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Treasure Island cracks down on car repairs in driveways

TREASURE ISLAND — Residents still can repair their cars in their driveways, but they had better be quick.

Meanwhile, seasonal residents will be fined if they follow the common past practice of putting their cars on blocks during the months they are gone.

An ordinance passed unanimously by the City Commission this month imposes new rules in an attempt to "protect the quality of life in residential areas."

The city now has a 72-hour time limit for any vehicle repairs conducted on lawns or driveways. The time limit applies, as well, to putting vehicles on blocks.

The only exception to the rule: repairs conducted within an enclosed residential garage.

Repair of commercial vehicles is banned in all residential areas.

When the new rules were first discussed in February, the commission was responding to residents' complaints about motors and other car parts littering driveways and front lawns for days and even weeks at a time.

Oil and other fluids drained onto driveways and into neighborhood streets, city officials said.

At first, the city planned to ban all repairs that took longer than a day, but the commission decided instead to allow repairs as long as they could be completed within 72 hours.

Residents also complained about inoperable, wheelless vehicles, apparently owned by seasonal residents, jacked up on blocks and stored in driveways for half a year or more.

The city first will send a "courtesy notice" informing residents they are violating the new city code and giving them up to 10 days to respond before actually issuing a citation for a code violation.

"If they are out of state or the country, we would try to give them more time to get this corrected," Neal Schwartz, the city's building code administrator, said Friday. "We've got to be fair."

Treasure Island cracks down on car repairs in driveways 04/14/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 2:40pm]
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