Senate Bill 631 appears aimed at persons storing inoperable vehicles on their property. This is a highly-elastic, potentially far-reaching bill that would make it illegal to keep any vehicles on residential property, anywhere in the state, that "cannot be used." Probably the bill is intended to give neighbors a cause to sue persons who let junk cars accumulate on their property, thereby blighting the neighborhood and damaging neighbors' property values. But the bill would also outlaw keeping ANY vehicle on ANY residential property that "cannot be used." This could extend to cars stored out of sight, even in garages, and cars that are usable but unregistered, and cars temporarily out of service due to a breakdown. Persons with such cars on their property would face $1,000 fines or six months imprisonment. This bill has very serious implications for auto-restoration hobbyists, or poor persons who may have to store a car for some time until they can afford to repair or register it. Existing nuisance laws and zoning ordinances are probably sufficient to protect property owners from blighting influences.
Aarne H. Frobom
National Motorists' Association