Topic: so the police want to tow my lemon out of my driveway...

I have a neighbor that takes the passive aggressive approach to improving neighborhood property values. Reports my racecar every few months to the police, says it is a non-working eyesore, abandoned, etc.

I've got my car in the driveway, non op, no plates, which is legit as far as local municipal codes (Fremont, CA) are concerned. Runs and safe for highway speeds, because racecar. Not in my garage, because, well, it doesn't need to be.

This last time, police put a notice on the car that it's a derelict, will be towing (out of my driveway) in a few days.  After taking to officer, said I'd be fine if I just put a car cover on it. Which is b.s.. There is no local ordinance that makes a car not towable because of a $30 tarp over it.

Any of you rule-skirtin' lawyer types have advice for me? Any recourse if they actually tow it? Does this happen to you too?

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Re: so the police want to tow my lemon out of my driveway...

I don't understand people's obsession with property values when they aren't actively trying to sell.

Higher values = higher taxes! You're better off if the place looks like a shithole!

The correct solution is clearly to burn your neighbor's house down.

Or just bung a cover on it to avoid the tow this time. Bonus if you choose the ugliest possible cover. Harbor Freight has these awesome looking camoflauge tarps. I'm not sure if they're uglier than normal blue or green though.... And hold it down with bricks or broken cinderblocks for the classy look.

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Re: so the police want to tow my lemon out of my driveway...

Put a cover over it. > bang for the buck.

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Re: so the police want to tow my lemon out of my driveway...

Sadly, the cover is probably the cheapest way out.

Feel fortunate.  In my township any non-licensed, non-inspected car is considered abandoned and you are not allowed abandoned vehicles on your property.

Now, the way I did get around that was I put the car on my trailer and parked the trailer in the yard.  The trailer was licensed, so I was okay.

There was a guy in the next county that fought the government because he had junk cars on his land (they truly were parts cars at their best).  He was able to beat them, but I have no idea what it cost him in legal fees.

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Re: so the police want to tow my lemon out of my driveway...

I don't know ca law, but in nj it has to be covered.  However, you could get sponge bob sheets for the cover and use burned up car parts to hold it down.  Think as ugly as you can.  Or get the guy to be on your team so he shuts up.  That has been my strategy.

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6 (edited by mechimike 2015-03-07 04:18 PM)

Re: so the police want to tow my lemon out of my driveway...

Do you know which neighbor it is?  When I got code enforcement called on me they didn't tell me who it was.  So, I made it a point to talk to every neighbor and mention that some dickwad called the county on me.   I figure if nothing else I'd shame/ guilt whoever did it into dealing with me face to face.  So far no one's admitted to it...

Make your car as difficult to tow as possible.  Crank the wheel all the way, leave it in gear, put the parking brake on, put a parking boot on it...Maybe pile some cinder blocks behind it.  Buy one of the cheap Taiwanese National Anthem car alarms and rig it up to another battery so it can't be disconnected.

Or just buy a dang cover.  A beige one.  Then maybe they'll cut you some frigging slack!

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Re: so the police want to tow my lemon out of my driveway...

I love Mike.

This space for rent.

Re: so the police want to tow my lemon out of my driveway...

My wife made me put a cover on it, just to prevent such issues.   Not that either of
our daily drivers meets "community standards" in our neighborhood.  If you have
ever seen the Cow Car at a west-coast track, you know what I mean.

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Re: so the police want to tow my lemon out of my driveway...

I would do the car cover thing, that is what I had to do in NJ...But if you want you could always be creative with some artwork on the car cover...

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Re: so the police want to tow my lemon out of my driveway...

Yeah. What I dislike that code is very clear that I'm within rights having this thing on my driveway, naked and exposed. Having your car (any ugly car) declared abandoned is only a few complaints away.

Arent cops supposed to be republican? They should be telling whiners to pound sand.

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11 (edited by rmcdaniels 2015-03-08 03:35 AM)

Re: so the police want to tow my lemon out of my driveway...

