TUPELO - Broken, unregistered or generally abandoned vehicles have no place in somebody's yard, according to a section of city code getting extra attention this summer.
The code bans "junk vehicles" from residential areas - including driveways - with a small exception: one broken car or truck can be stored behind fencing or landscaping as long as it's completely blocked from view.
Otherwise, they must be stored in garages or completely enclosed buildings.
A junk vehicle, according to Tupelo Code-Enforcement Officer Jeremy Sapp is any car or truck that doesn't work, never moves, has flat tires or weeds growing up around it or lacks a current license plate.
"You know it's a junk vehicle when you see it," Sapp said. "It's pretty evident."
Like most violations, code-enforcement officers will issue a warning first. This gives property owners time to tow the vehicle, fix it, hide it or otherwise prove it's not junk. If the problem isn't corrected within about 10 days, officers will write a citation.
Repeat offenders face as much as $1,000 in fines and jail time.
"It really just brings the property values down," Sapp said.
Auto garages, salvage yards, vehicle repair shops and wrecker services, however, can store junk vehicles in accordance with the code.
This is part 4 in a series of stories about common Tupelo code violations heavily targeted this summer by the city. The first stories were about house numbers, yard parking and signs and banners. Other stories will be:
May 28: Outdoor storage
June 4: Grass mowing
June 11: Fences
June 18: Trash containers
June 25: Landscape maintenance
July 2: Commercial codes