A city councillor says St. John’s is experiencing an increasing problem with people abandoning their cars and trucks, causing headaches for local businesses and churches.
Councillor Jonathan Galgay
Ward 2 Coun. Jonathan Galgay raised the issue at Monday night’s regular council meeting, saying he’s received calls from business owners and churches complaining about vehicles being left on their property.
But right now, Galgay said, the city doesn’t have a bylaw to deal with abandoned vehicles.
“Not weekends, but weeks,” he said after the meeting. “Local towing companies won’t remove those vehicles, because obviously there’s a liability risk, and essentially, who takes control of that vehicle?”
City solicitor Robert Bursey said the city would have to reach an agreement with the owner of the property where the vehicle is left.
“The city would have no right to enter upon private property for a purpose such as that, so there is nothing to stop the city from entering into agreements with private property owners in respect to that,” Bursey said.
It’s having an impact on the owners of the properties where vehicles are left, said Galgay, who added that he intends to meet with city legal staff to find out what the city can do.
“As a city, we don’t have a problem towing vehicles when they are in infringement of our bylaws for impeding snowclearing operations, and we also see cases where we see private businesses entering into contracts with the city to enforce permit bylaws. So I see no problem with business owners coming forward and working with our legal staff. … I see no big problem with the city taking some responsibilty and impounding those vehicles.”
Galgay said whatever plan the city comes up with, would involve some sort of fine against vehicle owners to offset storing and impound costs.