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Time to clamp down on junk car eye sores

Time has come to do something about junk cars left rusting away in the front yards of Lincoln’s residential communities. They are eye sores and reflect poorly on neighborhoods where property owners seek to present an appealing, pleasant landscape for their community that enhances property values. The county’s Building and Land Development office has reported a flood of complaints about junk cars trashing up neighborhoods. The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners is now considering an ordinance that would restrict the number of junk cars from four to one, and provide that such vehicles be kept in the back yard.
A junk vehicle is currently defined as one that does not display a current license plate and is partially dismantled or wrecked, cannot be moved in the manner it was originally intended to move or is more than five years old and appears to be worth less than $100.
But the fact is most of us know a “junk car” when we see it and in many cases we’ve seen it sitting in the same place for years.
Commissioners should take care when adopting these restrictions that allowances are provided for the hobbyists who preserve and restore old and antique cars. These cars are not eye sores by the time the hobbyist gets through with them, but at times they may be a work in progress. An ordinance can be written that excludes this element of car owners, provided they can store these cars in a tasteful manner.
Restrictions on junk cars are already in place on most communities. Other counties studied already have more stringent junk car standards than Lincoln — Catawba and Union allow none, while Stanly, Rockingham and Johnston allow one. Gaston allows three.
Some showed up at Monday’s public hearing to tout the rights of property owners to do anything they want with their own property. That would be just fine if we could count on all of our neighbors to show sensitivity and responsibility about the quality of their environment. Unfortunately, such attributes are lacking in some of our residential communities.

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