Sacramento County Says It's Illegal to Work on Your Own Car in Your Own Garage

Spectre

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Jalopnik via MSN: https://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/news/sacramento-county-says-its-illegal-to-work-on-your-own-car-in-your-own-garage/ar-AADOizD?li=BBnb7Kz&pfr=1&fbclid=IwAR1I2aQ0qYBRnEuTvROYU8LUf46Jq-_4E4iSq-bWzQu099cHOqOW1Rmnw0Y


There’s an interesting discussion happening over at the Grassroots Motorsports forum right now, and presumably at many other places off-line. It’s about laws in Sacramento County stating, essentially, that almost any auto repair you do on your property is illegal. Of course, this is deeply troubling to almost everyone reading right now.

Similar laws do exist in other counties and states, of course, but since there’s been some conversation recently around the Sacramento County laws, we may as well start there. The laws in question have to do with Sacramento’s Zoning Code, the website for which has an explanation of the codes related to auto repair.

The code states that conducting “minor vehicle repair” or “minor automotive repair” is legal at a residence, and defines “minor automotive repair” as:

Brake part replacement

Minor tune-ups

Change of oil and filter

Repair of flat tires

Lubrication

Other similar operations

(See section 5.2.0.B of the Zoning Code)

OK, that seems fairly reasonable so far. That is, until you get to this section of the explanatory website:

2. Is Minor Vehicle Repair Permitted at Residences?

Yes. However, it is unlawful for any person to engage in, or permit others to engage in, minor vehicle repair or maintenance in any agricultural, agricultural-residential, residential, interim estate and interim residential zones under any of the following circumstances:

1. Using tools not normally found in a residence;

2. Conducted on vehicles registered to persons, not currently residing on the lot or parcel;

3. Conducted outside a fully enclosed garage and resulting in any vehicle being inoperable for a period in excess of twenty-four hours.

Here we have some issues. How exactly do you define “tools not normally found in a residence?” A socket set? A torque wrench? A brake drum puller? This feels like a rule that’s dangerously open to interpretation with pretty minimal supporting evidence.

Number two is clearly there to prevent people from running off-the-books repair shops, but what if you’re working on a friend’s car? And number three means you can’t do anything unless you have an actual garage, and whatever you’re doing you better get it all wrapped up inside of one day, which, as most of us who’ve dealt with one stubborn, time-sucking, hard-to-reach bolt know, is not always possible.

Of course, “Major Automotive Repair,” that is, anything not explicitly defined under “Minor Automotive Repair,” is not legal anywhere on your own property, even if you’re doing it in the sanctity of your own closed garage.

One commenter on the Grassroots Motorsports forum reported that he’d already been issued a $430 fine for working on his car in his garage:

nimblemotorsports said:

umm, I have not been left alone, they levied a $430 fine yesterday. You can request a hearing to review the code enforcement decision, that costs $700 to complain.

These rules aren’t from some fussy HOA, it’s an entire county. As to why the county is so against home automotive repair and work, they state this reason:

5. Why is Code Enforcement Concerned About Residential Automotive Repair?

The chemicals involved in major automobile repair can pollute our neighborhoods and endanger the health and wellbeing of our residents. Furthermore, this kind of activity increases vehicle traffic and the visual impact can negatively impact property values.

It seems like codes governing the safe handling of chemicals and materials can be enforced without making all auto repair illegal, and it’s hardly like every repair involves harmful chemicals. In fact, the most common harmful chemical is likely used motor oil, and that’s one of the permitted residential repairs.

Besides, lawn and garden care have plenty of very harmful chemicals associated with them—weed killers, pesticides, poisons for all manner of animals and insects—and nobody’s trying to outlaw home gardening.

I’m not even sure it’s fair to say home repair increases vehicle traffic any more than, say, a neighborhood barbecue would.

Sure, if your lawn is full of junked cars and you’re running an illegal lube shop out of your backyard, those are real issues. But residents with project cars they work on? There’s no good reason that should be illegal.

For people with vintage or unusual cars, there often is no other option than to be able to do at least some of your own repairs, and laws that make that illegal are effectively making vast amounts of the entire car-owning-as-an-interest or hobby illegal, and who wants that?

