City 'trying to do something' the public has requested
By BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
Mayor Steve Brimhall warned city council members that community “feedback” will be coming.
Brimhall was referring to an ordinance amending the “abandoned and junk vehicles” section of city code. The council passed the first reading on the ordinance amendment during their regular meeting Thursday night. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the ordinance could be effective following the third reading at the council’s Jan. 23 meeting.
“You need to read this,” Brimhall instructed the council regarding the ordinance amendment. “We are trying to do something people here have wanted to have done for a long time. There will be some issues on this.”
There were no comments from the council, largely because they just received the ordinance amendment Thursday night.
The ordinance says “that the parking, dismantling or storage of inoperable vehicles or vehicle parts upon public or private property within the corporate limits of the city is a threat to the public health, welfare and safety and constitutes a nuisance.”
Dismantle is defined as “to take apart, disassemble, tear down.”
The following characteristics define “inoperable.”
• Any vehicle that does not display current state registration.
• Any vehicle with a broken or missing windshield, missing window, headlight or any other missing glass.
• Any vehicle with a broken, loose or missing fender, door, bumper, hood, roof, steering wheel, trunk lid, muffler or tailpipe.
• Any vehicle that is the habitat of rats, mice, snakes or any other vermin or insects.
• Any vehicle that lacks an engine, one or more wheels or other parts that render the vehicle inoperable or a trailer missing a wheel.
• Any vehicle that does not have all tires inflated.
• Any vehicle that is not capable of moving in both forward and reverse gears.
The definition of parking in the ordinance is “placement on public or private property of any vehicle or vehicle part for any period of time not exceeding 72 hours.
Permit is defined as “allowing or failing to prevent” while the given definition of a person is “any firm, person, partnership or corporation.”
If a vehicle or vehicle part is placed on public or private property exceeding 72 hours, the vehicle or vehicle part violates the ordinance.
Vehicle is defined as “any implement of conveyance designed or used for the transportation of people or materials on land, water, or air, including, but not limited to, automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, snowmobiles, boats, airplanes, helicopters, tractors, trailers, campers, motor homes, wagons, etc.”
The owner of the vehicle or vehicle part is defined, by ordinance, as the violator of the ordinance. No person can be charged with more than one violation of the ordinance for any one vehicle.
Enforcement of the ordinance will be by the police, or any city officer, official or employee having authority or responsibility for enforcement of any provisions of the code.
Violators will be issued a citation (charged as a municipal infraction or a misdemeanor), giving the owner of the vehicle or vehicle part 10 days to remove or repair the vehicle or vehicle part. If the vehicle or vehicle part is not removed, the city will remove the part or tow the vehicle with the owner assessed the storage costs.
Impounded inoperable vehicles or vehicle parts will be sold by the city at auction.
The ordinance does not apply to inoperable vehicles or vehicle parts with a garage or fully enclosed building, within a fully enclosed vehicle or on the premises of a business operating in a properly zoned area, when necessary to the operation of the business, as authorized under the zoning ordinance of the city.
In Monday’s News, the general nuisance ordinance will be examined.