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Car covers

Discussion in 'The OT' started by AntAltMike, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. Sep 4, 2012 #1 of 30
    AntAltMike

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    I live in a nanny-town that has mattress tag police, and they drive three Code Enforcement vehicles around town, looking for such nuisances as car tires on porches and blades of lawn grass that are over ten inches long, the discovery of which leads to the issuance of door-hanger warnings that, if these unsightly code violations are not remedied promptly, there will be a fine to pay that can lead to a property lien.

    This town does not permit even one single, visible unregistered vehicle to be on the property, but it is OK to have as many unregistered vehicles on your property as you'd like as long as each is under a car cover. I see between half a dozen and a dozen such "hidden" unregistered cars every day as I drive just four to six blocks to the nearest highway, and I regard them as eyesores. Few of their covers are of optimal size, and often, the wind has dislodged at least one corner, and two people in my neighborhood either don't realize that their radio antennas can be pushed in to accommodate their covers or perhaps they have powered antennas that are broken.

    I do not believe that cars with old, tattered, ill fitting tarps thrown over them are more attractive than are uncovered cars without license plates. Does anyone have any idea why it is that towns require unregistered vehicles to be so cloaked?
     
  2. Sep 4, 2012 #2 of 30
    veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Sounds like your town is a bit more lenient than others. Some cities around here won't allow them in front of "the fence line", which basically means they can only be in the back or side yard.
     
  3. Sep 4, 2012 #3 of 30
    dpeters11

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    Doesn't make much sense to me. I remember furrowing up, my parents called the cops on a neighbor that had a car without plates, but that was because it was parked on the street in front of our house. They had a driveway, we didn't.

    Around here, generally you have to report people. I'm very reluctant to do so. I got very good free advice from an attorney when I asked him about a tree that I was afraid would crash into my house. "Legally you can cut down any branches that go over your property, but have a friendly chat first."

    Your town must need the income :)
    Like my parents, I don't think I'd care if my neighbors had cars on their property (though illegal to park on the lawn.) But there is a limit on what I'd ignore on grass height, and the owner was physically able to mow, or able to pay a professional.

    I just checked Cincinnati's code. An unlicensed or inoperable vehicle cannot be in open view for more than three days. Under a cover doesn't count as not in view, and apparently inoperable means in or near the same place for 30 days. But again, it would probably take a complaint from a neighbor.
     
  4. Sep 5, 2012 #4 of 30
    4HiMarks

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    I find it hard to believe the in or near the same place for 30 days would be enforceable as "inoperable". I imagine there are plenty of people with RVs they only take on the road a few times a year and don't have a garage big enough.
     
  5. Sep 5, 2012 #5 of 30
    Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Is the code written such that tarped cars are considered hidden??
     
  6. Sep 5, 2012 #6 of 30
    dpeters11

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    There is definitely a difference between on the books and enforced. I have yet to be cited for not having bell on my bicycle. It's probably only used in extreme cases or when a vehicle is truly inoperable, like on blocks for a few months.
     
  7. Sep 5, 2012 #7 of 30
    AntAltMike

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    In this town, you can't park a lettered vehicle in the street later than I think 6:00 PM weekdays and even earlier on Saturdays and I think that during the day, it can't be parked in one spot for more than four hours.

    One evening, I was driving a U-Haul rented van that said, "Rent This Truck" on the side of it, and I stopped home at about 8:00 PM just to whiz and pick up my laptop computer, which definitely took less than ten minutes, and got a $40 ticket for violating that ordinance.
     
  8. Sep 6, 2012 #8 of 30
    Rich

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    We have a similar law here, but you can keep unregistered cars in driveways. People abuse that law and unless someone reports them, the cops don't bother them.

    In fact, you can do pretty much anything you want here as long as your neighbors don't complain. With a complaint, the problem is addressed quickly. No such thing as an anonymous complaint, tho. The women who work in the code office will tell anyone anything they want to know. Supposed to be anonymous, but all you gotta do is ask who complained and they usually tell you.

    Rich
     
  9. Sep 7, 2012 #9 of 30
    4HiMarks

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    What is the definition of a "lettered vehicle"? Mine has FORD on it, front and back.
     
  10. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    ACME PLUMBING
     
  11. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    Better hope you don't have a pluming emergency and no driveway...
     
  12. AntAltMike

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    Berwyn Heights Ordinances

    Section 107-3. Declaration of Legislative Interest

    The Town Council finds and determines that excessive accumulation of weeds, garbage, litter and/or rubbish, and abandoned, junked or wrecked motor vehicles on improved and unimproved property, including any structures thereon readily threatens or endangers the public health, safety or welfare, and is hereby prohibited and declared to be a public nuisance subject to the penalties and procedures hereinafter prescribed.


    Section 107-4. Definitions

    A. Abandoned, junked or wrecked motor vehicles means any motor vehicle, which is without current license tags; inoperable; dismantled; or wrecked


    Section 107-5. Violations

    D. No owner, lessee or occupant shall permit an abandoned, wrecked or junked vehicle to remain on such property except enclosed in a garage or in a driveway, properly and completely covered with an opaque cover to be out of public view. Such vehicles, not enclosed in a garage, shall be limited to two (2) per residence.



