City changes auto repair, junkyard regs

COVINGTON - The Covington City Council has passed changes to an ordinance regulating auto repair and maintenance shops.

Now, outdoor storage is limited to a maximum of 10 percent of the parcel area, versus the 25 percent previously allowed. Also, automobile repair and maintenance must now be conducted indoors. The amendment also clarifies that junkyards and salvage yards are prohibited at auto repair businesses.

The ordinance previously required two parking spaces per bay, but that was removed during an overhaul to the city code in 2008.

"Now there are a lot of cars, particularly in the Washington Street area, that are half dismantled sitting outside. I don't know if they're using them for parts or waiting on parts for them, but that's the kind of thing we're trying to stop," said Senior Planner Scott Gaither.

A definition for junkyard has also been added. Junkyards are defined as "a parcel of land, including any primary or accessory structures thereon, that is used for buying, selling, storing, baling, packaging, disassembling, or handling waste or scrap material.'Scrap material' may include, without limitations, vehicles, machinery, and equipment not in operable condition, metal, glass, paper, plastics, rags, and rubber tires. Any lot on which three or more inoperable vehicles are kept shall be deemed a junkyard."

Junkyards were previously considered open yard storage businesses, but that was changed because the two can be very different, Gaither said. Salvage yards are included under the definition of junkyard. The ordinance previously referred to salvage yards but did not include a definition.