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Old 04-10-2007, 11:18 PM
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Fight for your Right to wrench!

Hey guys,
There was an article in the paper today that got my blood boiling.
The local paper runs a weekly column where people can write in regarding problems in town they want fixed. Usually bad roads, sidewalks, or abandoned cars. I'm ok with our local abandoned cars ordinances as they keep the town clean but I've attached todays article regarding someone that owns eight cars, all completely legal. His neighbors contacted the newspaper and not only was his address put in, his name, and a picture of his property put in, but the city inspectors are now investigating him. I've also attached an email my wife and I wrote to the newspaper, i will also include the three email addresses for the contacts at the newspaper. If you care at all about our hobby, write an email to the newspaper. They need to see that car people should have a right to their hobby if they do it legally. Thanks guys!

Quote:
Article published Apr 10, 2007
Eight vehicles are at one address
By Gerald Carroll
Staff writer

Chris Lowe has a passion for Volvos.

He owns four of the Swedish-made cars and parks them at his home at 3420 W. Cypress St. in Visalia.

He also owns a Nissan Sentra, a Honda Prelude, a full-sized Ford pickup with camper shell and a Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle.

He parks them at his home, too.

Five are parked in his driveway, and three are lined up in front on the street.

Plus, a white pickup-truck bed, torn off from the main body of another pickup, is also parked on the driveway.

"The green Volvo out there is rare," Lowe said. "It runs on diesel [fuel], has a standard stick shift transmission and the previous owner just had $1,000 of air-conditioning work done."

But some neighbors take issue with Lowe's car collection and reported him to the Visalia fire and police departments in December.

"Yes, I did get a call from the fire department recently about two of my cars, but everything checked out," Lowe said.

City guidelines permit vehicles to be parked in driveways and on the street only if they are in running condition and not simply abandoned or used for spare parts.

Nearby residents are losing patience with the cluster of parked cars, which some consider an eyesore.

"Those cars have been there for three years, at least," said Rule Stevens, who lives several houses away. "I've talked to three different people with the city and still nothing has been done about it."

Lowe insists all cars are in running condition and legally parked.

"I've got all my keys and can show you if you want," Lowe said.

Who's in charge? For abandoned vehicles parked on private property, the Visalia Fire Department handles all complaints through Vorisia Henderson (713-4547).

For abandoned vehicles on the street, Visalia Police Department handles the complaints and authorizes quick towaways for violators, with traffic officer Sgt. Bill Blankenship in charge (713-4237).

The trouble, said Visalia code-enforcement assistant Julie Pereira, is proving that the vehicles in question are indeed abandoned.

"If they are not running, they are considered abandoned," Pereira said, adding that Lowe's case remains open, active and under investigation through the Visalia Fire Department.

Visalia Police Department Sgt. Sean Delaney said that any cars considered abandoned on the street are promptly tagged, the owners warned and the vehicles towed.

"It's pretty straightforward," Delaney said. "We've seen cars covered in cobwebs, obviously not running."

Delaney said that residents who suspect that a car has been abandoned on the street need to call the Visalia Police Department's dispatch center at 734-8117 and report it.

Lowe hints at a solution, saying he plans on selling off most of his stock — including some of his prized Volvos.

"I can't deny I've had them [vehicles] parked out there for a long time," Lowe said. "Maybe it's time to thin them out."


The reporter can be reached at gcarroll@visalia.gannett.com
Quote:
Hello,
My wife and I are writing to you regarding your story about the cars at 3420 W Cypress Ave. To be frank this story disturbed both of us. The Fix it column is a fantastic section of the paper and it has done some noticeable good however this particular story singles out a law abiding citizen because his neighbors don't like the way his cars look. This is wrong.
The city of Visalia has very good laws and ordinances regarding abandoned vehicles on the street and on lawns. This is great because it keeps our town nice, no one wants to see cars on jack stands for weeks on end. However, Chris Lowes cars are not illegal as they have tags and run. This is a case of his neighbors deciding how he should live. If this paper continues publishing these kind of stories, it will hint to the city council that stronger anti-car ordinances are needed to keep their constituents happy.
Cars and car culture are a strong part of American culture. Visalia has a strong tradition of preserving the past and cars are a part of it. Granted, Volvo's are not generally considered old time hot rods but it is the push against car people that concerns my wife and I. If Chris is willing to maintain, tag, and insure his cars then he has every right to them. This is America, the pursuit of happiness.
In closing I want it to be clear that car people are not trouble makers and this is the perception stories like this give the public. My wife and I are car people. We own four cars between the two of us. They in no way violate the local ordinances. We both work full time, go to school, and own a home here in Visalia. We have a lot invested in this community but can't live somewhere that makes it impossible to enjoy our hobby. We don't street race either, there is a drag strip within 40 minutes of visalia and most car people know that. I hope you consider this letter with seriousness and to be quite honest it should be published in the follow up section of the FIX IT column along with any other inquires you receive regarding this article.
The contact emails are:
gcarroll@visalia.gannett.com
news@visaliatimesdelta.com
mburleso@visalia.gannett.com

