Casselberry to ban junk cars from yards

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CASSELBERRY, Fla. - Casselberry leaders are continuing their quest to clean up the city's image by making residents clear out languishing vehicles from their yards.

The city commission is expected to approve ordinances that would ban inoperable or unlicensed cars from resident yards at its meeting next week.

Other cities have similar rules and not everybody thinks it's a bad idea.

Dennis Robeau of Casselberry was working to fix up his neighbor's home because he believes curb appeal goes a long way.

"I like rules that keep neighborhoods clean," Robeau said.

Just down the road, there were cars that clearly hadn't been driven in a while parked in front yards. Some were unlicensed, and others inoperable.

"It runs down the value of your home property if you've got something junky next to it," Robeau said.

Under the new rules, inoperable or unlicensed cars would be banned not only from a resident's front yard, but from underneath carports or even back yards.

Not everyone is pleased about the measure. Some, including one city commissioner, think it's an overreach of government and infringes on the rights of homeowners like Joey Martinez.

"I'm unemployed right now," said Martinez, a Casselberry resident.

His new car has been sitting in the same spot for a month while he saves up for registration fees.

Martinez said he hopes he can save up enough before he gets fined.

City officials insist they'll enforce the ordinance on the most extreme cases.

Winter Park has similar rules which are successfully enforced.

Robeau said he feels the property values in his neighborhood need all the help they can get.

"I believe the city needs to step in to keep our property values up," he said.

In the meantime, the city also wants new rules for fencing in order to deter mismatched fencing around properties.

The ordinance would require uniform fencing. Homeowners with older, mixed fencing will be grandfathered in.