City of Marshfield
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Municipal Code


Municipal Code

Chapter 10. Public Peace and Good Order

Sec. 10-35. Storage of junk, etc.

(1) Generally. Storage of junked or discarded property shall be restricted as follows:

  1. Restricted. No person shall store junked or discarded property, including automobiles, automobile parts, trucks, tractors, refrigerators, furnaces, washing machines, stoves, machinery or machinery parts, wood, bricks, cement blocks or other unsightly debris which substantially depreciates property values in the neighborhood, except in an enclosure which screens such property from public view or upon license issued by the council.
  2. Order for compliance. The building services supervisor may require by written order any premises in violation of this subsection to be put in compliance within the time specified in such order and, if the order is not complied with, may have the premises put in compliance and the cost thereof assessed as a special tax against the property.

(2) Abandoned vehicles. Procedures for abandoned vehicles shall be as follows:

  1. Vehicle abandonment prohibited. No person shall leave unattended any motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer or mobile home on any public street or highway or public or private property for such time and under such circumstances as to cause the vehicle to reasonably appear to have been abandoned. When any such vehicle has been left unattended on any city street or highway or on any public or private property within the city without the permission of the owner for more than 48 hours, the vehicle is deemed abandoned and constitutes a public nuisance.
  2. Removal and impoundment of abandoned vehicles. Any vehicle in violation of this subsection shall be impounded until lawfully claimed or disposed of under subsection (2)(c) of this section. If the chief of police or his authorized representative determines that the cost of towing and storage charges for the impoundment would exceed the value of the vehicle, the vehicle may be junked by the city prior to expiration of the impoundment period upon determination by the chief of police or his authorized representative that the vehicle is not stolen or otherwise wanted for evidence or any other reason.
  3. Disposal of abandoned vehicles. Disposal of abandoned vehicles shall be in accordance with the following:
    1. Vehicles exceeding $250.00 in value. Vehicles exceeding $250.00 in value shall be disposed of in accordance with the following:
      1. If the chief of police or his authorized representative determines that the value of an abandoned vehicle exceeds $250.00, he shall notify the owner and lienholders of record by certified mail that the vehicle has been deemed abandoned and impounded by the city and may be reclaimed within 15 days upon payment of accrued towing, storage and notice charges and if not so reclaimed shall be sold. See also subsection (2)(d) of this section.
      2. If an abandoned vehicle exceeding $250.00 in value is not reclaimed within the period and under the conditions provided in subsection (2)(c)1.a of this section, it may be sold at private sale.
      3. After deducting the expenses of impoundment and sale, the balance of the proceeds, if any, shall be paid into the city treasury.
    2. Vehicles of less than $250.00 in value. Any abandoned vehicle which is determined by the chief of police or his authorized representative to have a value of less than $250.00 may be disposed of by direct sale to a licensed salvage dealer upon determination that the vehicle is not reported stolen.
  4. Owner responsible for impoundment and sale costs. The owner of any abandoned vehicle, except a stolen vehicle, is responsible for the abandonment and all costs of impounding, storing and disposing of the vehicle, provided no such costs shall be imposed without notice thereof to the owner and an opportunity for the owner to be heard thereon. Costs not recovered by the sale of the vehicle may be recovered in a civil action by the city against the owner.
  5. Notice of sale or disposition. Within five days after the sale or disposal of a vehicle as provided in subsection (2)(c) of this section, the chief of police or his authorized representative shall advise the state department of transportation, division of motor vehicles, of such sale or disposition on a form supplied by the division. A copy of such form shall be given to the purchaser of the vehicle, and a copy shall be retained on file with the city.

(Code 1982, 9.09)