Borough of Hasbrouck Heights, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights 3-23-1993 by Sec. I of Ord. No. 1636. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Parking lots — See Ch. 190.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 261.

§ 271-1 List of towers.

[Amended 12-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1730; 11-26-2002 by Ord. No. 1984]
Annually between the 1st and the 30th of November of each year, the Chief of Police of the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights, who shall be the administrator of this chapter and who is hereby authorized to adopt such rules for its administration and enforcement as he deems necessary, shall solicit and receive applications from persons, firms or corporations regularly engaged in the business of towing and storage of motor vehicles who or which prove to the reasonable satisfaction of the Chief to qualify in accordance with the terms contained hereafter. The Chief of Police shall review all such applications as soon as possible this year and by the 15th day of December of each following year, and he shall compile a list of all those persons, firms or corporations who or which qualify hereunder as approved towers for the following calendar year, and he shall place that list on file for inspection by the public in the office of the Borough Clerk. The list shall be compiled as follows: first, all of those towers on the current list that have been reapproved in the same order as they appear on the current list but beginning with the tower following the one that is to serve last in the current year and then, second, all of the newly approved towers in the order in which their complete application was received. Any person, firm or corporation aggrieved by the action of the Chief may appeal his decision to the Mayor and Council at its next public meeting following receipt of notice of such action.

§ 271-1.1 Application fee.

[Added 5-27-1997 by Ord. No. 1795; amended 12-14-1999 by Ord. No. 1879]
Any person, firm or corporation making application in accordance with this chapter shall, upon filing the application as required in this chapter, also pay a nonrefundable processing and reviewing fee to the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights in the sum as set forth in Chapter 133, Fees; any application filed without the payment of such fee shall be deemed incomplete.

§ 271-1.2 Deadline for filing complete application.

[Added 12-14-1999 by Ord. No. 1879; amended 11-14-2000 by Ord. No. 1911]
The application to be filed in accordance with this chapter shall be filed in full no later than 4:00 p.m. on November 30 of the year prior to the year for which the applicant seeks approval. Any application determined to be incomplete or which is not accompanied by the required nonrefundable processing and reviewing fee by the said deadline shall be rejected. No supplements to or amendments of the application submitted after the filing deadline (exclusive of information gathered by the Police Department as a result of an official investigation of the application) shall be considered.

§ 271-2 Procedure.

[Amended 11-26-2002 by Ord. No. 1984]
The Chief of Police shall establish a procedure by which, when the services of an approved tower are required, only such approved towers as appearing on the list compiled as provided in § 271-1 and then in effect shall be engaged in the order in which they appear on that list on a rotating basis, each such tower to serve exclusively for a seven-day period beginning at 12:01 a.m. on the first day of that calendar year and ending at 12:00 midnight on the last day thereof. A record or log shall be kept by the Police Department indicating among other things the date and time on and at which said services were requested, the response to such request and any complaints received in regard to the services rendered by the approved tower.

§ 271-3 Qualifications and conditions.

