HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

City goes after abandoned and ‘yard cars’

Written June 17th, 2021 by Hasso Hering

This apparently abandoned VW Jetta parked on Southwest 14th Avenue has just been given a police notice of violation.

Sometimes, vehicles that no longer work are stored on Albany streets for weeks on end, and others multiply in their owners’ front yards. Either way, it’s a violation of the city code, and the police are letting people know.

The proliferation of cars left on the street and accumulating in people’s yards was noticed during the city’s annual cleanup campaign, the Big Pick Up, earlier this spring. The upshot: the Community Resource Unit of the police department launched a campaign on abandoned vehicles and junk cars.

They’ve put together a two-page letter citing city regulations on street parking and “yard vehicles.” The letter also lists resources for disposing of unwanted cars, including four charities that accept vehicles as donations and five options for selling or salvaging junk cars.

I heard about it from Lt. Travis Giboney when I ran into him on Southwest 14th Avenue on Wednesday as he was posting a notice on an apparently abandoned car. Later he sent me an email with more about the program, which is run by the department’s Community Resources Unit and does not involve patrol or other police resources.

“We’ve tried to put a few hours a week into this and cover most of the city,” he wrote, “and so far after about three weeks we’ve sent about 400 letters and addressed about 80 on-street abandoned cars.

“In addition of taking up parking space on the streets, these cars also (prevent) the street sweeper from cleaning the streets, and we often find grass and weeds growing up through the asphalt under some of these cars, which costs us all money in street repairs.”

The letter sent by the department cites sections of the city code most residents of Albany may not know exist.

One classifies inoperable vehicles as junk, and storing junk outdoors is unlawful. People getting a citation have 30 days to get rid of the junk, and a 30-day extension may be granted if special circumstances exist. After that, the city may remove the junk and bill the owner.

Another section says vehicles in daily use may not be parked in the front yard except in a driveway.

No word on results of the campaign so far. But Giboney reports that the effort “has generated some good conversation with our community members…” (hh)





12 responses to “City goes after abandoned and ‘yard cars’”

  1. Marty says:

    I hope some good results will come of this letter writing campaign.

  2. Bob Woods says:

    Hmmm… where are all the comments from Shadle, Cordier and others about government overreach? Keping off MY property?? Attacking our liberty as how we use our property?

    Maybe government isn’t so bad after all…

    • hj.anony1 says:

      Crickets really. Except for Engle who longs for the far off days of hard drug charges and DUIIs. *shrugs*

      oh and insurrectionists. *smile*

      • James Engel says:

        Awww, Mr hj.anony1, get it right! It’s Engel. It’s my real name & not a made up one people who post hide behind. What has “far off days of hard drug charges & DUII’s” got to do with this post? It’s about PARKING ya meat head. And yes, I wear my Archie Bunker patch with pride…>)

      • centrist says:

        Hmmm
        A swing and a miss
        JE spent years dealing with difficult matters so others could be blissfully detached.

  3. James Engel says:

    Whadda mean I can’t have a green lush parking area in my front yard!!?? Is the City now going to mandate what constitutes acceptable driveways? Gotta say the Community Services unit has taken on many of the time consuming & mundane tasks we on patrol had to deal with. Good Team effort!!

  4. Mike says:

    Down in Santa Rosa, Ca. Where I moved from, you are not allowed to have a motor home, or boat parked on the road or in you drive way. It has to be moved to the back of your house or storage place. they will tow it away at your expense after a warning.

    • David Ballard says:

      Are you putting Santa Rosa, California, forward as a model for this community to emulate?

  5. Cheryl P says:

    First of all, it would be nice if the City let folks know when their street is going to be swept; a simple flyer attached to the door letting folks know the date and approximate time (am or pm). Like a lot of older neighborhoods in Albany, ours was developed in a time when folks only had one vehicle so we only have a single car driveway.

    Second, let’s talk about “weeds and grass” and “street repairs”. If you come home from work every day and park your vehicle in the same spot, you’re going to have weeds and grass…doesn’t matter if it is the street or your driveway, nature will find a way. I’ve been in my neighborhood for 20 years…outside of the water meter reader, and the rare street sweeping, there have been ZERO street (or sidewalk) repairs.

    I agree about “yard cars”. It’s one thing to maybe spend an hour washing/waxing your vehicle once a week, but even minor fluid leaks (antifreeze, oil, transmission, brake, washer) can do an incredible amount of damage to the soil.

    As for non-working or so-called abandoned vehicles on city streets, the simplest solution is to require that all vehicles parked on city streets must have current tags and be insured***. If the tag is expired, the City puts a bright orange sticker on it and sends a certified letter to the registered owner, both noting that the owner has 30 days to either move the vehicle to private property, dispose of the vehicle or bring the registration up to date. If they don’t, then the vehicle and contents will be impounded and disposed of.

    *** – Homeowner’s and Renter’s insurance will not cover anything not on the property.

  6. Mark says:

    They will just move inoperable vehicles to backyard like my neighbor has. There is 3 cars back there and have been told nothing can be done because not visible from street

 

 
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