    Section119-3. Definitions]

    B. Commercial Vehicle - Any vehicle or motor vehicle including school buses, not qualifying as a recreational vehicle or passenger vehicle as defined in this subsection that:

    1) is designed, used or maintained to carry freight, property, merchandise or passengers for a fee, in furtherance of a commercial enterprise; or

    2) has more than four (4) wheels; or

    3) displays commercial lettering or advertising; or

    4) has a maximum gross vehicle weight over 7,000 lbs.; or

    5) the manufacturer's rate capacity is over ton.


    Sec 119-4 Restrictions:

    B. Commercial Vehicle and Recreational Vehicle - No person shall park any commercial vehicle or recreational vehicle on any public street or public right-of-way in the Town between the hours of 5 PM and 7 AM, Mondays through Fridays, or at any time on weekends or holidays. Exempted are vehicles in the process of making deliveries which do not park for more than a two-hour period.



    In other words, if you schedule your DirecTV or DISH Network installation for a Saturday or Sunday, it better get done in less than 2 hours or the instaler's lettered service vehicle will get a $40 ticket.
     
  13. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Or have him put it in your driveway, or move it a bit after two hours. Or argue over the definition of "parked"....

    So it also say commercial lettering.... So I could put a vanity plaque on my car and truck saying 'Rancho Cornholio" or whatever! Neat!
     
  14. 4HiMarks

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    How can those stickers that every car dealer puts on its cars not count as "commercial lettering or advertising"? I don't think it's enforceable. Isn't Berwyn Heights the place where the mayor got caught up in that drug sting merely for bringing in a package that was left on his stoop?
     
  15. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    That's the place. They shot his dogs during the raid. In this state, a lot of police duties that are handled by cities in other states are handled by the county here, so when the SWAT team coordinated with the "local police", since it was the county police they coordinated with, no one involved recognized the name of the home occupant as the mayor.
     
  16. 4HiMarks

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    I didn't think Berwyn Heights even had any laws. It's such a rinky dink little place, hardly counts as a city at all, sandwiched in between College Park and Greenbelt. What's the population, 500?
     
  17. AntAltMike

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    It has a population of about 3,100, and considering that it covers just 0.6 square miles, it has a rather dense population of over 5,000 residents per square mile. It doesn't have its own zip code or Post Office.

    I remember once reading some Maine state statutes creating local ordinances for towns and communities that had never expended the resources to write any for themselves, and they were to serve as the default laws and ordinances for communities that didn't have any.

    I think they have an ordinance that a person can't be a local cop unless he is at least 50 pounds overweight and has at least a 40" waistline.
     
  18. AntAltMike

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    Theyre baaaaaack!

    I got back from breakfast this morning at 11:53 AM. There was a "Courtesy Notice" hung from my doorknob. It said that at Noon, which was still seven minutes away, two violations were observed.

    1) Small trash in driveway and yard

    2) Recycling bin in street after over 24 hours from pickup.

    Let me say this about that.

    1) Not only had "Noon" not happened yet, I live on a dead street in a no-outlet maze and no code enforcement vehicle crossed paths with me on my way in.

    2) Yesterday was recyclable pickup day. They ordinarily pick up here in the early afternoon. Unless they did things out of sequence yesterday, 24 hourrs had not passed and even if they had, I don't see how the code enforcement officer could have known when they got to my house

    3) I drove around my block and found recycling bins in front of six other houses but there were no Courtesy Notices on the doorknobs of those houses.

    4) Here is all the trash in driveway yard:

    A) There are four waste items immediately alongside the empty recycling bins: an empty bag of M&Ms, a short grocery story receipt, a thin plastic disposable glove, and a tissue. All of those were in the recycling bin, probably didn't shake out when it was dumped into the collection truck, and then fell out when the bin was set upside down to show it was empty

    B ) there are two small, dry pieces of tissue paper in the driveway. Both are fluffy, meaning they weren't there when it rained a few days ago and probably recently blew in our direction, as we are at the end of the street.

    C) there is a plastic pink soda straw in the driveway, but nestled down in the crack between the cement slabs, meaning it can't be seen unless someone is directly over it.

    D) there is one, 12 ounce plastic sode bottle imbedded in the ivy weeds next to the trash can that surely wound up there when someone missed the trash can with it. If I showed you a high resoluton photo of the house taken from the street, there isn't a chance in a hundred that you spot it even if you were looking for it.

    We get fined $100 if these violations are not corrected within 7 days.

    I just talked to a neighbor and she said we have a new inspector. Lucky us.
     
  19. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Is it possible a sour neighbor snitched on you? I had that happen right here on DBSTalk- well, not quite a snitch, but a fellow didn't like me suggesting he not troll our forum and the, uh, person, reported my post for being personal!
     
  20. AntAltMike

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    Funny you should ask...

    I visited a neighbor to tell her my tale of woe. She is a seemingly reserved person who moved in a year or two ago and has mentioned more than once that the Mayor is a friend of hers.

    Two things about our conversation struck me. One is that at no point did she express sympathy or outrage. The other is that she knew too much. She knew details of the Code Compliance staff and its vehicles. She also had too many details regarding non-compliance of her next door neighbor.
     

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