CHAPTER 10. PRIVATE PARKING FACILITIES Revised 3/16

6-10.01 Definitions. Revised 3/16

a. Business Hours means the period from one (1) hour before a business is open for business to customers until the time when the business is closed to customers. For parking spaces designated for users of automated teller machines, or for employee, tenant or other noncustomer reserved parking, business hours shall mean twenty-four (24) hours a day.

b. Mail-In Parking Charge or Parking Charge means an amount assessed for unauthorized parking at an off-street facility.

c. Notice of a Parking Charge means a written document affixed to a vehicle which notifies the vehicle driver of a mail-in parking charge due as a result of unauthorized parking at an off-street parking facility.

d. Off-Street Parking Facility or Parking Facility means a parking lot or structure that is accessible to the public that is either (1) a no fee private parking facility at which the parking or storage of vehicles is limited by time or authorization by the private parking operator, or (2) a pay and park facility that is open for parking or storage of vehicles by the general public, at which a fee must be paid for parking.

e. Park means to leave a vehicle standing while the driver or owner of that vehicle has left the vehicle or has exited the parking facility.

f. Parking Manager means any City employee who is designated as such by the City Manager of the City of Walnut Creek, California.

g. Payment Device means any device capable of accepting or receiving parking fee payments by cash, coin, or credit card (including parking meters and mobile parking applications) which provides the customer with the time of purchase by means of printed receipt or digital display.

h. Person shall mean any natural person, firm, company, corporation, limited liability company, partnership, limited partnership, joint venture, trust or association.

i. Private Parking Operator means any person who owns or controls, or any authorized person who acts on behalf of or at the behest of a person who owns or controls, an off-street parking facility.

j. Retrieval Fee means the compensation payable for the retrieval of a towed motor vehicle from a facility owned, operated, leased or used by a tow vehicle service, whether that facility is located within or beyond the City of Walnut Creek.

k. Sign or Signage means any sign or other public display to be posted in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

l. Storage Fee means the compensation payable for the storage of a towed motor vehicle that has been stored at or in a facility owned, operated, leased or used by a tow vehicle service, whether that facility is located within or beyond the City of Walnut Creek.

m. Tow or Towing means the act of removing, by employing a towing vehicle or otherwise, a motor vehicle from a privately-owned property at the vehicle owner's risk and expense.

n. Unauthorized Parking or Parked without Authorization shall mean circumstances where the operator of a vehicle: (1) fails to comply with restrictions, policies, notices or regulations posted or displayed in the private parking facility or otherwise conveyed by the private parking operator; (2) fails to pay (or properly display proof of payment) for parking at any private pay and park facility; (3) leaves a vehicle parked at a private parking facility in excess of the amount of time purchased (as determined by the private parking operator); (4) parks in a "no parking," red zone, yellow zone, loading zone, fire lane, or non-designated parking space of a private parking facility; or (5) parks in such a way that the vehicle blocks, impedes, or restricts other vehicles' ability of egress or ingress or otherwise obstructs the orderly flow of traffic.

o. Vehicle means any motor vehicle designed primarily for the transportation of people or property. (§2, Ord. 1940, eff. 3/4/99; §1, Ord. 1971, eff. 10/19/00, §1, Ord. 2004, eff. 11/14/02 and by §1, Ord. 2010, eff. 3/20/03; §1, Ord. 2144, eff. 3/4/16)

6-10.02 Compliance with This Chapter. Revised 3/16

It shall be unlawful, and an unfair business practice within the meaning of Business and Professions Code Section 17200, for any person in an off-street parking facility to assess a mail-in parking charge, or to issue or cause to be issued a notice of parking charge, that is not in compliance with this chapter. Any notice of parking charge that is not in compliance with this chapter shall be invalid. (§2, Ord. 1940, eff. 3/4/99; §1, Ord. 1971, eff. 10/19/00, §1, Ord. 2004, eff. 11/14/02 and by §1, Ord. 2010, eff. 3/20/03; §1, Ord. 2144, eff. 3/4/16)

