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 9-16-1981 as Section 3 of L.L. No. 13-1981. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Automobile junkyards — See Ch. 173.
Solid waste disposal — See Ch. 244, Art. I.

§ 264-1 Purpose.

[Amended 12-21-1983 by L.L. No. 16-1983; 3-21-1984 by L.L. No. 3-1984; 7-9-1987 by L.L. No. 7-1987]
A. 
The accumulation, storage and abandonment of unusable motor vehicles and component parts thereof on private and public property within the Town of Rotterdam is hereby declared to be detrimental to the public welfare of the residents of the Town of Rotterdam, aesthetically unattractive and tends to detract from the enjoyment of the environment by said residents and to depreciate neighborhood property values and is an infringement on the enjoyment of their properties and homes by neighboring residents. The accumulation, storage and placement of personal property and materials on and about public and private real property outside of buildings and structures, when such property and materials are not normally incidental to the use and enjoyment of the property on which they are stored, accumulated or placed, for unreasonable periods of time similarly is aesthetically objectionable and can adversely affect the value of neighborhood properties and can be detrimental to the use, enjoyment and occupation of such properties.
B. 
The purpose of this chapter is to prohibit the placement, storage or abandonment of vehicles on private and public property which, because of mechanical defects, are inoperable and which are unsightly in appearance. In order to accord owners of such vehicles a reasonable time to restore them to operating condition or to arrange for disposition of them, and in recognition of the fact that certain types of businesses necessitate the temporary parking of inoperable vehicles out of doors, the prohibition does not apply until the vehicle has been situate on the property for in excess of 30 days.
C. 
The further purpose of this chapter is to prohibit the placement, accumulation or storage of vehicle parts and any other property or items which remain out of doors on private or public real property and in customary usage, and not utilized in conjunction with the out-of-door enjoyment of the property on which they are situate. The outdoor storage of such items for more than five days is deemed to be an unreasonable period of time. The prohibition applies to all material, as defined herein, whether or not such material is deemed to be junk, litter, waste, refuse or garbage.
D. 
Certain materials which are normally used in conjunction with out-of-door activities are exempted from the prohibition.

§ 264-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
A. 
Any vehicle which:
(1) 
For any reason is incapable, without repair, of being moved or propelled by application of internal power, if it is a vehicle originally designed to be propelled by internal power, such as automobile, bus, truck, motorcycle, etc., or is incapable without repair of being drawn or towed, if it is a vehicle, such as a trailer, originally designed to be towed or drawn from behind an internally powered vehicle; and
(2) 
Is unsightly in appearance because of the existence of one or more conditions, such as, but not limited to, the following:
[Amended 3-21-1984 by L.L. No. 3-1984; 7-9-1987 by L.L. No. 7-1987]
(a) 
Deterioration by rust of the body.
(b) 
Deterioration of the exterior finish of the vehicle.
(c) 
Broken windows.
(d) 
Absence of component parts of the vehicle, such as fenders, panels, doors, bumpers, headlights, hood, trunk door, tires, wheels, grille, roof or tailgate.
(e) 
Physical damage, such as dents, cracks, scrapes or holes, to component parts of the vehicle.
(f) 
Absence of interior components such as seats, dashboard or interior door moldings.
B. 
Any vehicle which is incapable of being moved or propelled, drawn or towed without repair as provided in Subsection A(1) above and has remained situate on any real property for a period in excess of eight months.
MATERIAL
Any property (other than real property and buildings thereon), items and articles, organic or inorganic, composed of glass, wood, metal, plastic, paper, fabric, leather, rubber or any combination thereof, whether manufactured or not.
[Added 7-9-1987 by L.L. No. 7-1987]
PERSON
One or more individuals, a partnership, corporation, association or any other legal entity.
VEHICLE
Any means of transport or conveyance having wheels originally designed and manufactured to be moved or propelled by any power other than muscular power or to be drawn or towed. A vehicle shall include but not be limited to automobiles, trucks, trailers, motorcycles, motorbikes and buses.

§ 264-3 Storage of junk vehicles.

