Avon woman wins her parking case in municipal court
AVON — An Avon woman was so furious about her car being booted in her apartment complex’s parking lot, she took her case to municipal court and won.
Sara Lohrenz lives in Avon’s Buffalo Ridge apartment complex, and had borrowed a car from a family member when her truck broke down.
She had her truck towed to Summit County for repairs and taped a large note inside the windshield of the borrowed car with the make, model and permit number of her truck, with the urgent request, “Please do not boot me!”
But they did.
The property management company, Corum Real Estate, has a contract with AT Booting to enforce parking rules at Avon’s Buffalo Ridge complex.
Lohrenz explained to the Corum folks what had happened, and they agreed that she had done all she needed to.
Kathy Tran, Buffalo Ridge manager, also said the night Lohrenz parked her borrowed car in a resident space, there were four open spaces in guest parking.
“That’s obviously a gray area,” Tran said.
Tran has seven years in local property management, but had been the Buffalo Ridge manager for about two and a half weeks when this tempest hit her teapot.
She says she’s pro-tenant in her management style, and said she wants to make people’s time in Buffalo Ridge happy.
But she added that nine out of 10 people whose cars get booted deserve it. Many parking boot protesters are guests who all have perfectly good excuses, but do not have permits to park in Buffalo Ridge, Tran said.
Buffalo parking regulations are not a mystery. Residents sign three pages of forms in which they agree that if your vehicle doesn’t have a permit, then you cannot park on the property, Tran said.
“It’s pretty black and white,” she said, “except when it’s not.”
Going before Judge Buck
Lohrenz took her case to the Avon Town Council, which lent a sympathetic ear.
The next day she was before Judge Buck Allen in Avon’s municipal court. AT Booting’s folks claimed they had not read her sign and were doing the job they had been hired to do.
“She broke the rules and we booted the car,” said Eugene, of AT Booting.
Corum and Tran had said if Judge Allen didn’t order Lohrenz’ $120 boot fee returned, they would repay her.
Judge Allen did, and to their credit AT Booting wrote her a check almost before Judge Allen’s ruling stopped echoing around the room.
Tran said she’s working on a parking plan that makes sense for everyone. It’s aggressive, but sometimes it needs to be.
“We’re just tired of coming in for work to a bunch of upset people,” Tran said.
But Lohrenz is still out a day’s pay. She’s not taking that lying down, either.
They’ll meet again in small claims court, she said.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
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