City working to remove non-working vehicles from private property

City officials are revising a local ordinance to encourage private property owners to remove abandoned or non-working vehicles from their property.

Columbus City Council members approved the ordinance changes on first reading, but had numerous questions about the feasibility of requiring private property owners to comply and whether the ordinance was clear enough to mandate compliance.

Mary Ferdon, executive director of administration and community development, said the changes being considered are a followup to the 2016 changes the council made about large-vehicle parking and storage which were approved in December. Then, Ferdon told council members the city wants to prohibit inoperable or unlicensed vehicles from being kept on private or public property with the exception of being in a carport, garage or other enclosure.

Fred Barnett, the city’s code enforcement officer, said the city has about 150 locations with one or more abandoned, inoperable or unlicensed vehicles on private property which have been reported to the city.

For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at or (812) 379-5631.