6-10.03 Issuance of Notices of Parking Charge. Revised 3/16

a. A private parking operator may assess a mail-in parking charge to owners of vehicles parked without authorization in off-street parking facilities by issuing a notice of charge.

b. Except as provided in subsections (c), (d) and (e) of this section, no mail-in parking charge shall be assessed by a private parking operator outside of normal business hours for parking spaces designated for customer parking only during business hours.

c. Where the private parking operator of an off-street parking facility of a closed business has authorized a valet parking service to utilize the parking facility for valet parking and signs are posted prohibiting public parking, a private parking operator may assess a mail-in parking charge to owners of vehicles parked in the parking facility without authorization outside of normal business hours.

d. Where an off-street parking facility of a closed business utilizes a payment device, a private parking operator may assess a mail-in parking charge to owners of vehicles parked without authorization outside of normal business hours.

e. Where a vehicle is parked in a "no parking," red zone, yellow zone, loading zone, or non-designated parking space of an off-street parking facility of a closed business, the private parking operator may assess a mail-in parking charge to the owner of such vehicle outside of normal business hours. (§2, Ord. 1940, eff. 3/4/99; §1, Ord. 1971, eff. 10/19/00, §1, Ord. 2004, eff. 11/14/02 and by §1, Ord. 2010, eff. 3/20/03; §1, Ord. 2144, eff. 3/4/16)

6-10.04 Amount of Parking Charge. Revised 3/16

No mail-in parking charge assessed pursuant to this chapter shall exceed the initial amount of fine for the equivalent parking violation pursuant to the City of Walnut Creek's Master Fee Schedule, which may be updated from time to time. The private parking operator or processing agency shall mail a courtesy reminder notice to the registered owner of the vehicle and any other persons who reasonably appear to have any interest in the vehicle.

In the event a mail-in parking charge is not paid, a late fee equal to one-half (1/2) of the amount of such mail-in parking charge shall be imposed twenty-one (21) days from the date of the applicable notice of parking charge or fourteen (14) days from the mailing date of a courtesy reminder notice. If the mail-in parking charge is disputed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, a late fee equal to one-half (1/2) of the amount of such mail-in parking charge shall be imposed twenty-one (21) days from the date of the applicable administrative hearing decision requiring payment of such fee. (§2, Ord. 1940, eff. 3/4/99; §1, Ord. 1971, eff. 10/19/00 §1, Ord. 2004, eff. 11/14/02 and by §1, Ord. 2010, eff. 3/20/03; §1, Ord. 2144, eff. 3/4/16)

6-10.05 Additional Requirements—Signs. Revised 3/16

In addition to meeting the requirements of Section 6-10.03, signs indicating any restrictions on parking in an off-street parking facility shall be posted as required by this section.

a. No mail-in parking charge shall be assessed and no notice of parking charge shall be issued unless signs are posted substantially in the manner required by this chapter.

b. Signs shall be not less than seventeen (17) by twenty-two (22) inches in size with lettering not less than one (1) inch in height, and must include statements to the effect that the off-street parking facility is subject to public moving vehicle laws and violators may be subject to a mail-in parking charge.

c. Signs must be posted at each entrance and exit to the parking facility and must be visible from each restricted parking space unless a vehicle is parked in a clearly defined "no parking," red zone, yellow zone, loading zone or none designated parking space. Where different restrictions apply to parking spaces sharing common entrances and exits, the restrictions applicable to each space shall be clearly delineated. The signs at each entrance shall also include text or a symbol, to the approval of the Parking Manager, indicating that the off-street parking facility has been certified by the City of Walnut Creek to allow private enforcement of parking controls within such parking facility.

