Kenai code takes dim view of abandoned cars, trash

Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2002

With the city of Kenai stepping up enforcement of municipal code violations this year, Kenai residents who are in violation of code regulations stand a greater chance than ever of being called to task on them.

According to John Parker, code enforcement officer for the city, many of the violations he deals with are not intentional or malicious. In many cases, the people simply did not know what they were doing was illegal.

"Most people want a neat and clean city and want to follow the rules, they just don't know what the rules are," he said.

The following is an outline of some of the most commonly violated Kenai Municipal Code regulations that generally apply to private property within the city. For further information, the entire code is available at the city's Web site,, and at city hall.

Abandoned, illegally parked and junk vehicles -- Chapter 12.25

Abandoning vehicles within the city is prohibited. Even if you intend to come back for it at some point, leaving a vehicle for an amount of time or under circumstances that would make it reasonably appear to have been abandoned is still a code violation.

A vehicle may not be left in a public property parking area in violation of regulations, ordinances and-or posted times, periods or conditions.

A junk vehicle may not be left on any street, highway or public property in the city.

Under the code, a junk vehicle is one which is not currently registered for operation or exhibits two of the following elements: A substantial amount of broken or missing glass; missing two or more wheels or tires; missing a body panel or body parts (such as quarter panels, a bumper, trunk lid or hood); missing an essential component (such as the engine, transmission, carburetor, distributor, a brake or wheel cylinder, brake shoe, generator or alternator, starter, front passenger seat or drive shaft); it is stripped, wrecked or otherwise inoperable due to mechanical failure; it is inoperable and has not been repaired because of mechanical difficulties or because the cost to repair it would be more than the fair market value of the vehicle.

No owners, tenants, occupants, lessees or anyone in charge of any property within the city may leave or allow any junk vehicles to remain on the property longer than 72 hours, unless the vehicle is in an enclosed building. A junk vehicle can be left on the property of a lawfully operating business, if the vehicle is necessary to the operation of the business (like a mechanical garage). A junk vehicle also can be left in an appropriate storage place maintained in a lawful place and manner by the city.

The city manager can authorize a 30-day time period for someone to repair a junk vehicle and make it operable if it is reasonable to believe the repairs can be made, if the registered owner or person who possesses the car is willing to perform or have the repairs performed, if the vehicle does not pose any health or safety hazard and if there is no reasonable means for removing the vehicle from public view while repairs are being performed.

Miscellaneous Provisions -- Chapter 12.20

Deposit of refuse -- No one may deposit any refuse on anyone else's land without the owners consent. No one may deposit refuse in a private Dumpster without the owners' consent.

Obnoxious weeds -- It is illegal for the owner, tenant, occupant or person in charge of a piece of property to allow weeds, grass or other vegetation to grow to the point where it endangers public health.

Debris and junk -- It is illegal for the owner, lessee, agent, tenant or occupant of a piece of land to place, allow to be placed or allow to remain the following items on the property --debris; junk; indiscriminate storage of machinery, equipment parts, lumber or similar materials; any accumulation of garbage, manure, offal or rubbish; stagnant water or any filthy liquid or substance or anything that is or may become putrid or offensive.

Excavations and wells -- No owner, lessee, agent, tenant, contractor or occupant may allow any excavation in the ground or any well, pit, basement or other similarly constructed facility to be left uncovered, unprotected, unfenced or in some other dangerous condition.

Abandoned ice boxes and refrigerators -- No person, firm or corporation may leave any abandoned, unattended or discarded ice box, refrigerator or any other air-tight container with a fastening device in a place accessible to children.

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