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Inoperable cars at issue in Pulaski

If at least one Pulaski Town Councilman has his way, the owners of inoperable vehicles will have to pay a substantial annual fee to keep them on town properties that aren’t zoned for industry.
Councilman Morgan Welker said he would like to see the town alter its inoperable vehicle ordinance to require a $100 fee be paid for each inoperable (unregistered) vehicle kept on residentially-, commercially- or agriculturally-zoned properties.
Welker said his intention is to “target some business properties that seem to be exempted” from screening requirements as long as the vehicles are being offered for sale.
In an e-mail Welker sent to Pulaski Police Chief Gary Roche and other town staff earlier this month, Welker states “if vehicles for sale are exempted from any screening, then we need to change the ordinance to only exempt them by licensed dealers and put in a density requirement as to how many can be kept in one acre.”
Mayor Jeff Worrell asked how much of a problem inoperable vehicles are in town now that there is a local recycler to take them. He added that scrap metal pays “pretty good money” now.
Roche said the last time he checked the inoperable vehicle list there were about 1,000 vehicles on it. He said he sees inoperable vehicles as a “quality of life issue” and he believes a substantial fee would serve as an incentive against having them.
Councilman Joel Burchett Jr. said he “can think of” three or four places in town where inoperable vehicles are a problem.
At first, Welker suggested either requiring payment of a fee or allow the owner to substantially screen the vehicles from sight. He said tarps would not be sufficient screening.
“I think that would accomplish what we want,” he said.
“I have more problems with some of the buildings in town than the cars around here,” responded Councilman H.M. Kidd.
Burchett said he has no problem with one vehicle being kept under a tarp, but he thinks a fee would serve as more of a deterrent against inoperable vehicles.
At that point, Welker said maybe it would be better to impose a fee and completely drop screening from the requirements for owning inoperable vehicles.
Councilman Dave Clark said the town has found in the past that “screening” can be difficult to define. Besides, he said a fee would be better for narrowing down those who have “a legitimate reason” for keeping inoperable vehicles.
Kidd said he thinks a fee of $100 is too steep.
Burchett said he would be support imposing a fee in all zoning districts except those zoned industrial. He suggested the fee be set in the $75 to $100 range.
Town Attorney David Warburton pointed out that it costs around $50 a year to properly register a vehicle, so a lower fee would be of little benefit.
In the end, council suggested town staff create a sample ordinance that would address council concerns and bring it back to council for input.
Worrell said he also would like to see some figures from Roche pertaining to inoperable vehicles in the town.
“Apparently it’s a bigger problem than I though it was,” he added.
Discussions about inoperable vehicles arose in response to recent concerns by citizens and councilmen regarding an expanding number of vans being stored on property at the corner of Lee Highway and Northwood Drive.
In a Jan. 6 memo to the mayor and town council, Town Manager John Hawley said he and Assistant Town Manager Dave Quesenberry met with Kevin Lindamood and Hannah Spongberg of VuhVanagon (the van business) Dec. 15 concerning zoning issues at the site.
The business recently expanded van storage from their original property at 1001 Lee Highway to property that formerly housed Pulaski Flower Shop (520 Northwood Drive) and two other tracts (508 and 512 Northwood Drive) just behind that lot.
Hawley said it was determined the Lee Highway and 508 and 520 Northwood lots are zoned Business (B-2), “which allows vehicle sales and storage, but not inoperable vehicles.”
According to the memo, Lindamood indicated only three of the vehicles belonging to the business were inoperable, thus requiring they be repaired or stored in an enclosed building.
Hawley said no repair work is being performed at any of the sites, so the business does not qualify as a salvage operation.
Since the business does online internet sales and has no “walk up” sales, Hawley said Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles indicated no dealer’s license is required.
Lindamood “said it is possible he will pursue a dealer’s license in the future,” the memo states.
Hawley also pointed out that VuhVanagon has a valid town business license and that the vehicles on the site cannot be taxed as inventory because there is no inventory tax “under the business license method.”
The town manager did point out that vans being stored on the 512 Northwood site will have to be moved because that property has, in the past, been rezoned from Business (B-1 and B-2) to Residential (R-1).
“He has indicated an interest in rezoning the parcel back to B-2,” Hawley said of Lindamood.

“As long as no inoperable vehicles are stored outside and no salvage occurs, VuhVanagon is in compliance with the Town zoning except for the R-1 lot at 512 Northwood,” Hawley states in the memo. “We will work with VuhVanagon to insure compliance and the vehicles are moved from 512.”

