Town of Clifton Park, NY
Saratoga County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Clifton Park 10-16-1967 by L.L. No. 4-1967. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Dumps and dumping — See Ch. 97.
Zoning — See Ch. 208.

§ 138-1 Title.

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Local Law Providing for Licensing and Regulating Automobile Graveyards and Junkyards."

§ 138-2 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 town and the general welfare of its citizens. It is further declared that the unrestrained accumulation of junk motor vehicles and other secondhand or used property 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.

§ 138-3 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
JUNKYARD
Any place of storage or deposit outside of a building where two or more uninspected, inoperable or unregistered vehicles no longer intended or in condition for legal use on the public highways are stored. Such term shall include any place of storage or deposit outside of a building for any purpose, including the reclamation or reuse of used or spare parts or waste materials from vehicles which, taken together, equal in bulk to two or more such vehicles; provided, however, that the term "junkyard" shall not be construed to mean an establishment having facilities for processing iron, steel or nonferrous scrap and whose principal produce is scrap iron, steel or nonferrous scrap for sale for remelting purposes only. The term "junkyard" shall also be construed to mean any place of storage or deposit outside of a building, whether in connection with another business or not, where there is accumulated therein and thereon any secondhand or used property of whatever material or any waste material, whether composed of wood, paper, cloth, cardboard, plastics, metals, stone, cement or otherwise, which, taken together, exceeds in bulk three cubic yards. For the purpose of this section any place of storage in a carport or similar structure, where such vehicle, parts thereof, or other items being stored are visible from any public road or highway, shall be considered to be outside of a building.
[Amended 11-20-1989 by L.L. No. 21-1989; 8-20-2007 by L.L. No. 9-2007]
MOTOR VEHICLE
All vehicles propelled or drawn by power other than muscular power originally intended for use on public highways.
PERSON
An individual, an association, a partnership or a corporation.

§ 138-4 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.

§ 138-5 Application for license and certificate of approval.

Application for the license and the certificate of approved location shall be made in writing to the Town Board, and the application shall be accompanied by a certificate from the Zoning Inspector that the proposed location is not within an established district restricted against such uses or otherwise contrary to the prohibitions of any zoning ordinance or local law on zoning of the Town of Clifton Park. The application shall contain a description of the land to be included within the junkyard.

§ 138-6 Hearing on applications.

A hearing on the application shall be held by the Town Board 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.

§ 138-7 Licensing standards.

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.

§ 138-8 Location standards.

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 certificate of approval for the location of the junkyard. In passing upon the 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.

§ 138-9 Aesthetic standards.

At the hearing regarding the 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 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.

§ 138-10 Determination of Town Board; appeal.

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 for a period of one year from the date of issuance. 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 that all provisions of this chapter are complied with during the license period, that the junkyard does not become a public nuisance under the common law and that 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.

§ 138-11 License fees.

[Amended 2-28-1994 by L.L. No. 1-1994; 8-20-2007 by L.L. No. 9-2007]
The annual license fee shall be $500, to be paid at the time the application is made and annually thereafter in the event of renewal. In the event that the application is not granted, the fee shall be returned to the applicant. In addition to the license fee, the applicant shall pay to the town the cost of advertising such application and such other reasonable costs incident to the hearing as are clearly attributable thereto, and such costs shall be paid to the Town Clerk prior to the publication of the notice of hearing.

§ 138-12 Fencing.

A. 
All junkyards shall be completely surrounded with an opaque fence of wood or other material. The fence shall be at least eight feet in height 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 80 feet to a property line bordering on any public street or highway nor nearer than 50 feet to any existing dwelling house nor nearer than 15 feet to any property line not bordering on any public street or highway. All motor vehicles and parts thereof and all secondhand or used property, as hereinabove defined, stored or deposited by the applicant shall be kept within the enclosure of the junkyard except if removal shall be necessary for the transportation of the same in the reasonable course of business, and in such cases of business necessity, no such vehicle or part thereof shall be kept outside the enclosure for more than two business days. Motor vehicles shall not be piled higher than two motor vehicles piled one upon the other, nor to any height higher than the fence enclosing said junkyard. All wrecking or other work on such motor vehicles and parts and other secondhand or used property as hereinabove defined and all burning of the same within the vicinity of the junkyard shall be accomplished within the enclosure.
[Amended 8-20-2007 by L.L. No. 9-2007]
B. 
Where the topography, natural growth of timber or other considerations accomplish the purposes of the 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.

§ 138-13 Enforcement.

[Amended 2-28-1994 by L.L. No. 1-1994]
A. 
Each license granted to an applicant shall expire on December 31 of each year and must be renewed by the owner or license within 30 days from expiration. The Zoning Code Enforcement Officer or his designee shall inspect the premises and advise the Town Clerk as to whether the location is in compliance with all necessary zoning requirements. No license shall be renewed by the Town Clerk absent the approval of the Zoning Code Enforcement Officer or his designee.
B. 
Failure to renew the license on a timely basis as set forth above or refusal of the Zoning Code Enforcement Officer or his designee to approve the license renewal shall necessitate a new application for a license, requiring compliance with the hearing provisions of § 138-1 et seq. of the Town Code.
C. 
Any notification and/or determination from the Zoning Code Enforcement Officer or his designee to the applicant shall be made in writing by sending a letter certified mail, return receipt requested.
D. 
Any such notification and/or determination shall be mailed to the applicant within 30 days of the inspection as set forth in Subsection C.

§ 138-14 Distance from places of assembly.

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 or place of public assembly.

§ 138-15 Penalties for offenses.

A. 
The owner or licensee of any such place of business who commits or permits any acts in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed to have committed an offense against such chapter and also shall be liable for any such violation or the penalty therefor. Each day such violation shall continue or be permitted to exist shall constitute a separate violation.
B. 
For every violation of any provision of this chapter, the person violating the same shall be subject to a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment not exceeding 30 days, or to both such fine and imprisonment.
[Amended 8-20-2007 by L.L. No. 9-2007]
C. 
Conviction for any above-mentioned violation shall constitute and effect an immediate forfeiture of the license.
D. 
Any person violating this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty enforceable and collectible by the town in the amount of $100 for each such offense. Such penalty shall be collectible by and in the name of the town for each day that such violation shall continue.
E. 
In addition to the above-provided penalties and punishment, the Town Board may also maintain an action or proceeding in the name of the town in a court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with or to restrain by injunction the violation of such chapter.