Town of Potsdam, NY
St. Lawrence County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Potsdam 6-30-1958. Amendments noted where applicable.]

Outdoor fires — See Ch. 65.

Garbage, rubbish and refuse — See Ch. 72.

§ 79-1

§ 79-2
Areas for business to be licensed. 

§ 79-3
License required. 

§ 79-4
Application for license. 

§ 79-5
Conditions of license. 

§ 79-6
Unduly disturbing peace; enclosure of premises.  

§ 79-7
Purchase and sale of motor vehicles. 

§ 79-8
Purchases from minors.  

§ 79-9
Enclosure of existing premises.  

§ 79-10
License fee; expiration date.  

§ 79-11
Revocation or suspension of license. 

§ 79-12
Penalties for offenses.  

§ 79-13
Where provisions applicable. 

§ 79-14
Scrap processors.  

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

Junk of any kind, used or secondhand materials of any kind, including rags, paper, rubbish, old rope, bottles, glassware, crockery, bags, cloth, rubber, iron, brass, copper, silver, clothing, furniture, used motor vehicles or the parts thereof or any repaired, reconstructed, renewed, renovated, partly ruined or damaged materials, merchandise or personal property, tin, slush or lead, old lumber and house wrecking materials. This definition, however, shall not be deemed to be exclusive. Secondhand materials and articles of similar kind and character shall be deemed to be included within the foregoing definition.

The storage and sale of junk, as above defined, and the wrecking, junking, dismantling and destruction of automobiles, trucks and other motor vehicles or any other salvage of materials shall be permitted only in those areas duly licensed in accordance with this chapter.

No person, firm or corporation shall engage in or carry on a retail or wholesale business of buying, selling, storing, collecting, distributing or dealing in any of the materials named in § 79-1 nor conduct what is commonly known as a "junk shop" without first procuring a written license from the Town Clerk of the Town of Potsdam or such other officer of said Town as may be designated by the Town Board.

Every person, firm or corporation desiring to obtain any such license in the Town of Potsdam shall file with the designated official of said Town a written, verified application; supplying, under affidavit, the following information: that he is a citizen of the United States; that he has never been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor; and that he is a fit and desirable person and capable of properly conducting the business for which the license is desired; describing the character of the business in which the applicant desires to engage, the kind of material which he desires to deal in, the proper designation by street or number or other accurate description of the place where such business is to be conducted and shall furnish proof of his ownership thereof, and, if not the owner, the applicant shall furnish a verified consent of the owner of said premises where said business is to be conducted and shall furnish such other information as may be required.


Each such license shall be issued subject to compliance by the licensee with all the requirements of Article 6 of the General Business Law, § 1308 of the Penal Law

Editor's Note: Article 6 of the General Business Law pertains to junk dealers. Former § 1308 of the Penal Law is now covered by Penal Law §§ 165.40 through 165.65, pertaining to criminal possession of stolen property.
and all other statutes and/or ordinances, now existing or which may hereafter be enacted affecting such business or the conduct thereof; subject, also, to compliance by the licensee with all rules, regulations or orders now existing or which may hereafter be made by the Town of Potsdam respecting such business or the conduct thereof; and subject, also, to compliance with the following further requirements:


That each such licensee shall keep a permanent record book of each article of junk metal or secondhand materials purchased or collected by him, showing the time and place of collection or purchase and the name and address of the person from whom the same was collected or purchased; and shall not dispose of any such article purchased or collected until the expiration of five days from the date of purchase or collection.


That such licensee shall not collect or purchase junk, metals or secondhand materials from any person between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.


That each such licensee shall permit his place of business, his record books and his vehicles or conveyances to be examined or inspected at any time by the police or by any representative of the Town Board.


Acceptance of such shall constitute an agreement by the licensee to comply with all such requirements, orders, rules, regulations and statutes.


All licenses heretofore issued pursuant to the law in effect, prior to the date this chapter becomes effective, shall be continued in effect according to the provisions thereof, but the renewal of the same shall be in accordance with this chapter.

[Amended 7-12-1999 by L.L. No. 3-1999; 5-14-2002 by L.L. No. 3-2002]

No person, firm or corporation shall conduct or carry on any business described in this chapter is such manner as to unduly disturb the peace and quiet of the neighborhood or endanger any surrounding property by exposing the same to fire. The burning of rubber, waste, combustible materials or any article or thing producing smoke or noxious odors is strictly prohibited by this chapter. All premises used for any of the business aforesaid shall be kept in a clean and wholesome condition and shall be conducted in full compliance with all the ordinances of the Town of Potsdam and in accordance with the reasonable rules, regulations and directions of the Town Board. None of the materials mentioned in the preceding sections shall be sorted, stored or kept in any street or in any yard. All of said materials shall be kept within a building, a covered enclosure or on premises enclosed by a solid fence.