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Old 04-11-2007, 01:22 AM
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Hey Joe, I read the same article this morning, I think Lowe was commenting on getting rid of them a bit tongue-in-cheek, he probably knows from experience if the cars are moved when complaints come in, there's nothing can be done with a current registration on his cars. Unfortunately, it sounds like he has some neighbors that don't agree with his collection. Tuff, he's still legal. I really take issue with our local rag for publishing the article, it must have been a terribly slow news day. Dan
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Old 04-11-2007, 03:23 AM
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Some people really are pieces of ****. There are a hell of alot more problems than someone with a few too many cars. Why don't these people put their efforts towards something that might be helpful, like jumping in front of a train.
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Old 04-11-2007, 07:06 AM
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BTW, I thought the response you and your wife wrote was excellent. Set a very good tone and laid out solid reasoning.
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Old 04-11-2007, 08:17 AM
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Property rights are inherent but there are those that continually want to enforce their mold on others. "Eyesores" is not quantitative therefore becomes grounds for litigation. It is a good thing you can't file complaints against your neighbors fat, ugly, ill mannered wife/husband since "Eyesores" are in the eyes of the beholder. Unfortunately, as previously addressed, when determined the law is not being violated, a move by the disgruntled tends to precipitate new laws that built to fit the mold of the complainers. Stand up and resist to the end!!!

Trees
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Old 04-11-2007, 09:40 AM
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right to wrench I agree, however some folks never get a round to it. Collecting cars that someone just wants to part out or does not and never will have the funds to finish their projects is not someone I would want to live across the street from, What if it was busses or tractor trailers would you feel the same, besides volvos are fulgy to boot. I will have to stand with the complainer's on this one. If your cars do not fit on your own property you have to many just a fact, why would someone think people coming and going should have to drive around their mess. I think that is why we have property lines, would not you agree. Some good judgment and common sense go along way, now take down that American flag in the front yard before the homeowners association gets mad.... It's always something

Last edited by pepi; 04-11-2007 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 04-11-2007, 10:07 AM
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What are their mailing addresses? Emails rarely get any results. I for one would love to let them know what I think of their story

Jordon
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Old 04-11-2007, 10:23 AM
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B#^chy neighbors need to be quiet and shut their damn mouths.
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Old 04-11-2007, 10:47 AM
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We have the same problem here,,, there is a auction house that sells towed vehicles at auction every tuesday,, some are decent cars, some are real junk, many of them that are bank repos and prettydecent cars,, but there are so many of them that they are selling for a adverage of about 250- 500 $
so now alot of people are buying these cars and doing the repairs and then selling them,, so the neighborhoods are turning into car lots,, especally in the areas where the mexicans have taken over,,

I keep all my vehicles behind a fence, and havn't had any trouble , that is since the next door neighbor moved,, he continually bit ched about something,, but when he needed help with his car or house repair .. I was the first one he came to,, I fbroke him of that practice tho,, he had a dead battery and wanted to borrow my cables,, then wanted to know how to hook them up,, so I told him to hook the red one to the alternor and the black one to the battery,, I could smell the alternator burning from my house,, end of problem neighbor,,
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Old 04-11-2007, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Rat
We have the same problem here,,, there is a auction house that sells towed vehicles at auction every tuesday,, some are decent cars, some are real junk, many of them that are bank repos and prettydecent cars,, but there are so many of them that they are selling for a adverage of about 250- 500 $
so now alot of people are buying these cars and doing the repairs and then selling them,, so the neighborhoods are turning into car lots,, especally in the areas where the mexicans have taken over,,

I keep all my vehicles behind a fence, and havn't had any trouble , that is since the next door neighbor moved,, he continually bit ched about something,, but when he needed help with his car or house repair .. I was the first one he came to,, I fbroke him of that practice tho,, he had a dead battery and wanted to borrow my cables,, then wanted to know how to hook them up,, so I told him to hook the red one to the alternor and the black one to the battery,, I could smell the alternator burning from my house,, end of problem neighbor,,

Good one I think I will remember that for future reference LMAO
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Old 04-11-2007, 11:56 AM
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I just moved last fall and within a week one of my new neighbors was calling to complain about the motorhome parked in front of the house. I just wanted to keep it there till the snow fell so it was easier to use, plus the kids want to sleep out there lots. The cops politely came by and marked the tires hinting that it has to move every 24 hrs or they will have to tow it. What a pain that is. I should be able to park a respectable looking vehicle in front of my house for at least a week! Now I need year round storage. I wouldn't want ot see a bunch of crappy vehicles lined up on the street but if they are used regularly it shouldn't be a problem. it all depends on the neighbors though. the cops don't go looking for these things.

