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Snellville cracks down on predatory 'booting'

City puts out ordinance following months of complaints about being targeted by a "car-booter"

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — The city of Snellville released a new ordinance this week following dozens of complaints from residents about a Scenic Highway business unfairly booting vehicles.

Councilman Tod Warner said the comments were stemming from incidents at a shopping center near the intersection of Pharr Road and Highway 124.

"People were saying there would be a person in the parking lot in shorts and grubby t-shirt with no name tag or identification that would say you owe me $75 for illegally parking," says Warner.

Warner adding, "They would park their car, walk 50 or 75 feet to a restaurant...without seeing any kind of signage prohibiting them from parking there....and they would come back to their car with a boot on it."

While the property owner was not doing anything illegal, the mayor of Snellville and the City Council felt they needed to address residents concerns and provide clearer guidance for business owners who choose to boot.

Warner says the council's top priority is listening to community concerns and finding solutions, "Whenever the public cries out that there is a problem, our job as elected officials is to look into that problem - and if we can find a solution that doesn't step on the toes of the property owner, but still protects the consumer - that's our job and that's where we'll be."

The Mayor of Snellville and the Council approved the ordinance amendment Monday outlining the following requirements of business owners:

  • Clear signage must be at every entry and exit point - that employs the practice of booting vehicles.
  • Employees of any booting company must wear a uniform that prominently displays the name of the booting company.
  • Before a company boots a vehicle, the driver of the vehicle must have received a meaningful “in-person” warning from the employee. The notice may be either oral or written, but may not be made by, “yelling across the parking lot or placing a written notice on a vehicle,” according to city documents. The warning should also be made in a cordial, non-confrontational manner.

According to the city, Violators can be fined up to $1,000. 

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