Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 032594
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File Number: 032594 File Type: Ordinance Status: In Draft
Version: 0 Reference: Control: Public Safety Committee
File Name: AMEND SEC 30-384 RE: TOWING OF STOLEN & ABANDONED VEHICLES Introduced: 9/17/2003
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action:
Agenda Date: Agenda Item Number: 6
Notes: Title: ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 30-384 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA; RELATING TO THE TOWING OF STOLEN AND ABANDONED VEHICLES; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE
Indexes: IMPOUNDING VEHICLES
Sponsors: Sen. Javier D. Souto, Prime Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Public Safety Committee 1/13/2004 3C Withdrawn
REPORT: (See Agenda Item 3C Alternate, Legislative File No. 033545.)

County Attorney 11/25/2003 Assigned Public Safety Committee 1/13/2004

Board of County Commissioners 11/4/2003 6B Deferred Public Safety Committee 12/9/2003
REPORT: County Attorney Robert Ginsburg read the foregoing proposed ordinance into the record. Chairwoman Carey-Shuler opened the meeting for public input, and the following individuals appeared before the Commission: Mr. Ramon Crego, Excalibur Towing Service, expressed concern that this proposed ordinance would impact Excalibur Towing Service’s contract with the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD). He suggested Team Metro tow more cars with a salvageable value. Assistant County Manager Alex Munoz noted the County Administration could administer this proposed ordinance by simplifying junk cars as abandoned vehicles, which did not have value to the Towing Industry, and by contracting towing services for cars that would be claimed or that were causing a safety hazard. He explained Team Metro did not have storage capability for vehicles with a salvageable value. Discussion ensued among Chairwoman Carey-Shuler, Assistant County Manager Munoz, and Mr. Crego regarding the advertisement of the public hearing for this proposed ordinance and the Towing Industry’s awareness of the public hearing. Mr. Hollis Vanderford, Economy Towing, Homestead, noted he was willing to pick up vehicles from any location. Mr. Donald Lawson, 2375 Ali Baba Avenue, D and R Towing, concurred with Mr. Crego, and Mr. Vanderford. He expressed concern that he was not notified of the public hearing for this proposed ordinance that was held before the Public Safety Committee on October 14, 2003. Chairwoman Carey-Shuler asked staff to ensure that the impacted industry was notified of any future public hearings. Assistant County Attorney Jeffrey Ehrlich advised the title of this proposed ordinance should be amended to read as follows: “ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 30-384 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA; RELATING TO TOWING OF ABANDONED, STOLEN, AND ILLEGALLY PARKED VEHICLES; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE.” He further advised Section 30-384(a)(3) should be amended to read as follows: “When a vehicle is found upon the streets or the public right-of-way in an area with residential zoning and is not in proper condition to be driven”; and Section 30-384(a)(5) should be amended to read as follows: “Where such vehicle has been parked or stored on the public right-of-way in an area with residential zoning ….” Responding to Commissioner Souto’s request for an explanation of the foregoing proposed amendments, Assistant County Attorney Ehrlich advised the proposed amendments would provide police greater flexibility in dealing with these types of vehicles. Commissioner Souto questioned who would remove vehicles from areas zoned differently than residential. Assistant County Attorney Ehrlich advised these proposed amendments would exclude commercial areas. Commissioner Souto noted he would not accept the proposed amendments. Commissioner Martinez expressed concern regarding the following language in Section 30-384(a)(3): “is not in proper condition to be driven.” He suggested this language be amended to clarify those vehicles that were unsafe, or were safety violations were not in proper condition to be driven. He also recommended the proposed amendment to Section 30-384(a)(5) be changed from “or has expired license tags or no tags” to “and has expired license tags or no tags” to ensure vehicles stored on private property were not towed. Assistant County Attorney Ehrlich advised the proposed provision for expired license tags or no tags would only apply to vehicles stored on the public right-of-way. In response to Commissioner Martinez’s question regarding the meaning of “fire, flood, storm, or other emergency reason” in Section 30-384(a)(7), Assistant County Attorney Ehrlich advised the vehicle could be towed when otherwise it would not present a public safety problem, except after a natural disaster. Following further discussion regarding when Section 30-384(a)(7) would apply, Commissioner Diaz requested Mr. Crego to further explain his concern with this proposed ordinance. Mr. Crego explained Excalibur Towing Service had a contract with MDPD to tow certain vehicles on the road, and Excalibur Towing Service was paid by the public when they retrieved their vehicles. He noted this proposed ordinance would require Excalibur Towing Service to tow additional vehicles without compensation that Team Metro was required to pick up. Assistant County Manager Munoz clarified the issue of salvageable value in the MDPD contract would rectify Mr. Crego’s concern. He explained the public would claim salvageable vehicles and pay the impounding fees; Team Metro's contractor would be paid by Team Metro to tow non-salvageable vehicles. He noted the County Administration would identify which vehicles MDPD and Team Metro would pick up to ensure the Towing Industry would not be harmed. Responding to Commissioner Diaz’s inquiry concerning vehicles without auto tags on private property, Assistant County Manager Munoz explained a longer due process applied to vehicles on private property before the County could remove the vehicle. Following discussion related to a specific abandoned vehicle in Commission District 2, Commissioner Heyman expressed concern that the proposed amended language regarding license tags in Section 30-384(a)(5) confused cars not in use with abandoned cars. She pointed out some cars not in use did not have license tags, notwithstanding they were operable. She clarified many of these vehicles not in use were stored in swell areas between the road and sidewalk, which were, by definition, public right-of-way. In response to Commissioner Heyman’s question regarding vehicles not in use without license tags that were stored in swell areas being towed, Assistant County Attorney Ehrlich advised those vehicles without a tag on public right-of-way could be towed. Commissioner Heyman noted Section 30-384(a)(5) would cause undue hardship in Commission District 4. Commissioner Souto explained his intent was to clean up the County. Discussion ensued between Commissioner Seijas and Assistant County Manager Munoz regarding enforcement of this proposed ordinance. Commissioner Sosa questioned whether this proposed ordinance would affect municipalities. Assistant County Attorney Ehrlich advised this proposed ordinance would affect municipalities. Commissioner Sosa pointed out the County should have notified municipalities of this proposed ordinance. She asked Assistant County Manager Munoz to meet with all municipalities about this proposed ordinance before it was implemented. Following further comments by Commissioner Souto emphasizing his intent was to clean up the County, Chairwoman Carey-Shuler requested that this proposed ordinance be deferred to the Public Safety Committee and that staff inform the municipalities of this meeting prior to this proposal returning to the County Commission. Hearing no other questions or comments, the Commission proceeded to vote.

