Town of Rotterdam, NY
Schenectady County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Rotterdam 1-26-1966. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fees — See Ch. 126.
Outside storage of vehicles and junk — See Ch. 264.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 265.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 266.
Zoning — See Ch. 270.

§ 173-1 Purpose.

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 of Rotterdam 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 of Rotterdam 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 chapter.

§ 173-2 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
JUNKYARDS
Any place of storage or deposit, whether in connection with another business or not, where two or more unregistered, old or secondhand motor vehicles, no longer intended or in condition for legal use on the public highways, are held, whether for the purpose of resale of used parts therefrom, for the purpose of reclaiming for use some or all of the materials therein, whether metal, glass, fabric or otherwise, for the purpose of disposing of the same or for any other purpose; such term shall include any place of storage or deposit for any such purposes of used parts or waste materials from motor vehicles which, taken together, equal in bulk 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 principle produce is scrap iron, steel or nonferrous scrap for sale for remelting purposes only.
MOTOR VEHICLE
All vehicles propelled or drawn by power other than muscular power originally intended for use on public highways.

§ 173-3 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.

§ 173-4 Applications.

Application for the license and the certificate of approved location shall be made in writing to the Town Board; said application shall be accompanied by a certificate from the Planning Commission that proposed location is not within an established district restricted against such uses or otherwise contrary to the prohibitions of the Town Zoning Ordinance.[1] The application shall contain a description of the land to be included within the junkyard.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 270, Zoning.

§ 173-5 Time and notice of hearing.

A hearing on the application shall be held 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 five days before the date of the hearing.

§ 173-6 Suitability of applicant.

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 a 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.

§ 173-7 Location.

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.

§ 173-8 Effect on environment.

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 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 affect 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.

§ 173-9 Issuance of license.

[Amended 6-22-1966]
After 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 December 31 following the date of issuance of said license. 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.

§ 173-10 License fees.

[Amended 3-27-1974 by L.L. No. 2-1974; 3-12-1986 by L.L. No. 4-1986; 1-25-1989 by L.L. No. 1-1989]
The annual license fee shall be as set forth in Ch. 126, Fees, to be paid annually on the first day of April each year. In the event that the application is not granted, the fee shall be returned to the applicant. The Town, in addition to the 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 the same.

§ 173-11 Fencing.

A. 
Before use, a new junkyard shall be completely surrounded with a fence at least eight feet in height which substantially screens and with 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 75 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 the same in the reasonable course of the business. All wrecking or other work on such motor vehicles and parts and all dismantling of the same within the vicinity of the junkyard shall be accomplished within the enclosure. Burning of such motor vehicles or parts or components thereof is prohibited.
B. 
Where the topography, natural growth of timber or other considerations accomplish the purpose 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.

§ 173-12 Established junkyards.

[Amended 6-22-1966[1]]
A. 
For the purposes of this chapter, the location of junkyards already established and in compliance with the Town Zoning Ordinance[2] shall be considered approved and the owner thereof deemed suitable for the issuance of a license. Within 60 days from the effective date of this chapter, however, the owner shall furnish the Town Board the information as to location which is required in an application and a certificate of compliance of conformance to the Zoning Ordinance issued by the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer of the Town of Rotterdam, together with the license fee, and the Town Board shall authorize issuance of a license by the Town Clerk valid until the next December 31, 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 § 173-11 of this chapter, subject to approval of the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer.
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 270, Zoning.
B. 
With respect to the fencing requirements, such owner shall furnish to the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer of the Town of Rotterdam, within 10 days from the effective date of this chapter, a written description of the fence, if any, presently enclosing the junkyard, including the height and material of which it is made. If there is no fence enclosing such established junkyard, the owner shall, within 60 days from the effective date of this chapter, submit to the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer a description of the fence proposed to be constructed pursuant to § 173-11, and the distance of such proposed fence from the nearest public highway. The Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer after consultation with the Town Board shall thereafter notify, in writing, such owner of the suitability of such existing fence, if any, or proposed fence. If such existing fence, if any, or proposed fence, is not deemed suitable to substantially screen the junkyard, the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer shall recommend to the owner shall erect a suitable fence within 60 days from such notification.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).

§ 173-13 Distance from churches, schools, hospitals and places of public 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.

§ 173-14 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. Each day such violation shall continue or be permitted to exist, after 10 days following notice, or if contested, conviction of such alleged violation, shall constitute a separate violation.
B. 
Any violation of this chapter by any person, firm or corporation shall constitute a violation and shall be punishable by a fine not less than $500 and no more than the sum of $1,000 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both, for conviction of a first offense. Each subsequent violation will be punishable by a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $2,000 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both. Each day of continued violation shall constitute a separate, additional offense.
[Amended 3-12-1986 by L.L. No. 4-1986; 6-12-2013 by L.L. No. 7-2013]
C. 
Conviction for any above-mentioned violation shall constitute and effect an immediate forfeiture of the license.

§ 173-15 Effect on zoning provisions.

This chapter is not deemed to supersede any provision of the Town Zoning Ordinance[1] relative to junkyards as now existing or to be amended.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 270, Zoning.