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TROUBLESHOOTERS: Parking woes at Parkview Estates

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It's the holiday season and many don't have a few extra hundred dollars laying around.

Some at Parkview Estates in Peoria are rearranging their finances because they were forced to spend that money in order to get their car back.

November 17th started early for Zachecia Carter.

"I woke up around 8 a.m. to take my daughter to church and my car was gone. It threw me off and I'm like why would my car be gone? I noticed that in the parking lot no one else's vehicles were there," said Carter.

Carter said a neighbor was the one who told her that her car had been towed by Joe's Towing.

She added that never should have happened because of a packet she signed.

Carter said, "To my understanding, if I needed a parking sticker when I turned it in I was suppose to get it and I did not, so that caused my car to get towed."

It cost her $245 to get her car back; her babysitter had to pay the same when her car was towed.

The stickers are only for those who live at Parkview Estates, so where are guests suppose to park?

Deborah McKinley said she has an issue with the answer.

"Where I parked showed no signs saying permit parking only or visitors parking," said McKinley.

She said she was visiting her mom the night of December 4th.

She was there for about 45 minutes, and when she went outside she couldn't leave.

She too had to get her car from Joe's Towing and was out $245.

McKinley said, "That's my Christmas. We don't make a lot of money and it's just a bad time of the year."

McKinley said management gave her a map showing where guests can park and it's 2 designated areas.

While there are handicap signs, there are no signs throughout the complex separating guest parking from permit parking.

"I would like to see that anybody that got their car towed be reimbursed. I would like to see specific parking signs where you're suppose to park at," said McKinley.

Eddie Mann was one of the lucky ones because a tow truck driver didn't take away his grandsons vehicle.

"He said, 'Well we have a contract to pull them if they don't have a sticker. He said well I'll leave you alone, but somebody else might get you,'" said Mann.

Other residents like Carter continue to be on edge.

"This is something that's not only affecting me. My child occasionally will get int he window and say, 'I'm just checking to see if our cars outside Mom.' That's ridiculous."

McKinley added, "I shouldn't have to have this bitty space and walk 1,2,3 miles to come see my mom. That's not fair to no one."

Wallick Communities owns Parkview Estates.

A spokesperson said in part, "Residents have always been required to have a sticker and were notified of that need on October 28th...Tenants were given until November 15th to come into the office, register their car, and get a sticker."

There's still one big question: Why are there no signs stating guest parking?

That spokesperson said in part, "The ground is too hard and cold right now."

There is a sign as you turn into the complex stating you could be towed, but people told Jessica Cook they didn't see it.

Heart of Illinois ABC reached out to Prairie State Legal to ask if this policy was legal.

A spokesperson said in part "The Peoria office is representing a number of tenants from Parkview Estates who had their vehicle towed. We are unable to comment further due to pending litigation."

Carter has also filed a formal complaint to the Better Business Bureau.

Jessica Cook

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