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Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society

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JUNK CARS

What Is An Unauthorized Junk Car?

The purpose of this information brochure on junk cars is to help promote an informed citizenry in decision-making.

An "unauthorized" junk car in Josephine County, Oregon is a car not authorized for storage in an accredited automobile wrecking yard [see page I-7, Section 11.030, of the Josephine County Rural Land Development Code (code)], and/or an inoperable, or wrecked motor vehicle defined as solid waste [see page 1 of the Josephine County Solid Waste and Nuisance Abatement Ordinance No. 90-16 (ordinance)].

"Automobile Wrecking Yard. Any property where the dismantling, salvaging, storing, disposing, or selling of parts of vehicles or trailers is conducted; or, the open storage of 5 or more unlicenced vehicles not in running condition from which parts have not been removed."

"Inoperable Or Wrecked Motor Vehicle. Any vehicle including the parts thereof which is, or reasonably appears to be junked, wrecked, non-operating, not currently licensed for operation, or no longer safely usable for purposes for which it was manufactured."

Unauthorized junk cars are considered a public nuisance in conflict with the code and/or the ordinance. The code coordinate regulations governing the use and development of land: 1. to guide and manage growth in accordance with the comprehensive plan, 2. to protect the public health, safety, and welfare, and 3. to assist the public in understanding regulations affecting the development and use of land. The purpose of the ordinance is to help neighbors use their land in a manner consistent with the long term health and welfare of the community.

What Neighbors Can Do For Neighbors

Neighbor should have for other neighbors is respect. Take care of your neighbors and they will take care of you. However, one thing that’s sure to feed the fire between feuding neighbors is unsightly abandoned, or junked vehicles on the property.

Be informed — Investigate and talk to your neighbor before you act. For example, an inoperable, or wrecked motor vehicle visible from a public road is a nuisance and in violation of the ordinance. However, the world is not black and white. For example, if you are in a rural residential zone, what you believe to be a junk car(s) might be the legal storage of an unlicenced motor vehicle (i.e., "conditional use" — see page 6-7, Section 61.030.T of the code).

"Storage that is open for up to 4 unlicenced motor vehicles for non-commercial purposes when parts have not been removed and the vehicles are currently unlicenced; or when stored vehicles are owned by an individual other than the resident or owner of the property."

Communicate With Your Neighbors. They may not be aware of the permit requirements for conditional uses. It would be advisable for you to become knowledgeable about the code in order to help your neighbors with understanding the process to obtain a development permit. For example, a conditional use is not an outright permitted use in conformance with a particular zone. A "conditional use" requires review and results in either approval, approval with conditions, or disapproval. Approval of a conditional use results in the issuance of a development permit (see Article 41 of the code).

For More Information About Junk Cars

Hugo’s lush beauty engenders us all with a strong sense of pride. Family and friends are impressed by our community’s rural setting and natural charm; keeping our homes and yards in shape elevates our property values.

We are an active community of friends who understand when one of us makes a mistake, but a "repeat offender" affects all of us. If you need assistance with the code, please contact Terri Dickerson, Ordinance Administrator, Josephine County Planning Office, 510 NW 4th Street, Grants Pass, OR 97526, 541-474-5421 (front desk), 541-474-5425 (direct). If you need assistance with the ordinance, please contact Ray Campbell, Environmental Health Specialist, Josephine County Department of Health And Community Action, Environmental Health Division, 714 NW "A" Street, Grants Pass, OR 97526, 541-474-5325, Ext 2209.

A "formal complaint" about what you feel are unauthorized junk cars is not anonymous. Planning and Environment Health require written documentation and evidence as part of the public record to support the complaint. The ordinance enforcement process also requires any complaint to be from three or more adult residents living within mile radius of the alleged violation. Violations may involve penalties of up to $500.00 in fines.

Try not to get frustrated as the county receives a number of complaints on junk cars, sometimes daily. Planning has established a low enforcement priority for the open storage of unlicenced motor vehicles. Be courteous and patient, but be persistent, and you will help to improve our neighborhood.

August 26, 2002

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2012 Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society