To the extent parking meters or other similar payment devices are in use, each parking meter or device shall display the applicable parking rates. If a payment device is stationed in a centralized location in a parking facility, a sign must be posted at each entrance and exit of the parking facility indicating the location of such payment device.

d. The Parking Manager is hereby authorized to establish uniform sign sizes, colors, sizes of lettering and other information that may be required on all signs in order to be in compliance with this section. Any uniform criteria established by the Parking Manager shall meet the minimum size and content standards specified above. Any signs found to be noncompliant with such uniform criteria shall be brought into compliance within sixty (60) days of notification of such noncompliance to the applicable private parking operator. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the Parking Manager establishes new sign requirements, signs posted at existing off-street parking facilities shall be brought into compliance within one hundred eighty (180) days of the establishment of such new requirements. (§2, Ord. 1940, eff. 3/4/99; §1, Ord. 1971, eff. 10/19/00; §1, Ord. 2004, eff. 11/14/02 and by §1, Ord. 2010, eff. 3/20/03; §1, Ord. 2144, eff. 3/4/16)

6-10.06 Notice of Parking Charges. Revised 3/16

a. No private parking operator shall place on any vehicle a notice of parking charge which does not contain at the top of the notice in at least twelve (12) point print the words "INVOICE" followed by "PARKING FEE IMPOSED" and naming the applicable off-street parking facility or company with the street address of the applicable business or parking facility imposing such fee and the location for providing payment.

b. Every notice of parking charge shall end with the legend, "This parking charge notice is not issued by the City of Walnut Creek." This provision shall be in at least twelve (12) point print.

c. No notice of parking charge shall display any symbol or other feature indicating that it is a parking citation issued by the City of Walnut Creek or other government agency. The Parking Manager shall approve the color or colors of the notice of parking charge.

d. Every notice of parking charge shall state that the business or parking facility identified in subsection (a) of this section may cancel the mail-in parking charge at any time for any reason.

e. Every notice of parking charge shall provide fair notice of the dispute resolution procedure described in Section 6-10.09 and include instructions for contesting a parking charge. (§2, Ord. 1940, eff. 3/4/99; §1, Ord. 1971, eff. 10/19/00, §1, Ord. 2004, eff. 11/14/02 and by §1, Ord. 2010, eff. 3/20/03; §1, Ord. 2144, eff. 3/4/16)

6-10.07 Vehicle Removal. Revised 3/16

Notwithstanding any provision of this Municipal Code or other applicable rule or regulation, a private parking operator may, without the permission of the owner or driver of a vehicle, immediately tow any vehicle parked without authorization at a private parking facility if:

a. Within any applicable two (2) year period, (1) the vehicle was parked without authorization at any of such private parking operator's private parking facilities within the City of Walnut Creek a total of three or more times, (2) the private parking operator issued a notice of parking charge or violation (penalty) with respect to such unauthorized parking, and (3) three (3) or more such violations, charges or penalties remain unpaid; or

b. The vehicle is parked in (1) a manner that blocks, impedes, or restricts another vehicle's ability of egress or ingress; (2) a fire lane; (3) any manner that obstructs the orderly flow of traffic; (4) any area that is clearly and conspicuously designated by signs or other traffic control devices as an area in which parking is restricted or forbidden; or (5) any other manner which otherwise poses a hazard or threat to public safety. (§1, Ord. 2144, eff. 3/4/16)

6-10.08 Registration of Private Parking Operators and Certification of Off-Street Parking Facilities. Revised 3/16

a. Every private parking operator who wishes to issue notices of parking charges shall register with the Parking Manager before doing business in the City of Walnut Creek. In addition to the information required by this section, the Parking Manager may require such other information as may enable the Parking Manager to determine compliance with this chapter. The fee for registering and amending the registration shall be set by City Council resolution.

b. The registration shall include the name, address and telephone number of the private parking operator, the names, home and business addresses and telephone numbers of each person owning ten percent (10%) or more of the business, and the Walnut Creek business license number of the business.

c. The Parking Manager shall develop an off-street parking facility registration form. Such registration form shall include the property owner or business name, address, phone number and the contact information of the person with the private parking operator's business who is authorized to resolve disputes at the off-street parking facility.

d. Every private parking operator shall maintain for at least one (1) year a list of off-street parking charges issued for each off-street parking facility. This list shall be broken down by date, and for each date shall show the time, the parking violation and the license number of the vehicle issued the notice of parking charge.

