Can a small town tell a mechanic shop they can't have cars outside the shop or even work on them outside?
Question Details: The town decided to tell 3 mechanic shops that they cant have cars outside there shop and they can't work on anything outside their shop. Further, their bay doors need to be shut all times. For years they never had a problem now they do. They said they would issue a fine if we didn't comply. It will shut us all down.
If they have a law (e.g. ordinance) on the books that prevents the mechanics shops from having cars outside or working on cars outside, then they can enforce those laws--even if they have not done so in the past. The failure to previously enforce a law does not bar or prevent enforcing it later. If there is no law or ordinance governing this, town officials cannot simply decide they no longer like it--they need legal authority to bar or prevent this. So if there no law currently on the books, they would have to pass a law first to give them the authority.