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Friday, May 6, 2016

Town's abandoned vehicle ordinance questioned

Friday, May 21, 2010

Andy Kirchner
The subject of vehicles on private property came up at the recent Staunton Town Council meeting.

At the meeting, a concerned citizen voiced displeasure over having a tag placed on a vehicle.

The town has an ordinance in place regarding abandoned vehicles. The ordinance gives authority to the Town Marshal to tag vehicles suspected of being abandoned.

According to the ordinance, the council finds that abandoned vehicles are a "public nuisance and a safety hazard."

The ordinance states an abandoned vehicle as being one of the following:

* A vehicle located on public property illegally,

* A vehicle left on public property without being moved for three days,

* A vehicle located on public property in such a manner as to constitute a hazard or obstruction to the movement of pedestrian or vehicle traffic on a public right-of-way,

* A vehicle from which the engine, transmission or differential has been removed or that is otherwise partially dismantled or inoperable and left on public property,

* A vehicle that has remained on private property without the consent of the owner or person in control of that property for more than 48 hours,

* A vehicle that has been removed by a towing service or the town upon request of an officer enforcing a statute or ordinance other than (what is written). If the impounded vehicle is not claimed or redeemed by the owner's agent within 20 days of the vehicle's removal, and

* A vehicle that is at least three model years old, mechanically inoperable and is left on private property continuously in a location visible from public property for more than 20 days.

At the meeting, Town Marshal Chuck Jones informed the council when he inspects what he believes to be an "abandoned vehicle," he checks for plate and registration dates, whether the vehicle has plates or registration or if the vehicle is covered.

The resident at the meeting stated the tagged vehicle was in her driveway with no plate. However, she said she had purchased the vehicle as a graduation gift for her daughter and it was being worked on.

She said she didn't believe the vehicle should be considered "abandoned" since it was in her driveway.

Jones disputed the claim, stating the vehicle had been there for a "long time."

However, both Jones and the council said they were willing to work with families in these situations.

"I don't want to strong arm anyone," Council President Andy Kirchner said.

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Staunton is a nice little community. I am glad to see measures being taken to keep the clean up effort going. Keep up the good work.

-- Posted by jddriver4960 on Sat, May 22, 2010, at 12:14 PM

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