e. No notice of parking charge shall be issued in an off-street parking facility unless the off-street parking facility has been certified by the Parking Manager as being in compliance with this chapter and the signage for the facility reflects that certification. The certification may be withdrawn or suspended by the Parking Manager following notice and opportunity for a hearing if (1) the signage for the off-street parking facility is found to be out of compliance with this chapter, (2) private parking charges are found to have been consistently and repeatedly issued in violation of this chapter for parking in the parking facility, or (3) the private parking operator engaged in any other acts or omissions constituting a violation of this chapter with relation to the off-street parking facility.

f. Any private parking operator aggrieved by a decision of the Parking Manager under subsection (e) of this section may, within ten (10) business days of receipt of the decision, appeal the decision in writing to the City Manager who shall, following a hearing, affirm, reverse or modify the decision of the Parking Manager. The decision of the City Manager shall be final. Upon the final administrative determination to suspend or withdraw the certification of an off-street parking facility, the text or symbol indicating certification of the parking facility shall be immediately removed from any posted signs. (§2, Ord. 1940, eff. 3/4/99; §1, Ord. 1971, eff. 10/19/00, §1, Ord. 2004, eff. 11/14/02 and by §1, Ord. 2010, eff. 3/20/03; §1, Ord. 2144, eff. 3/4/16. Formerly 6-10.07)

6-10.09 Dispute Resolution. Revised 3/16

a. Every private parking operator issuing notices of parking charges shall establish a written dispute resolution policy for contested parking charges that shall comply with this section. A copy of the current policy shall be filed with the Parking Manager and be made available to the public. Every such policy shall contain a provision that allows the retailer, business or property owners, or private parking operator who has issued the notice of parking charge, or authorized notices to be issued, to cancel such parking charge at any time for any reason.

b. For a period of twenty-one (21) calendar days from the issuance of a notice of parking charge or fourteen (14) calendar days from the mailing of a courtesy reminder notice, a person may request an initial review of the notice by the private parking operator. The request may be made by telephone, in writing, or in person. There shall be no charge for this review. If, following the initial review, the private parking operator is satisfied that the unauthorized parking did not occur, that the registered owner was not responsible for the charge, or that extenuating circumstances make dismissal of the charge appropriate in the interest of justice, the private parking operator shall cancel the notice of parking charge or notice of delinquent parking charge. The private parking operator shall mail the results of the initial review to the person contesting the notice of parking charge. If following the initial review, cancellation of the notice does not occur, the private parking operator shall include in the mailed results a reason for the denial, notification of the ability to request an administrative hearing, and notice of the procedures to waive prepayment of the parking charge based upon inability to pay, as outlined in subsection (c) of this section.

c. If the person is dissatisfied with the results of the initial review, the person may request an administrative hearing of the charge no later than twenty-one (21) calendar days following the mailing of the results of the private parking operator's initial review. The request may be made by telephone, in writing, or in person. The person requesting an administrative hearing shall deposit the amount of the parking charge with the private parking operator. The private parking operator shall provide a written procedure to allow a person to request an administrative hearing without payment of the parking charge upon satisfactory proof of an inability to pay the amount due. Notice of this procedure shall be provided to all persons requesting an administrative hearing. An administrative hearing shall be held within ninety (90) calendar days following the receipt of a request for an administrative hearing. The person requesting the hearing may request one (1) continuance, not to exceed twenty-one (21) calendar days.

d. The administrative hearing process shall include the following:

(1) The person requesting a hearing shall have the choice of a hearing by mail or in person. An in-person hearing shall be conducted within the City of Walnut Creek.

(2) If the person requesting a hearing is a minor, that person shall be permitted to appear at a hearing or admit responsibility for the parking charge without the necessity of the appointment of a guardian. The private parking operator may proceed against the minor in the same manner as against an adult.

(3) The administrative hearing shall be conducted in accordance with written procedures established by the private parking operator and approved by the Parking Manager. The hearing shall provide an independent, objective, fair, and impartial review of contested parking charges.

(4)(A) The private parking operator shall contract with an independent third party that is not controlled by a private parking operator who shall provide qualified examiners to conduct the administrative hearings. Examiners shall demonstrate those qualifications, training, and objectivity necessary to conduct a fair and impartial review. An examiner shall not be employed, managed, or controlled by a person whose primary duties are as a private parking operator or parking charge processor. The examiner shall be separate and independent from the parking charge collection or processing function. An examiner's continued employment, performance evaluation, compensation, and benefits shall not, directly or indirectly, be linked to the amount of parking charges collected by the examiner.