Has anyone actually seen this guys vehicles? they may be pieces of crap and there is no way he is using them all regularly tagged or not. I think as car people we have some responsibility not to clutter up the neighborhood with crappy cars. It's one thing to bring it home, do what you have to do then move it. If you can't fit all your cars on your property it is time to find some storage.
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Old 04-11-2007, 12:19 PM
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I have to somewhat agree with the neighbors. I had a next door neighbor that had three vans for his painting business, these vans were always parked in the street in front of my house, not in front of his. At times from 1 to all of them would sit there for days to weeks. I don't care if it was legal or not for them to be in the street (24 hours is supposed to be the max) I didn't want the p'sos in front of my house. I had talked to him a couple of times but I would get "the guys park them there when they bring them back" BS.
The street should be for short term, temporary parking. Not a permanent spot, only to shuffle when the police get involved. Especially when the drive at the house is double wide and 50' long.
I wonder if he ever suspected that all of his flats were related?
Fuel cell nailers are pretty cool!
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Old 04-11-2007, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speede5
I wouldn't want ot see a bunch of crappy vehicles lined up on the street but if they are used regularly it shouldn't be a problem. it all depends on the neighbors though. the cops don't go looking for these things.

Has anyone actually seen this guys vehicles? they may be pieces of crap and there is no way he is using them all regularly tagged or not. I think as car people we have some responsibility not to clutter up the neighborhood with crappy cars. It's one thing to bring it home, do what you have to do then move it. If you can't fit all your cars on your property it is time to find some storage.
I tend to agree. While parking on the street may be legal the intent was not what this guy is doing. If his is the only house with cars lined against the curb then the FD has a legit reason to investigate. I can visualize a curbed street with cars parked from his driveway to the property line, and the yard and drive filled with cars, not a pretty sight, but then again I have only visualization. Pictures would do wonders.
Legal don't always make it right. Respect for neighbors goes both ways.

Maybe his neighbors are used to curbs being used for overflow parking and basically the street lost 3 spots?

At one time I had 6 cars, a boat and a small lot, but I put up a privacy fence and kept all but the daily driver out of sight. I wasn't asked, I just thought it was the right thing to do.
If he doesn't have the room he just doesn't have it. Even if he had that many people living in the house that drove them all I'm sure they would still get a complaint, that's a lot of cars. He'd probably get a complaint for that many people living in a small house too.
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Old 04-11-2007, 12:30 PM
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My thought is if they are currently registered, have insurance on them, and aren't rotting hulks, he should be able to keep on as he has been. It sounds like he is abiding by the parking rules, and the neighbours are whining.

Why does it always seem to be the car people that get complained about? What about the person down the street with the really ugly curtains, and the 2,536 "lawn gnomes", pink flamingos, and dying flower beds? What is more of an eyesore, a few legally parked running, tagged cars, or a really horribly decorated front porch and lawn?
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Old 04-11-2007, 03:23 PM
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I think it comes down to some consideration, really. I feel anyone should be able to own as many cars as they want, but, they should also be considerate of others, and not create an eyesore for the neighborhood. That is where new laws come from, folks.
That's one of the reasons I moved out of town and bought 5 acres in the country. I now have a 2 car shop/garage (24x30), and a 4/5 car garage (24x50). I keep my wife's 01 Tahoe, my 86 Monte Carlo SS, my 71 Chevy pickup, and my 66 Chevelle in the large one, along with a 29 Ford Roadster project on wheel dolleys in the middle and my project 47 Chevy in the shop. That way they are all inside, locked up and out of sight. Every one is registered and insured. The neighbors have no *****.
Now, the new neighbors on one side have built a motorcycle jumping ramp and a small motorized toy car track in their yard, and the jerk who just move next door on the other side put a mobile home up in a corner of his property (9 acres) which blocks my view. He also raises Chiwawa's (SP) and has about a dozen of them yappin' little buggers outside all day long. He built a shed behind his house and painted it PINK!
Maybe I should write a letter to the newspaper!
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