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Concertgoers frustrated after cars booted in Wellington

Posted at 11:39 PM, Feb 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-26 10:24:43-05

WELLINGTON, Fla.  — After the Eagles Tribute band Friday and an Elton John cover band Saturday in Wellington, some concertgoers left unhappy as their cars were immobilized.

“We come out and we have this big old nasty sign telling us we have to pay $95 fine and they put a boot on our car,” said Kim Price, who lives in Boynton Beach.

Kim, along with what some estimated as dozens on both Friday and Saturday, parked in the Wellington Town Square lot and came back to their cars with the same fate - a boot.

The village of Wellington says the concerts were among their most popular, around 3,000 people packed into the amphitheater. That, along with the food trucks, caused parking to become limited.

“I know it was very well attended so parking was scarce if not non-existing, but we try to find as many adjacent parking areas,” said Assistant Village Manager Jim Barnes.

While some businesses allowed concertgoers to park, the Wellington Town Square, which is owned by Jacksonville-based Regency Centers, does not. They contracted Elite Compliance Services to enforce its parking policy.

Kim says she didn’t know about it when she parked there with her husband, Jim, Friday.

“There are no signs, there are no people directing traffic. If we had known, we obviously would have never parked there,” she said, saying the signs she could see were too small and not close to where she actually parked.

Compliance Services contends proper signage is posted adding booting is less abrasive than towing. We did see signs at the entrance that warn against improper parking. No sign said it was okay to park there if you were going to the concert. The village also says they had signs up warning not to park there, along with verbal warnings at the concert.

In response to the weekend booting, the village says they will do more.

“Look at communicating better and keeping communication going and looking at alternatives,” Barnes said.

Regency reiterated in a statement that parking spots are for shoppers only, but if you got a boot, they said they will review any parking discrepancy someone has.

Contact Eric Davidson: 904-598-7829 or email EricDavidson@regencycenters.com

Full statement from Regency Centers: “We are happy to review a claim from someone if they feel there has been an improper towing. We try to make sure there is adequate signage to communicate that the spaces are intended for shoppers of the center. If there is a discrepancy regarding any of those aspects, then we're usually just a phone call or email away to discuss the circumstances.”

Read the full statement from Elite Compliance Services:

“Thanks for contacting us in regards to the unauthorized parking/trespassing at the Wellington Town Square property in Wellington, FL. This is a privately owned property that has contracted our professional services to attain parking compliance. Unauthorized vehicles parking in this lot are subject to being booted and/or towed. Proper signage is posted at all entrances to the property, as well as throughout the property giving warning and to deter unauthorized parking/trespassing on the property. This is the neighboring property of the Wellington Amphitheater and they have staff who give verbal warnings in regards to parking during events as well. The amphitheater staff have also posted a-frame signage and give an intercom announcement to offer additional warning for event attendees. There are no signs that state this private property is open to event parking. With this said, ample signage is posted and the enforcement measure of booting is much less abrasive than towing. Thank you again for your attention to this matter and bringing light to the unauthorized parking/trespassing issue.”