Law & Order

Virginia Withdraws Bill to Restrict Hobbyist Inoperable Vehicles

The sponsor for SEMA-opposed legislation to allow the city of Newport News to adopt a more restrictive inoperable vehicle ordinance has withdrawn the bill from consideration by the Virginia Legislature. Under the bill, the city could have adopted an ordinance prohibiting any person from keeping more than one inoperable motor vehicle on private property except within a fully enclosed building.

Further, the bill required that the one vehicle now be shielded from view by the “installation of an opaque fence.” In 2004, Virginia signed into law a SEMA-negotiated bill to exempt at least two inoperable vehicles being actively repaired or restored on private property from any local ordinance if shielded or screened from public view.

The law defines “shielded or screened from view” as not visible by someone standing at ground level from outside of the property on which the inoperable vehicles are located. This measure would have changed the rules of this fairly negotiated compromise.

For details, contact Steve McDonald at