Blight Act Amendment Exempts Auto Shops | News, Sports, Jobs


NEW ULM — A new exception is being introduced in the municipal ordinance on the scourge.

City council held the first review of an amended burning ordinance on Tuesday. The change creates an exception for auto repair businesses.

In New Ulm, city code prohibits unlicensed, unregistered, or inoperable motor vehicles, trailers, or recreational vehicles from being stored on public or private property outside of buildings or enclosed structures. This regulation has created difficulties for local auto repair businesses as they routinely have inoperable vehicles awaiting repair on the property.

Owners received written notice of the violations, and if after seven days the vehicle has not been removed or stored indoors, the city may remove the vehicle at the owner’s expense.

The city discussed methods of dealing with the blight without penalizing local businesses, many of which could not provide alternative storage within seven days.

The city has proposed an amendment that adds a subdivision to the burn ordinance that excludes auto repair businesses. Automotive repair businesses must still comply with the regulations concerning the outdoor storage required for this type of business.

City Manager Chris Dalton said this effectively removes an individual’s ability to report an auto repair company for violating the burn ordinance detailed in Chapter 8, Section 8.63 of the city code.

Auto repair businesses would still fall under the zoning ordinance which states that a vehicle cannot be stored on site for longer than 30 days.

The council approved the change of ordinance on first reading. A second reading is required by the board before the amendment is formally adopted into code.

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