of private property. The District will need to establish tow-away zones, as explained further below, and will then be able to contract with a towing company approved by the County. One advantage for the District under the amendment is that the District will not have to go through the public bidding process to enter into an agreement with the towing company.
The District previously adopted parking policies provided in the Julington Creek Plantation Amenities Rules Handbook (“Amenity Center Policies”). The Amenity Center Policies, General Usage Guidelines, Section 9, provides:
9) Vehicles. Vehicles must be parked in designated areas. Vehicles should not be parked on grass lawns, or in any way which blocks the normal flow of traffic. During special events, alternative parking arrangements may be authorized but only as directed by District staff. Off-road bikes/vehicles (including ATV’s), and motorized scooters are prohibited on all property owned, maintained, and operated by the District or at any of the Amenities within District unless they are owned by the District. Golf carts are permitted in certain areas of the Amenities if properly licensed for on-road usage and permitted under applicable State and local laws.
Additionally, the Amenity Center Policy for Pond Areas prohibits parking along the right of way or on any grassed area near the ponds.
If the Board decides to move forward, the next step would be to identify specific towing areas and adopt this policy by motion of the Board. Once the towing policy is adopted, the District can contract with a towing company to enforce the tow-away zones and the District’s parking policies.
Below is a summary of the notice and procedural requirements for the District to follow to establish the tow-away zones.
Section 715.07(2)(a), Florida Statutes, requires strict compliance with the following conditions and restrictions in pertinent part (numbering is sections from the statute):
1. Any towed or removed vehicle or vessel must be stored at a site within a 15-mile radius of the point of removal in any county of less than 500,000 population. That site must be open for the purpose of redemption of vehicles on any day that the person or firm towing such vehicle or vessel is open for towing purposes, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and, when closed, shall have prominently posted a sign indicating a telephone number where the operator of the site can be reached at all times. Upon receipt of a telephoned request to open the site to redeem a vehicle or vessel, the operator shall return to the site within 1 hour or she or he will be in violation of this section.
5. Except for property appurtenant to and obviously a part of a single-family residence, and except for instances when notice is personally given to the owner or other legally authorized person in control of the vehicle or vessel that the area in which that vehicle or vessel is parked is reserved or otherwise unavailable for unauthorized vehicles or vessels and that the vehicle or vessel is subject to being removed at the owner's or operator's expense, any property owner or lessee, or person authorized by the property owner or lessee, prior to towing or removing any vehicle or vessel from private property without the consent of the owner or other legally authorized person in control of that vehicle or vessel, must post a notice meeting the following requirements:
a. The notice must be prominently placed at each driveway access or curb cut allowing vehicular access to the property, within 5 feet from the public right-of-way line. If there are no curbs or access barriers, the signs must be posted not less than one sign for each 25 feet of lot frontage.
b. The notice must clearly indicate, in not less than 2-inch high, light-reflective letters on a contrasting background, that unauthorized vehicles will be towed away at the owner's expense. The words "tow-away zone" must be included on the sign in not less than 4-inch high letters.
c. The notice must also provide the name and current telephone number of the person or firm towing or removing the vehicles or vessels.
d. The sign structure containing the required notices must be permanently installed with the words "tow-away zone" not less than 3 feet and not more than 6 feet above ground level and must be continuously
maintained on the property for not less than 24 hours prior to the towing or removal of any vehicles or vessels.
e. The local government may require permitting and inspection of these signs prior to any towing or removal of vehicles or vessels being authorized.
f. A business with 20 or fewer parking spaces satisfies the notice requirements of this subparagraph by prominently displaying a sign stating "Reserved Parking for Customers Only Unauthorized Vehicles or Vessels Will be Towed Away At the Owner's Expense" in not less than 4-inch high, light-reflective letters on a contrasting background.
g. A property owner towing or removing vessels from real property must post notice, consistent with the requirements in sub-subparagraphs a.-f., which apply to vehicles, that unauthorized vehicles or vessels will be towed away at the owner's expense.
A business owner or lessee may authorize the removal of a vehicle or vessel by a towing company when the vehicle or vessel is parked in such a manner that restricts the normal operation of business; and if a vehicle or vessel parked on a public right-of-way obstructs access to a private driveway the owner, lessee, or agent may have the vehicle or vessel removed by a towing company upon signing an order that the vehicle or vessel be removed without a posted tow-away zone sign.
If the District approves the towing policy, the District will be required to follow the notice procedure for establishing the tow away zones, described above and depicted in Exhibit A of the towing policy. The District will then contract with a towing company to tow vehicles in accordance with the towing policy.