Texas town gives up in fight over parking spots at mechanic's shop

Officials in a Texas town have approved a private settlement with the owner of an auto repair shop that allows him to continue operating in his existing facility without creating the dozens of parking spaces they had been demanding he provide for his one-man operation.

The Institute for Justice said the approval came from officials in Pasadena, and settled the dispute with car mechanic Azael Sepulveda.

He had been represented in the fight by the IJ after the city demanded he provide 28 parking spaces – more than what his property physically would hold – for his shop.

The IJ earlier won a temporary injunction allowing him to open.

The specific terms of the settlement are confidential.

“I’m incredibly happy with this settlement and I’m really looking forward to opening my new shop,” Azael said. “I’ve been working hard my whole life to get to a point where I can own my own shop. This is a dream come true.”

It was in December 2021 that IJ and Azael sued over Pasadena’s mandatory parking requirements.

“Even if 28 parking spots could have fit on the property, Azael did not need that many spots and could not afford to comply with the ordinance,” the legal team explained in a report.

“We’re glad we could come to an agreement with the city that will allow Azael to open his shop and provide for his family,” said IJ Attorney Tori Clark. “Every American, including Azael, has the right to start a business without being shut down by impossible demands.”

He had run his shop out of a rented building on another street until recently. During that time he collected dozens of 5-star reviews on Google and launched a popular YouTube channel where he explains tips for fixing various car troubles.

Then last year he made the move to his own shop, on the town’s Shaver Street, where there already were five parking slots.

But the city demanded 23 more.

“Azael runs a one-man shop and takes cars by appointment only. He simply does not need that many parking spaces—not to mention that they wouldn’t fit and he couldn’t afford to build them,” the IJ reported.

“Cities throughout the country have come to the realization that mandatory parking minimums like this one are harmful to small businesses and provide no legitimate benefit for the cities themselves,” said IJ Attorney Diana Simpson. “Not only are unreasonable parking minimums bad policy, they’re also unconstitutional.”

WND reported when the temporary injunction was obtained that his Oz Mechanics would be occupying previously had been an auto machine shop that was allowed to operate with five parking slots.

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