Inoperable Motor Vehicles



Contact: Randy Hamilton | 540-261-8615 |

Inoperable Motor Vehicles

As part of the City’s continuing efforts to improve the safety and appearance of our neighborhoods, the Department of Community and Economic Development and the Sheriff’s Office wish to inform and remind residents and business owners that automobiles without current license plates and state inspections may not be stored in public view. Inoperable vehicles may be stored in a garage or covered with a commercial vehicle cover.

The following code sections provide detail on these regulations.

Sec. 32-27. – Inoperable vehicles; removal.

(a) The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this section, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this subsection, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

Inoperable motor vehicle means any motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer which:

  • Is not in operating condition;
  • Which for a period of 60 days or longer has been partially or totally disassembled by the removal of tires and wheels, the engine or other essential parts required for operation of the vehicle; or
  • Does not display an inspection decal that is valid or does display an inspection decal that has been expired for more than 60 days.

Sec. 14-262. – Restriction on keeping of inoperable motor vehicles.

It shall be unlawful for the owner of any premises to keep any inoperable motor vehicle, not within a fully enclosed building or structure or otherwise shielded or screened from view, on any property zoned for residential, commercial or agricultural purposes. Failure to do so shall constitute a nuisance. The provisions of this section shall not apply to a licensed business which on June 26, 1970, is regularly engaged in business as an automobile dealer, salvage dealer or scrap processor.

Sec. 14-373. – Violations of division 6 (inoperable vehicles).

  • Notice. When the community director determines that a violation of these articles exists, he or she shall provide notice to the owner in accordance with section 15-8 of this chapter.
  • Abatement by the city. If the owner of the premises fails to comply with the notice to remove, move to a fully enclosed building or structure, or otherwise shield or screen the vehicle from view, within the permitted time, the city will direct its agents or employees to remove the vehicle and, if neither the occupant or owner of the premises, is the owner of the vehicle, the city will, after giving additional notice to the owner of the vehicle in writing in the manner set forth above, dispose of the vehicle.
  • City’s costs declared a lien on the property. In any case where pursuant to this article, the city has provided notice removal of the vehicle, the owner has failed to comply, and the city has removed and disposed of the vehicle, the costs of both removal and disposal together with the $75.00 administrative fee shall be chargeable to the owner of the vehicle or premises and may be collected as taxes are collected. All costs with which the owner of the premises has been assessed and remains unpaid, shall constitute a lien against the property from which the vehicle was removed and continue until actual payment has been made to the city.

The enforcement of these provisions falls under the jurisdiction of the City’s Sheriff’s Office.  Violators of these City Code provisions could face several penalties, including those listed above in Sec. 14-373.  The Sheriff’s office will be working with the Department of Community and Economic Development, including its Building Department, to identify properties in violation.

Questions concerning these provisions should be directed to either the Sheriff’s Office at (540) 261-8615 or the Department of Planning & Community Development at (540) 261-8607.