Chapter 8.20
JUNK AND ABANDONED VEHICLES

Sections:

8.20.010    Definitions.

8.20.020    Abandoned vehicles.

8.20.030    Disposition of abandoned vehicles.

8.20.040    Junk vehicles.

8.20.050    Disposition of junk vehicles.

8.20.060    Vehicles both junk and abandoned.

8.20.070    Redemption.

8.20.080    Recovery of costs.

8.20.090    Other rights preserved.

8.20.100    General penalty for violations.

8.20.110    Appeal process.

8.20.120    Voluntary disposal.

8.20.010 Definitions.

“Abandoned vehicle” means a motor vehicle left unattended, standing, parked upon or within ten (10) feet of the traveled portion of a public roadway, or a public right-of-way, for a period in excess of forty-eight (48) hours, upon private property without the consent of the owner in excess of twenty-four (24) hours, or upon other public property for more than thirty (30) days without the consent of the owner or person in charge of the property.

“Junk vehicle” means a motor vehicle that is not currently registered for operation upon the public roads in the state of Alaska and exhibits one (1) of the following three (3) attributes:

(1)    Is in a condition which exhibits two (2) of the following elements:

a.    Broken glass;

b.    Missing wheels or tires;

c.    Missing body panels or parts;

d.    Missing drive train parts.

(2)    Is stripped, wrecked or otherwise inoperable due to mechanical failure.

(3)    Has not been repaired because of mechanical difficulties or because the cost of repairs required to make it operable exceeds the fair market value of the vehicle. [Ord. No. 988, §3, 5-6-96. Code 1974 §29.30.010.]

8.20.020 Abandoned vehicles.

(a)    The assembly declares that junk vehicles and abandoned vehicles are a public nuisance and must be properly disposed of as solid waste in accordance with this title.

(b)    Violations.

(1)    It is unlawful for a person to abandon a vehicle on a street or highway or vehicular way within the borough.

(2)    It is unlawful for a person to abandon a vehicle on public property not set aside by law as a refuse disposal site open for the disposal of vehicles.

(3)    It is unlawful for a person, without consent of the property owner or person in possession or control of the property, to abandon a vehicle on public property or private property unless such property is licensed as a junkyard and is open for disposal, or unless all necessary fees for removal and storage have been paid and all other requirements of disposal have been met.

(4)    A person who abandons a vehicle in a place specified in subsection (b)(1), (b)(2) or (b)(3) of this section is considered responsible for the abandonment of the vehicle and is liable for the costs of its removal and disposition.

(5)    Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b)(3) of this section, the lawful owner of a vehicle, as shown by the records of the department, whether or not the owner has complied with the provisions of AS 28.10.271(c), is considered responsible for the abandonment of the vehicle and is liable for the cost of removal and disposition of the abandoned vehicle unless:

a.    The vehicle was abandoned by a person driving the vehicle without the permission of the owner; or

b.    The identity of the person abandoning the vehicle is established and the abandonment was without the consent of the owner. [Ord. No. 1182, §3, 5-21-01; Ord. No. 988, §3, 5-6-96. Code 1974 §29.30.020.]

8.20.030 Disposition of abandoned vehicles.

(a)    An abandoned vehicle may be impounded.

(b)    Adequate notice of impoundment and procedures for redemption of a vehicle shall be given to registered owners of vehicles and other persons known to have a legal interest in them. Adequate notice shall consist of a certified letter or personal service, when the persons involved are known, or publication at least once in a newspaper of general circulation, if such persons are not known. A copy of this notice shall also be provided to the State of Alaska Department of Public Safety and to the person who stores the vehicle. The notice shall contain:

(1)    A description of the vehicle and any property therein;

(2)    The date, time and place of removal;

(3)    The nature of the violation which was the basis for the removal;

(4)    An indication of the place of impoundment;

(5)    An itemized statement of amounts due the borough for towing and storage and stating that such fees must be paid prior to redemption of the vehicle (storage may be expressed as a rate rather than a specific amount);

(6)    A statement that unless the right to possession is established to the satisfaction of the manager and the vehicle reclaimed within thirty (30) days from the date of mailing or publication of the notice, or unless arrangements are made for the storage of the vehicle within that time, the vehicle and its contents may be sold at public auction or, in the manager’s discretion, if the vehicle is determined by the director to be inoperable or worth less than two hundred and fifty dollars ($250.00), disposed of by crushing or other means of destruction; and

(7)    A statement that any person with a legal interest in the vehicle wishing to challenge the impoundment has the right to request that a hearing to test the validity of the borough’s action be held following the procedures in Chapter 2.115 KGBC.