I've had similar neighbor problems; the car cover ended up being the cheapest/easiest solution. At one point a city code enforcement officer informed me that in the Raleigh city limits one non-operational vehicle could be stored off of pavement (i.e. in the grassy part of the yard) and could not be supported by jack stands, but had to be supported by something more stable, like cinder blocks. I asked him (in mild amazement) if he had just said that I could legally keep a junk car in the yard on cinder blocks, and he confirmed it. I had the blocks placed in the yard right in front of the house and was taking the wheels off of the car when my wife made me stop and go get a car cover.

After a few years of doing this, another driver and I bought a commercial building in an industrial neighborhood about 20 minutes from the house where we keep a bay for ourselves and an office where we set up the racing simulator and brewery. The rest of it is rented out to a paint/body shop and to a concrete company, which pays the bills. That venture turned out so well that we then bought a 3-bay auto repair shop and an auto dealer lot and some more commercial land across the street, again renting it all out so it's paid for. LeMons is probably going to turn us into commercial property managers at some point.

Everybody grab your brooms, it's shenanigans!

Re: so the police want to tow my lemon out of my driveway...

A friend of mine was having similar issues with his neighbors. He'd buy a cheap parts car, part it out for the cash, and haul whatever didn't sell to a junk yard. His neighbors were constantly calling code enforcement on him. He'd haul a car home, and not a day later code enforcement was knocking on his door. Eventually, he got fed up with it. He bought three of the rustiest, brightly painted cars he could find, drug them home, and stuck them in his front yard. Of course, code enforcement  came a few days later and told him he had 10 days to get the cars gone or else he would be issued a citation for each car.

After studying the city ordinances, he took the motors out of all three cars, drained the gas tanks, cut the roofs off, filled the engine compartment, passenger compartment, and trunk on all three with soil, planted a bunch of cheap flowers, and called them planters. Code enforcement came by, checked it out, gave him a pat on the back for the ingenuity of it, and left. There was some bizarre loophole in the definition of what was considered a 'junk vehicle', and he skirted by with it. His neighbors actually went to a city council meeting to try and get the ordinance change, but found out that if the definition was changed, he would be grandfathered it under the old definition!

Re: so the police want to tow my lemon out of my driveway...

mechimike wrote:

Make your car as difficult to tow as possible.  Crank the wheel all the way, leave it in gear, put the parking brake on, put a parking boot on it...Maybe pile some cinder blocks behind it.  Buy one of the cheap Taiwanese National Anthem car alarms and rig it up to another battery so it can't be disconnected.

Next time we are enjoying a beverage, remind me to regal you with "difficult to tow" stories from my tow truck driving days.  When Johnny Law calls you out and wants the vehicle towed and doesn't care how, the vehicle gets towed...

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Re: so the police want to tow my lemon out of my driveway...

f263u wrote:

I have a neighbor that takes the passive aggressive approach to improving neighborhood property values. Reports my racecar every few months to the police, says it is a non-working eyesore, abandoned, etc.

I had some neighbors (they bought the first house on the street in '78) that reported my other neighbor's trailer to the HOA all the time. Out of sight, out of mind is the way to go. My two post lift was outside and you could see it from the street, until I put up the 10 ft fence and covered the posts and cross support in left over fence material. Nazi neighbors came over months later and did not even know the lift was in.

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Re: so the police want to tow my lemon out of my driveway...

Like this smile

http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r71/twf164/Honda%20S2000/IMG_0533_zps2f0b00e5.jpg

Re: so the police want to tow my lemon out of my driveway...

My neighbors above me keep reporting I am operating a Russian chop shop.   Cops stop by every so often to tell me of new complaints.  We have a laugh at them now, but I am so feed up with them we are moving to a nice big yard.  7 acres and in the country.

Re: so the police want to tow my lemon out of my driveway...

When my neighbor spots a new crapheap in the yard, he comes over and laughs at me and my impulse control disorder, and usually is good for moving a few cars around if I need spare parking. I still live in a township where it's legal for me to burn my trash, and keep as many unregistered "cars" as I've got room for. my neighbor also brings bad ideas. oxygen pellets don't make buckets of gas burn better.

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Re: so the police want to tow my lemon out of my driveway...

I've had my share of problems with code enforcement and neighbors. I kinda deserved it. I feel real sorry for the people who live at my old place when their friends google their address and see my stuff there.

It dawned on me one day that the it may not be the neighbors but, in fact, may be a real estate agent in the area or someone trying to get "comps" for a bank refinance.

