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Ordinance Guide - Junked Vehicles

Junked Vehicles


ARTICLE XIII. JUNKED VEHICLE ABATEMENT PROCEDURES

Sec. 10-531. Definitions.
As used in this article the words and terms defined in this section shall have the meanings ascribed, unless the context clearly indicates another meaning:
Antique vehicle means a passenger car or truck that is at least 252525252525 years old.
Junked vehicle means a vehicle as defined in item (9) of section 621.001 of the Texas Transportation Code, that is self-propelled and:
(1) Does not have lawfully attached to it:
a. an unexpired license plate; or
b. a valid motor vehicle inspection certificate; and
(2) Is:
a. wrecked, dismantled or partially dismantled, or discarded; or
b. inoperable and has remained inoperable for more than:
(i) 72 consecutive hours, if the vehicle is on public property; or
(ii) 30consecutive days, if the vehicle is on private property;
provided that the term "junked vehicle" shall not be construed to include a vehicle or vehicle part:
(1) That is completely enclosed within a building in a lawful manner and is not visible from the street or other public or private property,,,,,, or
(2) That is stored or parked in a lawful manner on private property in connection with the business of a licensed vehicle dealer or junkyard, or that is an antique or special interest vehicle stored by a motor vehicle collector on the collector's property, if the vehicle or part and the outdoor storage area, if any, are:
a. maintained in an orderly manner;
b. not a health hazard; and
c. screened from ordinary public view by appropriate means, including a fence, rapidly growing trees, or shrubbery.
Motor vehicle collector means a person who:
(1) Owns one or more antique or special interest vehicles; and
(2) Acquires, collects, or disposes of an antique or special interest vehicle for personal use to restore and preserve an antique or special interest vehicle for historic interest.
Special interest vehicle means a motor vehicle of any age that has not been changed from original manufacturer's specifications and, because of its historic interest, is being preserved by a hobbyist.
(Ord. No. 91-1303, § 2, 9-11-91; Ord. No. 93-1570, § 2(e), 12-8-93; Ord. No. 98-1251, § 1, 12-22-98; Ord. No. 02-1057, § 1, 11-13-02)

Sec. 10-532. Purpose.
(a) A junked vehicle or a part of a junked vehicle that is located in a place where it is visible from a public place or right-of-way is subject to removal under this article.
(b) Other than subsection (b) of section 10-534 of this Code, the provisions of this article are not penal. However, a proceeding under this article shall not be construed to preclude prosecution under section 683.073 of the Texas Transportation Code, or vice versa. This article does not affect the authority of a peace officer under law to authorize the immediate removal, as an obstruction to traffic, of a vehicle left on public property.
(c) All procedures under this article must be administered by regularly salaried, fulltime employees of the city, provided that contractors may be utilized to perform the work involved in actually removing a junked vehicle and the junked vehicle may be disposed of at a privately operated disposal site.
(Ord. No. 91-1303, § 2, 9-11-91; Ord. No. 93-1570, § 2(e), 12-8-93; Ord. No. 98-1251, § 2, 12-22-98)

Sec. 10-533. Investigation; notice.
(a) Upon receipt of information that a vehicle or a part of a vehicle is in such a condition and location that it may be subject to removal under this article the neighborhood protection official shall investigate the facts. In making a determination how long a vehicle or a part of a vehicle has remained inoperable the neighborhood protection official conducting the investigation may rely upon a sworn statement of a person working or residing near the place where the vehicle is situated, who has personal knowledge of the facts, provided that the person is willing to allow the affidavit to be disclosed to the vehicle owners/lienholders and to appear at the public hearing...... If it appears that the vehicle or part of a vehicle is in fact subject to removal hereunder the neighborhood protection official shall cause notice of a public hearing to be given as provided in subsection (b).
(b) In each instance in which it is proposed to remove a vehicle or a part of a vehicle under this article, not less than ten days' notice of a public hearing shall be given to the persons specified in subsection (a) and in the manner specified in subsection (b) or (c), as applicable, of section 683.075 of the Texas Transportation Code. In addition, notice of said public hearing may be published in a newspaper of general circulation throughout the city.
(c) The public hearing upon the proposed removal of the vehicle or part of a vehicle shall be conducted by the chief of police or a person designated by the chief of police. If the hearing officer determines that the vehicle or part of a vehicle is subject to removal hereunder he shall cause an order to be issued directing its removal. The order shall include the information specified in section 683.076 of the Texas Transportation Code.
(d) Once a proceeding for the abatement and removal of a junked vehicle has commenced, the subsequent relocation of the junked vehicle to another location in the city will have no effect on the proceeding if the junked vehicle constitutes a public nuisance at the new location.
(Ord. No. 91-1303, § 2, 9-11-91; Ord. No. 93-514, § 26, 5-5-93; Ord. No. 93-1570, § 2(e), 12-8-93; Ord. No. 94-674, § 40, 7-6-94; Ord. No. 98-613, § 46, 8-5-98; Ord. No. 02-528, § 14h., 6-19-02; Ord. No. 02-1057, § 2, 11-13-02; Ord. No. 04-1075, § 6, 10-20-04; Ord. No. 06-1000, § 1, 10-3-06)

Sec. 10-534. Disposal.
(a) In the event the public hearing results in an order of disposal of the vehicle or part of a vehicle under this article, then the neighborhood protection official shall cause the junked vehicle to be removed to a disposal site.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to cause any junked vehicle removed under this article to be reconstructed or made operable after it has been removed.
(c) Each contract let for the removal and disposal of vehicles under this article shall require the contractor to account for and be responsible to the city for the destruction of each vehicle within a specified time and require that the vehicles be kept and disposed of in such a manner that they may not be reconstructed or made operable.
(d) The neighborhood protection official shall ensure that notice of the identification of each junked vehicle or part of a junked vehicle removed under this article is give to the Texas Department of Highways and Public Transportation not later than the fifth day following the removal of the vehicle as required under section 683.074 of the Texas Transportation Code.
(Ord. No. 91-1303, § 2, 9-11-91; Ord. No. 93-514, § 26, 5-5-93; Ord. No. 93-1570, § 2(e), 12-8-93; Ord. No. 94-674, § 40, 7-6-94; Ord. No. 98-613, § 46, 8-5-98; Ord. No. 06-1000, § 2, 10-3-06)
Sec. 10-535. Reserved.
Editor's note: Ord. No. 2006-1000, § 3, repealed § 10-535 in its entirety. Formerly, said section pertained to fees and derived from Ord. No. 03-780, § 1, 8-27-03.
Secs. 10-536--10-540. Reserved.

Commentary

This ordinance allows the city to remove a "junked vehicle," defined as a vehicle that: 1) is inoperative, and 2) does not have a valid license plate sticker or inspection sticker, is wrecked or taken apart, or remains inoperative for 303030303030 days on private property (72 hours on public property).

The city can remove junked vehicles from private property under this article only if they are visible from a public place or public right-of-way.

As a practical matter, a junked car on an apartment property can probably be removed much more quickly and easily by the property manager under the provisions of the state towing statute, which can be found in your TAA Redbook.