Washington Inoperable Vehicle Bill Dead for the Year

A version of SEMA model legislation (S.B. 5121) to prohibit cities or towns from enforcing an ordinance that prevents automobile collectors from pursuing their hobby was denied further consideration by the House Local Government Committee after initial review.  The bill had been substantially amended and passed by the Washington State Senate before being sent to the House.  Under the original bill, inoperable vehicles stored on private property would only have required screening from public view.  Six or fewer 30-year old and older vehicles, including one parts car, would have been permitted for hobby vehicle restoration.  Under the amended bill, however, private restorers would have been limited to only three 30-year old and older vehicles that are being actively restored.   The amended bill also placed the burden of proving compliance on the property owner by “preponderance of the evidence.”  With these amendments, S.B. 5121 no longer demonstrated a real effort by legislators to enact reasonable and fair compromise legislation for the automobile restorers the original bill was designed to protect.  The SEMA Action Network (SAN) did not support the amended bill.  The bill could be reconsidered in 2014.  The SAN looks forward to the opportunity to work with lawmakers to craft legislation beneficial to the automobile hobby.

Thank you to all who participated in contacting the Legislature regarding this bill!