[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Waterloo 10-19-1987 by Ord. No. 87-6 as §§ 7.10 and 7.18(3) of the 1987 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 350.
No person shall leave any vehicle unattended within the City for such time and under such circumstances as to cause the vehicle to reasonably appear to be abandoned.
As used in this chapter, the following terms have the meaning indicated:
Any vehicle left unattended for more than 48 hours on any public street or grounds, or on private property where parking is prohibited, limited or restricted, without the permission of the owner or lessee, is deemed abandoned and constitutes a public nuisance, provided that the vehicle shall not be deemed abandoned under this chapter if left unattended on private property out of public view, by permission of the owner or lessee.
This chapter shall not apply to a vehicle in an enclosed building or a vehicle in an appropriate storage place or depository maintained in a lawful place and manner authorized by the City.
Any vehicle found abandoned in violation of this chapter shall be impounded by the Police Department until lawfully claimed or disposed of as provided in this chapter. If the Chief of Police or his duly authorized representative determines that towing costs and storage charges for 10 days, as provided in § 346-6 below, would exceed the value of the vehicle, the vehicle may be junked or sold prior to the expiration of the impoundment period upon determination by the Chief of Police that the vehicle is not wanted for evidence or any other reason, provided that vehicles in excess of 19 model years of age shall be sold or disposed of only by auction sale or sealed bid in accordance with § 346-8 below.
The minimum period of impoundment or storage of a vehicle found in violation of this chapter shall be 10 days.
The police officer removing or causing the removal of any vehicle found in violation of this chapter shall immediately notify the Chief of Police of the abandonment and location of the impounded vehicle and shall, within 10 days thereafter, notify the owner and lienholders of record, by certified mail, of the impoundment and of their right to reclaim the vehicle. The notice shall set forth the information contained in § 342.40(3), Wis. Stats., and shall state that the failure of the owner or lienholder to exercise his right to reclaim the vehicle shall be deemed a waiver of all right, title and interest in the vehicle and a consent to sale of the vehicle.
Each retained vehicle not reclaimed by the owner or lienholder may be disposed of by sealed bid or auction sale as provided in § 342.40(3), Wis. Stats. The sale of a motor vehicle under the provisions of this chapter shall forever bar all prior claims thereto and interest therein except as hereinafter provided.
The purchaser of any vehicle on sealed bid or auction sale under § 346-8 above shall have 10 days to remove the vehicle from the storage area upon payment of a storage fee or the actual cost of commercial storage for each day the vehicle has remained in storage after the second business day subsequent to the sale date. Ten days after the sale, the purchaser shall forfeit all interest in the vehicle and the vehicle shall be deemed to be abandoned and may be again sold.
Any listing of vehicles to be sold pursuant to this chapter shall be made available by the Clerk-Treasurer to any interested person or organization who or which makes a request therefor.
Within five days after the sale or disposition of a vehicle under this chapter, the Clerk-Treasurer shall advise the Wisconsin Department of Transportation of such sale or disposition on a form supplied by the Department.
At any time within two years after the sale of a motor vehicle, as provided herein, any person claiming ownership of such motor vehicle or a financial interest therein may present a claim to the Council setting forth such facts as are necessary to establish such ownership or interest and that the failure of the claimant to reclaim the vehicle prior to the sale was not the result of the neglect or fault of the claimant. If the Council is satisfied as to the justice of such claim, it may allow the same, but in no case shall the amount allowed exceed the sum paid into the City treasury as a result of the sale of such motor vehicle nor the amount of interest of the claimant therein.
Any owner or person operating a registered vehicle which shall become disabled or inoperative for any reason and who shall be unable to cause removal of such vehicle from any alley, street, highway or public place not otherwise regulated as a restricted parking, stopping or standing zone shall, within 12 hours of such occurrence, notify the Police Department of the location of the vehicle and shall transfer and deliver clear title for said vehicle to the City together with a fee for the cost of towing and junking charges and shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter. When so requested by the owner or person in charge of a vehicle, the Chief of Police shall be authorized to order such vehicle removed and junked directly from the scene of disablement by the contractor engaged by the City for towing of disabled vehicles. The provisions of § 346-10 above shall apply to any vehicle removed under this section.