Laws, Ordinances & Regulations

Community Decay: Part 3

At long last, what exactly is community decay?

Community decay “may include, but is not limited to any discarded substance, item, or material, such as cardboard, paper, pallets, tires, iron, or metal; demolition waste; construction or building material, such as bricks, concrete, or wood; junk vehicles; ruined or unusable boats, trailers, campers, or mobile homes, vehicle or machine parts; dead animals or animal parts; appliances; furniture; branches, logs, yard trimmings, or garden waste; or any other similar materials, items, waste, parts, or substances.”

So, what is, and what isn’t community decay? I’ll offer some examples and consider whether they might potentially be community decay.

  • That old car your neighbor is working on. It’s blocked up and he’s been making repairs on it after he gets home from work

Is that old car community decay? Looking at the definition of junk vehicles…

That car could be described as dismantled, and it’s definitely not capable of being driven at this precise moment. So, junk vehicle? Based on this definition, it may well be one. Is it community decay? To meet the definition of community decay, the car would have to be “discarded”, so probably not. The more interesting question is how long can the project car sit, while the owner is busy with other things, before it is considered “Discarded”, and thus, community decay?

The community decay ordinance fails to provide a definition for discarded, but one suspects it’s a word with gradations of meaning. After all, my “I’ll get to this project again someday” pile looks an awful lot like abandoned clutter until I get back to the project.

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