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Posted on Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Ann Arbor beefs up ordinance to keep abandoned and inoperable vehicles off city streets

By Ryan J. Stanton

No longer can inoperable vehicles clutter up neighborhood streets after the Ann Arbor City Council gave the city's abandoned vehicle ordinance a tuneup Monday night.

The council voted unanimously in favor of new language that allows the city to tow inoperable vehicles from public property, something it struggled to enforce under the previous ordinance.

"I think this will go a long way in helping our neighborhoods address these kinds of concerns," said Council Member Stephen Kunselman, one of the sponsors of the ordinance change.


Ann Arbor resident David DeVee chats on the phone in September while standing in front of the first of four vehicles in a row that he and his family kept parked on the street in front of their home on Shady Lane on the city's southeast side.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Kunselman said a situation earlier this year on Shady Lane prompted the need for more teeth in the ordinance that deems vehicles abandoned if they haven't moved for 48 hours.

The city used the 48-hour rule to tow and impound more than 100 vehicles deemed abandoned in the last two years, but one family on Shady Lane evaded the city's enforcement officers by making sure to move their cars in the street at least once every other day to comply with the law.

Neighbors complained they saw the family moving a single working battery from one vehicle to another, driving the vehicles in a circle, and then parking them again to avoid being towed.

Senior Assistant City Attorney Bob West acknowledged the city has had cases where, when vehicles were re-checked after 48 hours, they had moved a few feet, but their appearance gave the impression they were simply being pushed, rather than driven, those few feet.

The new ordinance language states that if a vehicle appears to be inoperable based on outward appearance or otherwise appears to not have been driven after a 48-hour notice has been affixed, the city can demand the registered owner demonstrate the vehicle is operable. Failure or refusal to demonstrate the vehicle is operable will be considered proof the vehicle is inoperable.

The council changed the title of the ordinance section about "Abandoned Vehicles" to "Storage of Vehicles" as part of the revisions.

Kunselman noted it still will be a complaint-driven process, meaning it's up to residents to call the city and complain if there are concerns about vehicles left on the streets in their neighborhoods.

In regard to private property, the ordinance still states: "No person shall park, store, leave, or allow to be left upon private property controlled by him or her, any motor vehicle in a rusted, wrecked, junk, or partially dismantled or inoperative condition, whether attended or not, unless in connection with an auto maintenance or repair business or unless the vehicle is completely enclosed within a garage."

The ordinance does make an exception to allow one such vehicle to be maintained in the rear yard for up to 30 days after notice to remove the vehicle is served by the city, so long as the vehicle is not within 20 feet of an adjacent residential lot.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.


Milton Shift

Sun, Dec 9, 2012 : 8:58 a.m.

If you have an inoperable vehicle, put it in neutral, push it up your driveway and turn it behind the house, then back up until you are horizontally blocking the end of the driveway. You can't be towed from a position like this - it's physically impossible, unless there is a great deal of open space. Alternatively, you could install a deeply seated cement anchor in the ground and chain it to your car. No one should have their vehicle towed from their own property. The city council has gone much too far.

Milton Shift

Sun, Dec 9, 2012 : 8:33 a.m.

Wait - you can't even park your own car in your own driveway if it's not running? This is a regressive ordinance (who else will have trouble keeping their car maintained other than the poor?), this is an outrage!

Milton Shift

Sun, Dec 9, 2012 : 8:29 a.m.

Then let people park on their lawns. 48 hours is outrageous. The towing companies will make a killing. Did you know it's grand theft auto (a serious felony that generally carries heavy prison time) to drive your car off a towing company's parking lot? YOUR car.

say it plain

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 11:03 p.m.

What if the car is "saving a parking spot"? This is so silly to get so heavy-handed in a city that wants to encourage leaving your car at home til you really, really need it. Otherwise it's just a way to rule on 'aesthetics', and I'd love to see City Council spend time on other things. I know precious real estate values are the end-all and be-all and everything, but yikes, isn't there something Council can come up with short of empowering neighborhood busybodies quite so very much?!


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 2:49 a.m.

