[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Middletown 5-28-1951 (Ch. 49 of the 1971 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Amended 5-26-1952; 1-7-2008]
No person, corporation or partnership shall keep a junkyard or junk shop, or deal or be engaged in the business of collecting or buying old junk, old automobiles, inoperative automobile bodies, rags, old rope, iron, brass, copper, pigs of metal, copper wire, brass car journals, tin, lead, slush or empty bottles, in the City of Middletown, without procuring a license therefor from the Clerk of said City.
[Amended 12-27-2005 ; 4-23-2007 by L.L. No. 1-2007; 8-13-2007]
Said license fee is hereby fixed at the sum of $300 per year, to be paid on the first day of July of each year and to be paid for a period of one year.
Said license shall not be assigned and may be revoked at the discretion of the Mayor or the Common Council.
Every license granted to a keeper of a junkyard or junk shop shall designate the place at which the person receiving the same shall do business, and no persons shall carry on any junkyard or junk shop business at any house or place other than the one designated in such license.
[Amended 5-26-1952; 4-9-1979; 1-7-2008]
No outdoor junkyard or junk shop shall be licensed unless the same shall be enclosed by a solid board fence, a solid cinder block or masonry fence or a solid bark-board fence, or other equal materials as may be approved by the Commissioner of Public Works, not less than six nor more than nine feet in height, and said fence is to be of uniform height, and said junk shall not be piled higher than said fence. Prior to applying for a license, each applicant shall file with the Commissioner of Public Works of the City of Middletown plans and specifications specifying the location, height, thickness, material used or to be used in the construction thereof and the color of paint, if any, to be used on any fences presently existing or to be constructed. On approval of said Commissioner of Public Works, he shall issue a certificate to the applicant, which certificate of approval shall be presented by the applicant to the City Clerk at the time application is made for the license.
Every junk dealer of a junkyard or junk shop shall, on demand made by the Chief of Police or any person authorized by him, exhibit any articles or things in his possession at said junkyard or junk shop.
Every licensed keeper of a junkyard or junk shop shall be entitled to use in his business one or more carts, wagons or other vehicles, but his name, place of business and the number corresponding to the number of his license shall be plainly and conspicuously painted on every vehicle used in his business in letters and figures of not less than two inches in length.
Burning of automobiles, auto bodies, oil, tires, wire, rags, old rope or any material other than paper and wood products on junkyard premises shall be deemed unlawful.
[Added 4-27-1970; amended 4-28-1997]
Purpose. The Common Council hereby determines that the public health, safety and welfare of the residents of the City of Middletown require that automobile junkyards in the City be regulated. It is the intent of the Common Council that automobile junkyards, as defined herein, be regulated only by the provisions of this section and not by any other provision of this chapter.
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meaning indicated:
- AUTOMOBILE JUNKYARD
- 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 "automobile 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.
- MOTOR VEHICLE
- All vehicles propelled or drawn by power other than muscular power originally intended for use on public highways.
Permit. No person shall operate, establish or maintain an automobile junkyard until he has obtained a permit therefor from the Commissioner of the Department of Public Works of the City of Middletown.
Application for permit. Application for the permit shall be made in writing to the Commissioner of the Department of Public Works and shall be accompanied by a site plan showing the location of the proposed automobile junkyard.
Hearing. A hearing on the application shall be held by the Commissioner within 45 days of receipt of the application by the Commissioner. Notice of the hearing time and place shall be given to the applicant by mail and shall be published in the official newspaper of the City at least five days prior to the date thereof.
Conduct of hearing and permit criteria. At the time and place set for the hearing, the Commissioner shall hear the applicant and all other persons wishing to be heard on the application for the permit to operate, establish or maintain the automobile junkyard. In considering such application, the Commissioner 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 automobile junkyard;
Any record of convictions for any type of larceny or receiving of stolen goods;
Any previous violations involving an automobile junkyard; and
Any other matter within the purposes of this section.
The location of the automobile junkyard, including but not limited to:
Proof of legal ownership or right to such use of the property for the permit 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
The feasibility of preventing the automobile junkyard from adversely affecting the public health and safety by reason of offensive or unhealthy odors, smoke, noise or other causes.
Aesthetic considerations, including but not limited to:
The feasibility of preventing the automobile junkyard from adversely affecting the environment of the surrounding neighborhood;
The type of road servicing the automobile junkyard or any road from which the junkyard may be seen;
The natural or artificial barriers protecting the automobile junkyard from view;
The proximity of the automobile junkyard to established residential and recreational areas or main access routes thereto; and
The reasonable availability of other suitable sites for the automobile junkyard.
Grant or denial of application; appeal. Within 10 business days of the closure of the hearing, the Commissioner shall issue a written decision to the applicant as to whether the application has been granted or denied. The Commissioner shall have the authority to impose such reasonable conditions and restrictions as are directly related to and incidental to the establishment, operation or maintenance of the automobile junkyard. Such conditions shall be consistent with the spirit and intent of this section and shall be imposed for the purpose of minimizing any adverse impact such automobile junkyard may have on the neighborhood or community. The decision of the Commissioner shall be published in the official newspaper of the City no later than five business days after its issuance. Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Commissioner may appeal such decision to the Zoning Board of Appeals within 30 days of the issuance of the decision.
