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Code Compliance
(a sub-department of the Building & Development Services Department)

3805 Adam Grubb
Lake Worth, Texas 76135
Phone: 817-237-1211 ext 111
Direct: 817-255-7922
 Fax: 817-237-1333

 

 

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The October 2018 Code Initiative violation emphasis is on Abandoned/Junk Vehicles.  If you have an abandoned/junk vehicle as defined in the section below, please do your part to remedy the situation by getting the vehicle properly running and inspected and tagged or remove it from the property.  Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

OCTOBER 2018 EMPHASIZED VIOLATION

ABANDONED/JUNK VEHICLES

ARTICLE 8.500 ABANDONED AND JUNKED VEHICLES*

Sec. 8.501     Definitions

As used in this article, the following words and terms shall have the meanings provided in this section:

Antique Vehicle. A passenger car or truck that is at least twenty-five (25) years old.

Junked Vehicle. A vehicle that is self-propelled and:

(1)     Does not have a valid registration lawfully attached to it;

(2)     Is wrecked, dismantled or partially dismantled, or discarded; or

(3)     Is inoperable and has remained inoperable for more than:

(A)     Seventy-two (72) consecutive hours if the vehicle is on public property; or

(B)     Thirty (30) consecutive days if the vehicle is on private property.

(4)     For the purpose of this article, “junked vehicle” includes a motor vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft. This article applies only to:

(A)     A motor vehicle that displays an expired registration or does not display a license plate;

(B)     An aircraft that does not have lawfully printed on the aircraft an unexpired federal aircraft identification number registered under Federal Aviation Administration aircraft registration regulations in 14 C.F.R part 47; or

(C)     A watercraft that:

(i)     Does not have lawfully on board an unexpired certificate of number; and

(ii)     Is not a watercraft described by section 31.055 Parks and Wildlife Code.

Motor Vehicle Collector. 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 or part 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. 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.

Sec. 8.502     Junked Vehicles Declared Public Nuisance

A junked vehicle, including a part of a junked vehicle, that is visible at any time of the year from a public place or public right-of-way:

(1)     Is detrimental to the safety and welfare of the general public;

(2)     Tends to reduce the value of private property;

(3)     Invites vandalism;

(4)     Creates a fire hazard;

(5)     Constitutes an attractive nuisance creating a hazard to the health and safety of minors;

(6)     Produces urban blight adverse to the maintenance and continuing development of the city; and

(7)     Is a public nuisance.

Sec. 8.503     Notice

(a)     The procedures for the abatement and removal of a public nuisance under this article must provide not less than ten (10) days’ notice of the nature of the nuisance. The notice must be personally delivered, sent by certified mail with a five-day return requested, or delivered by the United States Postal Service with signature confirmation service to:

(1)     The last known registered owner of the nuisance;

(2)     Each lienholder of record of the nuisance; and

(3)     The owner or occupant of the property upon which the nuisance is located or the owner or occupant of the premises adjacent to the public right-of-way on which the nuisance is located.

(b)     The notice must state that:

(1)     The nuisance must be abated and removed not later than the tenth (10th) day after the date on which the notice was personally delivered or mailed;

(2)     Any request for a hearing must be made before that 10-day period expires; and

(3)     Failure to abate the nuisance or failure to attend the hearing after notice constitutes a waiver by the owner and lienholders of all right, title and interest in the vehicle and their consent to dispose of the junked vehicle under the terms of chapter 683 of the Texas Transportation Code.

(c)     If the post office address of the last known registered owner of the nuisance is unknown, notice may be placed on the nuisance, or, if the owner is located, personally delivered.

(d)     If any notice is returned undelivered by the United States Post Office, official action to abate the nuisance shall be continued to a date not earlier than the eleventh (11th) day after the date of the return of the notice.