Public Safety Committee 10/14/2003 3A Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation P
REPORT: Following the reading of the foregoing proposed ordinance into the record, Assistant County Attorney Daron Fitch noted a supplement to item 3A was provided, indicating the fiscal impact. The public hearing was opened by Chairperson Martinez; however, it was closed after no one appeared in response to Chairperson Martinez' call for persons wishing to be heard in connection with the foregoing proposed ordinance. The committee by motion duly made, seconded, and carried forwarded the foregoing ordinance to the Board of County Commissioners with a favorable recommendation.

Board of County Commissioners 10/9/2003 13L Adopted on first reading 10/14/2003 P
REPORT: The foregoing proposed ordinance was adopted on first reading and scheduled for public hearing at 2:00 p.m. on October 14, 2003 during the Public Safety Committee meeting.

Board of County Commissioners 10/7/2003 Scheduled for a public hearing Public Safety Committee 10/14/1903

Board of County Commissioners 10/7/2003 13L Deferred 10/9/2003
REPORT: The foregoing proposed agenda item would be considered at the Public Safety Committee meeting of October 14, 2003.

County Attorney 9/17/2003 Assigned Public Safety Committee 10/14/2003

County Attorney 9/17/2003 Assigned Jeffrey P. Ehrlich

Legislative Text


TITLE
ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 30-384 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA; RELATING TO THE TOWING OF STOLEN AND ABANDONED VEHICLES; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE

BODY
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA:
Section 1. Section 30-384 of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, is hereby amended to read as follows:1
Sec. 30-384. Impounding vehicles.

(a) Police officers or such other employees as may be designated by the County Manager are authorized to remove a vehicle to the nearest garage or other place of safety, or to a garage designated or maintained by the County or by a municipality under the circumstances hereinafter enumerated.