No person shall within the Town of Rotterdam deposit, place, stop or abandon on any real property, or permit, cause or consent to be deposited, placed, stored or abandoned on real property owned or occupied as a tenant by such person, a junk vehicle for a period of longer than 30 days after receipt by such person of the notice prescribed by § 264-5 unless such vehicle is completely enclosed in a garage or other similar structure. This section shall not apply to the storage, placement, deposit or abandonment of junk vehicles in junkyards, as defined in, and duly operating in accordance with, the provisions of Chapter 173 of the Code of the Town of Rotterdam.

§ 264-4 Deposit of material.

[Amended 7-9-1987 by L.L. No. 7-1987]
A. 
Subject to the exceptions contained in Subsection B hereof, no person shall store, place, accumulate or abandon upon any real property, nor cause, consent or permit to be deposited, stored, accumulated, placed or abandoned upon any real property owned or occupied as a tenant by such person, outside of an enclosed structure, building or container, any material or parts and components of vehicles for a period longer than five days after receipt by such person of the notice described by § 264-5. This section shall not apply to disposals in the Town of Rotterdam sanitary landfill sites in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 244 of the Code of the Town of Rotterdam.
B. 
Subsection A shall not apply to the storage or placement on premises of the following material:
(1) 
Wood intended for consumption in a woodburning stove, furnace or fireplace located in a building on the premises.
(2) 
Lawn or yard or garden ornaments and implements.
(3) 
Lawn and patio furniture.
(4) 
Operable farm, garden and yard machinery and apparatus used on the premises.
(5) 
Standing fences.
(6) 
Hoses and sprinklers used for watering lawns or gardens.
(7) 
Storage, placement and accumulation of materials in connection with a commercial operation duly conducted on the premises where such storage, placement and accumulation is expressly permitted by the laws of the Town of Rotterdam and the State of New York.
(8) 
Construction materials and equipment used for the construction or renovation of a building on the premises for which a building permit has been issued.

§ 264-5 Notice.

[Amended 3-16-1983 by L.L. No. 3-1983; 7-9-1987 by L.L. No. 7-1987; 6-22-1994 by L.L. No. 12-1994]
A. 
After the enforcement officer has determined that junk vehicles or materials are stored, deposited, placed or abandoned on a parcel of property, he shall send written notice thereof to the occupant or owner of the property or to the owner of the vehicles, or to both such persons, as the case, may be, directing the removal of such vehicle within 30 days or the removal of such material within five days after receipt of such notice. The notice shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested. Possession by the enforcement officer of the United States postal receipt indicating delivery of the notice to the addressee, whether the receipt is signed by the addressee or by a third party, shall constitute conclusive proof of the receipt by the addressee of said notice. The thirty-day period or the five-day period, as the case may be, shall commence on the date of the delivery of the notice as indicated on the postal receipt. The notice may also be personally served on the addressee, in which event the respective thirty- and five-day periods shall commence on the date of the personal service of the notice.
B. 
If the notice cannot be either personally served on the record owner or be delivered to him by certified mail because the record owner cannot with due diligence be ascertained or is not locatable, then the notice may be served by publication. The notice shall be published in the official newspaper of the Town once in each of two successive weeks. If there is a building situate on the property, the notice shall also be posted on the front door of the structure. The thirty-day and five-day periods, as the case may be, shall commence on the sixth business day following the date of the second publication of the notice.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original Section 2 of L.L. No. 3-1983, regarding penalties for offenses and which immediately followed this section, was repealed 12-21-1983 by L.L. No. 16-1983.

§ 264-6 Presumption.

[Amended 3-21-1984 by L.L. No. 3-1984]
A. 
Whenever any person who owns property or occupies it as a tenant contends that a vehicle located thereon is capable of being moved or propelled by application on its own internal power, the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer may require proof of that fact by requesting that the vehicle be started and driven for a distance of not to exceed 25 feet. If the person refuses or neglects to comply, then there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the vehicle is incapable, without repair, of being moved or propelled by application of internal power.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
There shall be a presumption that a person who has received the notice prescribed by § 264-5 has stored, deposited, placed, abandoned or caused, consented to or permitted the deposit, storage, abandonment or placement of the junk vehicles or material described in said notice.
[Amended 7-9-1987 by L.L. No. 7-1987]

§ 264-7 Removal by Town; costs.

