BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Dozens of people came out to Birmingham’s town hall to express their concerns about predatory towing downtown. The city taking notes so the current ordinance can be updated for the first time in ten years.

City Councilman Darrell O’Quinn says towing complaints have increased dramatically in the last six to twelve months. He says the last time towing in the city was addressed was in 2013.

“This predatory towing is causing people not to want to come downtown,” says Matthew Lyons, a Birmingham resident.

Many people at Monday’s town hall shared their own experiences with predatory towing.

“I was towed from a parking lot where I had paid for parking, I paid for three hours of parking, there were no other cars in the lot so it’s not like the lot was at capacity and I was a few minutes late returning from a meeting and found that my car had been towed,” says Lyons.

“I went to purchase something to eat for the evening. I was in the restaurant just 10 minutes picking up my dinner and within 10 minutes I came back, this young lady said, I gave her the description of my car, and she said she watched within 30 seconds my car be taken away,” Latasha Simpson, a prospective business owner in downtown Birmingham, said.

Some say the signs posted in different lots downtown are ‘ambiguous’ and there needs to be more clarification on what the rules for the lots are. O’Quinn says he’s happy people expressed these concerns.

“That was something that hadn’t been expressed to us previously, I think that was really valuable for us to hear. I think there were several other things that were mentioned that I think were aspects that we will now address in the changes we are considering,” O’Quinn said.

O’Quinn says the city’s attorneys will have a lot of good information to take from the town hall to adjust the ordinance draft so it can be proposed before the council in the near future.