The family from the other story (and in the picture here) was over-the-top with their disrespect to neighbors. And now everyone is going to have to pay because this guy just had to prove a point.

cornelius McDougenschniefferburgenstein jr. 3 esq.

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 1:10 a.m.

cops ignored all the students 2013 BMW,s for a week on thanksgiving break,now watch thier selective enforcement for 3 WEEKS ON christmass break!!!just like every year+people have called+complained+aapd looks the other way as usual.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 12:36 a.m.

1. Not all houses/living situations have their own driveways or just one parking space but two cars. What should they do? Park in Dexter and commute? 2. I had my daughters car (eventually becoming un-drivable) in my own driveway all winter one year. Is that now illegal? It was in my own driveway. My house has no garage. There was still space behind it for another car. Could my neighbors report me for my own family's car in my own driveway?

J. Zarman

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 3:33 a.m.

All it takes is for anybody to phone in their suspicion that a car in your driveway cannot start or run. Once the car gets reported, it could be towed 48 hours after having a "Notice to Tow" tag affixed.

Ron Granger

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 12:01 a.m.

Suddenly cars with any rust are banned in Ann Arbor? This is the rust belt. They put lots of salt on the roads. And yet they want to penalize those who drive "Detroit's finest" because they have rust?

J. Zarman

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 9:52 p.m.

Let the sponsor of this ordinance change know a few things.... If I will be away and not able to spot a "Notice to Tow" sticker on my operable and legally parked car, I don't want the city to tow my car off the street or out of my driveway. In Ann Arbor, it is no longer safe to leave town for 5-10 days. Come back and you may find that those 1 or 2 vehicles you legally parked, have been towed away, costing you $200, $500, even $800 just to reclaim. The website lists the following as how to contact Council Member Stephen Kunselman: 734-975-4604


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 9:40 p.m.

Are you kidding me? This is ridiculously not enough time. People can easily not drive their cars for two days in this town. We have a good public transit system. I guess using public transit, being a student or an elderly citizen that can only get around once or twice a week is now a towable offense. These obvious reasons aside two days is unreasonable. A car sitting for a month is reasonably questionable as to whether it works. This ordinance just allows bad neighbors to call the cops on peole for having a sitting car. Our police have better things to do than to ticket and tow a car that sat for two days, even for two weeks because this is a college town and students leave their cars because they don't have to drive everywhere. Let's have reason dictate our laws and not bad neighbors or the lure of ticket and towing fines as revenue.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 9:16 p.m.

Just another one of many reasons I'm thrilled to NOT live in Ann Arbor

J. Zarman

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 8:41 p.m.

I usually agree with City Council Member Stephen Kunselman, but not this time. A vehicle can be towed from the street or from a driveway, if it "appears to not have been driven after a 48-hour notice has been affixed" (even if it appears operable!) If the vehicles are operational, registered, and legally parked, then please do not use city resources (police, clerk's office time, etc.) to hassle law-abiding residents.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 6:07 p.m.

So does this mean I can't change my oil or spark plugs in my driveway??? "No person shall park, store, leave, or allow to be left upon private property controlled by him or her, any motor vehicle in a rusted, wrecked, junk, or partially dismantled or inoperative condition, whether attended or not, unless in connection with an auto maintenance or repair business or unless the vehicle is completely enclosed within a garage."


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 5:54 p.m.

The caption under the picture indicates he is standing in his front yard. Trimmed garden, hanging plants, mowed lawn. Just what do you call a dump ? Oh My.. They have old cars. There are plenty of subs with strict rules if thats what you want. Sounds like you would fit in well.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 4:56 p.m.

Good. Hope this gets some of the junk the heck out of our faces. Have some pride and self respect and clean up your crap.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 11:58 p.m.

Hey! That's my car you are referring too!

Unusual Suspect

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 4:41 p.m.

"unless in connection with an auto maintenance or repair business" Ten dollars down at the county building will get me get a DBA for "Unusual Suspect's Auto Repair".


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 4:40 p.m.

