City receives appeal of vehicle ordinance
By BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
City officials say Don Gartin of Mt. Pleasant has abandoned or junk vehicles on public property.
City council members learned during last night’s meeting that Gartin has appealed the city’s order that the vehicles be removed. Gartin filed his appeal Sept. 23. What that means is the council will host a hearing for Gartin’s appeal.
City Administrator Brent Schleisman told the council that the hearing date has not been set because he has not been able to consult with the city attorney.
In his appeal, Gartin said the city’s order is not specific in that it does not specify an address per se and refers to vehicles adjacent to a machine shed in an alley on North Lincoln Street. Gartin contends that he does not own a machine shed in any alley, but does own a metal garage building located on private property adjacent to an alley.
He also said the notice to abate does not identify the city ordinance referenced by either text or number.
The ordinance refers to “all vehicles on the property.” Gartin admits he has three vehicles lawfully parked on private property adjacent to a public alley.
“All three of these vehicles are operable, have engines and all component parts…All tires are inflated and each of the vehicles is capable of moving under its own power in both forward and reverse gear, and can make a left and right turn of a minimum of 90 degrees, subject to the normal limits of the turning radius of the respective vehicle,” Gartin said in his notice of appeal.
The city ordinance requires that vehicles must be operable, tires inflated, able to move in both forward and reverse gear and make a left or right turn to not be considered an inoperable or junk vehicle.
Gartin said he took exception to his vehicles being defined as inoperable. “These vehicles are not inoperable. The intrusive demand to display current state registration for vehicles not being operated on the public roads on penalty of sanctions is outside the authority of local government. There is no legitimate public interest in the instant demands as set out in said notice,” Gartin further stated in his appeal.
In other business, Jim Warner of Warner Engineering Associates Inc. of Mt. Pleasant, the engineering firm for most city projects, told the council that the Grand Avenue reconstruction project is nearly finished and city square work is “moving right along.”
He said all the concrete has been poured on Grand Avenue and expects the street to be open Oct. 7. “Some patchwork on the frontage road still needs to be completed,” he said.
Moving to the square area, Warner noted the first paving of city streets (Main and Monroe) was Wednesday “and we will pave more tomorrow and more next week.”
Crews could be placing the sidewalks in the park by mid October, he said. Prior to the sidewalks, light poles have to be installed.
Finally, the council passed the third reading and adopted an ordinance rezoning land at 1600 West Washington Street (Fratco) from M-1 (limited industrial) and R-1 single family to M-2 (limited industrial district). The rezoning will enable Fratco to expand its local operation.
Council members meet again in regular session Wednesday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m. in City Hall.