13 eligible for towing refunds

Posted on 10 Aug 2006 at 7:57pm
By David Webb Staff Writer

Legacy Counseling Center director vows to reimburse drivers who left cars with valet parking, returned to find cars missing



Melissa Grove, executive director for Legacy Counseling Center is trying to figure out how to overcome a $15,000 deficit in the budget that arose when the agency lost a valet parking contract that provided extra income.

The 13 drivers who paid for valet parking on July 28 but returned to the Cedar Springs Road parking lot to find their cars had been towed are in store for some good news.

Legacy Counseling Center, which was operating the valet parking service in the Bank of America Parking lot on Friday and Saturday nights to earn extra cash for client services, will reimburse the drivers for the money they spent retrieving their cars, according to Melissa Grove, executive director of the AIDS service agency. Drivers should provide receipts to the agency to get a refund, she said.

“Anybody who had that happen to them, if they will submit their receipts to me, we will pay for it,” Grove said. “I personally think it is the right thing to do.”

Grove said the agency would use the proceeds it received from the parking operation for the last month to make the reimbursements.

Grove said a representative for Trammell Crow Co., which manages the Bank of America property, authorized the towing of any vehicles found in the parking lot after midnight because of complaints made by the Oak Lawn Apartment Mangers and Stakeholders Crime Watch group last month. The crime watch group complained about people gathering and drinking in business parking lots after business hours.

The official was unaware that the agency’s parking operation had the right to use the parking lot until 7 a.m., Grove said.

“I think it was a simple mistake,” Groves said. “She was trying to do something productive.”

Groves said the agency has had to abandon the parking operation because Trammell Crow Co, officials have been advised that the parking lot is not zoned for an operation like that.

Bank of America and Trammell Crow Co. officials had allowed the agency to provide the parking service to help it raise money for client services, Groves said.

It previously was used by a nightclub across the street for parking.

“They were trying to give back to the community,” Groves said.

Groves’ agency subcontracted the operation to a parking service company, which took a share of the proceeds.

“Everything was going great,” said Groves, whose agency operated the service for two months before learning it was illegal. “We had budgeted $15,000 for the revenue we would gain. Now, we’re going to have to find a way to replace that.”

Groves said she hopes that a zoning change can be accomplished to allow her agency to continue with the project at a later date.

For now, the towing order remains in force in the bank parking lot, said Joan Lehrer, a representative of Trammell Crow Co. The real estate company wants to stop groups of people from using the bank parking lot for gathering and drinking, she said.

“We currently have towing done after the bank closes which we hope will stop the use of the parking lot,” Lehrer said.

To inquire about a refund of a towing fee call Legacy Counseling Center at 214-520-6308.

E-mail webb@dallasvoice.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, August 11, 2006.

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