After a few months of real-world implementation, the City of Longmont is planning on adjusting and improving the city’s municipal code relating to the impoundment of abandoned, publicly kept or junked vehicles.
The first change is adding the ability for code enforcement officers and inspectors, as well as police officers to enforce the junked and abandoned vehicle ordinance. The proposed change in the municipal code will allow code enforcement inspectors to remove or order the removal of a vehicle to “a garage designated or maintained by the police department, or by the city”.
In effect, this allows code enforcement officers and code enforcement inspectors to have vehicles deemed junked or abandoned and then towed. Originally, only police officers and specific parking enforcement officers authorized by the chief of police had that ability.
The second change appears to be directly targeted at people living in their RVs and vehicles – what the city is calling a ‘sleeper vehicle or trailer’ parked on public property, a portion of a highway, street, alley or other rights-of-way.
It would seem that people who are sleeping in their vehicles have been following the letter, but not what the city staff calls the ‘spirit’ of the law by moving their vehicle at least 600 feet (approximately a city block) every 48 hours per city code, but then, a few hours later, or the next day, they would move the vehicle back to the same general spot.
This was technically allowed since the current ordinance was silent on how long the RV must relocate.
In order to ‘provide relief’ the city proposes that you may leave your vehicle parked for up to 48 hours, and then you must move it at least 600 feet from where it was, as before. The change to the ordinance will add a new requirement that you cannot move back to that same approximate spot for ‘at least seven days’.
Tonight is the first reading of the ordinance change. The second, and likely final, reading will be at the next city council meeting on January 23rd, 2018.