Apartment complexes have vehicles removed to regulate parking

Abbey Stirgwolt

Returning to a parking spot to find a ticket where a car should be, the generous towing fee and the occasional scratch or dent associated with a trip to the towing company may evoke a certain degree of irritation in drivers.

But not many people would argue that driving through an apartment complex at 2 a.m. and not being able to find a parking spot is any better.

The responsibility for striking a balance between being towed and being “parking spot-less” lies with local apartment complexes, and for most, towing is the most sensible option.

“I think it’s very effective. We went one year without towing, and we’ll never do it again,” said Debby Wells, property manager of Holly Park Apartments.

Wells said the apartment complex has always used towing as a way to regulate parking. Terri’s Towing, the company that patrols Holly Park, makes rounds in the complex’s lot at random times throughout the week, she said. She estimated the company tows between three and seven cars each week.

Bruce Forly, maintenance manager at Lake Street Apartments, said towing is the fairest option for tenants.

“The problem is that residents pay to park,” he said. “If parking wasn’t regulated, you’d have people taking parking spots all the time.”

Forly said the management at Lake Street tried to abolish towing, but no one took their “warning tags” seriously. Instead, the parking situation worsened: Residents frequently complained about having to park on opposite ends of the lot to get to their buildings.

When Lake Street decided to reinstitute towing regulations, parking improved significantly, he said.

Forly and Wells said the towing companies operate separately from the apartment complexes, though each complex is able to choose which company patrols its lot.

Contact public affairs reporter Abbey Stirgwolt at [email protected].