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San Jose Council Wants Some Space

Posted on: 09/02/2011

Bail Bonds Agencies in San Jose are getting the could shoulder from San Jose’s city council. Complaints from residents in San Jose neighborhoods near jails such as Vendome, Hyde Park and Rosemary Gardens, sparked a proposal to place regulations on where bail bonds agencies can set up shop. Residents worry that the overcrowding of bail agencies in a small area not only makes the neighborhood look bad, but might take away space from other community businesses like restaurants, salons and other establishments.

Councilman Sam Liccardo, representing the district around the San Jose main jail, along with other three other council members spearheaded the proposed limits. The recommendation was to restrict bail agencies from being located within 300 feet of each other, schools, parks or homes. A ban on ground-floor bail offices in the area was also proposed.

Residents have complained that the proliferation of bail agencies in the area has caused excess noise and late-night traffic, but most important seems to be the perception of the neighborhood. Bail bondemen are quick to point out that limiting bail agencies near the jail, the most convenient location for those in need of help, can cause an increase in prices and create a big headache for those searching for bail.

The new measures were approved in a 7-4 vote, but not without some concessions, most notably that the distance was lowered from 300 feet to 200 feet. Residents had hoped the 300-foot distance requirement would limit the number of agencies per block to two. The 200 foot distance translates to roughly three or four agencies per block based on the average block size. Bail agencies will not be restricted from using ground floor spaces, however, like other businesses, they will only be allowed to operate 24 hours with proper permitting.

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