Leon Valley

Ordinance 17-019

Discuss and Consider Possible Action on an Ordinance Amending the Leon Valley City Code of Ordinances, Chapter 12, "Traffic and Vehicles", to add Article 12.06 "Impound Lot"; and Authorizing the Establishment of a City Operated Impound Lot and the Procedures for the Operation of a City Operated Impound Lot




  1. Printout
  2. Impound Lot Exhibt A Fees (This file has not yet been converted to a viewable format)
  3. Impound Lot Proposal

Item Discussion



The purpose of this ordinance is to establish the Leon Valley Vehicle Impound Lot, and set the fees and fines for vehicles towed in to the Impound Lot. The lot will be located in front of the Public Works Office and behind the Conference Center.




Social Equity - Creating an impound lot in Leon Valley ensures our administration is exploring every option for raising revenue to keep the costs down for all citizens in our community.  Through the implementation of a fine and fee for vehicles towed, this ensures that offenders are paying for the service and storage and not the taxpayer. 


Economic Development - The raising of additional revenue through fines & fees assessed to offenders assists the City of Leon Valley in keeping taxes low and ensuring we are fiscally responsible to our community and taxpayer.


Environmental Stewardship - The impound lot will remove vehicles from the roadways that are no longer operable. This will help the environment and air quality for all residents of Leon Valley




             Estimated Revenue if We Seize


          the Prisoner/Abandoned Vehicles




Towed to LV Impound Lot (2016 Estimated)


Impound Lot Fee (389x$200)

$   77,800

Wrecker Fee (389x$95)

$   36,955

Daily Fee

$     4,000

Vehicles to be Auctioned  Estimated (67)

$   67,000


$ 185,755

     Estimated Operating Cost for Impound Lot


                    (Based on the Above)


Towing Costs

$   36,995

Part-time employee

$   20,000


$     1,200

Auction contractor

$        900


$        600


$        500

Administrative Cost

$        300


$   60,495




$ 125,300





This ordinance would support the City's Strategic Goal #2 Safety and Security as it would assist with removing vehicles that were abandoned or deemed traffic hazards, as well as stopping people who drive without insurance, putting our residents in danger.

Document Comments



Staff recommends the adoption of the attached ordinance to develop an impound lot for vehicles towed by the contractor at the direction of the Leon Valley Police Department.




WHEREAS, staff has determined that nuisance vehicles contribute to dangerous roadway conditions and pose a threat to the public’s health, safety, and welfare; and

WHEREAS, it is in the public’s best interest that such vehicles be impounded in a safe and secure area for retrieval by the owner; and

WHEREAS, staff recommends a procedure for impounding vehicles and a storage area for impounded vehicles that are found to be a public nuisance; and

WHEREAS, it is now the desire of the City Council of the City of Leon Valley to amend the Leon Valley City Code of Ordinances, Chapter 12, “Traffic and Vehicles”, to add Article 12.06 “Impound Lot”, authorize the establishment of a city operated impound lot and the procedures for the operation of a city impound lot; NOW THEREFORE,


SECTION 1. The Leon Valley City Code of Ordinances (LVCC), Chapter 12 Vehicles and Traffic is hereby amended to add Article 12.06 as follows:





The City of Leon Valley City Council hereby establishes a tow-in lot (“impound lot”) under the jurisdiction of the Police Department or its designee. Any vehicle in violation of this chapter or the laws of the State of Texas may be towed away to the city’s impound lot. Any motor vehicle towed away and impounded under this chapter or state law may be claimed or recovered after payment to the city of all towing and storage charges. Impound fees are as established in LVCC Appendix “A” Fee Schedule attached to this Ordinance No. 2017-** and hereby adopted by reference as if set forth fully herein. The city may remove or contract with one or more towing companies to remove an unauthorized vehicle that is illegally parked, junked, or inoperable as defined in Article 12.03 “Parking, Stopping and Standing” and Article 8.08 “Junked Vehicles” Sec. 8.08.001 “Definitions” of the City of Leon Valley Code of Ordinances. The city, its agents and employees, shall not be responsible for any damage done during towing and impoundment under this chapter or state law.



(A)     Vehicles constituting a public nuisance. The Police Chief or any authorized city peace officer employed or whose services are contracted by the city may take into custody and impound any vehicle constituting a public nuisance in violation of (B) 1-8 of this section.

