York City Council members seem to agree trespassers should get the boot.

They just couldn't decide if the offenders deserve a grace period.

We think not and applaud the recent vote striking down a proposal that would have required a "booting" company to wait 15 minutes before immobilizing vehicles illegally parked on private property.

Talk of regulation started last year with the arrival of Parking Lot Services, which makes money by installing metal boots offending vehicles and collecting a $75 fee from their trespassing owners.

The company's customers include private parking-lot owners all over the city, several of whom have publicly lauded the service as an effective alternative to towing.

We agree. It's certainly a better option than the tow truck companies that patrolled the city's private lots in the past, hauling off unauthorized vehicles.

Besides finding themselves stranded, drivers sometimes would have to pay hundreds of dollars — cash only – to get their vehicles back. If the vehicle wasn't claimed quickly, the drivers would also be charged storage fees.

Still, we understand the need to set ground rules for booting – such as how much companies can charge to release a vehicle.

But giving drivers a free pass — even for 15 minutes — to park on another's property goes to far.

Council members disagreed frequently about that aspects of the proposal.


An earlier version of the proposed ordinance required booting companies wait at least 15 minutes upon discovering an illegally parked vehicle before immobilizing it.

The proposal the council rejected last week in a 3-2 vote set the wait requirement only to trespassing vehicles found on lots where the driver had already paid to park. That would have included a few metered parking spaces outside Central Market and at the market's private garage at the corner of Beaver and Philadelphia streets.

We say a private lot is just that — private.

The council has no right to tell its tax-paying businesses they must inconvenience their employees and customers by accommodating lawbreakers.

It might be a good idea for businesses to work out a grace period with booting companies – say, to avoid alienating customers.

But that is their business.