Columbus takes additional steps to combat junk vehicles

The city of Columbus is moving forward on a plan to better address and remove inoperable,  junk and unlicensed vehicles.

Currently, provisions on how to handle these vehicles is a zoning ordinance issue. Fred Barnett, director of code enforcement, says that means it can takes months before the Board of Zoning Appeals can hear any appeals, leading to longer periods of time when offending vehicles can remain parked. Under an ordinance that received initial approval Tuesday night, the Columbus City Council agreed to implement these rules into the municipal code. Barnett says this change will allow police to ticket the land owners where these vehicles are parked, up to $250 per offending vehicle.

Mary Ferdon, the city’s director of administration, stresses that the actual language governing inoperable and junk vehicles hasn’t changed. It is merely being moved to the municipal code in order to allow the city more options to deal with these vehicles in a timely manner.

Council voted unanimously to approve the ordinance. The second reading is set for December 3.