City wants abandoned vehicles moved

Published 5:00 am Monday, October 13, 2003

Like some other communities in the state, Brookhaven officialsare getting serious about getting rid of old abandoned vehicles inneighborhood yards.

Building Inspector Steve Moreton said he and Lt. Joe Portrey ofthe Brookhaven Police Department have been going to homes notifyingthe owners to remove old cars and trucks.

“I really don’t know what people’s attachment is to junk cars,”Moreton said, “but there’s a lot of them in town.”

Moreton mentioned one home on Mildred Street that had ninevehicles in the yard on the dead end street. Some vehicle motorswere laying on the ground.

“We’ve been there three times and haven’t caught anyone athome,” Moreton said.

Once notified, Moreton said property owners have 10 days to getrid of the cars or the city can move in to remove them. To get thecars back, the property owner must pay a $50 minimum towing fee,plus a daily impoundment charge.

Moreton said he has two criteria for determining a vehicle to beabandoned.

One is an outdated license plate, and the other is an expiredinspection sticker. Moreton said a new license plate decal can beobtained if a vehicle is not running, but a vehicle has to be ableto move in order to get an inspection sticker.

“I’ve seen cars with 2004 tags and 1996 inspection stickers,”Moreton said.

Also, Moreton said he’s seen abandoned vehicles used as doghouses or for storage. Some owners claim they have a right to dowhat they want on their property, but Moreton disputed thatclaim.

“When it becomes an eyesore and menace, they I don’t think it’stheirs to do with what they want,” Moreton said.

Many owners respond once they’ve been notified of the problem,Moreton said. He asked for others to please help in removing theunsightly vehicles.

“All I want is for them to be gone from Brookhaven and theannexation area,” he said. “I don’t want them to be moved today andbe back in my life tomorrow.”

Moreton said the abandoned vehicle issue is a matter ofcommunity pride. He urged people to care about their community’sappearance.

“They can have pride, or we’ll try to make them have pride,”Moreton said.

In other community improvement efforts, Moreton said he isworking with aldermen on developing lists of old houses to bedemolished and lots to be cleaned. He expected that work to beginin the near future.

“It’s that time of year for that,” Moreton said.