(B)     Circumstances for impoundment. A motor vehicle may be impounded with or without citation, without giving notice to its owner, under the following circumstances:

(1)                            When the vehicle is impeding or is likely to impede the normal flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic; and/or

(2)                            When, in the police officer’s judgment, the vehicle poses an immediate danger to the public safety; and/or

(3)                            When a city police officer or other agent authorized by the city has probable cause to believe that the vehicle constitutes evidence of a crime, or contains evidence of a crime, if impoundment is reasonably necessary in such instance to obtain or preserve evidence; and/or

(4)                            When the person driving, operating or in physical control of the vehicle is taken into custody and the vehicle is impounded for safe keeping; and/or

(5)                            When the vehicle is parked in a handicap zone, and said vehicle does not properly display a handicapped parking permit; and/or

(6)                            When a vehicle is driven on a public roadway or street in violation of the Transportation Code, Title 7. Vehicles and Traffic, Subtitle D. Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility, Chapter 601. Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act; and/or

(7)                            When the vehicle is parked in the right-of-way of the public roadways of the city, when such right-of-way’s have signs posted in accordance with applicable state law stating that parking is prohibited in the right-of-way’s; and/or

(8)                            When the vehicle is obstructing firefighting, or firefighting equipment.


  §12.06.003     NOTICE OF IMPOUNDMENT.

Within five business days after a vehicle has been impounded, the Chief of Police or his designee shall send written notice to the owner of the impounded vehicle at his or her last known address as shown by the records of the Department of Public Safety. If the owner is unknown to the Chief of Police or an address cannot be found, the Chief of Police or his designee shall publish at least once in the city’s official newspaper notice of the impounding, the license number of vehicle, the motor vehicle number of the impounded vehicle, and the name and type of vehicle impounded.


  §12.06.004     SALE OF VEHICLE.

If after the expiration of sixty (60) days after mailing and/or publishing the notice set out in this chapter, the vehicle is not redeemed by the owner or the owner’s agent, the city shall proceed to sell the impounded vehicle at public auction after first giving at least twenty (20) days’ notice of such sale by publication in the city’s official newspaper of the time and place of the sale. The notice shall describe the vehicle to be sold, with reasonable certainty, by manufacturer’s trade name or make, motor vehicle number, license number, and any other specifically identifying information, and the notice shall state to whom, if anyone, the records of the Department of Public Safety show the car belongs, and if the name of the owner is unknown, that fact shall be stated in the notice. If the name of the owner is known, the city shall send that person a copy of the published notice immediately after publication of the notice to his/her last known address. The city shall credit any money it receives, after the sale, to the city’s General Fund. At any time within one year after the sale, if the former owner of the vehicle which has been sold appears, upon application to the Council and presentation of satisfactory proof that the person was the owner of the vehicle sold, that person shall be paid the proceeds of such sale, less the necessary expenses thereof, and less the towing, impounding and storage charges as the Council establishes in LVCC Appendix “A”, Fee Schedule and hereby adopted by reference as if set forth fully herein.



Once all towing and impoundment fees are paid in full, the city may release the vehicle to the registered owner. The towing company shall receive all fees incurred in the towing of such vehicle in accordance with the terms of the towing contract with the city.



The City Council shall establish the following written procedures for conducting auto auctions for vehicles in the city’s impound lot. The city shall conduct its auto auctions in accordance with the following procedures:

(A)                            Attendees, whether bidding or not, shall be required to register prior to the auction. To register, attendees must be eighteen (18) years old or older, and have a valid driver’s license or a state issued ID card. The auctioneer reserves the right to reject the bid of anyone who is not a registered bidder. The city reserves the right to refuse any bid considered unreasonable, in its sole discretion.

(B)                            No city employee or city official shall be allowed to submit a bid for any vehicle being auctioned. This prohibition also applies to any family member living in the same residence of the city employee or city official.

(C)                            It shall be necessary to execute a “certificate of resale” for all items purchased by dealers of resale with sales tax permit number. Failure to furnish this information at registration will require payment of sales tax on all purchases other than titled vehicles.

(D)                            All city auto pound auctions will start at 10:00 a.m. Registration will be from 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. only. Registered bidders may inspect the vehicles starting at 8:30 a.m.

(E)                            All items shall be sold “as is” with no warranties stated or implied. All sales are final. Neither the city nor the auctioneer is responsible for any loss or damage.

(F)                            All purchases must be paid in full no later than one hour after the conclusion of the auction.

(G)                            Anyone failing to make payment in full on auction day shall from thereon, be required to post a deposit prior to the bidding at a city auction, in the amount of any expected bids, or the bidder shall be banned by the city from city auctions for a minimum of six (6) months. Repeated offenses of failing to pay for vehicles that have been bid on at city auctions shall result in a permanent ban from all city auctions as determined by the Chief of Police or his designee, in his/her sole discretion.