While I didn't do it, I nearly went after the city with a Freedom of Information Act request for a copy of the complaint since taxpayer dollars were used to act the written complaint. While they say the complaints are anonymous, they likely can only be kept anonymous until challenged.

Re: so the police want to tow my lemon out of my driveway...

mechimike wrote:

Make your car as difficult to tow as possible.  Crank the wheel all the way, leave it in gear, put the parking brake on, put a parking boot on it...Maybe pile some cinder blocks behind it.

As Craigers points out, you don't know many tow operators do you? The thing could be at the bottom of a well and they could still tow it. It's classed as an "abandoned vehicle", so I can assure you they won't care how much damage is done in the process.

As it's a racecar, I doubt it has any windows so getting it out of gear/park/etc. is no great feat. If they followed the lemons rules to the letter, there's no steering lock in it either.

Just put a car cover on it. Keeps the rain out that way. (Duff usually has a cover over it when outside.)

(I'll have to see if I still have a video of the Opel being pulled out of the field it sat in for decades.)

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Re: so the police want to tow my lemon out of my driveway...

The Opel being dragged out of the field:

http://forums.24hoursoflemons.com/viewt … p?id=11264

Everybody grab your brooms, it's shenanigans!

Re: so the police want to tow my lemon out of my driveway...

I love you too, Bob,

2008- 2010:  1966 Volvo 122, "Charlie"
2010-present:  1975 Ford LTD Landau...doesn't have a name?

Re: so the police want to tow my lemon out of my driveway...

solman244 wrote:
mechimike wrote:

Make your car as difficult to tow as possible.  Crank the wheel all the way, leave it in gear, put the parking brake on, put a parking boot on it...Maybe pile some cinder blocks behind it.  Buy one of the cheap Taiwanese National Anthem car alarms and rig it up to another battery so it can't be disconnected.

Next time we are enjoying a beverage, remind me to regal you with "difficult to tow" stories from my tow truck driving days.  When Johnny Law calls you out and wants the vehicle towed and doesn't care how, the vehicle gets towed...

This. I used to love snow storms in Worcester because I'd get to watch the tow trucks hauling all the people ignoring the parking ban. They didn't get a shit. They'd hook the first solid thing they found under one end of the car with a chain and giant hook, then haul it away from the curb violently until it was in the street enough to grab it correctly and tow it away. I can't imagine how much damage they did each storm.



I preemptively put a cover on my car. Keeps the water off, and makes me look nicer than my neighbor who brings home a derelict saab every other week to "fix" and resell.

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Re: so the police want to tow my lemon out of my driveway...

I love that we live in a country where private property can be destroyed and confiscated by the arbitrary whims of the duly elected government.  Even out of your own driveway.

2008- 2010:  1966 Volvo 122, "Charlie"
2010-present:  1975 Ford LTD Landau...doesn't have a name?

24

Re: so the police want to tow my lemon out of my driveway...

I've always had a car cover, or atleast since I took the windows out and painted it.  I've never had a complaint because my neighborhood is very working on your busted car friendly area, but I always assumed its best to try and be nice to the the neighbors, plus the no windows the tarp/carcover combo keeps it dry and from having all the stray cats living in it.

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Re: so the police want to tow my lemon out of my driveway...

I do my best to keep my crap can indoors at all times.  I left it outside to dry after washing the engine compartment yesterday, and when I got home from a run to the parts store I couldn't help thinking that I wouldn't want to live next door to somebody that kept something like this outside.  To us it may be a treasure, to most of the human race it's an eyesore.  And where is that fine line between having a crappy LeMons car in your driveway and a rusted hulk on cinder blocks in your front yard?

If it were me, I'd try to do the right thing and put a car cover (not a tarp) over it.

Sidebar, there was a guy in Georgetown Mass many years ago that had a bunch of unregistered parts cars in his yard, way off the road, pretty much not visible until the leaves fell off the trees in the fall, and even then you really had to crane your neck to see them.  Somebody complained.  To fix the problem he registered them all, then moved them so they were clearly visible right at the edge of the road.  It's legal now, right?

I forget the details of how it all ended up, but I'm pretty sure the town ended up having to pay for his time and expenses to move them all back again, cover the registration fees, etc.

bs