CLAYTON — City council adopted an ordinance Thursday to help regulate the parking of heavy and oversize vehicles, which would also include trailers.
“This ordinance will allow us to deal with these issues quicker,” said Police Chief Matt Hamlin. “Generally we have to give a 48 hour warning notice and then go back and check. This will help eliminate any parking of these vehicles on the streets unless they are loading or unloading, an emergency or some type of maintenance work, other than that they just can’t park these types of vehicles on the streets.”
Vice-Mayor Tim Gorman said he didn’t think there was any time limit these vehicles could be parked in the street if they are loading or unloading. Hamlin said if these types of vehicles are actively being loaded or unloaded they can park on the street, but once that activity is over the vehicles would have to be moved.
Council also adopted an ordinance to regulate the parking of inoperable motor vehicles on private property. An inoperable vehicle is defined as:
• The motor vehicle is without substantial components, including but not limited to, window, windshield, door, motor, transmission, or other similar major part;
• The motor vehicle lacks the required safety equipment;
• The motor vehicle is without a valid license plate, or the motor vehicle’s license plate has been expired for more than thirty (30) days;
• The motor vehicle is apparently unsafe or hazardous to persons inside or outside of the motor vehicle;
• The motor vehicle is apparently inoperable;
• The motor vehicle is without fully inflated tires and/or has any type of support under it;
• The motor vehicle is damaged beyond economical repair;
No inoperable motor vehicle shall remain parked in the open on any property located within the City for more than 30 days.
The ordinance would not prohibit the open storage or keeping of an historic motor vehicle or a collector’s vehicles as defined by Ohio R.C. 4501.01, except that an unlicensed collector’s vehicle or an unlicensed historic motor vehicle shall be concealed from off-premises viewing by means of a building, fencing, vegetation, terrain or other suitable obstruction.
Any motor vehicle found in violation may be impounded by order of the Chief of Police; provided that prior written notice is sent to the person having the right to possession of the property on which the inoperable motor vehicle is found requiring that the inoperable motor vehicle either be repaired, placed within a structure, or removed from the property within 10 days and noting that failure to do so shall result in the inoperable motor vehicle being impounded. Such notice shall be either personally served or sent by certified mail, return receipt requested.
Any unclaimed inoperable motor vehicle impounded pursuant to this section shall be disposed of in accordance with Ohio law.
Whoever violates this Section 351.14 is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted or pleaded guilty to a violation of Section 351.14, whoever violates Section 351.14 hereof is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more violations of Section 351.14, whoever violates Section 351.14 is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.
“This is going to help us effectively deal with the parking of inoperable motor vehicles on private property. We have some problems dealing with that,” Hamlin said. “It is going to affect some businesses where they have repair shops where they have parked cars for months or years. It also deals with cars parked on residential private properties where we have to go through zoning to regulate them. This gives us a clear path to deal with that. We can start notifying violators and towing vehicles away.”
Gorman asked at whose expense the vehicles would be towed. Hamlin said once a vehicle is towed the people that own the vehicle can pay the tow company’s expense.
“If not we will obtain a salvage title and the tow companies would get the vehicle,” Hamlin noted. “Once a vehicle is towed the owners have ten days to claim it. If not, we start the salvage title and that car would then become the property of the tow operator.”
Gorman pointed out that a lot of the cars affected by this ordinance are cars that have been repaired at a local shop but that the owner has failed to pay for, and as a result the cars have been left sitting on the lot.
Hamlin agreed and said that once those vehicles are towed away and the owners are notified, they will have 10 days to pay for the towing and storage of their vehicle. If they don’t, the towing company takes ownership of the vehicle via the salvage title. The vehicle can then be dismantled and parts sold or the vehicle and be crushed and sold as scrap in order to enable the company to recover its costs for towing and storage.