Terrible people, that’s who. Sad, tedious people who won’t rest until the world is slathered in boring grayscale crossovers. That’s not a world I want to live in, and that’s why these laws need scrutiny and pushback. Knowing about them is the first step.
Many links in the original article.
 

Dr_Grip

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Welcome to commiefornia
This is the opposite of communism - it is a typical law designed to disempower people so they have to pay for a service they would have done themselves otherwise.

But yeah, mindless hating of "the left" is what FG is about these days.
 

bone

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the land of the every day a little bit less free
 

Spectre

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This is the opposite of communism - it is a typical law designed to disempower people so they have to pay for a service they would have done themselves otherwise.
This is the opposite of communism - it is a typical law designed to disempower people so they have to pay for a service they would have done themselves otherwise.

But yeah, mindless hating of "the left" is what FG is about these days.
Since you want to take it political....

You should know that CA is now a de facto one-party government state (only Democrats in statewide office, only a few token Republicans in state legislature and there aren't enough of them to do anything ), and I don't recall the current Sacramento City or County government being significantly different than this.

At the state level in CA there is essentially ONLY the Left. Same thing at the city and county level in most major cities and counties in CA.

So, please explain how it's not the Left responsible for this when the government is de facto by the Left?

Edit: In fact, let's go through the list of elected officials responsible for this travesty.

Sacramento County's Elected Board Of Supervisors:
http://www.saccounty.net/Government/Pages/ElectedOfficials.aspx

District 1 Supervisor
Phil Serna
https://www.opensecrets.org/donor-lookup/results?name=Phil+Serna

Money to Candidates SERNA, PHIL
SACRAMENTO, CA 95835 SACRAMENTO COUNTY 09-27-2012 $1,000.00 Obama, Barack (D)
Money to PACs SERNA, PHIL
SACRAMENTO, CA 95835 PHIL SERNA 03-03-2011 $300.00 Harry S. Truman Club

So, he's a Democrat and by definition a Leftist.

District 2 Supervisor
Patrick Kennedy
https://www.opensecrets.org/donor-lookup/results?name=Patrick+Kennedy

Money to Candidates KENNEDY, PATRICK
SACRAMENTO, CA 95822 SACRAMENTO COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS 05-22-2016 $250.00 Clinton, Hillary (D)

Money to Candidates KENNEDY, PATRICK
SACRAMENTO, CA 95822 SACRAMENTO COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS 05-20-2016 $50.00 Clinton, Hillary (D)

Also Democrat. Also Leftist.


District 3 Supervisor
Susan Peters
Money to Candidates PETERS, SUSAN
SACRAMENTO, CA 95864 SACRAMENTO COUNTY 09-28-2012 $750.00 Lungren, Dan (R)

Money to Candidates PETERS, SUSAN
SACRAMENTO, CA 95864 MCCUEN PROPERTIES 09-30-1999 $1,000.00 Ose, Doug (R)

Money to PACs PETERS, SUSAN
SACRAMENTO, CA 95864 MCCUEN PROPERTIES 10-27-1995 $500.00 Republican Network to Elect Women

This lady is one of two token Republicans on the board. So far, she's outnumbered 2-1.

District 4 Supervisor
Sue Frost

Money to Candidates FROST, SUE
CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA 95610 SACRAMENTO COUNTY 06-30-2018 $250.00 Grant, Andrew (R)

Money to Parties SUE FROST FOR SUPERVISOR 2020
CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA 95610 01-21-2017 $195.00 Republican Party of California (R)

This is the other token Republican. 2-2, right? Should be fair, right?

District 5 Supervisor
Don Nottoli

This guy's made no recent contributions that opensecrets can find, buuuut:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Nottoli

Don Nottoli is a supervisor of Sacramento County, California, having been a member of the board since November 1994. A Democrat, he served as chief of staff to his predecessor, Toby Johnson but began his career in public service in 1977 when he was elected to the Galt High School District Board, and then to the Galt City Council in 1978/
Also: https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/city-beat/article213261714.html

Schubert was endorsed by many of Sacramento's most prominent Democrats, including Mayor Darrell Steinberg, seven members of the City Council and Sacramento County supervisors Phil Serna, Patrick Kennedy and Don Nottoli.
So, yup, Democrat and Left.

