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AVA Commission Poised to Remove Abandoned Vehicles

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. (May 3, 2017) – In partnership with the Cities of Lakeport and Clearlake, the County of Lake will soon begin removing abandoned vehicles, through a joint powers agreement called the Abandoned Vehicle Abatement (AVA) Service Authority.  The AVA Commission is authorized by sections 22710 and 9250.7 of the California Vehicle Code, and members of the Clearlake and Lakeport City Councils and the Lake County Board of Supervisors serve as commissioners.

“The natural beauty of the land surrounding our county’s roads is one of our great strengths, and we are very excited that this program will provide for the removal of unsightly abandoned vehicles,” said Supervisor Moke Simon.

While qualifying vehicles will be removed, “These are not free tows,” emphasizes Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Jeff Smith.  “If we can trace it back to you, you are going to pay for it.”  Abandonment of any vehicle is presumed the responsibility of the last registered owner, and that owner is liable for associated costs, per California Vehicle Code Section 22524, subparagraph (a).

Local law enforcement also asks that citizens please help protect public funds by reporting those attempting to leave large vehicles, such as RVs and motorhomes, by the side of the road.  Taking a picture with the camera on your phone, for example, may go a long way toward ensuring disposal costs are paid by the party most responsible.

It can cost between $4-6,000 to remove an abandoned motorhome, and there are many environmental concerns associated with the vehicle’s disposal.  Funds available through the AVA program are limited, and one individual’s choice to abandon an RV could mean that multiple smaller vehicles will remain alongside Lake County roads.

Tagging of vehicles, for potential removal, is expected to begin within one month, and Lake County vehicle owners are cautioned that the process of marking potentially eligible vehicles will lead to the discovery of other cars that are illegally parked.  Citizens are strongly encouraged to ensure their vehicles are parked legally, to avoid citations and towing fees unrelated to the AVA program.

Chairman Smith asks, “Please work with us, to ensure the greatest possible number of eligible abandoned vehicles can be removed from our roads.”

For more information about abandoned vehicles in the county, contact Lake County Code Enforcement at (707) 263-2309.  Or, for abandoned vehicles within either of the city limits, please contact your city offices.