[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Tonawanda 8-29-1966 by L.L. No. 2-1966. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The outdoor storage of abandoned, junked, discarded or unlicensed motor vehicles on privately owned property within the Town of Tonawanda is detrimental to the health, safety and general welfare of the community. The same also constitutes an attractive nuisance to children and in many ways imperils their safety. Such storage also endangers the person and property of members of the community, since fuel tanks containing gasoline or gasoline fumes may easily explode. Such storage is unsightly and depreciates values. The control of the outdoor storage of abandoned, junked, discarded or unlicensed motor vehicles on privately owned properties within the Town of Tonawanda is therefore regulated for the preservation of the health, safety and general welfare of the community.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLE
- The intent of the owner of a motor vehicle not to use it on the public highways shall establish it as abandoned. The intent of the owner shall be determined by the physical condition of the motor vehicle, any statements as to its abandonment, the length of time since the motor vehicle was last used on the public highways, whether the motor vehicle is currently licensed and other relevant facts. With respect to a vehicle not required to be licensed or to motor vehicles not usually used on public highways, the intent of the owner shall be determined by the physical condition of the motor vehicle, the length of time since it was last used for the purposes intended, any statements as to its abandonment and other relevant facts.
- DISCARDED MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any motor vehicle which the owner thereof, as established by the surrounding circumstances, does not intend to recover the possession of or any motor vehicle of which the owner cannot be found after due and reasonable inquiry.
- JUNKED MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any motor vehicle in such condition as to cost more to repair and place the same in operating condition than the reasonable market value before such repair.
- MOTOR VEHICLE
- Every vehicle originally designed and intended to be operated, drawn or driven or capable of being operated, drawn or driven upon a public highway by any power other than muscular power. The term "motor vehicle" shall include but not be limited to automobiles, trucks, buses, motorcycles and trailers.
- OWNER OF MOTOR VEHICLE
- A person, firm or corporation having the property in or title to a motor 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 motor vehicle having the use thereof under lease or otherwise.
- OWNER OF PRIVATE PROPERTY
- A person, firm or corporation being the owner, contract purchaser, tenant, lessee, occupant, undertenant, receiver or assignee of private premises or private property located within the Town of Tonawanda.
- PREMISES OR PROPERTY
- Includes all parcels of real property privately owned and situated in the Town of Tonawanda, whether occupied or vacant.
- UNLICENSED MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any motor vehicle which may be licensed or registered with the State of New York and is not currently licensed or registered. The fact that a motor vehicle which may be licensed or registered with the State of New York does not display a current license plate or displays an expired license plate shall be presumptive evidence of the fact that such motor vehicle is not currently licensed or registered.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, either as owner, occupant, lessee, agent, tenant or otherwise of property within the Town of Tonawanda, to store or deposit or cause or permit to be stored or deposited an abandoned, junked or discarded motor vehicle or part or piece thereof on any private property within the Town of Tonawanda, unless:
It shall also be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, either as owner, occupant, lessee, agent, tenant or otherwise of any private property within the Town of Tonawanda, to store or deposit or cause to permit to be stored or deposited thereon an unlicensed motor vehicle unless:
Such motor vehicle is the inventory or part of the inventory of a new or used motor vehicle dealer located in compliance with the ordinances and local laws of the Town of Tonawanda.
Such motor vehicle has been converted to and is actually used as a permanent building or structure for carrying on purposes in such manner and circumstances as authorized by the local laws and ordinances of the Town of Tonawanda.
Such motor vehicle is a camping, house or boat trailer otherwise stored and used in compliance with the local laws and ordinances of the Town of Tonawanda.
Such motor vehicle is stored or deposited in a completely enclosed building.
[Amended 11-23-1987 by L.L. No. 4-1987; amended 3-26-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
If the provisions of the foregoing sections are believed to be violated, the Code Enforcement Officer shall serve a written notice, either personally or by registered, certified or ordinary mail, upon the owner, occupant or person having charge of such private property to comply with the requirements of this chapter. The Code Enforcement Officer may determine ownership of any parcel of land in the Town of Tonawanda from the current assessment roll of the Town and may serve written notice upon the owner thereof by mailing such notice to the owner at the address listed on the current assessment roll. If the Code Enforcement Officer is unable to determine the ownership or address of the owner of said private property, such notification may be made by publishing the same in the official newspaper of the Town for two consecutive weeks. The notice shall be in substantially the following form:
In the event an abandoned, junked, discarded or unlicensed motor vehicle is not removed as prescribed above, the Town Board of the Town of Tonawanda shall hold a public hearing on the date and at the time specified in the notice, at which hearing the persons interested may be heard concerning the removal of said motor vehicle. After said persons are heard, the hearing shall be closed, and the Town Board shall determine whether said motor vehicle has been abandoned, junked or discarded in violation of this chapter. It shall also determine whether or not said motor vehicle is unlicensed. In the event of such a determination, the Town Board may issue an order directing the removal and destruction of said motor vehicle, and the Town Board may also cause the expense thereof to be assessed against the property described in the notice, all in the manner provided by law.
[Amended 5-21-1984 by L.L. No. 8-1984]
Any violation by a person, firm or corporation of any provision of this chapter shall be deemed a violation punishable by a fine not to exceed $250 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both.
Any person who takes part in or assists in any violation of this chapter shall also be subject to the penalties provided herein.
Each day that a violation of this chapter is committed or permitted to exist shall constitute a separate offense.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Town of Tonawanda may serve such notices, hold such hearings and do such other and further things as are set forth in §§ 203-4 and 203-5 hereof and may at the same time or at any other time, without prior notice, proceed under § 203-6 hereof concerning the imposition of penalties.