Its too bad some people will abuse this law by calling in daily/nitpicking. Near me, we had a van that didn't move for months--NEVER. It wasn't a total heap, but the problem was it was parked on the corner and it obstructed the view if you wanted to turn left (couldn't see because of a curve and other cars parked on the street). The school bus stop was also on that corner. It's moved now, someone must have complained or else they got rid of it. It was really only a matter of time before an accident occurred because of the obstructed view of this permanently parked van.

J. Zarman

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 4:34 p.m., you do us a disservice by omitting the link to your 8/26/2012 report on a newer car in fine working order being towed while the Ann Arbor resident was on vacation. Going to be away for more than two days? Do not risk parking on Ann Arbor streets. Hosting a houseguest? Have them check their car for "Notice to Tow" stickers.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:53 p.m.

Hooray! New speedboats for everybody at Brewer's Towing!


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:53 p.m.

Just a comment of interest: Pittsfield Village (condominiums) has no off-street parking and was built that way back in the 1940's. But we all seem to get along with the auto zoo on our streets pretty well.

J. Zarman

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 4:01 p.m.

Just curious, do you Village residents dare leave your extra vehicle parked curbside while you are away for a week or so? This revised ordinance has teeth, so beware.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:47 p.m.

Based on what it says here, we are no longer allowed to work on our cars in our own private driveways. I bet most of the people here weren't thinking of those that either choose to work on their own cars, or can't afford to pay others to fix their cars. It is also quite common for someone not to have time to work on their car until the weekend or other break in their work week. I get what it's trying to address, as I've seen inoperable cars sit parked on streets causing issues with parking, plowing, and traffic, but there has to be a better way. Those folks that were passing the battery around, are still going to get around it by bringing each vehicle separately. In a town that supposedly supports pedestrian and cyclist traffic, it's ironic that if you don't move your car for 48 hours, it's considered abandoned. Instead of towing on the first offense, perhaps it would make more sense to escalate the penalties for repeated offenses instead and if a vehicle remains unmoved for extended periods of time, then impose a greater penalty. Also, I would suggest if the owner of the vehicle can be immediately reached to show its operational, then the vehicle not be considered abandoned for 72 hours or longer.

J. Zarman

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:51 p.m.

Thank you, JK, for the voice of reason. Council Member Kunselman's ordinance change is heavy-handed and too far-reaching.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:32 p.m.

I'm sure there is a cop out there somewhere that dreamed of going to the Police Academy to deal with such eye rolling ordinances.

Peter Eckstein

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:30 p.m.

"No person shall park, store, leave, or allow to be left upon private property controlled by him or her, any motor vehicle in a rusted, wrecked, junk, or partially dismantled or inoperative condition, whether attended or not, unless in connection with an auto maintenance or repair business or unless the vehicle is completely enclosed within a garage." Does this mean that if my car has a dead battery or a rusted fender I can't leave it in my own driveway? It is "private property controlled" by me. Just what public purpose is being served by such a provision?


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 4:21 p.m.

Yes, that is what it means. I understand that they're trying to harass certain people, but they've essentially ruled that we all need to go out and buy newer cars, and are no longer allowed to do our own car work. Next they'll say I can't do my own bike repairs either.

Elijah Shalis

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:41 p.m.

Get a newer car hub

J. Zarman

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:27 p.m.

The Forestbrooke subdivision in Ann Arbor is filled with 4-bedroom houses, most of which have a 1-car garage and a short driveway (capacity 1 vehicle). When those houses are populated with 3, 4, or 5 drivers, where does Council Member Stephen Kunselman suggest they park their operable and currently registered vehicles? In Ann Arbor, it is no longer safe for the family to leave for five days to visit Grandma for the holidays. Come back and you may find those 1 or 2 vehicles you legally parked on the street, towed away. Each may cost you $400, $600, even $800 just to get back. See this account:


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:27 p.m.

I could name a half dozen or more cars that have been parked in the same place since student move-in. Let's see how long before they're towed - IF they're towed. Come snow, it'll make it easier for the towing gods to find. They won't have to work as hard to find targets.

Fat Bill

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 8:53 p.m.

