ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLES*
* Cross References: Maximum period allowed in manufactured homes parks, § 11-7(d)(6).
State Law References: Authority of county, G.S. 153A-132.
Sec. 8-20. Definition of abandoned vehicle.
For the purpose of this section, a vehicle shall be deemed to have been abandoned in the following circumstances:
(1) It has been left upon county-owned property or public grounds within the county in violation of a law or ordinance prohibiting parking; or
(2) It is left on property owned or operated by the county for a period of not less than seventy-two (72) hours; or
(3) It is left on private property without the consent of the owner, occupant or lessee thereof for a period of not less than seventy-two (72) hours; or
(4) It is left on any public grounds within the county for a period of not less than seven (7) days.
Sec. 8-21. Listed value of antique vehicle.
Vehicles deemed by the owner to be "antiques" shall be listed on the tax books for a minimum of five hundred dollars ($500.00) each.
Sec. 8-22. Violation by vehicle owner.
It shall be unlawful for any person to abandon any motor vehicle within the county, or to leave or allow to remain any partially dismantled, nonoperating, junked or otherwise dismantled vehicle on property under such person's control.
Sec. 8-23. Circumstances under which dealers license required.
Any person having on premises owned, occupied or leased by such person two (2) or more inoperable, dismantled or damaged motor vehicles or major portions thereof, shall be deemed to be a junk dealer and will be required to purchase the privilege license required by section 105-102 of the General Statutes of North Carolina and the current privilege license resolution adopted by the board of commissioners. Such vehicles shall be listed for taxes annually according to law, for a minimum value of fifty dollars ($50.00) per vehicle.
Sec. 8-24. Presumption as to abandoned motor vehicle.
In the event that an abandoned motor vehicle is found to be inoperable, dismantled or damaged beyond reasonable repair, and worth less than one hundred dollars ($100.00), it shall be declared to be a junked motor vehicle. If such a vehicle is removed to a storage area or garage, it shall be held at least fifteen (15) days following notification of the registered owner by certified mail, during which time it may be reclaimed by its owner upon establishing satisfactory proof of ownership, and upon paying all reasonable costs incidental to its removal and storage, such cost to be a minimum of fifteen dollars ($15.00). After fifteen (15) days if it remains unclaimed, a junked vehicle may be destroyed or disposed of as salvage. Any funds derived from the disposition of junked motor vehicles shall be deposited in the auto removal account of the county. Within fifteen (15) days after final disposition, notice shall be given to the division of motor vehicles that such vehicle has been disposed of as a junked motor vehicle. With the consent of the owner of a junked motor vehicle, it may be removed and disposed of regardless of its value, condition, or age without holding it for the fifteen-day period set out above.
Sec. 8-25. Department and officials in charge of removal.
The county health department shall have control of all such removal, and the certified sanitarians of that department are designated by the board of commissioners as the officials to direct the removal and storage of each vehicle.
Sec. 8-26. Removal subject to conditions.
All abandoned or junked motor vehicles shall be removed for safekeeping to storage areas subject to the conditions prescribed in this article.
Sec. 8-27. Fee for pick up of vehicle.
The county will charge a fee of five dollars ($5.00) per vehicle for removing vehicles from privately owned premises; except that there will be no fee charged for picking up a junk vehicle at the owner's request.
Sec. 8-28. Removal and storage in storage area.
Vehicles determined to be abandoned may be removed and stored in the county vehicle storage area.
Sec. 8-29. Payment for removal without permission and storage.
Upon the removal and storage of any vehicle without advance permission, written notice by certified mail shall be promptly given to the registered owner of the vehicle. Such owner, before obtaining possession of the vehicle, shall pay the county all reasonable costs incidental to the removal and storage of the vehicle and of locating its owner, such cost to be a minimum of fifteen dollars ($15.00).
If identity or whereabouts of the owner cannot be ascertained, the officials designated to remove and store the vehicle shall, after holding it for thirty (30) days and after having its value determined by three (3) disinterested dealers or garage operators and after twenty (20) days notice to the division of motor vehicles, dispose of it by public or private sale. The proceeds of such sale shall be forwarded to the accountant of the county. The accountant shall deduct from the proceeds of sale the costs of removal, storage, investigation as to the owner and sale and any liens that may be recorded against the vehicle, and deposit such sum in the county auto removal account. Any funds remaining shall be deposited in the general fund of the county to be paid to the owner of the vehicle upon proper proof of ownership.
State Law References: Required hearing, G.S. 153A-132; sale procedure, G.S. 44A-4, 44A-5, 44A-6.