That project car or truck you've stashed behind your house until the new crate engine arrives, or the cherished collectible you've hung onto since high school to pass down to your kids could very easily be towed right out of your yard depending on the zoning laws in your area.
Many states and localities currently enforce or are attempting to legislate strict property or zoning laws that include restrictions on visible inoperable automobile bodies and parts. Laws like these are drafted broadly, allowing for the confiscation of vehicles being repaired or restored.
For the purposes of these laws, "inoperable vehicles" are most often defined as those in which the engine, wheels or other parts have been removed, altered, damaged or allowed to deteriorate so that the vehicle cannot be driven. Sometimes it comes down to whether you have a license plate with expired registration date or no license tag at all.
In the 2009-2010 legislative session, hobbyists defeated bills in Hawaii, Kansas, Nebraska, Virginia and West Virginia that would have established unreasonable restrictions on backyard restoration projects. The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) drafted its own inoperable vehicle bill that's fair to restorers, while still considerate of neighbors who don't want a junkyard operating next door. The SEMA model bill simply states that project vehicles and their parts must be maintained or stored outside of "ordinary public view." States can adopt this model legislation as their own; in 2005, Kentucky did just that.