[Amended 9-26-1995 by Ord. No. 1724]
In order to qualify as an approved tower, the person, firm or corporation applying to the Chief as aforesaid must present proof of its ability on its own and not in conjunction with, in partnership with, in a joint venture with or in any such similar association with another person, firm or corporation, to comply with and to continue hereafter during the term of its approval to comply with the following terms and conditions:
A. 
Office and storage yard.
[Amended 12-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1730; 3-12-1996 by Ord. No. 1737; 12-14-1999 by Ord. No. 1879]
(1) 
An approved tower must have its own principal place of business which includes the business offices for all business conducted on behalf of the Borough and must have its own premises upon which vehicles are stored, all as otherwise provided in this chapter, both within a two-mile radius of police headquarters as disclosed on the approved map prepared by the Borough Engineer and dated October 27, 1999, which is on file with the Chief of Police. That office must be regularly manned, except on holidays, between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on weekdays and between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon on Saturdays; must include the permanent storage of all of its records in respect to its towing business for the Borough; must thereupon have a means by which its equipment can be directly summoned from the place where such equipment is stored; and must be the only place to which a person is required to report to retrieve a vehicle and to conduct all of his or her business in relation thereto. If the storage place where the vehicle being retrieved is separate from the business office and is not within 660 feet (1/8 mile) of said office, then the automobile, if drivable, shall be delivered to the person retrieving it at the business office or, if the person retrieving it requires, he or she shall be driven to the automobile, in either case without charge. When, under these same circumstances except that the vehicle is not drivable, the person retrieving it shall be driven to it without charge or, if he or she requires, may have it towed to said office but only upon the payment of a reasonable charge in accordance with law for such towing and only upon his or her agreement to immediately remove that vehicle. If either the business office or the storage yard are located within the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights, it or both of them shall have been issued a current certificate of zoning compliance.
(2) 
An approved tower must itself, exclusive of any association with another, have been engaged in the business of towing and storing motor vehicles in Bergen County, New Jersey, for at least the last five years consecutively and in that business within the radius required in § 271-3A(1) of this chapter for a minimum of the last two consecutive years. An approved tower must be of known good reputation in the field for a period of at least the last five years.
[Amended 11-14-2000 by Ord. No. 1911]
B. 
An approved tower must be available to provide service 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
C. 
The maximum response time from the issuance of a telephone notice at any time of the day or night until appearance on the scene at which the services are hereunder required shall be 15 minutes.
D. 
An approved tower must follow the lawful directions of the officers of the Police Department when acting hereunder.
E. 
An approved tower must store all towed vehicles in a safe manner so as to prevent any damage to such vehicles.
F. 
The place to be provided for storage of vehicles towed pursuant hereto shall accommodate at least 25 motor vehicles, shall be located as provided in Subsection A(1) of this section, shall be enclosed by a fence of at least five feet in height which shall have gates that are locked when the storage area is not attended and shall be lighted at night. Such premises must be maintained in a manner to ensure an efficient operation and the safety of the vehicles towed and stored. The premises shall be subject to inspection at any reasonable time by the Police Chief of the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights to determine that it satisfies these requirements. At no time shall there be permitted the parking or storage of a vehicle pursuant to this chapter other than upon the approved storage facility. An approved tower must submit proof of its ownership of or tenancy to the storage facility.
[Amended 12-14-1999 by Ord. No. 1879]
G. 
Wrecked vehicles shall not be stacked on top of one another, and only one level of storage shall be maintained.
H. 
An approved tower shall provide that persons retrieving vehicles shall be able to transact all business, including the pickup of the vehicle and payment of fees, at the same location except as specifically provided in § 271-3A(1) hereof; stored vehicles must be available for retrieval at all times during the same hours as the hours of the business office in accordance with Subsection A(1) of this section.
[Amended 12-14-1999 by Ord. No. 1879; 11-14-2000 by Ord. No. 1911]
I. 
The equipment which an approved tower must generally have available shall include at least the following:
(1) 
Two small wreckers, one having dolly wheels.
(2) 
One heavy-duty wrecker.
(3) 
One flatbed.
J. 
The wrecker and/or tow trucks qualifying hereunder shall have a passenger seat to transport the driver of the vehicle to be towed, if necessary, at no additional cost to the vehicle owner.
K. 
Description of equipment.
(1) 
A description of the equipment which shall be employed must be furnished to and approved by the Chief of Police, together with the following:
(a) 
A true copy of the valid New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles registration certificate for each vehicle.
(b) 
Proof of insurance for all equipment.
(c) 
Proof of New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles permits for emergency lights in use on each motor vehicle.
(d) 
Proof of inspection from the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles on all gasoline-powered motor vehicles and also all diesel-powered motor vehicles under 10,000 pounds.
(e) 
The name of the towing business appearing on all motor vehicles.
(2) 
In the event that any of the foregoing should change, the Chief of Police must be notified of such change within 24 hours thereof and must approve the same.
(3) 
All of the equipment required hereunder to be generally available to the tower must be either owned by the tower or leased to the tower by a firm in the regular principal business of leasing such equipment to the subject tower and others but not leased to the tower by another towing firm not also fully qualified hereunder; equipment leased or otherwise made available to the tower through a partnership, joint venture or other association with a tower not otherwise fully qualified hereunder shall not qualify.
[Added 9-26-1995 by Ord. No. 1724; amended 12-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1730]
L. 
The Chief of Police must be provided with a list of the names and addresses of all employees who will be driving any of the subject towing equipment or handling any of the towed vehicles; they must have valid New Jersey driver's licenses for such purposes. If any such employee has been found to have been convicted of a crime, the approved tower shall be automatically disqualified.
M. 
An approved tower must furnish the Borough with proof of insurance covering it and the Borough and its employees and agents against any and all liability for personal injuries and property damage in the amount of $1,000,000 combined single limit as to services rendered to this Borough only; $1,000,000 combined single limit garage keepers' liability insurance; garage liability in an amount not less than $1,000,000 combined single limit; loss by fire or theft in the amount of $250,000 on each motor vehicle and its contents during towage and any and all periods of storage; and workers' compensation as required by law. All policies must be endorsed to show the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights as an additional insured, and there must be provision made that the Borough be notified of any cancellations or amendments of coverage.
[Amended 12-14-1999 by Ord. No. 1879]
N. 
An approved tower must agree in writing that the services which it renders shall be rendered to the owner or operator of the subject motor vehicle and not to the Borough, it being specifically understood that the tower is not acting as an agent or employee of the Borough, that the tower accepts full responsibility for the services rendered and any damage that may result, and that the tower holds the Borough harmless from any liability which may be claimed against it.
O. 
Upon notice to the approved tower that a motor vehicle has been impounded for a violation of law or ordinance or for the purpose of police investigations or upon other such notice from the Police Department, the approved tower shall not release such vehicle until it has received authorization from the Police Department to do so.
P. 
An approved tower shall be required to clean the area of the automobile accident to which it has been summoned of all debris that resulted from such accident as soon as reasonably possible thereafter.
Q. 
An approved tower must comply with all laws, ordinances and regulations pertaining to the operation of its entire business, whether related to the towing and storage referred to herein or otherwise, and it must supply proof of the existence of any necessary licenses therefor.
R. 
A thorough record shall be made of any towing, storage and disposition of any vehicle towed and of any cleaning of the area of an automobile accident as referred to herein. Such records must be in the form and include all of the information as may be reasonably required by the Chief of Police. Such records must be kept upon the tower's business premises and be available for inspection by the appropriate officers of the Borough at any reasonable time. True copies of such records shall be provided to the Chief of Police at least monthly.

