At a Special Council Meeting on Tuesday, June 25, Oakville Town Council unanimously approved a tow truck licensing by-law to ensure that only licensed tow truck companies and vehicle storage yards operate in town. The by-law will also regulate fees charged when a vehicle is towed from private property without the owner’s consent, and ensure that signage is posted on lots where non-consent towing occurs. The by-law will amend By-law 2015-075 (the Licensing By-law) effective January 1, 2020.
“We want everyone to enjoy their visit to our tourist and shopping districts, so we are putting appropriate and necessary controls in place,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “Council asked staff to prepare options that include clear controls and measures to mitigate the issue of non-consent towing. We’re regulating fees, we’re regulating how far cars may be towed, and we’re regulating clear signage on private lots.”
Towing illegally parked vehicles from a private lot is one way a property owner can enforce parking regulations on those who are not patrons of the businesses on the property, and is a right provided by common law. Following a number of complaints from the public about excessive towing fees charged for being towed from privately owned parking lots, Council directed staff to create a tow truck licensing by-law that would regulate costs.
At the meeting, Council directed staff to reexamine the appropriate fees tow truck operators can charge and the wording required on property owners’ signage before the by-law comes into effect on January 1.
The following stipulations are included in the by-law:
In Bronte Village, where parking in private lots has become an issue, the town is also implementing a pilot paid-parking program. Providing on-street metered parking spaces encourages turnover so that more spaces become available more often for patrons of the stores, restaurants and businesses in the area. The program will also have all-day (nine-hour) parking spots on Ontario Street for visitors who are not shopping but wish to stay longer and enjoy the waterfront.
For more information on the tow truck by-law visit the Tow Truck Licensing page.