(c)    If a vehicle impounded pursuant to the above provisions, or pursuant to KGBC 8.20.050(b), is not redeemed within the thirty (30) day period set forth above, the manager may publish in a newspaper of general circulation notice of public auction. The notice shall contain a description of the vehicle, the name of the owner if known, and a provision stating that the vehicles described will be sold to the highest responsible bidder, and a certificate of sale will be issued for vehicles sold. Such auction may be held ten (10) days or more following the date of advertisement. Impounded vehicles may also be crushed or otherwise destroyed as provided in subsection (b) of this section without further notice at the expiration of the thirty (30) day redemption period.

(d)    The borough shall keep a record of all vehicles impounded, containing date, time and place of impounding, description of the vehicle and contents therein, estimated retail value of the vehicle, its operating condition, cause for which impounded, place of impoundment, date of redemption if redeemed, amount paid upon redemption, date of notice to owner and means of notice, notice of sale, record of sale, price paid and name of purchaser, or record of other means of disposal.

(e)    An abandoned vehicle may be removed from private property if the owner or person in lawful possession or control of the property makes a written request prior to removal.

(f)    Title to an impounded vehicle not reclaimed by the registered owner, a lienholder, or other person entitled to possession of the vehicle within thirty (30) days from the notice given under subsection (b) of this section vests with the borough. However, nothing in this section prohibits a lien under AS 28.11.090. [Ord. No. 1005, §1, 12-2-96; Ord. No. 988, §3, 5-6-96. Code 1974 §29.30.030.]

8.20.040 Junk vehicles.

(a)    It is unlawful for the registered owner or other person with legal right to possession of a junk vehicle to place or allow such vehicle to remain in public view on any property within the borough for more than five (5) days. It is also unlawful for the owner, tenant or other person in possession or control of any property to cause or allow a junk vehicle to be placed or remain in public view on such property for more than five (5) days.

(b)    Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, if the manager has reasonable grounds to believe that repairs can be made to render a junk vehicle operable, that the registered owner or other person entitled to possession of the vehicle is willing to undertake or have performed such repairs, that the vehicle does not pose any health or safety hazard, and there is no reasonable means for removing the vehicle from public view while repairs are being performed, the manager may authorize a period of no more than thirty (30) days for the performance of such repairs. In no case, however, may this section be construed as authorizing the operation of a junkyard or other salvage or repair business where other requirements of the law have not been met.

(c)    If a junk vehicle has been abandoned on private property, the owner, tenant or other person in control or possession of the property upon which the vehicle has been abandoned may request the vehicle’s removal pursuant to KGBC 8.20.030(e). [Ord. No. 988, §3, 5-6-96. Code 1974 §29.30.040.]

8.20.050 Disposition of junk vehicles.

(a)    Upon observation of what appears to be a junk vehicle, the manager shall give written notice by personal service or certified mail to any or all offenders described in KGBC 8.20.040 as well as notice affixed to the vehicle. Notice affixed to the vehicle shall suffice for subsequent action if none of the offenders described in KGBC 8.20.040 can be located and served within the five (5) day period. A copy of this notice shall also be provided to the State of Alaska Department of Public Safety, and to the person who stores the vehicle. The notice shall contain:

(1)    The street address and other information sufficient to identify the location of the vehicle;

(2)    A statement as to the condition of the vehicle identifying defects which render it a junked vehicle;

(3)    A statement that the vehicle constitutes a public nuisance and a copy or summary of the relevant code sections;

(4)    A statement that if the vehicle is not removed from public view within five (5) days from issuance of the notice, the borough shall impound and sell or destroy the vehicle at the offender’s expense;

(5)    A statement that if the offender can show ability and willingness to make the repairs necessary to convert the junk vehicle into an operable vehicle, application may be made at any time before the five (5) days have expired for a thirty (30) day waiver to make the necessary repairs; and

(6)    A statement that any person with a legal interest in the vehicle wishing to challenge the impoundment has the right to request that a hearing to test the validity of the borough’s action be held following the procedures in Chapter 2.115 KGBC.

(b)    Upon expiration of the five (5) day, or thirty (30) day period where relevant, the manager may impound a junk vehicle and sell it at public auction pursuant to the notice provisions of KGBC 8.20.030 or may have the vehicle privately sold, crushed or otherwise destroyed without further notice in accord with the provisions of KGBC 8.20.030.

(c)    Title to an impounded vehicle not reclaimed by the registered owner, a lienholder, or other person entitled to possession of the vehicle within thirty (30) days from the notice given under this section vests with the borough. However, nothing in this section prohibits a lien under AS 28.11.090. [Ord. No. 1005, §1, 12-2-96; Ord. No. 988, §3, 5-6-96. Code 1974 §29.30.050.]

8.20.060 Vehicles both junk and abandoned.

In the event that a vehicle is both junk and abandoned, as defined in this chapter, the borough may pursue its abatement under either the junk or abandoned vehicle provisions of this chapter or parts of both. [Ord. No. 988, §3, 5-6-96. Code 1974 §29.30.060.]

