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[Added 7-24-2017 by Ord. No. 73-2017; Amended 5-9-2022 by Ord. No. 43-2022]
A. No person shall park or leave an unattended vehicle on private property without the consent of the owner or person in control or possession of the property except in case of emergency or disablement of the vehicle, in which case the operator shall arrange for the removal of the vehicle as soon as possible.
B. The provisions of this section shall only apply to privately owned lots where signage is posted to notify the public about the restriction. For purposes of this section, “private parking lot” shall mean a parking lot open to the public or used for parking without charge; or a parking lot used for parking with charge.
C. The required signage shall be posted at each entry to the parking lot. If there are no designated entrances—such as when a lot has one or more sides continuously open to a roadway—one or more signs should be erected so as to be readily visible to an ordinarily observant driver.
1. The sign(s) shall conform to 67 Pa. Code, § 212.115. Posting of private parking lots and contain language approved by the City of Reading Police Department.
2. Letters must have a minimum height of 3 inches.
3. The sign must have a retro-reflectorized sign message or background and be positioned so as to be illuminated by the headlight beams of entering vehicles, or the sign may be illuminated during applicable hours of darkness so as to be readily visible to an ordinarily observant driver.
4. Under 75 Pa.C.S. § 3353(b), the prosecution of an owner or towing a vehicle from a private parking lot is prohibited unless restrictions are posted in accordance with this subsection.
D. The property owner or person in control or possession of the property shall have the ability to remove or have removed an unattended vehicle by a privately operated towing business if (i) the vehicle in violation of this section is reported to the City of Reading Police Department by the property owner, or person in control or possession of the property; (ii) a citation is issued to the vehicle by the City of Reading Police Department; and (iii) the property owner provides the City of Reading Police Department with a valid contract permitting the privately operated towing business to conduct business on the private property or, in lieu thereof, the private property owner has, prior thereto, provided the City of Reading Police Department with documentation indicating the private property that the privately operated towing business has authority to conduct business at along with a copy of the fully signed contract between the private property owner and the privately operated towing business. Any towing company contracted to remove vehicles from private property shall not charge more than $100 for towing, $50 for "dropping" the vehicle on site with no tow and no more than $10 a day for storage, charged to the owner of the vehicle, beginning the day after the vehicle is towed as per Chapter 212, Tow Service Charges.
E. This section shall be enforced by the City of Reading Police Department and shall apply to all private property and privately owned towing businesses operating within the City of Reading. The enforcement hereunder shall include, but not be limited to, ensuring compliance of the signage required under subsection C above.
F. Violations and penalties. Whoever violates any provision of this section shall be, upon conviction thereof, sentenced to pay a fine not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 30 days. Each day during which any person violates any provision of this chapter shall constitute a separate offense.