Town of Greenport, NY
Columbia County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Greenport 6-7-1967. Amendments noted where applicable.]

Dumps and dumping — See Ch. 65.

Garbage, rubbish and refuse — See Ch. 72.

Junkyards — See Ch. 78.

§ 48-1
Legislative intent. 

§ 48-2

§ 48-3
License and certificate of approval required. 

§ 48-4
Application for license and certificate. 

§ 48-5

§ 48-6
License requirements. 

§ 48-7
Location requirements. 

§ 48-8
Aesthetic considerations. 

§ 48-9
Grant or denial of license and certificate. 

§ 48-10
License fees. 

§ 48-11

§ 48-12
Existing junkyards. 

§ 48-13
Restriction regarding location. 

§ 48-14
Violations and penalties.  

§ 48-1 Legislative intent.

A clean, wholesome, attractive environment is declared to be of importance to the health and safety of the inhabitants and the safeguarding of their material rights against unwarrantable invasion, and, in addition, such an environment is deemed essential to the maintenance and continued development of the economy of the state and the general welfare of its citizens. It is further declared that the unrestrained accumulation of junk motor vehicles is a hazard to such health, safety and welfare of citizens of the Town, necessitating the regulation, restraint and elimination thereof. At the same time, it is recognized that the maintenance of junkyards, as hereinafter defined, is a useful and necessary business and ought to be encouraged when not in conflict with the express purposes of this section.

§ 48-2 Definitions.

[Amended 4-5-1989 by L.L. No. 4-1989]

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

Any place of storage or deposit, where two or more unregistered motor vehicles are held, other than vehicles stored or held in an enclosed structure. Such term shall include any place of storage or deposit of parts or waste materials from motor vehicles which, taken together, equal in a bulk two or more such vehicles; provided, however, that the term "junkyard" shall not be construed to mean an establishment for which a current dealer registration is issued pursuant to § 415 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law or for which a current vehicle-dismantler or salvage-pool registration is issued pursuant to § 415-a of the Vehicle and Traffic Law.
Any vehicle propelled or drawn by power other than muscular power, originally intended for use on public highways.
Any motor vehicle which does not have valid number plates affixed both to the front and rear of the vehicle evidencing the fact of its current and valid registration pursuant to § 401 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law.

§ 48-3 License and certificate of approval required.

No person shall operate, establish or maintain a junkyard until he has obtained a license to operate a junkyard business and has obtained a certificate of approval for the location of such junkyard.

§ 48-4 Application for license and certificate.

Application for the license and the certificate of approved location shall be made in writing to the Town Board and the application shall contain a description of the land to be included within the junkyard.

§ 48-5 Hearing.

A hearing on the application shall be held within the Town not less than two nor more than four weeks from the date of the receipt of the application by the Town Board. Notice of the hearing shall be given to the applicant by mail, postage prepaid, to the address given in the application, and shall be published once in a newspaper having a circulation within the Town, which publication shall be not less than seven days before the date of the hearing.

§ 48-6 License requirements.

At the time and place set for hearing, the Town Board shall hear the applicant and all other persons wishing to be heard on the application for a license to operate, establish or maintain the junkyard. In considering such application, it shall take into account the suitability of the applicant with reference to his ability to comply with the fencing requirements or other reasonable regulations concerning the proposed junkyard, to any record of convictions for any type of larceny or receiving of stolen goods, and to any other matter within the purposes of this section.

§ 48-7 Location requirements.

At the time and place set for hearing, the Town Board shall hear the applicant and all other persons wishing to be heard on the application for a certificate of approval for the location of the junkyard. In passing upon same, it shall take into account, after proof of legal ownership or right to such use of the property for the license period by the applicant, the nature and development of surrounding property, such as the proximity of churches, schools, hospitals, public buildings or other places of public gathering, and whether or not the proposed location can be reasonably protected from affecting the public health and safety by reason of offensive or unhealthy odors or smoke or of other causes.

