Officer enforces right-of-way law

By Trish Yerges, Observer Correspondent November 21, 2012 01:13 pm

Elgin Ordinance Officer Mike Little’s activity report to city council showed more than half of all the violations in October were related to parked vehicles in the city’s right-of-way.

Parked vehicles include automobiles, trucks, flatbed trailers and recreational vehicles that are parked on the city right-of-way.

The city’s parked vehicles ordinance states that a vehicle must be completely moved off the right-of-way every 96 hours. Vehicles parked longer than 96 hours are considered “stored vehicles” and fines will be issued to owners of those vehicles. 

 Moving the vehicle three feet forward or a few inches backward from its original parked position does not meet the requirements of ordinance compliance.  Little can tell if the vehicle has been moved because he marks the tires of all suspected vehicles.

 Despite this, 16 of the 27 personal contacts Little made in October were notices to homeowners that they had a vehicle parked on the city’s right-of-way and in violation of the city ordinance.

 About 20 different vehicles were involved in the 16 contacts Little made, including pick-ups, cars, a wrecked car, flat bed trailers, horse trailers, boats, camp trailers and other types of trailers illegally parked on the city’s
right-of-way. 

 If residents are unaware of the ordinance involving parked vehicles, they may get a copy of the ordinance at City Hall for a minimal copy fee.

 Other October contacts that Little made involved dogs on the loose and unlicensed dogs. Little’s report states that he issued another ticket to a resident of 12th Avenue on both counts regarding her dog. A German Shepherd on the loose was caught and picked up by its owner.  Two other cases involved pit bulls on the loose around Birch Street and 10th Avenue.  

Except for one pit bull which Little could not catch, all the dogs at large were reunited with their owners without incident.

 Little is also trying to work with residents who have noticeable litter or belongings accumulating outside their homes. His report indicates that residents are being very cooperative and promptly compliant once they are contacted and informed of the problems.