[Added 12-21-1983 by L.L. No. 16-1983; amended 7-9-1987 by L.L. No. 7-1987; 6-13-1990 by L.L. No. 13-1990; 6-22-1994 by L.L. No. 12-1994]
A. 
The notice referred to in § 264-5, served upon the owner of the subject property, shall advise the owner that if the junk vehicles and/or junk materials are not removed within said thirty-day or five-day period, as the case may be, the Town will proceed with the removal and disposition of said junk vehicles and/or junk materials following said notice periods and shall cause the costs of such removal and disposition to be charged against the owner and the subject property. The notice shall also advise the owner of the subject property that he may be personally liable for such costs in an action by the Town against him.
B. 
The notice, when it includes provisions pursuant to Subsection A, shall also advise the owner of the subject property that the owner shall be entitled to a hearing before a review board comprised of three members from the Town, being the Zoning Officer, the Chairman of the Planning Commission and the Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals, on any matter the owner wishes to address relating to the existence of junk vehicles and/or junk materials and the removal thereof from the subject property. The request for a hearing before the review board must be made in writing by the owner of the subject property prior to the expiration of the thirty-day or five-day notice period, as the case may be. The request must be in writing, directed to the Town Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer. If a hearing is not requested, the Town shall be entitled to go upon the property upon the expiration of the respective notice periods, as the case may be, and, utilizing either Town personnel or independent contractors, remove and dispose of the junk vehicles and/or junk materials. If a hearing is requested by the owner of the subject property, it shall be held within 10 days of the date on which the request is received by the Town. At the hearing, the owner shall be advised of the amount of money which it is estimated will be expended by the Town for the removal of the junk vehicle and/or junk materials, that the owner of the subject property will be responsible for the payment of that amount and that said amount will be assessed as a lien against the property. At the conclusion of the hearing, the review board shall determine whether removal thereof by the Town should proceed at the expiration of the respective notice periods, as the case may be, and the cost thereof shall be collected from the owner of the subject property or charge against the subject property as hereinbefore mentioned.
[Amended 7-9-2003 by L.L. No. 9-2003]
C. 
The owner shall have five additional days to remove the junk vehicles and/or junk materials beyond the original notice periods, as the case may be, in the event that a hearing is held at the request of the owner of the subject property and the owner receives the written decision of the review board. If the owner of the subject property defaults in the removal of junk vehicles and/or junk materials, the Town shall be entitled to go upon the subject property and, utilizing either Town personnel or independent contractors, remove and dispose of the junk vehicles and/or junk materials.
D. 
The determination of the review board of the Town shall be subject to review in an Article 78 proceeding.
E. 
The cost of the removal and disposition of the junk vehicles and/or junk materials by the Town may be collected from the owner of the subject property in a civil action therefor by the Town. In addition thereto or in lieu thereof, such costs may be assessed as a lien against the subject property of the owner and enforced in accordance with the procedure prescribed in Article 3 of the Lien Law for the enforcement of mechanics' liens on real property.

§ 264-8 Enforcement.

[Amended 7-22-1992 by L.L. No. 16-1992; 7-9-2003 by L.L. No. 9-2003]
This chapter may be enforced by the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer of the Town of Rotterdam and by any police officer of the Town of Rotterdam Police Department or a duly appointed representative by the Rotterdam Town Board.

§ 264-9 Penalties for offenses.

A. 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection A, concerning penalties for a violation, was repealed 6-12-2013 by L.L. No. 7-2013. See now Subsection C.
B. 
In addition to the enforcement in a criminal proceeding by fine or imprisonment, this chapter may be enforced by instituting a special proceeding as authorized by Article 4 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules to compel compliance with the provisions of this chapter or to restrain by injunction any violation thereof, or to obtain any other appropriate relief.
C. 
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 6-12-2013 by L.L. No. 7-2013]