The city of Tupelo, Mississippi, is examining an ordinance that would impose restrictions on where vehicles for sale can be parked on public property. The proposed ordinance aims to address concerns about unsightly and potentially hazardous situations created by vehicles parked for extended periods on residential streets and public rights-of-way.

Key Provisions of the Proposed Ordinance:

  • Designated Parking Areas: The ordinance would establish designated parking areas in specific commercial zones where vehicles for sale can be parked legally. These areas would be located in zones where such activity is compatible with the surrounding land uses.
  • Time Limitations: Vehicles for sale would be permitted to park in designated areas for a maximum of 14 consecutive days. After that period, they would need to be removed and cannot be parked in the same location for another 30 days.
  • Prohibited Locations: The ordinance would prohibit parking vehicles for sale on residential streets, alleys, public rights-of-way, and public property not designated for such use.
  • Enforcement: The ordinance would authorize the city's code enforcement officers to issue citations for violations. Violators could face fines of up to $500 per day.

Rationale for the Ordinance:

The proposed ordinance is designed to address several concerns raised by city officials and residents:

  • Unsightly Appearance: Vehicles for sale parked on residential streets and other public areas can detract from the aesthetic appeal of neighborhoods and create a cluttered and unkempt appearance.
  • Traffic Hazards: Vehicles parked partially or entirely on public rights-of-way can obstruct traffic flow and create safety hazards for motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
  • Environmental Concerns: Leaking fluids or other materials from parked vehicles can contaminate stormwater runoff and pose environmental risks.
  • Property Values: The presence of vehicles for sale in residential areas can potentially lower property values and make neighborhoods less desirable for potential buyers.

Alternatives to the Ordinance:

Before considering the proposed ordinance, the city explored alternative solutions to address the issue of vehicles for sale parked on public property:

  • Education and Awareness: The city launched public service announcements and distributed informational materials to educate car dealers and the public about the potential negative consequences of improper vehicle storage.
  • Enforcement of Existing Regulations: The city stepped up enforcement of existing parking regulations that prohibit vehicles for sale from being parked on residential streets and public rights-of-way.
  • Designated Parking Spaces: The city identified and designated a limited number of off-street parking spaces for vehicles for sale in certain commercial areas.

Public Input and Next Steps:

The city of Tupelo held a public hearing on the proposed ordinance to gather feedback from residents, businesses, and car dealers. The city council is expected to consider the ordinance for adoption at a future meeting.

Impact on Car Dealers:

The proposed ordinance could have a significant impact on car dealers who rely on public property to display vehicles for sale. Dealers would need to secure designated parking areas within commercial zones or find alternative methods to display their inventory.


The proposed ordinance is part of the city of Tupelo's ongoing efforts to maintain a clean and orderly appearance, ensure public safety, and protect the aesthetic appeal of its neighborhoods. The ordinance would impose restrictions on parking vehicles for sale on public property, designating specific areas for such activity and prohibiting it in residential areas and on public rights-of-way. The ordinance is currently under consideration by the city council and could potentially have a significant impact on car dealers and the city's overall appearance and safety.

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