CHAPTER VIII. HEALTH AND WELFARECHAPTER VIII. HEALTH AND WELFARE\ARTICLE 3. JUNKED MOTOR VEHICLES ON PRIVATE PROPERTY

The governing body finds that junked, wrecked, dismantled, inoperative or abandoned vehicles affect the health, safety and general welfare of citizens of the city because they:

(a)   Serve as a breeding ground for flies, mosquitoes, rats and other insects and rodents;

(b)   Are a danger to persons, particularly children, because of broken glass, sharp metal protrusions, insecure mounting on blocks, jacks or other supports;

(c)   Are a ready source of fire and explosion;

(d)   Encourage pilfering and theft;

(e)   Constitute a blighting influence upon the area in which they are located;

(f)   Constitute a fire hazard because they frequently block access for fire equipment to adjacent buildings and structures.

(Ord. 505, Sec. 1; Code 1987)

As used in this article, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(a)   Inoperable means a condition of being junked, wrecked, wholly or partially dismantled, discarded, abandoned or unable to perform the f unction or purpose for which it was originally constructed;

(b)   Vehicle means, without limitation, any automobile, truck, tractor or motorcycle which as originally built contained an engine, regardless of whether it contains an engine at any other time.

(Ord. 505, Sec. l; Code 1987)

Any one of the following conditions shall raise the presumption that a vehicle is inoperable:

(a)   Absence of a current registration plate upon the vehicle;

(b)   Placement of the vehicle or parts thereof upon jacks, blocks, or other supports;

(c)   Absence of one or more parts of the vehicle necessary for the lawful operation of the vehicle upon street or highway.

(Ord. 505, Sec. l; Code 1987)

Except as provided in sections 8-305:306, it shall be unlawful for any person or agent, either as owner, lessee, tenant or occupant of any land within the city to park, store or deposit, or permit to be parked, stored, or deposited thereon, an inoperable vehicle unless the vehicle is enclosed in a garage or other building.

(Ord. 505, Sec. l; Code 1987)

The provisions of section 8-304 shall not apply to the parking or storage of a vehicle inoperable for a period of 30 consecutive days or less.

(Ord. 505, Sec. 1; Code 1987)

The provisions of section 8-304 shall not apply to any person conducting a business enterprise in compliance with existing zoning regulations or who places such vehicles behind screening of sufficient size, strength and density to screen such vehicles from the view of the public and to prohibit ready access to stored vehicles by children. However, nothing in this section shall be construed as to authorize the maintenance of a public nuisance.

(Ord. 505, Sec. 1; Code 1987)

Whenever an informal complaint is made to the city clerk or notice is given to such officer of the existence of an apparent violation of this article, he or she shall within seven days thereafter cause to be served upon the person in possession or the owner of the real property upon which such inoperable vehicle is located a written notice. Such notice shall inform such person of the violation and direct that he or she take action within seven days after receipt of such notice to com ply with the provisions of this article or prosecution will be commenced for violation thereof.

In the event such person fails to comply with the provisions of this article within such time the city clerk shall notify the city attorney who shall commence prosecution under this article.

(Ord. 505, Sec. 1; Code 1987)

(a)   Whenever any person shall abandon and leave a motor vehicle on a highway or other property open to use by the public for a period of time in excess of 48 hours, the city may remove the motor vehicle from such highway or other proper ty and place or store the same in a safe and convenient place. If such motor vehicle has displayed thereon a registration plate issued by the Division of Vehicles and has been registered with said division, the city or its designated agent shall mail a notice by certified mail to the registered owner thereof, addressed to the address as shown on the certificate of registration, and to the lienholder, if any, of record in the county in which the title shows the owner resides, if registered in this state, stating that if the owner or lienholder does not claim such motor vehicle and pay the removal and storage charges incurred by the city on the same within 15 days from the date of the mailing of the notice, that the same will be sold at public auction to the highest bidder for cash.

(b)   The city shall use reasonable diligence in determining the title owner, or if from a non-title state, the registered owner of the vehicle, and shall inquire by mail of the office of Register of Deeds of the county in which the title shows the owner resides, if registered in the state, as to whether there any lienholders of record.

(Code 1987)

(a)   After 15 days from date of mailing notice, the city or its designated agent shall publish a notice for two consecutive weeks in the official city newspaper where such motor vehicle was abandoned and left. The notice shall describe the motor vehicle by name of maker, model, serial number and owner, if known, and state that the same has been impounded by the city and will be sold at public auction to the highest bidder for cash, if the owner thereof does not claim the same within 10 days from the date of the second publication of the notice and pay the removal and storage charges, and the publication costs incurred by the city.

(b)   If such motor vehicle does not display a registration plate issued by the Division of Vehicles and is not registered with said division, the city or its designated agent, after 30 days from the date of impoundment, may publish a notice in the official city newspaper, which notice shall describe the motor vehicle by name of maker, model, color and serial number and shall state the same has been impounded by the city and will be sold at public auction to the highest bidder for cash, if the owner thereof does not claim the same within 10 days from the date of the second publication of the notice and pay the removal and storage charges incurred by the city.

(Code 1987)

(a)   Whenever the city or its designated agency has complied with the foregoing provisions of this article with respect to any such abandoned motor vehicle and the owner thereof does not claim the same within the time stated in the notice and pay the removal and storage charges and publication costs incurred by the city on such motor vehicle, the city or its designated agent may sell the motor vehicle at public auction to the highest bidder for cash.

(b)   After any sale pursuant to this section, the city or its designated agent may file proof thereof with the Division of Vehicles. Thereupon, said division shall issue a certificate of title to the purchaser of such motor vehicle. All moneys derived from the sale of motor vehicles pursuant to this article, after payment of the expenses of the impoundment and sale, shall be paid into the fund of the city which is used by it for the construction or maintenance of highways.

(Code 1987)

(a)   Any person who shall abandon and leave any vehicle on any real property, other than public proper ty or property open to use by the public, within the city, which is not owned or leased by such person or by the owner or lessee of such vehicle, shall be guilty of criminal trespass. Upon request of the owner or occupant of such real property the city or its designated agent may remove and dispose of such vehicle in the manner provided in this article except that the provisions that a motor vehicle be abandoned for a period of time in excess of 48 hours prior to its removal shall not be applicable to abandoned vehicles which are subject to the provisions of this section.

(b)   Any person removing such vehicle from the real property at the request of the city shall have a possessory lien on such vehicle for the costs incurred in removing, towing and storing such vehicle.

(Code 1987)

The chief of police or his or her duly authorized agent is hereby designated as the enforcing officer of the city and charged with the administration of the provisions of this article.

(Code 1987)