Inoperable Motor Vehicles on Residential Property

An inoperable or inoperative vehicle is defined as any motor vehicle or trailer:

  1. Which is not in operating condition
  2. Which for a period of 60 days or longer has been partially or totally disassembled by the removal of tires and wheels, the engine or other essential parts required for operation of the vehicle
  3. On which there are displayed neither valid license plates nor a valid inspection decal

It is a violation of the Chesapeake Zoning Ordinance to store, on any property zoned or used for residential purposes, any motor vehicle or trailer which is inoperable or inoperative, unless such motor vehicle or trailer is stored within a fully enclosed building or structure, or otherwise fully shielded or screened for view. "Shielded or screened from view" means not visible by someone standing at ground level from outside of the property on which the subject vehicle is located. A vehicle cover manufactured for the use of covering a vehicle may be acceptable use for shielding the vehicle from view. The placing, draping, or securing of a tarp or other unfitted cover over and around an inoperable vehicle is not sufficient to comply with the shielding requirement. Furthermore, no more than one such vehicle shielded from view shall be stored on the same property.

The keeping of more than five inoperable vehicles is considered a junkyard, which is not permitted in any residential zoning districts in the City and would be subject to additional zoning violations.

The property owner is responsible for any inoperable vehicles on his/her property. Violators are issued a written notice of violation by a Code Compliance Inspector, and if not corrected by the time indicated on the written notice of violation, the vehicle may be removed from the property at the owner's expense in addition to other legal remedies as prescribed in Chesapeake City Ordinance Section 74-278.

The vehicle in violation may also be removed by the Police Department, and the cost of removal charged to the owner of the property.

If the property owner does not remove the vehicle, contact the Police Department's non-emergency number at 757-382-6448 (Traffic Enforcement Unit). To have abandoned vehicles removed from City property, contact the Police Department. If the number of abandoned vehicles on the property, private or public, is five or more, call 757-382-CITY (2489).