City of North Tonawanda, NY
Niagara County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of North Tonawanda 4-19-1988.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Motor vehicle salvage business — See Ch. 61.
Special parking districts — See Ch. 80B.
Trailers and tourist parks — See Ch. 88.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 96.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provides for the repeal of former Ch. 8, Abandoned Vehicles, adopted 3-18-1957.

§ 8-1 Title.

This ordinance shall be known and may be cited as the "City of North Tonawanda Abandoned Vehicle Ordinance."

§ 8-2 Purpose.

The control of the outdoor storage of abandoned vehicles, other than within licensed junkyards, within the city is regulated for the preservation of the health, safety and general welfare of the community.

§ 8-3 Definitions.

As used in this ordinance, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated. All other terms shall have the meanings normally ascribed to them in regular usage.
OWNER OF PRIVATE PROPERTY
Includes the legal owner, contract purchaser in possession, tenant, lessee, occupant, under tenant, receiver, assignee or trustee of the premises or the property located within the City of North Tonawanda.
OWNER OF THE VEHICLE
The person having the property in or title to a vehicle, including a person entitled to the use and possession of a vehicle subject to a security interest in another person, and also including any lessee or bailee of a vehicle having the use thereof under lease or otherwise.
PERSON
Includes a natural person, partnership and corporation.

§ 8-4 Vehicles deemed abandoned.

A motor vehicle shall be deemed to be an abandoned vehicle if left unattended:
A. 
With no then-valid numbered registration plates affixed thereto for more than six hours on any highway or other public place.
B. 
For more than 24 hours on any highway or other public place, except a portion of a highway or public place, on which parking is legally permitted.
C. 
For more than 48 hours after the parking of such vehicles shall have become illegal, if left on a portion of a highway or public place on which parking is legally permitted.
D. 
For more than 96 hours on property of another if left without permission of the owner.

§ 8-5 Prohibited activity.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to cause any vehicle to be abandoned on any highway or other public place.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to cause any vehicle to be abandoned on any private property of which he is not the owner.
C. 
It shall be unlawful for any owner of private property to cause or allow any vehicle to be abandoned or stored, or kept without then-valid numbered registration plates and current inspection sticker affixed thereto, on his private property. The provisions of the foregoing sentence shall not apply to:
[Amended 3-2-1999]
(1) 
Vehicles on private property licensed as junkyards.
(2) 
Vehicles kept or stored within a completely enclosed building.
(3) 
Vehicles kept or stored for sale without dismantling on private property occupied pursuant to the North Tonawanda Zoning Ordinance[1] for the sale of new or used vehicles.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 103, Zoning.
(4) 
(Reserved)[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection C(4), regarding motor homes and recreational vehicles, was repealed 5-7-1991.
(5) 
Where written permission has been granted by the Mayor or Common Council for the storage for the purposes of restoration of an antique automobile, which permission shall be limited to a period of 18 months.
(6) 
The storage of a motor vehicle owned by a member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is absent on active military duty as the result of such service.
(7) 
All licensed commercial businesses, including gas stations, repair shops, collision shops or any business involved in auto work. The maximum number of vehicles stored without valid plates or current inspection stickers shall be four vehicles, with a time limit of 30 days. Such vehicles shall be stored behind fencing.
[Amended 4-27-1999]
(8) 
Race cars stored on private property are to be kept on legal trailers or licensed trucks.

§ 8-6 Penalties for offenses.

[Amended 6-15-1993]
Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this ordinance shall be deemed guilty of a violation and subject to a fine of not more than $250 or imprisonment not to exceed 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Each day such violation is committed or permitted to continue shall constitute a separate offense and shall be punishable as such.

§ 8-7 Removal of abandoned vehicles.

Any vehicle abandoned in violation of this ordinance may be removed and stored by the Code Enforcement Officer or other agency authorized by the Common Council.

§ 8-8 Passing of title to city.

[Amended 5-15-1990]
If an abandoned vehicle, as hereinbefore defined, at the time of abandonment is of a wholesale value, taking into consideration the condition of the vehicle, of $750 or less, title shall immediately vest in the City of North Tonawanda. The city may dispose of said abandoned vehicle by selling the same to a scrap or salvage dealer or by sale at a public auction.

§ 8-9 Search of ownership; notice; action if unclaimed.

A. 
Except for vehicles governed by § 8-8 above, the Code Enforcement Officer of the city shall make an inquiry concerning the last registered owner of such vehicle as follows:
(1) 
Abandoned vehicles with numbered plates affixed, to the jurisdiction which issued such plates.
(2) 
Abandoned vehicles with no numbered plates affixed, to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
B. 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall notify the last registered owner, if any, that the vehicle in question has been recovered as an abandoned vehicle and that, if unclaimed, it will be sold at public auction after five days from the date such notice was mailed. If the agency described in Subsection A also notified such Code Enforcement Officer that a lien or mortgage exists, such notice shall also be sent to the lienholder or mortgagee. Any person claiming such vehicle shall be required to pay the cost of removal and storage of such vehicle.
C. 
Title to such abandoned vehicles, if unclaimed, shall vest in the City of North Tonawanda five days from the date such notice is mailed or if the last registered owner cannot be ascertained when notice of such fact is received.

§ 8-10 Disposition of abandoned vehicles; costs; proceeds.

A. 
Abandoned vehicles title to which has vested in the City of North Tonawanda shall be sold by the City Treasurer at public auction. The Treasurer shall publish a notice in the city's official newspaper of each auction, stating the time and place of auctions and rules pertaining to the holding thereof, at least five days prior to the date of said auction.
B. 
The last registered owner of an abandoned vehicle shall be presumed to be the owner and liable to the City of North Tonawanda for the costs of removal, storage and disposition of such vehicle, unless he shall present proof of present ownership in another person.
C. 
Any proceeds from the sale of an abandoned vehicle, less any expenses incurred by the City of North Tonawanda, shall be held by the City Treasurer, without interest, for the benefit of the owner of such vehicle for a period of one year. If not claimed within such one-year period, such proceeds shall be paid into the general fund of the city.

§ 8-11 Severability.

It is the intention herein that each separate provision of this ordinance shall be construed and deemed independent of all other provisions herein, and it is further the intention that if any provision of this section shall be declared to be invalid, all other provisions thereof shall remain valid and enforceable.

§ 8-12 Repealer.

Chapter 8, Abandoned Vehicles, of the Code of the City of North Tonawanda, New York, adopted March 18, 1957, and § 103-15A(7) of Chapter 103, Zoning, of the Code of the City of North Tonawanda, New York, added April 15, 1968, is hereby repealed and replaced by this chapter.

§ 8-13 When effective.

This ordinance shall take effect immediately.