(B) Examiners shall have a minimum of twenty (20) hours of training. The examiner is responsible for the costs of the training. The private parking operator may reimburse the examiner for those costs. Training may be provided through (i) an accredited college or university, (ii) a program conducted by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, (iii) American Arbitration Association or a similar established organization, or (iv) any program approved by the Parking Manager, including a program developed and provided by, or for, the City. Training programs may include topics relevant to the administrative hearing, including, but not limited to, applicable laws and regulations, private parking operator procedures, due process, evaluation of evidence, hearing procedures, and effective oral and written communication. Upon the approval of the Parking Manager, up to twelve (12) hours of relevant experience may be substituted for up to twelve (12) hours of training. In addition, up to eight (8) hours of the training requirements described in this subsection may be credited to an individual, at the discretion of the Parking Manager, based upon training programs or course described in subsections (d)(4)(B)(i) to (iv) of this section, inclusive, that the individual attended within the last five (5) years.

(5) The person who issues a notice of parking charge shall not be required to participate in an administrative hearing. The private parking operator shall not be required to produce any evidence other than the notice of parking charge or copy thereof and information received from the Department of Motor Vehicles identifying the registered owner of the vehicle. The documentation in proper form shall be prima facie evidence of the parking charge.

(6) The examiner's decision following the administrative hearing shall be personally delivered to the person by the examiner or sent by first-class mail. If the parking charge is not canceled, the decision shall include a reason for that denial.

(7) Following a determination by the examiner that a person owes the parking charge, the examiner may allow payment of the parking charge in installments, or a private parking operator may allow for deferred payment or allow for payments in installments, if the person provides evidence satisfactory to the examiner or the private parking operator, as the case may be, of an inability to pay the parking penalty in full. (§2, Ord. 1940, eff. 3/4/99; §1, Ord. 1971, eff. 10/19/00, §1, Ord. 2004, eff. 11/14/02 and by §, Ord. 2010, eff. 3/20/03; §1, Ord. 2144, eff. 3/4/16. Formerly 6-10.08)

6-10.10 Unauthorized Business Practices. Revised 3/16

a. No private parking operator shall utilize a boot or other similar mechanical device that is attached to a vehicle.

b. No person shall report or threaten to report an unpaid notice of parking charge to a credit bureau or a collection agency unless the debt has been established through a judicial proceeding.

c. No private parking operator shall pay any employee or independent contractor a salary or fee that is in any way based on the number of notices of parking charges they issue.

d. Every private parking operator who collects a mail-in parking charge determined by the Parking Manager to be in violation of this chapter shall refund the fee to the owner of the vehicle. (§2, Ord. 1940, eff. 3/4/99; §1, Ord. 1971, eff. 10/19/00, §1, Ord. 2004, eff. 11/14/02 and by §1, Ord. 2010, eff. 3/20/03; §1, Ord. 2144, eff. 3/4/16. Formerly 6-10.09)

6-10.11 Police Enforcement. Revised 3/16

Nothing in the chapter shall prevent or otherwise restrict police enforcement of any applicable State or local vehicular rules or regulations within private parking facilities. Private parking operators may request police enforcement of such rules or regulations. (§1, Ord. 2144, eff. 3/4/16)

6-10.12 Application to City of Walnut Creek. Revised 3/16

This chapter shall apply to all areas within the City of Walnut Creek. (§2, Ord. 1940, eff. 3/4/99; §1, Ord. 1971, eff. 10/19/00, §1, Ord. 2004, eff. 11/14/02 and by §1, Ord. 2010, eff. 3/20/03; §1, Ord. 2144, eff. 3/4/16. Formerly 6-10.10)

6-10.13 Penalty. Revised 3/16

Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of an infraction. The penalty upon conviction of such person shall be a fine as set forth in Section 1-2.01. (§1, Ord. 2010, eff. 3/20/03; §1, Ord. 2144, eff. 3/4/16. Formerly 6-10.11)