Junk car owners facing citations

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Any car parked in the Craig city limits not displaying current license plates, without registration or insurance, or that is not running likely will be ticketed and towed.

Craig City Council approved Tuesday night a change to the city ordinance that controls how nuisance codes are enforced in Craig.

Cars that are cited for the above reasons, or owners of yards that are cluttered with junk or weeds, will receive tickets from city code enforcement officers.

If a problem is not resolved in 10 days, the offending vehicle will be towed by the city, or the weeds will be cut by a contractor hired by the city, and the home or vehicle owner will be billed for the cost.

"In the three years I've done this job, I've dealt with the same people all three years," Code Enforcement Officer Becky Otis said, referring to the weeds and junk cars. "With this improved ordinance, it won't take me all summer to get them to cut the weeds."

If the bill the city sends out is ignored, the city will place a lien on the property until the matter is resolved.

People served with a citation have five days to appeal in writing, and if approved, a city administrative hearing officer will hear the case and decide whether the ticket was issued properly.

Councilman Bill Johnston summed up the changes by saying the intent is to get people to park cars in driveways and not on lawns.

Ardith Satterwhite was all for the changes.

"We want trashy yards cleaned up. The junk. The vehicles," Satterwhite said. "We have good ordinances that protect people's rights."

The change to the ordinance allows for vehicles to be parked next to houses on bordered driveways made of concrete, asphalt, gravel or sand.

Craig City Council reworked the city ordinance after complaints by residents and code enforcement officers about the court process dragging out for months or years after citations were issued.

Dan Olsen can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 207, or dolsen@craigdailypress.com

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