LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Old, beat up cars that have become neighborhood eyesores in Livingston Parish are about to get a new home if their owners continue to let them sit and rot. The parish has come up with a way to haul them away and have the owners pay the bill.
Junk cars have a way of really standing out. They usually sit in front of a house for years. They never move. Some have been around so long, they are buried in tall grass and weeds. Then there are some homes with stacks of them in the front yard. The cars become a neighborhood nuisance. Livingston Parish Councilman John Wascom says the complaints are constant.
"It seems to be getting worse," Wascom said.
The parish has an ordinance banning cars in a certain type of condition from being parked in the public view. Wascom says the problem is the parish never had the resources or money to enforce it. "A lot of these that are in my district. They have been there for years. Some people have gotten accustomed to it and other people are like, 'enough is enough,'" Wascom said.
A couple of councilmen want to amend the old ordinance to allow the parish to hire towing companies to haul the cars away at the owner's expense. If the owner does not pay up, the wrecking company would be allowed to salvage it. Wascom says it's the only way to hold junk car owners accountable.
"As a property owner, you've got to be responsible and take a little bit of consideration for the neighbors and surrounding community," Wascom said.
Under the ordinance, vehicles that can be seen from the street and are clearly not driveable are fair game. Wascom says the parish will not go out looking for the eyesores, but they will respond to complaints as fast as they come in.
The parish is set to vote on the amended ordinance on Thursday, June 28. If it passes, it will take effect immediately. To report a junk car in your neighborhood, call 225-686-4400.