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Thu Feb 13, 2020, 12:37 PM

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

Doesn't one of our members live in Sacramento? Or is it San Diego?

In any case, this is a crock of shit.

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:

Read the rest:
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

Has anyone ever encountered such a thing? It says "minor" repairs are ok and be thankful for small wonders I guess. I changed out my rotors and pads on my Accord this weekend and I try to do all my auto repairs if I can (Youtube is a great resource) and I don't have to worry about this where I live but, stuff like this just irks me. I fully restored a VW van in my driveway in Fla in the 90s...no one said shit about it.

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply Sacramento County Says It's Illegal to Work on Your Own Car in Your Own Garage (Original post)
Steelydamned Feb 13 OP
oldenuff35 Feb 13 #1
Magyar Heidinn Feb 13 #2
foia Feb 13 #3
Steelydamned Feb 13 #4
Hades Feb 13 #9
Steelydamned Feb 13 #10
His Daughter Feb 13 #5
DavesNotHere Feb 13 #6
AmandaCMatthews Feb 13 #11
762Justice Feb 13 #7
Currentsitguy Feb 13 #8

Response to Steelydamned (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2020, 12:44 PM

1. This is a crock.

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Response to Steelydamned (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2020, 12:49 PM

2. Another communistic measure to control citizenry liberty.

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Response to Steelydamned (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2020, 01:01 PM

3. Has any of this actually been enforced?

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Response to foia (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 13, 2020, 01:11 PM

4. One commenter said he was fined $430 for working on his vehicle.

No idea if it's true or not......I would still do it regardless of the law.

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Response to Steelydamned (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 13, 2020, 09:26 PM

9. But how were they caught?

If they closed the garage door, how did anyone know someone was in the garage working on a vehicle?

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Response to Hades (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 13, 2020, 09:32 PM

10. No idea.

Ratted out by an annoying busybody neighbor?

Thats just speculation mind you based on my limited experience with a Housing Association dickhead in the past.

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Response to Steelydamned (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2020, 01:21 PM

5. Rules are similar in most municipalities

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Response to Steelydamned (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2020, 01:34 PM

6. When you see vague laws written like the one for

“Tools not normally found in a residence”, you can be sure it will be selectively enforced.

Also, restricting it in “agricultural”? How do you fix agricultural equipment? Some of that stuff is huge and can’t just be towed to your local garage for repair.

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Response to DavesNotHere (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 13, 2020, 09:34 PM

11. Well then I must live in an abnormal residence

because we have car ramps, jacks of various sizes & descriptions including pneumatic, air tools, and the usual lock and roll tool chest. Plus, my son has worked on cars professionally so we have all his stuff.

I started working on my own cars after my idiot first husband proved he was a jackass when he put the shocks on my Cutlass on UPSIDE DOWN and then fucked with my carburetor (dual points) on my Toyota up so bad it blew my exhaust clean off the car. (That was a long time ago.)

This crap is out-if-control. I’ll do whatever I want in the privacy of my own property as long as it hurts no one, causes no harm to others and their property, and is well within what I perceive is my right, and everybody else’s right to use their own property as they deem fit and necessary.

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Response to Steelydamned (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2020, 09:07 PM

7. They could use the tools in my residence as the measure

of "tools normally found in a residence".

In that case, wrench on, Sacramento, you're all good.

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Response to Steelydamned (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2020, 09:25 PM

8. I'd be screwed

Taking my truck to a friends house in about two weeks to replace a faulty heater core. It sounds simple, but to get to it requires we pull the entire dash. It's going to probably be at least a 2, if not 3 day job. We looked it up. The labor estimating guide says 9 1/2 hours. He'd be fucked regardless. He put a hydraulic lift in his garage about two years back because he was starting to get back trouble. I'd hardly say that hardly qualifies as an average tool.

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