§ 48-8 Aesthetic considerations.

At the hearing regarding location of the junkyard, the Town Board may also take into account the clean, wholesome and attractive environment which has been declared to be of the vital importance to the continued general welfare of its citizens by considering whether or not the proposed location can be reasonably protected from having an unfavorable effect thereon. In this connection, the Town Board may consider collectively the type of road servicing the junkyard or from which the junkyard may be seen, the natural or artificial barriers protecting the junkyard from view, the proximity of the proposed junkyard to established residential and recreational areas or main access routes thereto, as well as the reasonable availability of other suitable sites for the junkyard.

§ 48-9 Grant or denial of license and certificate.

After the hearing, the Town Board shall, within two weeks, make a finding as to whether or not the application should be granted, giving notice of its finding to the applicant by mail, postage prepaid, to the address given on the application. If approved the license, including the certificate of approved location, shall be forthwith issued, to remain in effect until the following April 1. Approval shall be personal to the applicant and not assignable. Licenses shall be renewed thereafter upon payment of the annual license fee, without hearing, provided all provisions of this chapter are complied with during the license period, the junkyard does not become a public nuisance under the common law and the applicant is not convicted of any type of larceny or the receiving of stolen goods. The determination of the Town Board may be reviewed under Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.

§ 48-10 License fees.

The annual license fee shall be $25, to be paid at the time the application is made and annually thereafter in the event of renewal. In the event the application is not granted, the fee shall be returned to the applicant. The Town, in addition to the Town license fee, may assess the applicant with the costs of advertising such application and such other reasonable costs incident to the hearing as are clearly attributable thereto and may make the license conditional upon payment of same.

§ 48-11 Fencing.


Before use, a new junkyard shall be completely surrounded with a fence at least eight feet in height which substantially screens and with a suitable gate which shall be closed and locked except during the working hours of such junkyard or when the applicant or his agent shall be within. Such fence shall be erected not nearer than 50 feet from a public highway. All motor vehicles and parts thereof stored or deposited by the applicant shall be kept within the enclosure of the junkyard except as removal shall be necessary for the transportation of same in the reasonable course of the business. All wrecking or other work on such motor vehicles and parts and all burning of same within the vicinity of the junkyard shall be accomplished within the enclosure.


Where the topography, natural growth of timber or other considerations accomplish the purposes of this chapter in whole or in part, the fencing requirements hereunder may be reduced by the Town Board upon granting the license; provided, however, that such natural barrier conforms to the purposes of this chapter.

§ 48-12 Existing junkyards.

For the purposes of this chapter, the location of junkyards already established shall be considered approved by the Town Board where located and the owner thereof deemed suitable for the issuance of a license. Within 60 days from the passage of this chapter, however, the owner shall furnish the Town Board the information as to location which is required in all applications, together with the license fee, and the Town Board shall issue him a license valid until the next April 1, at which time such owner may apply for renewal as herein provided. Such owner shall comply with all other provisions of this chapter, including the fencing requirements set forth in § 48-11.

§ 48-13 Restriction regarding location.

Notwithstanding any of the foregoing provisions of this chapter, no junkyard hereafter established shall be licensed to operate if such yard or any part thereof shall be within 500 feet of a church, school, hospital, public building on place of public assembly.

§ 48-14 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 2-2-1977]

Each person convicted of any violation of any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of violation and punishable by a fine of not more than $250 or imprisonment of not more than 15 days, or by both.


In addition, the violation of this chapter or any of the provisions thereof shall subject the person, firm or corporation violating the same to a civil penalty in the sum of $50, and when the violation of this chapter or any of the provisions thereof is continuous, each 24 hours thereof shall constitute a separate and distinct violation, said penalty to be recovered by the Town of Greenport in a civil action.


The application of the above penalty or penalties or the prosecution for the violation of the provisions of this chapter shall not be deemed to prevent the revocation of any permit issued pursuant thereto or the enforced removal of conditions prohibited by this chapter.