(H)                            Payment is to be made by cash, cashier’s check, or personal/company check, and accompanied by a Bank Letter of Guarantee. Checks must be made payable to the City of Leon Valley, Texas. No wire transfers or bank drafts will be accepted. Bank Letter must be an original on bank letterhead and must read as follows:

“____________ (customer’s name) is a customer of this bank. This bank will guarantee unqualified payment to the City of Leon Valley on the account # ______ up to the amount of $ ______. This letter expires ____________ (date).”

Expiration date must be so stated at a two-week minimum (after each auction), but may, in city’s sole discretion, be increased to six months or a year.

(I)                            The city shall verify all bank letters. There will be a return check fee as set forth in Appendix “A”, Fee Schedule.

(J)                            There will be an administrative fee as set forth in Appendix “A”, Fee Schedule charged on each vehicle auctioned off to pay for the city’s costs in conducting said auction.

(K)                            Auction sales receipts will be mailed to the name and address on the buyer’s invoice within seven (7) to ten (10) business days after the auction for buyers who pay cash. Auction sales receipts will be held for fifteen (15) business days for buyers who pay by check.

(L)                            At the time of the auction, the buyer’s number and price of item sold is announced by the auctioneer. No changes in price or quantity can be made by anyone but the auctioneer or city staff in consultation with the auctioneer and at that time only. In any dispute over price between bidders, the auctioneer reserves the right to settle any and all disputes, and his/her decision shall be final. Announcements made by the auctioneer on the day of the auction shall prevail over any printed matter pertaining to this auction.

(M)                            In the event of tie-bids (two or more bidders claiming the high bid when an item is pronounced “SOLD” by the auctioneer), the bidding shall be reopened between those that are tied and will continue until a single high bidder has been established. Only those bidders recognized by the auctioneers or bid spotters will be involved in tie-bids.

(N)                            Despite the city’s efforts to avoid withdrawal of items from the list after they are advertised, it may be necessary; therefore, the city reserves the right to do so.

(O)                            All auction vehicles sold must be driven away or removed from the auto pound by a licensed wrecker within forty-eight (48) hours of the date of purchase unless the city agrees to extend the period for removal.

(P)                            All items not removed by deadline will be assessed a daily storage fee as set forth in LVCC Appendix “A” Fee Schedule. Any vehicle(s) not removed by the following auction will be resold at the following auction.

(Q)                            No keys shall be provided until payment is completed.

(R)                            Auctions will be held the third Saturday of every month, or as necessary and/or required.”


SECTION 2. All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict with this ordinance are hereby repealed to the extent of the conflict.  All provisions, sections and sub-sections set forth in Article 12 Traffic and Vehicles not revised or amended herein shall remain in effect.


SECTION 3. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, or phrase of this ordinance is for any reason held to be unconstitutional or illegal, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining sections of this ordinance. The City of Leon Valley City Council hereby declares that it would have passed this Ordinance, and each section, subsection, clause or phrase thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more sections, subsections, sentences, clauses or phrases be declared void.


SECTION 4. All Ordinances, or parts of ordinances in conflict herewith are hereby repealed to the extent of such conflict.


SECTION 5. The ordinance shall be effective immediately following its publication in the local newspaper as required by Section 52.011 of the Texas Local Government Code. Thereafter, the rules contained therein will apply within the City of Leon Valley.


SECTION 6. This ordinance is effective immediately upon passage by four (4) affirmative votes; otherwise it is effective on the tenth day after passage hereof.



Meeting History

May 16, 2017 7:00 PM  City Council Regular Meeting

Captain Ruben Saucedo also presented this item for the purpose of this ordinance is to establish the Leon Valley Vehicle Impound Lot, and set the fees and fines for vehicles towed in to the Impound Lot. The lot will be located in front of the Public Works Office and behind the Conference Center. Estimated annual revenue is $185,755 from seized prisoner/abandoned vehicles; estimated operating cost for Impound Lot is $50,495 with estimated first year revenue at $125,300.

This was followed by a brief discussion.

A motion was made by Council Member David Jordan and seconded by Council Member Monica Alcocer combining agenda Items 7.12, 7.13 and 7.14 a) Amending the Leon Valley City Code of Ordinances, Chapter 12, "Traffic and Vehicles", to add Article 12.06 "Impound Lot"; and Authorizing the Establishment of a City Operated Impound Lot and the Procedures for the Operation of a City Operated Impound Lot; b) Amending the Leon Valley Police Department FY17 General Fund Budget in the amount of $8,650 to Provide Funding to Operate the City of Leon Valley Impound Lot; and c) Amending the City of Leon Valley Appendix A Fee Schedule, Setting Fees for the Impounding of Vehicles in the Leon Valley Vehicle Impound Lot.

MOVER:David Jordan, Mayor Pro Tem
SECONDER:Monica Alcocer, Council Place 3
AYES:David Jordan, David Edwards, Belinda Ealy, Monica Alcocer, Benny Martinez