Sec. 8.504     Hearing

(a)     If the junked vehicle is not removed and abated within the prescribed time period, the municipal court judge shall hold a public hearing on the abatement and removal of the junked vehicle. At the hearing, the municipal court judge shall hear and consider all relevant evidence, objections or protests and shall receive testimony from owners, witnesses, city personnel and interested persons relative to such alleged public nuisance. The hearing may be continued from time to time.

(b)     At the hearing, the junked motor vehicle is presumed to be inoperable, unless demonstrated otherwise by the owner.

(c)     Following the hearing, the municipal court judge shall consider all evidence and determine whether the vehicle, or any part thereof, constitutes a public nuisance as alleged. If the municipal court judge finds that a public nuisance does exist and that there is sufficient cause to abate the nuisance, and that the notice requirements provided in this article have been met, the municipal court judge shall make a written order setting forth his findings and ordering that the nuisance be abated.

(d)     If the information is available at the location of the nuisance, the order requiring removal of the nuisance must include:

(1)     For a motor vehicle, the motor vehicle’s:

(A)     Description;

(B)     Vehicle identification number; and

(C)     License plate number;

(2)     For an aircraft, the aircraft’s:

(A)     Description; and

(B)     Federal aircraft identification number as described by Federal Aviation Administration aircraft registration regulations in 14 C.F.R. part 47; and

(3)     For a watercraft, the watercraft’s:

(A)     Description; and

(B)     Identification number as set forth in the watercraft’s certificate of number.

(4)     A statement that the vehicle will be disposed of in accordance with the Texas Transportation Code.

(e)     The relocation of a junked vehicle that is a public nuisance to another location within the corporate city limits of the city after a proceeding for the abatement or removal of the public nuisance has commenced, has no effect on the proceeding if the junked vehicle constitutes a public nuisance at the new location.

Sec. 8.505     Abatement of Nuisance

In the event the municipal court judge orders abatement of the nuisance, the city or any duly authorized person may abate such public nuisance by removal and disposal of the junked vehicle.

Sec. 8.506     Junked Vehicles Not to be Reconstructed or Made Operable After Removal

After any junked vehicle has been removed under the authority of this article, it shall not be reconstructed or made operable again.

Sec. 8.507     Notice to Department of Transportation

No later than the fifth (5th) day after the date of removal of a junked vehicle pursuant to this article, notice must be given to the state department of transportation. Such notice must identify the vehicle or vehicle part.

Sec. 8.508     Disposal of Junked Vehicles

Any junked vehicles taken into custody by the city or any duly authorized person pursuant to a provision of this article shall be disposed of in accordance with applicable provisions of chapter 683 of the Texas Transportation Code.

Sec. 8.509     Application of This Article

The provisions of this article shall not apply to a vehicle or vehicle part that is:

(1)     Completely enclosed within a building in a lawful manner where it is not visible from the street or other public or private property; or

(2)     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.

Sec. 8.510     Offense

(a)     A person commits an offense if the person maintains a public nuisance described by Section 8.502.

(b)     An offense under this article is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine in accordance with the general penalty provision set forth in Section 1.109 of this code. Each day an offense occurs shall be a separate offense.

Sec. 8.511     Enforcement

(a)     Any peace officer, code enforcement officer or other regularly salaried, full-time city employee is authorized to enforce this article. Such employee may issue a warning or a citation before issuing a notice pursuant to Section 8.503.

(b)     Upon conviction of a violation of this article, the municipal court judge shall order that the vehicle be abated and removed within a prescribed period of time. The judge’s order shall provide that if the vehicle is not removed within the prescribed period of time, the city may remove the vehicle in accordance with state law.

(c)     The enforcement remedies authorized under this article shall not be deemed exclusive and the city reserves the right to seek any enforcement remedy available at law or in equity. The failure of the city to seek enforcement by any means shall not foreclose the enforcement of this article by any other means.

Sec. 8.512     Abandoned Vehicles

An abandoned vehicle left upon public property or public rights-of-way constitutes a nuisance and may be abated in accordance with state law.

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