[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Board of the Village of Sauk City as Ch. 10.08 of the 1970 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Prohibition. No person shall leave unattended any motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or mobile home on any public street or highway or public or private property for such time and under such circumstances as to cause the vehicle to reasonably appear to have been abandoned. When any such vehicle has been left unattended on any Village street or highway or on any public or private property within the Village without the permission of the owner for more than 48 hours, the vehicle is deemed abandoned and constitutes a public nuisance.
Removal and impoundment. Any vehicle in violation of this section shall be impounded until lawfully claimed or disposed of under Subsection C of this section, except that if the Police Chief or his duly authorized representative determines that the cost of towing and storage charges for the impoundment would exceed the value of the vehicle, the vehicle may be junked by the Village prior to expiration of the impoundment period upon determination by the Police Chief or his duly authorized representative that the vehicle is not wanted for evidence or other reason.
If the Police Chief or his duly authorized representative determines that the value of the abandoned vehicle exceeds $100, he shall notify the owner and lienholders of record by certified mail that the vehicle has been deemed abandoned and impounded by the Village and may be reclaimed within 15 days upon payment of accrued towing, storage and notice charges and if not so reclaimed shall be sold.
In the event an abandoned vehicle determined to exceed $100 in value is not reclaimed within the period and under the conditions as provided in Subsection C(1) of this section, it may be sold by sealed bids. The description of the vehicle and the terms of sale shall be published as a Class 1 notice five days before the sale.
After deducting the expense of impoundment and sale, the balance of the proceeds, if any, shall be paid into the treasury.
Any abandoned vehicle which is determined by the Police Chief or his duly authorized representative to have a value of less than $100 may be disposed of by direct sale to a licensed salvage dealer upon determination that the vehicle is not reported stolen.
Costs. The owner of any abandoned vehicle, except a stolen vehicle, is responsible for the abandonment and all costs of impounding and disposing of the vehicle. Costs not recovered from the sale of the vehicle may be recovered in a civil action by the Village against the owner.
Notice of sale or disposition. Within five days after the sale or disposal of a vehicle as provided in Subsection C, the Police Chief or his duly authorized representative shall advise the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Division of Motor Vehicles, of such sale or disposition on a form supplied by the Division. A copy of such form shall also be given to the purchaser of the vehicle. A copy shall also be retained on file in the Village.
Storage restricted. No disassembled, abandoned, inoperable, unlicensed, junked or wrecked motor vehicles, truck bodies, tractors, trailers, farm machinery or appliances shall be stored or allowed to remain in the open upon private property within the Village for a period exceeding 20 days.
Definitions. The following words when used in this section shall have the meaning ascribed to them as follows:
- DISASSEMBLED, INOPERABLE, JUNKED OR WRECKED MOTOR VEHICLES, TRUCK BODIES, TRACTORS AND TRAILERS
- Includes but is not limited to motor vehicles, truck bodies, tractors, trailers, tractor-trailers, farm machinery or trailers in such state of physical or mechanical ruin as to be incapable of propulsion or being operated upon the public streets or highways or which are otherwise not in safe or legal condition for operation on public streets or highways due to missing or inoperative parts, flat or removed tires, expired or missing license plates, or other defects.
- INOPERABLE APPLIANCE
- Includes but is not limited to any stove, washer, dishwasher, trash compactor, or refrigerator which is no longer operable in the sense for which it was manufactured.
- UNLICENSED MOTOR VEHICLES, TRUCK BODIES, TRACTORS, TRACTOR-TRAILERS OR OTHER TRAILERS
- Includes but is not limited to motor vehicles, truck bodies, tractors, tractor-trailers, or other trailers which do not bear lawfully current license plates.
Exceptions. This section shall not apply to any motor vehicle or motor vehicle accessories stored within an enclosed building or on the premises of a business enterprise operated in a lawful place and manner when necessary to the operation of such business enterprise, in a storage place or depository maintained in a lawful place and manner, or seasonal use vehicles such as snowmobiles, motorcycles, motor scooters and nonmotorized campers, provided that such vehicles are stored in rear yard areas. Such business enterprises shall include auto junkyards and auto repair and body shops but shall not include automobile service stations or automotive accessory or parts stores, except those service stations which operate a duly licensed wrecker service. Also excepted are motor vehicles registered pursuant to §§ 341.265 and 341.266, Wis. Stats. In other situations the Chief of Police may issue permits permitting an extension of not to exceed an additional 30 days' time to comply with this section where exceptional facts and circumstances warrant such extension.
Whenever the Police Department shall find any vehicles or appliances, as described herein, placed or stored in the open upon private property within the Village, it shall notify the owner of said property on which said vehicle or appliance is stored of the violation of this section. If said vehicle or appliance is not removed within five days, the Police Department shall cause to be issued a citation to the property owner or tenant of the property upon which said vehicle or appliance is stored.
If such vehicle or appliance is not removed within 20 days after issuance of a citation, the Chief of Police shall cause the vehicle or appliance to be removed and impounded and it shall thereafter be disposed of as prescribed in § 313-1B through E by the Chief of Police or his duly authorized representative. Any cost incurred in the removal and sale of said vehicle or appliance shall be recovered from the owner. However, if the owner of the vehicle or appliance cannot readily be found, the cost of such removal shall be charged to the property from which it is removed, which charges shall be entered as a special charge on the tax roll.
Penalty. Any person who shall interfere with the enforcement of any of the provisions of this section and shall be found guilty thereof shall be subject to a penalty of a forfeiture of not less than $25 nor more than $500 together with the costs of prosecution. Each motor vehicle or appliance involved shall constitute a separate offense.