8.20.070 Redemption.

A person who presents satisfactory proof of ownership or right to possession may redeem a vehicle removed under this chapter at any time before an auction or destruction of the vehicle by paying the charges of towing, storage, notice, other cost of impoundment, and any applicable penalty imposed by law. [Ord. No. 1005, §1, 12-2-96. Code 1974 §29.30.065.]

8.20.080 Recovery of costs.

(a)    A person who abandons a vehicle in violation of this chapter, or who stores a junked vehicle in violation of this chapter, is considered responsible for the vehicle and is liable for costs of removal and disposition of the vehicle.

(b)    The record owner of an abandoned or junked vehicle impounded under this chapter is considered responsible for the vehicle and is considered responsible for the costs of removal and disposition of the vehicle unless:

(1)    The vehicle was abandoned or junked by a person driving the vehicle without the owner’s permission; or

(2)    The identity of the person who abandoned or junked the vehicle is established and such action was without the consent of the owner.

(c)    The costs of impounding, storing, selling and destroying junk or abandoned vehicles may be charged or assessed by the borough against responsible parties under subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the vehicle itself, and/or any person who has violated KGBC 8.20.020 or 8.20.040 with respect to the vehicle jointly and severally.

(d)    A person authorized by contract or other official order to remove an abandoned vehicle has a lien upon the vehicle towed, moved, or stored by and in possession of the person in accordance with AS 28.10.502. [Ord. No. 1005, §1, 12-2-96; Ord. No. 988, §3, 5-6-96. Code 1974 §29.30.070.]

8.20.090 Other rights preserved.

(a)    Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as limiting the right of any person to operate a lawful junkyard, salvage yard or storage yard. The registered owner or other responsible person may properly dispose of a junk or abandoned vehicle by delivery to a lawful junkyard, salvage yard or storage yard or business which lawfully disposes of vehicles.

(b)    Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit the right of the borough, pursuant to other provisions of this title and the common law, to abate summarily a public nuisance, including but not limited to the nuisances defined in this chapter.

(c)    Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as limiting the power of the borough to seek other remedies in connection with an abandoned or junk vehicle, including recovery of fines for improper disposal in violation of KGBC 8.15.060 or 8.20.100. [Ord. No. 988, §3, 5-6-96. Code 1974 §29.30.080.]

8.20.100 General penalty for violations.

Any person who violates any provisions of this title, performs any unlawful act as defined in this chapter or fails to perform any act required by this chapter shall be guilty of a violation. Upon conviction, such violation shall be punishable by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00) and not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00). Each day of the violation shall be a separate violation subject to an additional penalty. [Ord. No. 1607, §8, 10-3-11; Ord. No. 1182, §4, 5-21-01; Ord. No. 988, §3, 5-6-96. Code 1974 §29.30.090.]

8.20.110 Appeal process.

(a)    A hearings officer and an alternate shall be designated by the borough manager for the purpose of hearing appeals requested by recipients of notices of violations (NOVs) pursuant to this section. Hearings shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 2.115 KGBC.

(b)    A request for appeal shall be made in writing to the manager, on a form approved by the manager, with fifteen (15) calendar days after the date of the NOV.

(c)    The contents of the written appeal shall state:

(1)    The name and mailing address of the appellant;

(2)    The number or other sufficient identification of the notice of violation;

(3)    Any facts, documents, photographs, witness statements or other evidence supporting the appeal;

(4)    A statement of the reasons of the appeal;

(5)    A statement as to whether the appellant intends to appear at the hearing before an administrative hearing officer or waives the opportunity to appear at the hearing on the matter. If the appellant waives the opportunity to appear at the hearing, the hearing officer may determine the case based upon the written statements of the appellant, the evidence submitted by the agency and the testimony of any witnesses;

(6)    The signature of the appellant and the date of signing; and

(7)    Such other information as the manager may require.

(d)    The appeal shall be delivered or mailed to the manager who shall inform the hearings officer and request a hearing date. The hearings officer shall then inform the appellant and the manager, in writing, of the date, time and location of the hearing.

(e)    Additional NOVs may be issued for every day a person is in violation prior to request for appeal for said violation. [Ord. No. 988, §3, 5-6-96. Code 1974 §29.30.100.]

8.20.120 Voluntary disposal.

(a)    The borough manager shall designate an appropriate area within the borough’s jurisdiction for the disposal of junk or abandoned vehicles.

(b)    The borough shall, subject to assembly appropriation, utilize up to fifty (50) percent of those funds received pursuant to KGBC 4.45.030 to:

(1)    Fund enforcement of the junk/abandoned vehicle disposal provisions set forth in this chapter; and

(2)    Subsidize the cost of voluntary disposal under subsection (a) of this section. [Ord. No. 1005, §1, 12-2-96. Code 1974 §29.30.110.]