Knowledgebase-An Ordinance Regulating Junked Vehicles on Public and Private Property


Information Product

Title:An Ordinance Regulating Junked Vehicles on Public and Private Property
Summary:MTAS was asked to prepare a junked vehicle ordinance for the Town of Estill Springs.
Original Author:Darden, Ron
Co-Author:
Product Create Date:06/04/2012
Last Reviewed on::06/11/2017
Subject:Abandoned property--Vehicles; Motor vehicles; Municipal ordinances; Code enforcement
Type:Ordinance
Original Document: Junked vehicle ordinance.pdf

Reference Documents:

Text of Document: ORDINANCE NO. _________


AN ORDINANCE REGULATING JUNKED VEHICLES ON PUBLIC AND PRIVATE PROPERTY.

Be It Ordained by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen of the Town of Estill Springs, Tennessee:

Section 1. Definitions. For the purpose of the interpretation and application of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the indicated meanings:

(1) “Person” shall mean any natural person, or any firm, partnership, association, corporation or other organization of any kind and description.

(2) “Private property” shall include all property that is not public property, regardless of how the property is zoned or used.

(3) “Traveled portion of any public street or highway” shall mean the width of the street from curb to curb, or where there are no curbs, the entire width of the paved portion of the street, or where the street is unpaved, the entire width of the street in which vehicles ordinarily use for travel.

(4) (a) “Vehicle” shall mean any machine propelled by power other than human power, designed to travel along the ground by the use of wheels, treads, self-laying tracks, runners, slides or skids, including but not limited to automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, motor scooters, go-carts, campers, tractors, trailers, tractor-trailers, buggies, wagons, and earth-moving equipment, and any part of the same.
    (b) “Junk vehicle” shall mean a vehicle of any age that is damaged or defective in any one or combination of any of the following ways that either makes the vehicle immediately inoperable, or would prohibit the vehicle from being operated in a reasonably safe manner upon the public streets and highways under its own power if self-propelled, or while being towed or pushed, if not self-propelled:
      (1) Flat tires, missing tires, missing wheels, or missing or partially or totally disassembled tires and wheels;

      (2) Missing or partially or totally disassembled essential part or parts of the vehicle’s drive train, including, but not limited to, engine, transmission, transaxle, drive shaft, differential, or axle.

      (3) Extensive exterior body damage or missing or partially or totally disassembled essential body parts, including, but not limited to, fenders, doors, engine hood, bumper or bumpers, windshield, or windows.

      (4) Missing or partially or totally disassembled essential interior parts, including, but not limited to, driver’s seat, steering wheel, instrument panel, clutch, brake, gear shift lever.

      (5) Missing or partially or totally disassembled parts essential to the starting or running of the vehicle under its own power, including, but not limited to, starter, generator or alternator, battery, distributor, gas tank, carburetor or fuel injection system, spark plugs, or radiator.

      (6) Interior is a container for metal, glass, paper, rags or other cloth, wood, auto parts, machinery, waste or discarded materials in such quantity, quality and arrangement that a driver cannot be properly seated in the vehicle;

      (7) Lying on the ground (upside down, on its side, or at other extreme angle), sitting on block or suspended in the air by any other method.

      (8) General environment in which the vehicle sits, including, but not limited to, vegetation that has grown up around, in or through the vehicle, the collection of pools of water in the vehicle, and the accumulation of other garbage or debris around the vehicle.

Section 2. Violations a civil offense. It shall be unlawful and a civil offense for any person:
      (1) To park and or in any other manner place and leave unattended on the traveled portion of any public street or highway a junk vehicle for any period of time, even if the owner or operator of the vehicle did not intend to permanently desert or forsake the vehicle.

      (2) To park or in any other manner place and leave unattended on the untraveled portion of any street or highway, or upon any other public property, a junk vehicle for more than forty-eight (48) continuous hours, even if the owner or operator of the vehicle did not intend to permanently desert or forsake the vehicle.

      (3) To park, store, keep, maintain on private property a junk vehicle for more than sixty (60) days.

Section 3. Exceptions.

(a) It shall be permissible for a person to park, store, keep and maintain a junked vehicle on private property under the following conditions:
      (1) The junk vehicle is completely enclosed within a building where neither the vehicle nor any part of it is visible from the street or from any other abutting property. However, this exception shall not exempt the owner or person in possession of the property from any zoning, building, housing, property maintenance, and other regulations governing the building in which such vehicle is enclosed.

      (2) The junk vehicle is parked or stored on property lawfully zoned for business engaged in wrecking, junking or repairing vehicles. However, this exception shall not exempt the owner or operator of any such business from any other zoning, building, property maintenance and other regulations governing business engaged in wrecking, junking or repairing vehicles.

(b) No person shall park, store, keep and maintain on private property a junk vehicle for any period of time if it poses an immediate threat to the health and safety of citizens of the city.

Section 4. Enforcement. Pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated, section 7-63-101, the building inspector is authorized to issue ordinance summons for violations of this ordinance on private property. The building inspector shall upon the complaint of any citizen, or acting on his own information, investigate complaints of junked vehicles on private property. If after such investigation the building inspector finds a junked vehicle on private property, he shall issue an ordinance summons. The ordinance summons shall be served upon the owner or owners of the property, or upon the person or persons apparently in lawful possession of the property, and shall give notice to the same to appear and answer the charges against him or them. If the offender refuses to sign the agreement to appear, the building inspector may (1) request the city judge to issue a summons, or (2) request a police officer to witness the violation. The police officer who witnesses the violation may issue the offender a citation in lieu of arrest as authorized by Tennessee Code Annotated, section 7-63-101 et seq., or if the offender refuses to sign the citation, may arrest the offender for failure to sign the citation in lieu of arrest.

Section 5. Penalty for violations. Any person violating this ordinance shall be subject to a civil penalty of $50 for each separate violation of this ordinance. Each day the violation of this ordinance continues shall be considered a separate violation.

Section 6. Severability. Each section, subsection, paragraph, sentence and clause of this ordinance is declared to be separable and severable. The invalidity of any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence or clause shall not affect the validity of any other provision of the ordinance.

Section 7. Effective date . This ordinance shall become effective upon it passage on final reading and publication in a newspaper of general circulation, the public welfare requiring it.



Passed 1st Reading___________________________
Passed 2nd Reading___________________________

_____________________________________ __________________________________
Mayor Attest: City Recorder


Please remember that this ordinance was drafted based upon the drafting requirements and authority granted to a particular city or town in its charter and in general law. These drafting requirements and the authority exercised in this ordinance might not apply to your city or town.

Please confer with your city attorney or an MTAS legal consultant, or both, before using this ordinance as a model.