On June 4, the state Court of Appeals reversed the court’s ruling that struck down Chapel Hill’s ordinance. The town originally adopted the ordinance in March 2012, but the ordinance never took effect because George King, operator of George’s Towing, challenged the Town Council.
The new ordinance regulates and caps tow fees, it states that lots may not be located farther than 15 miles outside the town, and requires adequate signage for tow zones. Tow companies must also provide the person making the payment for the tow with a copy of the “Town of Chapel Hill Towing Information Handout”.
If a person returns to their car before it can be towed, the tow truck operator must return the car to the person without charging a fee unless the vehicle was already attached to the truck. If it was, a fee no more than $50 may be charged.
The ordinance also says a call to the towing company must be returned within 15 minutes of a message being left. Within 30 minutes of the call being answered or message being left, a person with the proper authority must release the location of the vehicle.