Yep...snowbunnies are easy to spot. Aapd usually finds a hot car or two when we have had a decent snowfall requiring the plows...


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:25 p.m.

be good little citizens and report your neighbors!?


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 5:27 p.m.

Of course, each and every good Comrade Citizen of the Glorious People's Democratic Republic of Ann Arbor will report any and all suspicious or anti-social activities of their neighbors to the proper authorities. Re-education camps are waiting.

Basic Bob

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 2:24 p.m.

How about an excess bumper sticker ordinance?


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:27 p.m.

How about a nosey neighbor ordinance

Jim Mulchay

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 2:24 p.m.

So (if this is passed) when the U-M goes to a bowl game in Florida (or Texas, Arizona, etc.) and fans have their cars on the street while they are gone they could qualify as abandoned? It sounds to me like this will be easier to write (or "beef up") than to enforce fairly and in a timely manner. Is this really such a problem that the existing process can't handle it with some discrete "personal advice" from out police when complaints are encountered?


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 2:18 p.m.

Good deal. Next thing is to deal with the abandoned bicycles in this city.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 6:02 p.m.

Here's a time lapes of a bike left abandoned in NYC. Problem worked itself out, well kind of.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 4:18 p.m.

Actually, the bike community has asked for that for at least 20 years. Abandoned bikes just clog up bike parking that other people would like to use. The problem is the police have to remove them, and they only have so much time/money for the job. They do a sweep just before art fair every year.

Robert Granville

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 2:15 p.m.

The house I rent is over 100 years old. It has no driveway. I have no control over the property and thus cannot put in a driveway or garage. I own a car. I park it on the street. Sometimes it doesn't move for days. Am I to understand that the city just doesn't want me to live here if I can't afford to store my car some other way?

Woman in Ypsilanti

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 9:37 p.m.

@GoNavy Sadly, South East Michigan does not have the kind of public transportation system that would allow people to give up their cars.

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 7:01 p.m.

That's hardly worse than a horse with no name.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 5:57 p.m.

So you bought a house without a driveway? That would have been a deal breaker for me.

Robert Granville

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 4:31 p.m.

I should add that I wouldn't mind parking in the back yard near the tool shed, but that is illegal except when expressly permitted (ex. football saturday, art fair.)

J. Zarman

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 4:09 p.m.

You understand rather well. The city of Ann Arbor wants you to live there as long as you drive and move your car at least every 48 hours. If you ever will be away and not able to spot a "Notice to Tow" sticker on your operable and legally parked car, then the city wishes you had parked elsewhere (not on a public roadway, not on property you control).

Robert Granville

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:27 p.m.

I should get rid of my car because I don't drive it daily? That doesn't even deserve a response.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 2:19 p.m.

I don't follow - does your car regularly remain stationary for days? Perhaps time to consider getting rid of it. On the other hand, if your car looks like the sort of car somebody abandoned, then perhaps a wash and some wax might be appropriate.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:44 p.m.

Without rules & limits there would be chaos. Folks are all too willing to push the limits of neighborliness and common decency. Living near students who have no shred of either, I find derelict cars abandoned for days (weeks) at a time. The situation will grow worse as highrise tenants seek a place to store their vehicles.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

far fewer spaces for vehicles than beds

Ghost of Tom Joad

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 2:19 p.m.

most of the highrises coming into town have underground parking on site.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

A real neighbor would help get some more batteries not make more problems for someone that is in need. Merry Christmas


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 5:55 p.m.

The caption under the picture indicates he is standing in his front yard. Trimmed garden, hanging plants, mowed lawn. Just what do you call a dump ? Oh My.. They have old cars. There are plenty of subs with strict rules if thats what you want. Sounds like you would fit in well.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:52 p.m.

A real neighbor wouldn't keep their property in god-awful fact such bad conditions that it has kept property value down in the entire neighborhood. Why the WHOLE neighborhood you ask? Because SAID neighbor's property is literally DIRECTLY in front of the only entrance and exit to your anyone entering your neighborhood or just driving by it will see that garbage dump front yard.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:32 p.m.

