Any ordinance establishing procedures for the removal of abandoned vehicles shall contain all of the following provisions:
(a) The requirement that notice be given to the Department of Motor Vehicles within five days after the date of removal, identifying the vehicle or part thereof and any evidence of registration available, including, but not limited to, the registration card, certificates of ownership, or license plates.
(b) Making the ordinance inapplicable to (1) a vehicle or part thereof that is completely enclosed within a building in a lawful manner where it is not visible from the street or other public or private property or (2) a vehicle or part thereof that is stored or parked in a lawful manner on private property in connection with the business of a licensed dismantler, licensed vehicle dealer, or a junkyard. This exception shall not, however, authorize the maintenance of a public or private nuisance as defined under provisions of law other than this chapter.
(c) The requirement that not less than a 10-day notice of intention to abate and remove the vehicle or part thereof as a public nuisance be issued, unless the property owner and the owner of the vehicle have signed releases authorizing removal and waiving further interest in the vehicle or part thereof. However, the notice of intention is not required for removal of a vehicle or part thereof that is inoperable due to the absence of a motor, transmission, or wheels and incapable of being towed, is valued at less than two hundred dollars ($200) by a person specified in Section 22855, and is determined by the local agency to be a public nuisance presenting an immediate threat to public health or safety, provided that the property owner has signed a release authorizing removal and waiving further interest in the vehicle or part thereof. Prior to final disposition under Section 22662 of such a low-valued vehicle or part for which evidence of registration was recovered pursuant to subdivision (a), the local agency shall provide notice to the registered and legal owners of intent to dispose of the vehicle or part, and if the vehicle or part is not claimed and removed within 12 days after the notice is mailed, from a location specified in Section 22662, final disposition may proceed. No local agency or contractor thereof shall be liable for damage caused to a vehicle or part thereof by removal pursuant to this section.
This subdivision applies only to inoperable vehicles located upon a parcel that is (1) zoned for agricultural use or (2) not improved with a residential structure containing one or more dwelling units.
(d) The 10-day notice of intention to abate and remove a vehicle or part thereof, when required by this section, shall contain a statement of the hearing rights of the owner of the property on which the vehicle is located and of the owner of the vehicle. The statement shall include notice to the property owner that he or she may appear in person at a hearing or may submit a sworn written statement denying responsibility for the presence of the vehicle on the land, with his or her reasons for such denial, in lieu of appearing. The notice of intention to abate shall be mailed, by registered or certified mail, to the owner of the land as shown on the last equalized assessment roll and to the last registered and legal owners of record unless the vehicle is in such condition that identification numbers are not available to determine ownership.
(e) The requirement that a public hearing be held before the governing body of the city, county, or city and county, or any other board, commissioner, or official of the city, county, or city and county as designated by the governing body, upon request for such a hearing by the owner of the vehicle or the owner of the land on which the vehicle is located. This request shall be made to the appropriate public body, agency, or officer within 10 days after the mailing of notice of intention to abate and remove the vehicle or at the time of signing a release pursuant to subdivision (c). If the owner of the land on which the vehicle is located submits a sworn written statement denying responsibility for the presence of the vehicle on his or her land within that time period, this statement shall be construed as a request for hearing that does not require the presence of the owner submitting the request. If the request is not received within that period, the appropriate public body, agency, or officer shall have the authority to remove the vehicle.
(f) The requirement that after a vehicle has been removed, it shall not be reconstructed or made operable, unless it is a vehicle that qualifies for either horseless carriage license plates or historical vehicle license plates, pursuant to Section 5004, in which case the vehicle may be reconstructed or made operable.
(g) A provision authorizing the owner of the land on which the vehicle is located to appear in person at the hearing or present a sworn written statement denying responsibility for the presence of the vehicle on the land, with his or her reasons for the denial. If it is determined at the hearing that the vehicle was placed on the land without the consent of the landowner and that he or she has not subsequently acquiesced to its presence, then the local authority shall not assess costs of administration or removal of the vehicle against the property upon which the vehicle is located or otherwise attempt to collect those costs from the owner.
(Amended by Stats. 1993, Ch. 589, Sec. 187. Effective January 1, 1994.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018