Parking war unfolds in Fort Worth, threatens hot spots



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Posted on January 19, 2012 at 11:23 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 20 at 11:05 AM

FORT WORTH -- A parking war is underway in Fort Worth. Last Friday, tow trucks lined up to remove cars parked in the Montgomery Plaza parking lot along West 7th street in Fort Worth.

Some witnesses claimed as many as 80 cars were towed.

A Montgomery Plaza spokesman said more than 20 cars were towed away for violating their parking policy, be he doubted there were 80. Either way, the incident has left a bad taste in the mouths of many business owners in the area.

 “It was absolutely awful,” said Eric Tschetter.   

He owns Pour House, a restaurant and bar near the Montgomery Plaza. He and others in the area said parking has become a real issue. They fear that if towing continues, it could slow the growth that’s been happening over the past couple of years.

“I can say it’s the city’s fault,” Tschetter said. “They can say it’s our problem, but we need to come together and come up with a solution, instead of pointing fingers. I can’t just go out and build a parking garage.”

Directly across the street from Pour House, you’ll find 7th Haven. The owner there is just as vocal about the situation he said has been allowed to fester.

The area is zoned as MU2 or Mixed-Use, there is no requirement for a business to have set parking.

Jimmy Moore, owner of 7th Haven, said that has helped create a parking shortage in the area.

“I don’t know what the answer is, but the city needs to step in and help us out,” he said.

He has several signs warning patrons their cars could get towed if they park at Montgomery Plaza.
“I don’t have a problem with them protecting their lot,” Moore said. “The problem is the way they went about it.”

Moore took several pictures one Friday night as tow trucks removed dozens of the cars from the lot, many of them his customers.

“Once words gets out that anybody is towing on 7th street, everybody stops coming to 7th street,” Moore commented.

A spokesperson with the city said there is not much they can do because of the way the area is zoned. He added that the private businesses will have to come up with the best solution.