The Democrats and therefore the Left has control over Sacramento County, 3-2,. And there's no tactics like filibustering or requiring supermajorities that the Republicans can use to stop anything at that level. So, if the Left is not responsible for this ordinance (which was not adopted by voter referendum), who is? This guy?

 

Dr_Grip

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No matter what, this is a pro-business law.
 

Spectre

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the land of the every day a little bit less free
Many people have been considering California its own third world nation for a while now. The state's policies have lead to the recent widespread appearance of vast amounts of human feces on San Francisco streets and sidewalks as well as the resurgence of such diseases as typhus and possibly the black plague in SF and LA. If you want cites for these, I can give them to you.
 

Spectre

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No matter what, this is a pro-business law.
But it was promulgated by the Left (by definition). So, again, pro-business or not, how is the Left not responsible?

Oh, I should probably also mention that the Leftist (again, by definition) state is also busy albeit slowly running affordable vehicle service options out of business through recent shenanigans on the part of the state's Bureau Of Automotive Repair, the germane (no, not German - actual Germans would be more efficient and less idiotic than this organization) licensing agency closing down independent auto repair shops in CA. So, the evident goal is to force people to go to dealerships for service (which many people will not have money to do, flat out), force them into debt to keep getting new cars under warranty or lock them into the horrible-outside-SF-and-not-all-that-great-in-it mass transit systems (or lack thereof) run by the government. Oh, and they're looking at trying to reduce the number of dealerships.

Edit: It should also be mentioned that this is a thing in CA:

 

public

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The Democrats are too right-wing anyway.
 

public

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Yes, Communism, the political movement designed to strip power from people and grant it to corporations.
 

TC

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Yes, Communism, the political movement designed to strip power from people and grant it to corporations...
... who are micro-managed by the government through excessive regulations, who get their cut of the corporate profits, as determined by the government through corporate income tax rates and other licencing fees, permit fees, property taxes, bribes, etc, etc, etc. It's no coincidence that in communist governments, government officials are the ones who end up extremely wealthy.
 

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Before this goes waaaay off topic, the fact is that regardless of where you sit on the political spectrum administrations and governments increasingly enact laws and regulations designed to impinge on and restrict personal freedoms and exert control over their respective populous.

Smoking bans are a typical example. They aren't about public health or wellbeing but about control. Can you still buy cigarettes and give tax revenue to the government? Of course! Where can you smoke them? Nowhere.

Those in power, be they Republican or Democrat, fascist or communist, will always do what they can and need to do to remain in power and subjugate the rest. The notion that we in the West live in democracies, and that we have "goverment of the people, for the people and by the people" is an illusion and a lie that we are spoon fed by politicians and the majority of the media that they control.
 
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prizrak

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To quote Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand said:
The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.
 

Redliner

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Smoking bans are a typical example. They aren't about public health or wellbeing but about control. Can you still buy cigarettes and give tax revenue to the government? Of course! Where can you smoke them? Nowhere.
I don't think that's a good example.
I would say that this is a typical example of legislation due to people being jerks. In this case, smokers that don't give a fuck about non-smokers around them.
The same could be said for people that make noise, litter, etc.
 

93Flareside

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I don't think that's a good example.
I would say that this is a typical example of legislation due to people being jerks. In this case, smokers that don't give a fuck about non-smokers around them.
The same could be said for people that make noise, litter, etc.
Yeah, @MWF, I'm not seeing the connection with this specific example. As a whole, I can agree on your other points. To further what @Redliner wrote, most smokers do not give a rats ass about their surroundings. They will throw out their used butts anywhere on the ground and those things do not break down. Curbs are full of them, I don't understand why this type of littering is still acceptable. Do you think it's ok to smoke right outside an entrance of a storefront so the smoke can be pulled inside? Seems inconsiderate if you ask me. Here they ban smoking within 20 feet of the door to in theory combat this problem. Usually it works when the wind isn't blowing the wrong way.
 

gaasc

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so you smoke...in the middle of the road, what up?
 
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