Philadelphia councilwoman wants to crack down on illegal towing

Philadelphia City Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Philadelphia City Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Philadelphia City Council is considering new legislation that would crack down on illegal towing.

Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez said that is becoming a big problem in her district, which includes Fishtown. 

As development in the neighborhood booms, Sanchez said more property owners are putting in “curb-cuts” to create parking areas on vacant side lots without obtaining the proper zoning. Some towing companies “have gone rogue,” she said, and take advantage of the situation by getting property owners to agree to put up “no parking” signs and removing cars parked in front of those illegal driveways.

On Thursday, Sanchez introduced a pair of bills — one that would create a “curb cut registry” and a second that would “put the onus on the company that before they put a sign and they authorize themselves to tow and cause quite an expensive situation for a consumer, that it’s a legal curb cut.”

Under that bill, towing companies that remove cars from illegal curb cuts could pay a $1,000 fine.

“They put up their signs and no one is verifying that that’s a legal curb cut and then they’re targeting folks who don’t live in the area and don’t know any better,” Sanchez said.

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