Council makes second stab at junk vehicle ordinance
By BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
If at first you don’t succeed, you try again.
Mt. Pleasant’s City Council is putting that advice to use, passing the first reading Wednesday night of a proposed abandoned and junk vehicle ordinance.
This is the second attempt at implementing an ordinance that will help rid the city of junked vehicles and vehicle parts.
An ordinance with similar intent was defeated on its second reading during the Jan. 9 council meeting. The council thumbed down the first ordinance because wording was too vague in some articles and too strict in others.
“Something old, something new” best describes the second stab at the ordinance, which was first presented last night.
Violations of the proposed ordinance may be charged as a municipal infraction or a misdemeanor.
Abandoned and junk vehicles, the ordinance states, includes “the parking, dismantling or storage of inoperable vehicles or vehicle parts upon public or private property within the corporate limits of the city.” The ordinance says the aforementioned “is a threat to the public health, welfare and safety and constitutes a nuisance.”
Dismantle is defined as taking apart, disassembling, tearing down. Inoperable vehicles are defined as any vehicle that has any one of the following characteristics:
• Any vehicle that does not display current state registration;
• Any vehicle that lacks an engine, one or more wheels, or others parts that render the vehicle unable to move under its own power in both a forward and reverse gear, and make a left and right turn at a minimum of 90 degrees;
• Any vehicle that does not have all tires inflated.
Parking, the ordinance says, means the placement on public or private property of any vehicle or vehicle part for any period of time not exceeding 72 hours.
Storage constitutes the placement on public or private property of any vehicle or vehicle part for any consecutive period of time exceeding 72 hours.
Vehicles are 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.
Any individual component of subassembly of a vehicle equates a vehicle part, according to the document.
A violation occurs when an inoperable vehicle or vehicle part is stored on public or private property for more than 72 hours. No person will be charged with more than one violation for any one vehicle. However, if the vehicle or vehicle part or being stored by a third party, both the owner of the property and owner of the vehicle or part are subject to citations.
Upon discovery of violations, the owner of the vehicle or vehicle part and the owner of the property are notified that the vehicle or vehicle part constitutes an ordinance. After receipt of the notice, the owner of the part of vehicle has 10 days to remove or repair the offending vehicle or part.
If the owner fails to do so, the vehicle and/or vehicle part may be towed away and towing and storage charged to the owner of the vehicle and/or vehicle part or property owner.
Inoperable vehicle or vehicle parts impounded by the city may be sold at a city auction.
The ordinance does not apply to inoperable vehicles or vehicle parts parked, stored or dismantled within a garage or other fully enclosed building; within a fully enclosed vehicle; or on the premises of a business operating in a properly zoned area.
City council members will host the second reading on the ordinance at their March 13 meeting. A copy of the proposed ordinance is available at City Hall.