Announcements and Information
Ordinance changes strengthen junk vehicle removal process
Apr 24 2015 - 11:28:00 am
Pasadena City Council has passed an ordinance revision regarding junk vehicles that broadly changes how these vehicles are handled by City code enforcement. Since the changes depart in significant ways from previous enforcement, those who own vehicles that might be affected will want to familiarize themselves with the new regulations.

In general terms, the biggest change has to do with these vehicles being declared a public nuisance. That designation means the disposal of these cars, trucks, boats and even junk airplanes are authorized under the Texas Transportation Code. While the complete list of changes are extensive, those of most importance to owners of vehicles that potentially may be affected may be summed up by the following.

Vehicles that are covered under the amended ordinance are:
  • passenger cars, trucks, watercraft, aircraft and motor driven or propelled vehicles requiring state registration;
  • trailers/semi trailers of 4,000 pounds weight or more; 
  • travel trailers;
  • ATVs (even if not required to be registered); and,
  • motorcycles or mopeds not required to be registered. 

The above listed vehicles must be inoperable for 72 hours on public property or 30 consecutive days on private property and display an expired license plate or no license plate. Such vehicles are now declared a public nuisance.

A code compliance officer must give not less than 10 days written notice (by personal delivery, certified mail or signature confirmation service) of the public nuisance stating the nuisance must be abated no later than the 10th day after the notice has been delivered. If the address of the last owner is unknown, a notice of public nuisance may be posted on the vehicle itself.

An owner of a vehicle declared a public nuisance may request a public hearing in municipal court no earlier than the 11th day after the date of notice when the request for a hearing is made during the 10-day abatement period. Upon a court finding a public nuisance exists, an order shall be entered for removal of the vehicle with appropriate identification of vehicle, watercraft or aircraft.

If an owner fails to comply with the abatement notice and fails or refuses to comply with a court order, a code compliance officer will arrange for the removal and demolition/disposal of the vehicle. It is important to note that when the vehicle has been removed due to inaction on the part of the owner, no further delay in the scrapping of the vehicle will take place. In essence, when it leaves the property or public space it is on a one-way trip to the scrap heap.

As part of the process, the Texas State Dept. of Highways and Public Transportation will be notified of the vehicle removal and a request will be made to cancel the certificate of title.

This ordinance does not apply to vehicle(s) in a completely enclosed building and not visible from the street or other public or private property. Affected vehicle owners should note that if a junk vehicle is moved from a driveway, for example, to a back yard, this does not eliminate the problem if the vehicle can be seen from a street or other public or private property. Merely covering a junk vehicle with a cloth or tarp will no longer exempt the vehicle from being declared a nuisance.

In addition to the forced abatement of any vehicle found to be a public nuisance, violations of this revised code may be punishable by a fine not to exceed $200.
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