By Lea Kahn, Staff Writer
WEST WINDSOR — Aiming to clean up the township, Township Council has introduced amendments to an existing ordinance that would control where a car, truck or recreational vehicle can be parked on public or private property, and the length of time that it may be parked there.
The ordinance, which is set for a public hearing at Township Council’s Dec. 21 meeting, was sparked by a handful of property owners who routinely park their cars in the front yard of their homes, Council President Bryan Maher said at the council’s Dec. 7 meeting.
“The whole point of the exercise (is), we have a handful of property owners in town who have a tendency of parking their car — and sometime, numerous cars — throughout their property,” Mr. Maher said.
Mr. Maher said he could not understand why someone would want to park two or three cars in the middle of the lawn in front of their home. If people were polled about it, 99 out of 100 would say “that looks pretty bad,” he said.
“I don’t think the bulk of (residents of) West Windsor Township wants to be looking at that. We need to tweak the ordinance to account for that eyesore, (and) make the town look better. We certainly are not looking to infringe on people’s right to own cars and park them in their driveway,” he said.
“We want to make the town look a little nicer. That’s the intent,” he said.
The proposed ordinance stipulates that “inoperable, unlicensed or uninspected” cars, trucks, truck trailers or automotive parts may not be left on public property — except in an emergency, and only for a maximum of 48 hours.
On private property, they may not be parked for more than 30 days — unless the vehicle is used in farming or for agricultural purposes.
Vehicles may not be parked so that they extend into the public right-of-way or onto public property. They cannot be parked so that they obstruct the view of traffic or a traffic light, according to the proposed ordinance amendment.
If a car, truck or recreational vehicle is parked on private property and it belongs to someone other than the property owner or someone who lives there, it must be parked inside a garage. It cannot be stored outside.
If the vehicle belongs to the property owner or a resident of the house, it must be parked in the driveway. It can be parked in the side yard if it is screened from view. It can be parked, unscreened, in the front yard or side yard — if there are exceptional circumstances — for up to 24 hours.
The ordinance makes an exception for vehicles, truck trailers or automotive parts that are stored in a garage or building. Commercial repair garages are exempt from the ordinance, provided the vehicles are screened from view by a fence, hedge or evergreens.
The ordinance also addresses the issue of the private sale of cars and trucks. It stipulates that they may not be parked on the street or any other public place with a “for sale” sign on it. A “for sale” sign on a vehicle that is parked on private property may be displayed for up to 30 days.
Violations must be fixed within 24 hours, or the person who violates the ordinance will be fined $100. The fine for a second or subsequent offense is $250.
By Lea Kahn, Staff Writer