Revisiting the great collector car storage case of 2016

Monday’s story here on NewsCut certainly reminded us that the big, weighty issues of the day often aren’t the ones that get people the most worked up.

The post, about the Minnesota Court of Appeals decision clarifying the law on the storage of cars on one’s property, has stirred people in a way we haven’t seen in a good, long time. That’s usually the case, however, when the rights of an individual collide with the rights of “the many.”

One small update:

People were unhappy with the picture that was used to show the driveway of the individual, which was at the heart of the case which tested a state law regulating these sorts of things.

So I snapped a couple of pictures this afternoon.

Here’s the driveway.

And here’s the video from a neighboring house. For the record, we don’t know whether the complaint, registered with the City of St. Paul, is from this neighbor.

Not shown, and not part of the court case, are a couple of old trucks parked in the street. Ironically, they once belonged to the City of St. Paul, which has been pursuing the action against the homeowner..

  • Veronica

    Do I dare posit that it’s still an eyesore?

    • Nice flower bed, though.

      • David

        That grass! nice and short!

      • Veronica

        Yes, that is true. Those little things in the picture from yesterday’s post grew into pretty bushes.

      • Jeff

        Whitewalls on the minivan, that makes it a classic in my book.

        • And the flat tire.

          • Al

            Okay, guys, be nice to the poor guy.

    • MarkUp

      It’s ugly as sin, but not criminally ugly, at least not per that statute.

      • rallysocks

        The fence, though! Did he decide to give the middle finger to the bit about screening off the vehicle or did he just measure wrong? Or does he just not quite finish any DIY?

        • Well, that’s really the issue. I PRESUME that has the fence completely screened the cars, then he’s in compliance, at least as much as I can tell from the COA decision.

          My curiosity is piqued, however. What kind of cars are under those tarps?

      • Dan

        That statute says if you’ve got collector plates, you store the vehicle out of public view, full stop.
        I’d guess there are a lot vehicles with collector plates that are stored in a way that’s out of compliance. However, they aren’t so ugly as to tick off the neighbors to the point of them complaining about it.

        The rationale behind the law and the court decision are one thing, but the neighbor’s complaint, I have no doubt, was because it’s ugly.

        It’s kind of like the law that says you can’t drink beer on state campgrounds.

  • Al

    That is, like, the LEAST egregious nuisance I’ve seen in St. Paul.

    I wonder if anyone on the Court ever sees their docket for the day, and is like, “Screw this, I’m taking a sick day.” There’s a point where arguing nuance of the law isn’t fun anymore, right? (Or maybe it’s always fun for legal folks. Which is why I didn’t go to law school.)

    • The trouble is there can’t be several flavors of the law, I guess, unless the Legislature chooses to reword the bill it wrote. Otherwise the actual auto junkyard could “sort of, but not quite” screen itself off from the passing world if the COA had ruled differently.

      • Mike Worcester

        I drive by a rural junkyard every day on my commute. You can see it quite plainly. Nobody has ever complained. It is what it advertises to be — a place to buy car parts of all types. Would the law in question force the owners to “cover up”?

        • ironkitten

          Nobody? I find that hard to believe.

  • Rob

    Looks like the guy’s driveway has room for at least one more junker…

  • Hans Mouritzen

    I don’t get this. If this guy indeed has a valuable collector car, why doesn’t he store it properly? My guess is that he is just too lazy and maybe too stubborn to get rid of the darn thing. It is an eyesore, and so is his van with a flat tire.

  • Capt. Norb

    Eight collector vehicles across from my house, some on blocks and partially covered, including a Farmall tractor. A thorn in one neighbor’s side but he moved away. This is next to our town’s signature historic landmark mansion.

  • ironkitten

    Bob, you should check out the photos posted in the comments on Jalopnik. It shows this guy has ACRES of backyard whence he could store all these cars.