Are people calling 911 to report these cars? I thought the police were understaffed and could only respond to certain types of calls that would seem far more important than these - or is because there is revenue and a relationship involved between the police dept. and towing companies?

Fat Bill

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 8:49 p.m.

Community Standards Officers handle the mickey mouse stuff, such as parking enforcement and litter tickets. Tow Operators don't need to create the work here...certain people get the notion that they are entitled to park wherever and whenever they feel the need, they supply the towers with plenty of work.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:49 p.m.

994-4911 is the non-emergency number. Easy to remember at 99-44-911


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:31 p.m.

I don't think any cars should be parked on city streets. The streets are not wide enough and where not designed for street parking. If you own a car you should have to have a place that you can put it that is not owned by the public.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 2:28 p.m.

I beg to differ, I've been in A2 since the early 70's street parking was the standard long before I moved here 40 years ago.

Robert Granville

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 2:17 p.m.

Good luck with that absurd view buddy!


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 2:01 p.m.

In that case should there have been an ordinance that required any house built to have off street parking. And many streets were designed knowing there would be cars parked on the street. Like most laws it is those that don't show common sense or common courtesy that cause seemingly needless laws be put in place! Like picking up your leaves or mowing your lawn.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:31 p.m.

BY THE WAY.....for all those who have neighbors who call your vehicles in for BS know you can play the same game? Just about every single property in this city has at least a half dozen violations on it....whether they be community standards violations, city ordinance violations, or state law violations....they've got them. If it's worth the time and effort to you.....just take a gander at their property. Look for things like how long they let their grass grow or if they leave their trash cans out past trash pick up....stupid little things like that. If there is ANYTHING visible from the sidewalk that looks junk-like or decrepit that's a violation. Then just call the respective authorities on them every time they call your car in. Might not solve your problem....might waste city official's time.....but I bet it'll make you feel a little better and it'll give a mean person a little dose of their own medicine.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 8:08 p.m.

I would go talk to the neighbor who is calling in my car first. Then, if they continued to call in my car, I would resort to the passive-aggressive approach. It is pathetic as Mr Granville suggests and it will make you "that guy" as bunnyabbot suggests but sometimes it is the best way to deal with an unreasonable neighbor. I would consider it a last resort though. You would be surprised how often just talking to people solves the issue.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:26 p.m.

do you really want to be that guy?

Robert Granville

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 2:18 p.m.

I know its tempting.... but passive aggressive behavior is pathetic.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:42 p.m.

Are there that many in town that have their cars called in for "BS reasons"? I doubt it!


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:25 p.m.

Does this ordinance cover art work that citizens don't like? My neighbors and I have been complaining about the piece in front of city hall does that matter to council?


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 11:54 p.m.

Is it rusty? Has it moved in the last 48 hours? Report it!

Dog Guy

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:23 p.m.

Rusty and banged-up cars are hereby banished from our paradise. If you have to ask what it costs, you can't afford to live in Ann Arbor.

Silly Sally

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:18 p.m.

It is a shame that the council also did not change the law for a vehicle that has been parked on a street for too long from towing a vehicle, which is wrong most of the time, to a simple $10 or $20 parking ticket. Ann Arbor tows way too much, when a simple ticket will do. Id Brewers or Sastrups in someone's pocket?

Fat Bill

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 8:33 p.m.

Truly Silly, Sally. The problem is the car...towing removes the problem. Every year, the THREE Ann Arbor PD towing contractors remove hundreds of cars that never get picked up. You need only travel to certain underenforced communities to our east to picture what Ann Arbor would look like with willy nilly parking allowed.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 12:56 p.m.

I'm willing to bet not one single council member parks on the street at home...


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 5:29 p.m.

"you need to start calling it in as abandoned exactly 48 hours after it's parked... every time." Why wait 48 hours? The authorities obviously take any claim as true without verification.

Unusual Suspect

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 4:36 p.m.

Nike, you need to start calling it in as abandoned exactly 48 hours after it's parked... every time.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 2:51 p.m.