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Inoperable cars at issue in Pulaski

If at least one Pulaski Town Councilman has his way, the owners of inoperable vehicles will have to pay a substantial annual fee to keep them on town properties that aren’t zoned for industry.
Councilman Morgan Welker said he would like to see the town alter its inoperable vehicle ordinance to require a $100 fee be paid for each inoperable (unregistered) vehicle kept on residentially-, commercially- or agriculturally-zoned properties.
Welker said his intention is to “target some business properties that seem to be exempted” from screening requirements as long as the vehicles are being offered for sale.
In an e-mail Welker sent to Pulaski Police Chief Gary Roche and other town staff earlier this month, Welker states “if vehicles for sale are exempted from any screening, then we need to change the ordinance to only exempt them by licensed dealers and put in a density requirement as to how many can be kept in one acre.”
Mayor Jeff Worrell asked how much of a problem inoperable vehicles are in town now that there is a local recycler to take them. He added that scrap metal pays “pretty good money” now.
Roche said the last time he checked the inoperable vehicle list there were about 1,000 vehicles on it. He said he sees inoperable vehicles as a “quality of life issue” and he believes a substantial fee would serve as an incentive against having them.
Councilman Joel Burchett Jr. said he “can think of” three or four places in town where inoperable vehicles are a problem.
At first, Welker suggested either requiring payment of a fee or allow the owner to substantially screen the vehicles from sight. He said tarps would not be sufficient screening.
“I think that would accomplish what we want,” he said.
“I have more problems with some of the buildings in town than the cars around here,” responded Councilman H.M. Kidd.
Burchett said he has no problem with one vehicle being kept under a tarp, but he thinks a fee would serve as more of a deterrent against inoperable vehicles.
At that point, Welker said maybe it would be better to impose a fee and completely drop screening from the requirements for owning inoperable vehicles.
Councilman Dave Clark said the town has found in the past that “screening” can be difficult to define. Besides, he said a fee would be better for narrowing down those who have “a legitimate reason” for keeping inoperable vehicles.
Kidd said he thinks a fee of $100 is too steep.
Burchett said he would be support imposing a fee in all zoning districts except those zoned industrial. He suggested the fee be set in the $75 to $100 range.
Town Attorney David Warburton pointed out that it costs around $50 a year to properly register a vehicle, so a lower fee would be of little benefit.
In the end, council suggested town staff create a sample ordinance that would address council concerns and bring it back to council for input.
Worrell said he also would like to see some figures from Roche pertaining to inoperable vehicles in the town.
“Apparently it’s a bigger problem than I though it was,” he added.
Discussions about inoperable vehicles arose in response to recent concerns by citizens and councilmen regarding an expanding number of vans being stored on property at the corner of Lee Highway and Northwood Drive.
In a Jan. 6 memo to the mayor and town council, Town Manager John Hawley said he and Assistant Town Manager Dave Quesenberry met with Kevin Lindamood and Hannah Spongberg of VuhVanagon (the van business) Dec. 15 concerning zoning issues at the site.
The business recently expanded van storage from their original property at 1001 Lee Highway to property that formerly housed Pulaski Flower Shop (520 Northwood Drive) and two other tracts (508 and 512 Northwood Drive) just behind that lot.
Hawley said it was determined the Lee Highway and 508 and 520 Northwood lots are zoned Business (B-2), “which allows vehicle sales and storage, but not inoperable vehicles.”
According to the memo, Lindamood indicated only three of the vehicles belonging to the business were inoperable, thus requiring they be repaired or stored in an enclosed building.
Hawley said no repair work is being performed at any of the sites, so the business does not qualify as a salvage operation.
Since the business does online internet sales and has no “walk up” sales, Hawley said Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles indicated no dealer’s license is required.
Lindamood “said it is possible he will pursue a dealer’s license in the future,” the memo states.
Hawley also pointed out that VuhVanagon has a valid town business license and that the vehicles on the site cannot be taxed as inventory because there is no inventory tax “under the business license method.”
The town manager did point out that vans being stored on the 512 Northwood site will have to be moved because that property has, in the past, been rezoned from Business (B-1 and B-2) to Residential (R-1).
“He has indicated an interest in rezoning the parcel back to B-2,” Hawley said of Lindamood.

“As long as no inoperable vehicles are stored outside and no salvage occurs, VuhVanagon is in compliance with the Town zoning except for the R-1 lot at 512 Northwood,” Hawley states in the memo. “We will work with VuhVanagon to insure compliance and the vehicles are moved from 512.”

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