Abandoned Vehicles and the Abatement Process
In order to assist your neighborhood, Soledad Police Officers have been assigned to patrol all areas of the City of Soledad. Their assignment is removing and abating improperly parked, abandoned, wrecked, dismantled and inoperative vehicles and other objects, like RVs and trailers, left on the streets or private property in violation of state laws or city of Soledad Municipal Code 10.12, Inoperative Vehicles.
A major part of city blight and poor sanitation involves problems with discarded, abandoned or neglected personal property such as old cars. Many of these cars, ignored by their owners, are left to decay and pose a health and safety risk. They become a target of vandals, are dangerous to children and become a home to rodents, stray animals and illegal activity. They usually have some amounts of old gasoline and oil, often leaking on the ground contaminating ground water. They also pose a risk of fire or explosion if accidentally exposed to flame.
Most people are well meaning and plan to "get around to" fixing or registering their vehicles. Others simply store their cars wherever they can. These never-ending repair or restoration projects cannot stay in a yard. Cars that people can't drive go neglected and unregistered. Some of the parked cars we notice for abatement have been motionless and a hazard for years.
Vehicles parked on public property, like streets, highways or public parking lots, can be removed by any Soledad Police Officer after placing a notice on the vehicle. If the vehicle is clearly a safety hazard or blocking traffic, it can be removed immediately without any notice.
Soledad Police Officers check vehicles parked within the incorporated areas of the City of Soledad to see if any of the following apply:
1. Abandoned, wrecked, dismantled, inoperative or unregistered vehicles:
All vehicles parked or stopped on the street, or any public or private parking area, must be in running condition and have current vehicle registration. Vehicles cannot block a street, driveway, sidewalk, other vehicle or any public right-of-way, per 22651 (b)(d), (j), (r) CVC
. If not able to drive safely or if not in running condition (Example: missing wheels, windshield, windows, engine, lights or other parts, no proof of current registration, etc.), they can be towed away by officers immediately, any time, per 22669(d) CVC
Any vehicles parked or left on any public street may be marked by officers as possibly abandoned. Owners then have 72 hours (3 days) from the time it is marked to remove the vehicle before it is considered to be an abandoned vehicle and may towed away, per 22651(k) CVC
2. Improper storage of personal property:
Including Motor vehicles, Campers, RV’s, Boats & Trailers – You may not use your residence or yards to store abandoned, wrecked or neglected motor vehicles, motor vehicle parts, Trailers, Campers, Boats, RVs - (Recreational Vehicles), and any parts thereof.
Also, it is illegal to occupy, use, rent or live in any trailer, camper, RV or boat as a dwelling or temporary "guest room" while parked or stored on private property - even for a short time. Vehicles and items used as living spaces are subject to abatement and owners subject to citation.
3. Vehicles on private property must be stored in fully enclosed structures:
Wrecked or dismantled vehicles cannot be parked or stored on private property unless totally enclosed within a legal structure, like a garage. Cloth car covers, portable picnic shades or tent covers are not considered a structure.
4. Repairing vehicles on streets and private property:
The repair of automobiles is prohibited on the public right-of-way (streets) except in the case of an emergency, and then for only as long as it takes to move the car per City of Soledad Municipal Code 10.12.025, Disabled/Inoperative Vehicles.
You may do minor repairs on your own car, or those of immediate family members to vehicles registered to that address (Example: Change oil, tires, headlights, etc.). Repairs must be made in your driveway or garage only.
Doing major vehicle repairs at your home is prohibited (Examples: Removing or replacing an engine, head gaskets, timing chains, transmission, suspension, or replacing or doing any exterior or interior body work). Repairing or selling cars, as a business or for a profit, is prohibited.
5. Excessive parking violations:
Vehicles that have received over 5 (five) unpaid parking tickets from any government agency, can be towed at any time, per 22651 (i) CVC
. Once the parking citations are paid, the vehicle can be released.
The Abatement Process
Vehicle Abatement is a legal process used primarily for removing abandoned and neglected vehicles and other items from private property. Vehicles are abated according to City of Soledad Municipal Code 10.12.080, Abatement and Removal Authority, and under provisions of the California Vehicle Code, including sections 22660 CVC
and 22661 CVC
An abatement action can be taken after a notice is posted on the vehicle and the property owner is mailed a notice of the city's intent to abate the vehicle, trailer, and boat or vehicle part(s).
Property owners are also subject to being cited for permitting or maintaining a public nuisance, and may be billed by the city or have a lien placed against their real property for the costs of removal and abatement.
Once vehicles or other items are towed for any reason except abatement, a vehicle may be released. A vehicle release form is needed from Soledad Police Records.
Abated vehicles towed or removed under an abatement process that falls under California Vehicle Code section 22661
CAN NOT be released and will be destroyed by an auto dismantler.
Report an Abandoned Vehicle