Success! We’ve just learned that the sponsor of legislation (H.B. 409) to limit the number of inoperable motor vehicles allowed on private property under “community decay” laws intends to withdraw the bill from consideration by the House Local Government Committee. The bill had been scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday, February 19, 2013. Under the bill, four or more “junk vehicles” on private property would have constituted “community decay.” H.B. 409 provided no reasonable concessions for legitimate automotive hobbyists to work on more than three inoperable collector vehicles on private property. The SEMA Action Network (SAN) believes that clear legal distinctions must be drawn between an owner using private property as a dumping ground and a vehicle enthusiast working to maintain, restore or construct a vehicle. SAN supports legislation that permits the outdoor storage of motor vehicles if they are located away from public view, or screened by a fence, trees, shrubbery, opaque covering or other appropriate means. This bill provided no such accommodation to vehicle restorers and allowed municipalities alone to determine if these vehicles created “community decay.”
The Montana enthusiast community came out in big numbers to oppose this bill. Your action created this success. Thank you and congratulations to the SEMA Action Network!