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Council Clears The Way For Removal Of Inoperable Vehicles

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Jonathan AustinThe Birmingham City Council took action Tuesday to help clean up neighborhoods, using a 2010 ordinance that prohibits parking on front lawns. The Ordinance makes it unlawful to park a motor vehicle in the front yard of a residence and/or business, or on a sidewalk, within the city limits.
This action clears the way for the Birmingham Police Department, under the direction of the city administration to remove 46 inoperable vehicles. The resolution approved by the council also characterized these motor vehicles a public nuisance and assesses the cost of removal of these vehicles against the registered owners.
“Parking in the front yard ordinance has been very effective in our communities,” said Councilor Johnathan Austin, who recommended the ordinance through the Public Safety Committee which he chairs. “Our goal is to make sure that we are accommodating all of our citizens but ultimately not allowing people to park their cars in the front yard because we want to have a better quality of life for all our citizens and we can’t let the problems of a few affect the whole community and that’s why I pushed for that law in 2010 and that why it has been successful.”
This is not the first time this action has been taken by the Council and countless inoperative vehicles in violation of the ordinance have been ticketed and towed since the ordinance went into effect on May 10, 2010.
Councilor Austin also said that residents have a responsibility of reporting to the police when they see activities which may be in violation of the law. And while the ordinance affects all the residents of the city, there are provisions in the ordinance that allow for exceptions, Austin said.  “If there are Seniors that may only have access to their homes by parking in their front yard, there are provisions in the law that allows them to get a zoning variance which will allow them to do that.”
Residents are also encouraged to learn about the rules and get educated about the ordinance which is enforced by the Birmingham Police Department. Those who wish to read the details of the ordinance can access it via the council’s web site at www.birminghamalcitycouncil.org. Approved and proposed ordinances by the council are listed under City Ordinances.
The approval of removing inoperable vehicles is another initiative the council tackles regularly to remove blight and nuisance from our communities.  The council routinely passes resolutions authorizing the removal of abandoned buildings and the cutting of overgrown weeds throughout all nine districts.