Mechanic challenges Pasadena, Texas' mandatory parking minimum in state court
Azael Sepulveda, also known as Oz, loves everything about cars. He has [...]
Azael Sepulveda, also known as Oz, loves everything about cars. He has a popular YouTube channel where more than 22 million viewers have watched him explain how to perform car ...repairs.
He also has successfully run his own repair shop, Oz Mechanics, for 9 years with stellar reviews. Recently, Azael decided he wanted to expand his business by moving out of his leased space and buying his own shop. Azael’s dreams seemed to be coming true when he bought a storefront in his hometown of Pasadena, Texas, in the summer of 2021. But instead of welcoming his investment in his community, the city of Pasadena forbade Azael from opening. The reason? The City decided that he had to provide 28 parking spaces—a nearly sixfold increase from the five existing spaces at the storefront—just to open his business. Azael would never need this many spots for his shop, as he is a one-man operation that takes cars by appointment only. And installing the new spots would cost him at least $40,000—almost half the price of the property and more than he can possibly afford.
As a result of the City’s unreasonable demands, Azael cannot open his new shop. This is despite the fact that the previous business that operated at the storefront—an auto machine shop similar to Azael’s — used the existing five spaces with no problems or complaints. Making matters worse, Azael tried to follow the procedure the City itself recommended to apply for an exception from the parking requirements. But when he applied, the City refused to even consider his application.
Pasadena’s requirements are unconstitutional. The Texas Constitution prohibits governments from enforcing unreasonable or overly oppressive laws that burden a person’s economic or property rights. Yet Pasadena’s parking minimums for auto repair shops have no reasonable justification and are so oppressive that they prevent entrepreneurs like Azael from opening businesses on their own property.
Azael has teamed up with the Institute for Justice to fight back against the City’s crippling and unreasonable demands. He has filed a lawsuit asking Texas state courts to strike down Pasadena’s auto-shop parking requirements and allow him to exercise his right to earn an honest living on his own property.[+] Show More