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Old 07-13-2018, 07:05 AM
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Insane Coral Gables Law

This is a story for you guys.

I am DIY enthusiast. When I take on a project I usually do so from the comfort of my garage at my parents house in the city of Coral Gables in Miami Dade County.

Right now I am going through a nightmare of a situation with the city of Coral Gables. Apparently there are local ordinances and laws that unjustly state that the city will fine and confiscate from anyone who has a car on their property that they consider to be abandoned or junk.

Their legal definition of "abandoned or junk car" is any car that is parked visibly from the road on your property meets any one of these parameters:

1. Has one or more flat tires
2. Has rust/body/paint damage
3. Is an "eyesore"
4. Is on cinderblocks
5. Does not have valid registration or tag.
6. Is in a state mechanically where it cannot move by its own.

The law states that within 5 days of recieving any citation the city will remove the vehicle and dispose of the vehicle at the owners expense.

Apparently I recently recieved a citation which I personally did not recieve due to me not being present nor dwelling at the house. My father informed me yesterday.
I called up the city. And they informed me that Sunday at 5pm a tow truck will take the vehicle if it remains parked in the condition it is.

I have been in the middle of swapping out the axles having finished the rear and waiting on some stuff to come back from powder coat for the front axle. I attempted to get an extention for next week because the car cannot be moved due to the whole front suspension and axle being out from underneath. They refused and made it clear that the truck will be there Sunday to take the Jeep.

I vehemently protested this. They are gonna have a police escort the tow truck and if I try to interfere they will arrest me.
Niw I am forced to either call a towing company or complete the job, if the parts from powdercoating are ready. Moving the jeep is a nightmare in its current state and is expensive. I am furious

This is a load of bull.

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Old 07-13-2018, 07:40 AM   #2
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Rough one, sorry to hear this. Most cities have laws on the books like this. It will cost you more to get that Jeep back than it will to call a tow truck and have it moved and stored somewhere. You said it’s in a garage, with closeable door? How long has it been in it’s current condition.

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Old 07-13-2018, 07:54 AM   #3
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..hmm....what if you got one of those tent "garages" for about $100 and put it up to hide the vehicle. They're only about $100, and I imagine you would get a citation for IT, but if your vehicle is no longer "visible from the street", then it would/should not get towed....

This is certainly not a solution to your problem, but may buy you some time....

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Old 07-13-2018, 10:36 AM   #4
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In a perfect world the city council represents the citizens and, with some exceptions, local laws usually follow the will of the people. This would mean the people of Coral Gables are the ones that don't want to see your "junk car", right? I would expect as much from a city with their demographics (2X median income, 91% white, 4X property value). Honestly, I'd be surprised if some of the neighbors wouldn't still complain when you're finished, LOL. I do wish you luck and hope your project Jeep turns out awesome.
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Old 07-13-2018, 11:45 PM
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The tent idea isnt bad but by the way the code enforcement office is treating me they would probably bust it down and take it either way. Those guys dont represent the law, technically speaking in this case, they just want the Jeep outa there.

The way things stand, I just need to get the new axle bolted in there. Whats getting complicated is assembling the axle. I have had a nightmare of a time trying to get the steering knuckles to fit well with a set of RCV axles. I bought a new set of knuckles had to seriously grind away at them to clear the boot, which by the way I AM NOT HAPPY about the fact that these axles cost as much as they do and they require hacking up the stock knuckle. Buyers beware... yj, tj, xj, and certain jks these RCVs are a pain
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:52 AM   #6
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Actually, a lot of cities have these laws. Usually they don't get enforced unless someone complains. Did you piss off any of the neighbors?
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:04 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Lee H View Post
You said itís in a garage, with closeable door? How long has it been in itís current condition.
Is it in a garage or an open air carport? If it's in the carport and there is a garage available get some of those car dollies from Harbor Freight and wheel it into the garage for a few days to reset the clock on their enforcement. As long as it's visible from the street there's not much you can do. I agree with the prior posting that these actions are rarely enforced unless there has been a complaint. Anything you can do to reset the clock (reinstall the old axle temporarily to get it in moving condition?) may buy you time to get it done right.
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:41 AM   #8
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Agreed, some one complained. How long has it been in the open on jack stands.
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Old 07-15-2018, 09:40 AM
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The Jeep is not in the garage. Its outside my garage. I havent gotten on any of the neighbors nerves that I am aware of. The project is moving forwards well. I am getting the axle boltes in today. I dont think I can run the cables for the locker but I think with the jeep sitting on its wheels assembled I should be fine. It should be considered a lawfully parked car at that point
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Old 07-15-2018, 09:47 AM   #10
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I wonder if their going to ask you to 'move the vehicle under its own power'. I would be prepared to do that. Also even though its hard, be nice to them when they show up. You don't want to piss those guys off. Good luck with the build...
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:17 PM   #11
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You are going to have to pay for a tow truck one way or another. Pay to have it taken where you can work on it.
I do a lot of enforcement work for the code guys. Most of it has to do with landscape. They will need to have a court order in place to legally tow the vehicle. Usually, the difficulty is ramped up if the property is occupied. It is obvious that your city council has a bunch of people that do not have a car gene.
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Old 07-15-2018, 07:19 PM   #12
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Insane Coral Gables Law

Unbelievable that they can do that on private property without the opportunity to be seen by a judge in a courtroom.
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Old 08-20-2018, 09:07 AM   #13
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The law was most likely enacted to combat things like this:

Regrettably, some folks abuse the statute.
I lived in a subdivision that had covenants. There was one neighbor who walked her dog several times each day and carried a notepad that she used to jot down anything she deemed a violation. Unfortunately, the HOA treated her tales as gospel while acting on each and was grateful as it saved them the time and expense of enforcement. In fact, she caused one other neighbor to receive a rather threatening cease and desist type of letter for operating a Ďhome-based auto repair businessí. In actuality, he had his personal car on jackstands in his garage (garage door open for ventilation, after all this is Florida) for less than 8 hours on a Saturday while he changed a front hub.

Iíve always said: Give some people an inch and they think that they are a ruler.
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