Date: May 27, 2007 10:37PM
I have a small trailer that I use occasionally but most of the time, it stays parked on the side of a road along with several other trailers. It's on a street without houses, out of the way, and not taking any parking that anyone would want to use. The license plates are current (permanent trailer tags), the tires are inflated, and it's kept in good repair.
I don't check on it every day, but every few weeks, I'll look in on it. When I first got it, I asked a Fairfax County police officer about parking restrictions on it. He told me that as long as the tags are current, it's parked in a place without parking restrictions, and it's movable (tires inflated), there shouldn't be a problem.
Yesterday, I discovered that my trailer had been impounded by Fairfax County. They had they put a 10 day tag on it saying it was abandoned and if it wasn't moved, it would be towed. I didn't see the notice in time, and had to pay nearly $400 for my trailer being impounded for 4 days. When I spoke to the ticketing officer on the phone before getting my trailer back, I explained to him that another officer had told me that I could park my trailer as long as it fit the above guidelines. He told me he had never heard of that. My only option at the time was to pay to get my trailer back so I wouldn't incur more storage fees from the towing company.
It seems to me that the County should mail a letter and give 30 days notice before impounding a vehicle or trailer.
This website (http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/police21.htm) doesn't fit my situation exactly, but it's similar, and explains that the County gives 3 warnings before towing a vehicle.
Also, this webiste (http://www.municode.com/Resources/gateway.asp?pid=10051&sid=46) is not an exact match, but similar and talks about fees that the impound lot can charge. I paid twice what the law says a towing company can charge for a vehicle towed from a private lot (mine was on a public road).
Does anyone have any useful comments or know of anything that could help me? I have the option to have a hearing about the situation but until I can find anything written, I don't think I have much of a case.