City of Oak Ridge Updates Junked Vehicle Ordinance


The City of Oak Ridge recently updated junked vehicle ordinances and has scheduled implementation in 2020.

The months of January and February will be used as a grace period to inform the community of the changes to the ordinance. Written warnings will be provided during this grace period, prior to official notices of violations, until March 1, 2020. After this time, written warnings will no longer be given prior to the violation notice.

The changes to this ordinance now provide greater clarity for property owners and City staff regarding what constitutes an unlawful vehicle. Additionally, the changes will help reduce blighted conditions, improve quality of life in the neighborhoods, and enhance effective enforcement by City departments.


Under the updated ordinance, vehicles declared as junked, abandoned, inoperable, or public nuisance will be removed from public or private property if not addressed by the owner in an allotted amount of time. Removal by the City, if necessary, will be at the owner’s expense.

The time periods for compliance have been amended as follows:

  • Private property -- seven days (down from 10 days)
  • On-street parking violations – three days (down from 10 days)
  • Parkland and public property (unless otherwise posted) – 48 hours

Any vehicle confined within a completely enclosed structure (like a garage) is exempt from the ordinance. Vehicles legally parked and stored in clean, safe conditions on private property are also exempt from the ordinance, unless the vehicle is being used for salvage, constitutes a hazard or is deemed to be a public nuisance.

Questions about these updates can be directed to the City of Oak Ridge Codes Enforcement Office at (865) 425-3532 or the Oak Ridge Police Department at (865) 425-3512 during regular business hours.