§ 271-4 Charges.

An approved tower may charge the owner or operator of a vehicle towed or stored in accordance herewith as follows:
A. 
The sum per motor vehicle to be charged for the respective services shall depend on equipment reasonably required to be used and shall not exceed the fees as set forth in Chapter 133, Fees.
[Amended 12-14-1999 by Ord. No. 1879]
B. 
The fixed sum to be charged for each period of 24 hours for the storage of a motor vehicle towed upon notification by the Police Department as provided herein shall not exceed the fees as set forth in Ch. 133, Fees.
[Amended 12-14-1999 by Ord. No. 1879]
C. 
Nothing contained in this section or in Chapter 133, Fees, to the contrary withstanding, no fee or charge shall be imposed which exceeds any limit thereon contained in any other law or regulation applicable to that tower in respect to the services rendered.
[Added 12-23-2003 by Ord. No. 2029]

§ 271-5 Rules and regulations.

The Chief of Police of the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights be and is hereby authorized and directed to formulate and implement such rules and regulations as may be necessary to the enforcement of this chapter.

§ 271-6 Dispute resolution.

[Added 12-23-2003 by Ord. No. 2029]
Any person, firm or corporation to whom or to which services have been rendered under this chapter or who or which may have been refused service under this chapter and who or which has been charged a fee for or incurred an expense, loss or damage as the result of such services rendered or refused shall have the right to complain of the same by filing a written, dated and signed statement of that complaint with the Chief of Police or his or her designee in the Police Department, setting forth in particular the services rendered or refused, and the fee charged, the expense, loss or damage resulting and the reason why the same does not comply with the terms and conditions of this chapter, all within 10 days of the occurrence of the act which is the basis for the complaint. In the event that the Police Chief or his or her designee in the Police Department is unable to obtain the satisfaction of such complainant through direct intercession with the approved tower within 30 days of the filing of the complaint, that complainant may refer the complaint within five days of the expiration of that thirty-day time limit to the Borough Clerk who shall then schedule the conduct of a hearing on that complaint before the Mayor and Council and upon notice to the approved tower named in the complaint. At that hearing, the complainant shall present the claim in full and shall further show cause why the subject approved tower should not be disqualified from further service based upon its refusal to satisfy the complaint if that complaint is determined to be properly founded. Upon a determination by the Mayor and Council that the complaint is properly founded and/or the refusal to satisfy the complaint was unwarranted, the Mayor and Council may disqualify the approved tower from further service or may take such other action in respect thereto as it deems reasonable and appropriate.