All junkyard operations shall be fenced and screened from public view and from adjacent properties. A fence is a natural or artificially constructed barrier inhibiting public view of staged or stored decommissioned motor vehicles, parts or related materials. The barrier shall consist of approved material or combination of materials and shall be erected to enclose and screen areas of land used to store aforementioned materials from public view.


A barrier closing or bordering a field, yard, etc. may typically be constructed of wood, or metal fencing material and usually is used to prevent entrance, to confine, mark a boundary, or inhibit public view with security as approved by the Town of Potsdam Planning Board.


All fencing schemes shall be approved by the Planning Board. Fence construction shall conform to the following criteria:


Posts with wood board fencing shall provide an eight-foot high screen.


Construction material may consist of wood, metal, plastic or other material that is aesthetically unobtrusive as approved by the Planning Board.


Natural fencing consisting of dense shrub hedge of conifer foliage supplemented with localized security measures, such as gates for restricted access, as approved.


Fence materials other than the aforementioned materials are not approved, unless specific plans are presented to the Planning Board for review and approval.

This chapter shall not apply to dealers who, in good faith, have established or shall establish a business of buying and selling new or used motor vehicles, who occasionally, as an instance of such business, buy or receive, in the course of trade, secondhand motor vehicles for sale. This chapter shall, however, include and apply to all such dealers who wreck or junk such secondhand motor vehicles.

[Amended 8-13-1986 by L.L. No. 1-1986]

It shall not be lawful for any person, firm or corporation carrying on the business of purchasing or selling any of the materials heretofore mentioned to purchase from any person under 18 years of age any of the aforesaid materials.

[Amended 7-12-1999 by L.L. No. 3-1999]

Any person, firm or corporation now engaged in the business of operating a junkyard shall, within a period of one year from the effective date of this chapter, cause the premises where said business is operated to be tightly enclosed by a solid fence or wall eight feet high as hereinbefore provided.

[Amended 7-12-1999 by L.L. No. 3-1999]

The fee for the license required by this chapter is hereby fixed at the sum of $50 annually, and said license shall expire on the first day of April of each year.

The Town Board, at any time in its discretion, may revoke or suspend the license granted under the authority of this chapter, for failure to comply with any of the terms of this chapter or any law or regulation relating to the business of dealing in junk or secondhand materials so defined in this chapter.

[Amended 8-13-1986 by L.L. No. 1-1986]

Any person, firm or corporation which shall commit an offense against any of the provisions of this chapter or any section or part thereof shall be guilty of a violation and, upon conviction thereof, may be fined not more than $250 or be imprisoned for not more than 15 days, or both, and each week's continuance of the violation shall constitute a separate offense.

This chapter shall apply to and be effective in that part of the Town of Potsdam outside the corporate limits of the Village of Potsdam, St. Lawrence County, New York, and the Village of Norwood, said county and state.

[Added 3-8-1977]

Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

An establishment engaged primarily in the purchase, processing and shipment of ferrous and/or nonferrous scrap, the end product of which is the production of raw material for remelting purposes for steel mills, foundries, smelters, refiners and similar users.
Any person, association, partnership or corporation operating and maintaining a scrap metal processing facility.

License required; duration. It shall be unlawful for any person, association, partnership or corporation to engage in business as a scrap processor, unless such scrap processor shall have complied with the provisions of this chapter and obtained a license to do so from the Town Clerk. Each license shall expire on December 31 of the year next ensuing.


License application. Application for a license hereunder shall be made in writing to the Town Clerk, by the person to be licensed, on forms to be furnished by said Town Clerk. The application shall contain such information as to name and address of the applicant and such other information as said Town Clerk may reasonably require.


License fee. The annual fee for a license under this section shall be $75.




Such scrap processor shall record:


Each purchase of any pig or pigs of metal, bronze or brass castings or parts thereof, sprues or gates or parts thereof, utility wire or brass car journals or of metal beer kegs.


Each purchase of iron, steel and/or nonferrous scrap for a price of $50 or more and preserve such record for a period of three years, which record shall show the date of purchase, name of seller, his residence address by street, number, city, village or Town or by such description as will reasonably locate the seller, the type and quantity of a purchase under either Subsection E(1)(a) or (b) herein.


The scrap processor shall cause such record to be signed by the seller or his agent. It shall be unlawful for any seller to refuse to furnish such information or to furnish incorrect or incomplete information.


Such records shall be available for inspection by the Police Department of the state or county.


Penalty. Each offense against the provisions of this section shall constitute a violation and shall be punishable as provided in § 79-12.

[Amended 8-13-1986 by L.L. No. 1-1986]