Braselton recently approved an ordinance change on vehicle booting. The move will allow private businesses to utilize private parking enforcement companies, but will also be regulated by the town to help alleviate previous problems.
The Braselton Town Council was presented with two options for a “vehicle immobilization ordinance” at its Feb. 4 work session. The first would have completely prohibited private vehicle booting in town, the other would allow it, but heavily regulate it.
The council voted Feb. 8 to approve the “heavily regulated” ordinance option and added a stipulation that only vehicles weighing 15,000 pounds could be booted (essentially limiting the ordinance to tractor-trailers only).
Tractor-trailers are the main problem in Braselton as truck drivers park along the interstate and at private businesses that don’t want their lots to be used for overflow parking.
At the council’s Feb. 4 work session, town attorney Gregory Jay specifically cited Wendy’s, located across the street from the Pilot truck stop, which has utilized a private booting company. (An employee for a private enforcement company was recently arrested at Wendy’s for allegedly pepper-spraying a man who was trying to wake up truck drivers and warn them they were going to be booted.)
Jay noted that booting is “highly controversial,” but it’s really the only recourse private businesses have to stop illegal parking since tractor-trailers are difficult to tow.
But booting has caused some issues for the town.
“One of the biggest issues is the reason they’re calling us is because they believe there are police officers putting boots on their vehicles,” said town manager Jennifer Scott.
The “highly regulated” ordinance includes remedies for a number of concerns, including requiring a uniform and identification on the parking enforcement vehicles to indicate the employee is with a private company, not with the town.
Jay noted the ordinance would also require booting companies to get a permit; get background checks; establish procedures if the driver was in the vehicle; and set a limit on fines.
In other business on Feb. 8, the council:
•denied multiple waivers of business license late fees.
•approved GEFA loan documents for the Mulberry River restoration.
•approved allowing Scott to negotiate dispersing/acquiring property for the Chateau Elan main pump station replacement.
•approved a special event permit for Carol Mottor for the Braselton Antique Festival on April 23-25.
•learned Keith Kloiber will replace Billy Edwards on the Braselton Planning Commission. Kloiber will hold the District 4 spot.
•following an annual review, approved renewing Scott's contract as town manager.