I can confirm with certainty that this statement is false, as my neighbor regularly parks on the street and is a current council member.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 12:51 p.m.

So how does this address the problem (in the story you ran this summer) about the neighbor on vacation whose car was towed while he was away?

J. Zarman

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 4:14 p.m.

It doesn't. Read all about it:

Craig Lounsbury

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 12:27 p.m.

As others have mentioned this is a bit hypocritical of a city that seems to stress any mode of transportation other than cars. Take the bus to work, walk to work, ride your bike to work, just be sure to move your every 2 days or we will tow it.

Craig Lounsbury

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 12:28 p.m.

please mentally insert "car" between ''your" and "every"


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 11:34 a.m.

That was a mistake. We happen to have someone in our neighborhood who is fond of reporting everyone else's vehicles as abandoned. This person has called in one neighbor's truck over two dozen times. The police dutifully take the call, go and tag the truck, the owner moves it enough to demonstrate that it's not abandoned, and repeat. But this truck actually gets used at least once a week. It's just not used every day. Heck, my truck usually doesn't get moved for a week or two at a time. Our next door neighbor got a ticket for an expired license (by a few days, while visiting a sick family member) because of this neighborhood harassment. And the police agree that it's nuisance reporting. Can we report someone for nuisance reporting? Is there a limit to the number of times a year someone can harass a neighbor using this ordinance?


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 10:33 p.m.

I live on the same street as KJMClark and this neighbor has called more like 3-4 dozen times over the last year... not 2 dozen times. The city marks the tires of our neighbors truck WHILE THE ENGINE IS STILL WARM. The truck is legitimately driven EVERY DAY. Crazy. We now know the city standards people well enough to say hello when we are out and about around town. And yes, we have tried over and over and over to talk to this neighbor and his wife to no avail. Just to remove any illusions of it being a cranky old guy... this cranky neighbor is in his 40s and has young children and his wife is active in our neighborhood. He is simply doing it to harass.

Fat Bill

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 8:29 p.m.

Get your torches and pitchforks...time to form a "Neighborhood Action Committee "...kidding, kidding...


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

KJM, my heart goes out to you, i have had neighbors like the one you describe. one lady on our block would actually come knocking on the door if the grass got mowed less than 5 times a week...yeah I'm exaggerating somewhat but you get the point. we finally had to tell her to get the "heck" off our porch and not come back.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 12:16 p.m.

So you're the guy who moved into my old house! The last place I lived in on Rosewood off Packard had an ancient woman who called in my wife's car every day. We would drive it every day, just park on the street since we only had one parking spot. We ran into the community standards cop once. He said he knew we were legit, and it was a joke at the station who had to stop at our place and one other one on the way home to give the abandoned vehicle ticket. If it's a joke at the police station, why did they just make it stronger?


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : noon

Nope, there won't be any limit. This is another case of bad facts making bad laws. The AA City Council again walks knee deep into this doo-doo. As I recall, the household in Kunselman's district that caused him to overreact this way lacked an adequate driveway. The correct solution would have been to apply the zoning and building code ordinances to make him get his driveway up to code then make him park there. In contrast, remember the person who left for a weekend only to return to find his Lexus towed. That was an instance where the old ordinance was already misused. This new ordinance will make the local tow companies even more happy. This ordinance will force ordinary people into more charades, more attempts around the law and will do more to end respect for laws and those who make them.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 11:19 a.m.

Tune in next week when City Council weighs rules on the controversial over the top or behind and under toilet paper roll debate!

Fat Bill

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 8:26 p.m.

I am so not ready for plastic toilet paper...


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 2:33 p.m.

and the following week: paper or plastic!


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:32 p.m.

I prefer a powerful bidet. Wet and wild!

music to my ear

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:26 p.m.

I prefer under


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:23 p.m.

Actually top makes it too hard to tear off where mine is mounted. I can also press my leg against the roll to keep it from spinning and still tear a sheet off when it's reversed. Unfortunately my OCD makes me want to put the roll on forward..... 1st world problems.........


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 11:28 a.m.

Top. Under makes it too hard to tear off!!


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 11:18 a.m.

