December 20, 2014

Whitney Township adopts junk car ordinance

Planning Commission Chair says ordinance overdue

By Tim Barnum|Staff writer
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WHITNEY TOWNSHIP — Whitney Township has addressed the issue of unlicensed, inoperable automobiles wasting away in yards with its junk car ordinance, which went into effect May 14.

“There are a lot of junk cars in Whitney Township,” said the township’s zoning administrator, Ernest Kata.

“We had some requests from the township residents that we address this issue,” said Whitney Township Planning Commission Chairman Lyle Swartz. “Basically, it’s to control junk cars, and it covers other abandoned vehicles, vehicles under repair. … The only vehicles we’d be concerned about are vehicles that are visible.”

According to a copy of the ordinance, the definition of junk cars are motor vehicles and watercraft that are junked or wrecked and the purpose of the ordinance is to limit and restrict the outdoor storage of these vehicles, avoiding an unreasonable accumulation of junk. Violations would occur, per the ordinance, if junk vehicles are under repair and visible for more than 14 days.

Swartz says violations would be enforced using the township’s Civil Infraction Ordinance.

He says the junk car ordinance is a step in the right direction for the township.

“We try to be proactive, we try to get ahead of the game, but in the case of the junk car ordinance, we didn’t,” Swartz said. “It was something that was long overdue.

“What we’re trying to do is avoid going to court and expounding the township’s resources on an individual case basis. … We don’t want to spend the township’s resources on something like this (junk car cases in court).”

For more information on the Whitney Township Junk Car Ordinance, contact the township hall at 989-362-5528 or 989-362-8441.

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