ity of Platte City officials have recently started a push to curb what they have defined as a “public nuisance.”
According to city codes enforcement officer Tom Wooddell, owners of disabled vehicles that have not been in use for at least 72 hours and that are not placed in an enclosed area will soon be seeing his face at their front door.
“These vehicles are a public nuisance that we have been getting complaints on,” said Wooddell. “We’re going to be in a bigger push than we have been in the past to try and get rid of some of them.”
Wooddell stated that any vehicle that has not been moved in 72 hours, is not licensed and is visibly damaged or not operable is what the city has identified as a “junk” car in its ordinance.
“We’re not saying that the public can’t have cars, it’s just that they have to have them in an enclosed building to work on if it’s a hobby or something like that,” stated Wooddell.
As the city’s codes enforcer, Wooddell said he’ll follow through with this crackdown on any codes violation just like any other.
Wooddell’s first attempt is to visit with the residents and give them ample time to clean up the nuisance, which according to the ordinance, allows the person five days to solve the violation.
“If someone needs longer than they can get with me and tell me what their condition is, I’m usually flexible to work with,” he said.
However, if the citizen does not comply, Wooddell will follow up with a certified letter. If still no action is seen from the individual, Wooddell turns the issue over to the court system, as a summons is issued.
According to Wooddell, on average he is asking anywhere from two to five parties a week to remove their disabled vehicles from their property.
“So far we’ve been having pretty good luck with it,” said Wooddell. “We’re not dealing with criminals, just ordinary citizens.”
Wooddell believes that many people aren’t aware of the city’s ordinance.
“I think it’s always been enforced, I just don’t know if people are really aware of the disabled vehicle code or not and I want to get it out there so we’re not blindsiding anybody,” he said.
“We’re just trying to make the city a little cleaner and we’re trying to rid the city of some junk vehicles that aren’t doing anything.”
While the city has received comments in support of the clean-up effort, the process has its detractors, including a resident who submitted a letter to the editor.