I'm sorry but TWO DAYS is not long enough to be considered "abandoned". A week, yes. This is getting rather heavy handed and I know they mean well, but this is going to really be a thorn in the sides of many citizens who bike, walk, or take mass transit to work. Then it will be a game of musical cars as people desperately try to move their cars around. If this was downtown, I'd understand. But not in a residential neighborhood. Lay off. If a car has a residential permit, that should be enough. If they don't have a permit, then tow it!


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 3:47 a.m.

Geez Macabre, that's clueless even for you. The "trophy truck" is a 1996 Ranger. Some trophy. It looks better than our 98 Subaru, however. (There's a subtle consistency in that that probably won't work for you.) And yeah, many of us have "met" our neighbor. His wife is a terrific neighbor and his daughter is sweet, but he seems to have a chip about nearly everything - hey! A lot like you! I suspect he's got a bit more on the ball, though. And if you had more than the most superficial understanding of alternative transportation, such simple concepts might not confuse you so much. Bike is great for my regular commute, but not good for towing a ton and a half. Truck is great for heavier loads, but overkill for a 2.5 mile commute. Car is great for longer trips, but doesn't have the towing/cargo capacity. See? Not so hard to understand. You're welcome.

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 6:57 p.m.

KJMClark, have you considered going outside and meeting your neighbor who likes to report abandoned vehicles? I can't believe that someone, understanding that despite your extraordinary dedication to alternate methods of transportation even though it contradicts your maintenance of a trophy truck as a monument to conspicuous consumerism, would have any legitimate complaints. If you treat your neighborhood as a community rather than a parking lot, conflicts will quickly subside.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 4:14 p.m.

Well, Silly Sally, the truck is in more attractive shape than the car, and the car would be sitting out there most of the day every day as well. Besides, the truck is physically bigger than the car, so it makes it difficult to get our bikes - our primary mode of transportation - in and out of the garage that way. Did you miss that whole "bike to work" thing in your haste to reply? And yes, the streets are public, and I'm a member of the public, and the truck is parked in front of my residence. Believe it or not, it was part of the cost of my house that originally paved that street, and I pay millage money and gas tax money every year to keep that street maintained. What in the world makes you think *you* know what my neighbors would prefer?


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:26 p.m.

I kind of agree. I think 2 days is probably too soon for residential neighborhoods (certainly long enough for downtown and the surrounding downtown areas). The problem is that they're storing it on city streets. If you own a house I'm assuming you also own a driveway. Store your car there and it won't be a problem. I could see a situation where you'd want to go on vacation and potentially leave your car parked in the street. But again, these are city streets after all and your car should probably be parked in your lot. Similarly, if your car is fairly new and doesn't look like it's disintegrating in the street - you probably won't have anyone report it or even check it for time. Obviously this is unfair to people who own older cars but it's meant to go after the people mentioned in the article. Storing 4-5 broken cars in the neighborhood is not OK. Moving them a foot every couple days is not OK. If the car doesn't work, they make you prove the car does work or else it gets towed. There is absolutely no justification for storing broken down cars on city streets.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

I agree that two days is not enough. But unless you have a real clunker and multiple vehicles. It will never be enforced within a week.

Silly Sally

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:12 p.m.

KJMClark - You are storing your truck on city streets. Why not store the truck in the garage and park the car in the street where it will be used and moved? I'm sure that the neighbors would prefer this. The law exists because of people who have old vehicles that they park in front of someone's home, or across from it, and then only move it to comply with the 48 hour rule. This rule is really 96 hours since the complainer must wait 48 hours and then the police another 48 hours, assuming no lag. The streets are public, and not private parking.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 11:39 a.m.

Yep, my wife and I both bike to work. My truck only gets used on weekends, and not every weekend either. We keep the car in the garage, but we actually use that most days (ferrying kids). So the truck sits in front of our house on the street so we can pull the car out and get the bikes in and out of the garage. Now my neighbor who likes to report everyone's vehicles as abandoned can call and call and call, and I have to cold start my truck to move it a few inches every time he does. Brilliant.