Valley council approves junk vehicle ordinance

Published 7:15 am Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

VALLEY — The Valley City Council took action Monday to address a subject that has been a sore spot for many city residents for a long time.

The city held a second reading and approved a junk vehicle ordinance, replacing a similar one that was struck down by a judge.

“Since I’ve been mayor, we have had more complaints on this than anything else,” Mayor Leonard Riley said, noting the unsightliness of junk vehicles on private property in plain sight of city roadways. “We can now go to work on this problem.”

Email newsletter signup

The five-page ordinance has nine sections. Section one states that the purpose of the ordinance is to promote public safety, protect property values and the general appearance of the city’s neighborhoods,

Section two sets forth definitions, and section three outlines what’s prohibited by the ordinance and the means by which to cite violations. Section four allows the city to remove junk vehicles that are not in compliance.

Section five makes it known that the disposal of vehicles will be between the owner and the impound lot owner and won’t involve the city. Section six notes that the new ordinance is in addition to any authority the city already has. Section seven states the penalties.

Anyone who is required to have a junk vehicle removed and does not do so within a required time period shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to punishment spelled out in the city code. Each day the violation continues is a separate offense. Violations may be cited as non-traffic violations under applicable procedures now in place.

Section eight sets some exemptions. These include vehicles with current tags that are temporarily incapable of being driven but can be repaired. However, the ordinance allows a 30-day limit.

There’s an exemption for vehicles on the premise of a business engaged in wrecking or junking vehicles or engaged in the storage or sale of damaged or theft-recovered vehicles for insurers, provided that the business has a City of Valley business license.

There are exemptions for vehicles that are stored in enclosed buildings that are completely shielded from view from a nearby street. This does not include covering the vehicle with a tarp.

There are exemptions for those who are collectors of antique vehicles and are in the process of restoring them. The restoration must take place in a work area that’s not visible to the public. The city’s code enforcement officer may allow a reasonable amount of time to have the vehicle removed from plain view for repairs.

Section nine states that the ordinance will become effective 90 days from the date of its adoption (Feb. 8, 2021).