Ordinance Update on Towing of Illegal Vehicles September 09, 2021

On September 7, 2021, the Coos Bay City Council met and held a public hearing to discuss and consider newly proposed changes to the ordinance Towing of Illegal Vehicles (Ordinance 546). This was done in response to update the ordinance to best practices and to fall inline with the recently passed Camping Ordinance (Ordinance 545).  Many of the changes were just relating to definitions within the ordinance.  The most notable changes are listed below:

“Abandoned or Unlawful Vehicle”. For purposes of this chapter, a vehicle is considered “abandoned or unlawful” if any of the following conditions exist:
(a) The vehicle does not have a lawfully affixed, unexpired registration plate, fails to display current registration, or fails to have vehicle insurance as required by the State of Oregon.
(b) The vehicle appears to be inoperative or disabled;
(c) The vehicle appears to be wrecked, partially dismantled or junked; or
(d) The vehicle appears to have been abandoned by its owner.
“Hazardous vehicle” means a vehicle left in a location or condition that constitutes an immediate and continuous hazard to the safety of persons using the streets or alleys of the city. For example, and not for limitation, the following are hazardous vehicles:
(a) Vehicles blocking public or private rights-of-way.
(b) Vehicles with leaking petroleum or other hazardous fluids.
(c) Vehicle leaking raw sewage
(d) Vehicles blocking fire hydrants.
(e) Vehicles with broken glass/windows.
“Recreational Vehicle” means a vehicular-type unit that:
(a) Contains sleeping facilities;
(b) Is designed or used:
i. For human occupancy, and
ii. As temporary living quarters for recreational, seasonal, or emergency use;
(c) Has its own motive power or is mounted on or towed by another vehicle readily available.
Also changed in the ordinance were rules related to vehicles that were towed due to their status, but also being used for occupancy. To comply with changes stemming from Oregon House Bill 3124, the following accommodations have been implemented:

A vehicle that is believed or known to be actively used as a form of temporary occupancy that is towed due to violation of this ordinance, will be held at the tow yard or a secured facility for a period of at least 30 days. During that time, the owner, upon furnishing proof of ownership or authorization from the chief of police, will be allowed to remove valuables and personal property contained within the vehicle. Retrieval of the vehicle will require owner compliance with rules established by the tow company and state law.

To see the ordinance in its entirety, please visit and look under Coos Bay Municipal Code 10.40.