(1) When any vehicle is left unattended upon any bridge, causeway, or viaduct, or where such vehicle constituted an obstruction to traffic.

(2) When a vehicle upon a street is so disabled as to constitute an obstruction to traffic, or the person or persons in charge of the vehicle are by reason of physical injury incapacitated to such an extent as to be unable to provide for its custody and removal.


(3) When a vehicle is found upon the streets >>or the public right-of-way<< and is not in proper condition to be driven.

(4) When any vehicle is left unattended upon a street and is so parked illegally as to constitute a definite hazard or obstruction to the normal movement of traffic.

(5) Where such vehicle has been parked or stored on the public right-of-way for a period exceeding forty-eight (48) hours in other than designated parking areas, and is within thirty (30) feet of the pavement edge >>or has expired license tags or no tags<<.

(6) When the driver of such vehicle is taken into custody by a law enforcement officer and such vehicle would thereby be left unattended upon a street; provided, however, that the officer shall, prior to impounding a vehicle, afford the owner or the driver at his or her option, a reasonable opportunity in light of the circumstances in which to provide for the removal of the vehicle within a reasonable length of time. In lieu of impounding the vehicle in cases where neither the driver nor the owner elects to provide for the removal of the vehicle or in cases where neither the driver nor the owner can provide for the removal of the vehicle within a reasonable length of time, the owner or the driver may elect in writing to allow the vehicle to remain in place, if lawful. Neither the individual officer nor the officer's employer shall be held liable for any damage whatsoever to a vehicle when the owner of said vehicle or the driver has elected to allow the vehicle not to be removed.

Prior to impounding such vehicle pursuant to this subsection, the police officer shall reasonably attempt to inform the owner or the driver of said vehicle of the various alternatives to impounding, and, the officer, upon request, shall provide the owner or the driver with the requisite form upon which he or she may elect to allow the vehicle to remain in place.
For purposes of this subsection, the driver of the vehicle shall be conclusively presumed to be the authorized agent of the owner.

(7) When removal is necessary in the interest of public safety because >>the vehicle has been determined to be stolen, or because<< of fire, flood, storm, or other emergency reason.

(8) When a vehicle is left unattended in violation of Section 30-447 of this Code or Sections 316.1955(5)(a) or 316.1956(3), Florida Statutes.

(9) When any vehicle is subject to impoundment pursuant to Section 30-389.4 of this Code in the manner prescribed therein.

(10) When a vehicle is left unattended in an area in which Miami-Dade County has posted a sign indicating that parking is prohibited and stating "TOW-AWAY ZONE."

(11) When a vehicle is used by an individual for temporary living quarters on the public right-of-way or other public property not designated and authorized as a campsite. Prior to impounding such vehicle pursuant to this subsection, the police officer shall reasonably attempt to afford the driver or owner of such vehicle the opportunity to remove such vehicle from the public property so as to avoid impoundment of the vehicle. This subsection shall not apply to vehicles occupied or possessed by persons awaiting entrance to sporting events as spectators.

(12) When a vehicle is used by a person engaging in the commission of a violation of subsections (1) or (2) of Section 21-30.01 of the Miami-Dade County Code relating to graffiti.

(13) Reserved.

(14) When a vehicle is displayed on a private street, vacant lot, parking lot or private property for the principal purpose of displaying such vehicle or other personal property thereon for sale or rental in violation of Section 30-388.31.1.

(15) When a vehicle is parked upon any street or within the right-of-way for the principal purpose of displaying such vehicle for sale.

(16) When a vehicle is parked upon any street or public right-of-way in a residential zone in violation of Section 30-388.31 of this Code.

(17) When a vehicle is left unattended in violation of Section 30-450 of this Code.

Section 2. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or provision of this ordinance is held invalid, the remainder of this ordinance shall not be affected by such invalidity.
Section 3. It is the intention of the Board of County Commissioners, and it is hereby ordained that the provisions of this ordinance, including any sunset provision, shall become and be made a part of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida. The sections of this ordinance may be renumbered or relettered to accomplish such intention, and the word "ordinance" may be changed to "section," "article," or other appropriate word.
Section 4. This ordinance shall become effective ten (10) days after the date of enactment unless vetoed by the Mayor, and if vetoed, shall become effective only upon an override by this Board.



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