Ordinance No. 59
AN ORDINANCE REGULATING ABANDONED, WRECKED, DISMANTLED OR INOPERATIVE MOTOR VEHICLES

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF LETCHER, SANBORN COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA:

Section 1. DEFINITIONS. For the purposes of this Ordinance, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meaning given herein:

(a) CITY is the city of Letcher.

(b) VEHICLE: Any vehicle which is designed to travel along the ground or in the water and shall include, but not be limited to, automobiles, buses, motorbikes, motorcycles, motor scooters, trucks, tractors, pull trailers, go-carts, golf carts, boats, campers and trailers.

(c) INOPERABLE VEHICLE: Any vehicle, as defined by subsection (b) herein, which is not in operating condition due to damage, removal or inoperability of one or more tires and wheels, the engine or other essential parts required for the operation of the vehicle, or which does not have lawfully affixed thereto a valid state license plate or which constitutes an immediate health, safety, fire or traffic hazard.

(d) ABANDONED VEHICLE: Any vehicle, as defined by subsection (b) herein, which is left unattended or stored on any public property as defined by subsection (g) herein, in the same or substantially same place within the City for a longer period than seventy-two (72) hours.

(e) PERSON shall mean any person, firm, corporation, partnership, association, company, or organization of any kind.

(f) PRIVATE PROPERTY shall mean any real property within the City which is privately owned and which is not public property as defined in this section.

(g) PUBLIC PROPERTY shall mean any street, alley or highway which shall include the entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained for the purposes of vehicular travel, and shall also mean any other publicly owned property or facility.

(h) REMOVAL AGENCY: Any public body, private or non-profit organization authorized by the city to remove and salvage abandoned or inoperable vehicles.

Section 2. STORING, PARKING OR LEAVING DISMANTLED, INOPERABLE OR ABANDONED VEHICLES DECLARED NUISANCE. The presence of an abandoned, discarded, wrecked, burned, dismantled, inoperable, junked or partially dismantled vehicle or parts thereof on private or public property is hereby declared a public nuisance, which may be abated as such in accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance. It is unlawful to keep or place any of the above described vehicles or vehicle parts:

(1) Upon public streets or property except on an emergency basis; or

(2) Upon the private property of any person owning, in charge of, or in control of any real property within the city whether as an owner, tenant, occupant, lessee or otherwise for longer than fourteen (14) days unless it is within a carport, fully enclosed building or structure. A tarpaulin, tent or other similar temporary structure shall not be deemed to satisfy the requirements of this section.

(3) In no event shall an inoperable vehicle that constitutes an imminent health, safety or fire hazard be kept or located on any premises.

Section 3. EXCEPTIONS. This Ordinance shall not apply to:

(1) One inoperable vehicle kept on private property without being shielded from public view if licensed and kept on a private driveway. In the event this inoperable vehicle is in a state of externally visible disrepair or disassembly, it shall not be kept on the private driveway longer than fourteen (14) days.

(2) Filling stations, automobile repair shops or any other motor vehicle related businesses in compliance with applicable City ordinances may place inoperable vehicles being repaired or offered for sale on the premises.

(3) Junkyards operated and maintained in compliance with applicable City ordinances.

(4) Collectors who shall maintain and display vehicles in compliance within City approval.

Section 4. REMOVAL. Whenever the Mayor or any member of the City Council finds an abandoned or inoperable vehicle on public property within the City, they are authorized, either individually or through the Sanborn County Sheriff's Office, to place written notice on the vehicle that it will be removed to a garage or place of safety unless the owner removes the vehicle from public property within twenty-four (24) hours of the giving of the notice. After the expiration of the twenty-four (24) hour period the vehicle may be removed by a removal agency to a garage or place of safety. Nothing in this section precludes the City of immediately removing a vehicle that constitutes an imminent health, safety or fire hazard.

Section 5. DISPOSITION OF UNCLAIMED VEHICLES. The removal agency shall have the rights and obligations conferred upon it by SDCL Chapter 32-36 in regard to obtaining a title for or disposition of such unclaimed vehicle, except that, if not otherwise provided by state law, it shall have a possessory lien upon any vehicle removed under provisions of this Ordinance for the costs or reasonable charges in taking custody of and storing such vehicles.

Section 6. DUTY OF PRIVATE PROPERTY OWNERS. No person owning, in charge or, or in control of, any real property within the City, whether as owner, tenant, occupant, lessee or otherwise, shall allow any abandoned or inoperable vehicle of any kind to remain on such property longer than fourteen (14) days.

Section 7. NOTICE TO REMOVE. A notice in writing shall be served by the city upon any person having an abandoned or inoperable vehicle on their property, requesting the removal of such motor vehicle in the time specified in this ordinance.

Section 8. RESPONSIBILITY FOR REMOVAL. Upon proper notice, the owner of the abandoned or inoperable and the owner or occupant of the private property on which the same is located, then, shall be responsible for its removal.

Section 9. NOTICE PROCEDURE. The City shall give notice of removal to the owner or occupant of the private property where it is located. It shall constitute sufficient notice when a copy of the same is sent by registered or certified mail to the owner or occupant of the private property at his last known address.

Section 10. CONTENT OF NOTICE. The notice shall contain the request for removal within fourteen (14) days after the mailing of such notice, and the notice shall advise that failure to comply with the notice to remove shall be a violation of this Ordinance.

Section 11. NONCOMPLIANCE DEEMED MISDEMEANOR. If any person who is served a written notice to abate a nuisance under the provisions of this ordinance shall fail to do so within the time allowed in such notice, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not to exceed Two Hundred Dollars ($200) or by imprisonment for a period of not exceeding thirty (30) days, or both such fine and imprisonment.