Duration of permit. All permits issued under this section shall be valid for a period of one year and shall be personal to the applicant and not transferable or assignable. The permit does not run with the land.
Renewal of permit. Permits shall be renewed by the Commissioner upon payment of the annual license fee without hearing, provided that all provisions of this section are complied with during the permit period, the automobile 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. If the Commissioner determines there is reasonable cause not to renew a permit, the Commissioner shall so notify the applicant within 10 business days of receipt of the renewal application by the Commissioner. Within 10 business days, the applicant may request a hearing before the Commissioner. During this hearing process, the applicant will be issued a temporary permit which shall expire 60 days after the final decision of the Commissioner. The aforesaid hearing shall be public, and the applicant may be represented by counsel and shall be able to call witnesses in his behalf. The Commissioner shall act as hearing officer and in his or her discretion may decide not to renew the permit if, upon substantial evidence, the Commissioner determines that the subject automobile junkyard constitutes a public nuisance or is not in compliance with the provisions of this section.
Revocation of permit. Any violation of the provisions of this section shall be grounds for revocation of any permit issued hereunder. If the Commissioner determines there is reasonable cause to revoke a permit, the Commissioner shall so notify the permit holder. Within 10 business days of receipt of such notice, the permit holder may request a hearing before the Commissioner. The aforesaid hearing shall be public, and the permit holder may be represented by counsel and shall be able to call witnesses in his behalf. The Commissioner shall act as hearing officer and in his or her discretion may decide to revoke the permit if, upon substantial evidence, the Commissioner determines that the subject automobile junkyard has been operated in violation of any of the provisions of this section. The decision of the Commissioner shall be mailed to the permit holder and published in the official newspaper of the City no later than five business days after its issuance. Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Commissioner may appeal such decision to the Zoning Board of Appeals within 30 days of the issuance of the decision.
Permit fee. The annual permit fee shall be $300 to be paid at the time the application is made and annually thereafter in the event of renewal.
Fence. An automobile junkyard shall be completely surrounded with a nontransparent fence at least eight feet in height but not more than 12 feet in height which substantially screens the junkyard and with a suitable gate which shall be closed and locked except during the working hours of such junkyard or when the permit holder or his agent shall be within.
Distance from public highway. The fence shall be erected not nearer than 75 feet to a public highway or adjoining property line; provided, however, that where the present area of business of an automobile junkyard already established at the effective date of this section is less than 75 feet from a public highway or adjoining property line, the fence must be set to enclose the present area of business and must be not less than 10 feet from any public highway or adjoining property line.
Stacking. No motor vehicle or part thereof or any other material stored in an automobile junkyard shall be placed or stored for any period of time in such a manner as to exceed the height of the fence surrounding the junkyard.
Work within fence. All motor vehicles and parts thereof stored or deposited by the permit holder shall be kept within the fence enclosing the automobile junkyard, except as removal shall be necessary for the transportation of the same in the reasonable course of the business. No loading or unloading of motor vehicles or parts thereof may take place outside the fence enclosing the junkyard. No motor vehicles or parts thereof may be left, deposited or stored for any period of time outside the fence enclosing the junkyard. All wrecking and other work on all motor vehicles and parts shall take place within the fence enclosing the junkyard.
Building. Where the entire business or activity is conducted within a building or buildings so that the same is completely enclosed within the building or buildings, then, upon application, the Commissioner in his discretion may waive the provisions of this section requiring a fence.
Hours of operation. No automobile junkyard shall conduct operations or any work whatsoever except between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Monday through Saturday. No operations or work is permitted on any Sunday. No motor vehicles or parts thereof may be deposited by any person at the automobile junkyard except during the permitted hours of operation.
Prohibited operations. No motor vehicle or part thereof may be disassembled or dismantled in any automobile junkyard unless all gasoline, fuel, explosive material or any automobile fluid is first removed. Any automobile gasoline or other fluid must be stored and disposed of in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. No burning of any type is permitted in any automobile junkyard.
Established automobile junkyards. Within 45 days of the effective date of this section, all owners and operators of automobile junkyards already established at the effective date of this section must apply to the Commissioner of the Department of Public Works for a permit pursuant to the provisions of this section. If the established junkyard presently complies with all of the provisions of this section, then the Commissioner shall issue a permit to the applicant. If the established junkyard does not presently comply with all of the provisions of this section, the Commissioner in his discretion may give the applicant a period of not longer than 180 days to bring his or her junkyard into compliance with the provisions of this section. Upon the applicant's compliance within such time period, the Commissioner shall issue a permit to the applicant. In the event of noncompliance within such time period, the Commissioner in his discretion may reject the application and order the junkyard to cease operations.
Prohibited locations. Notwithstanding any of the foregoing provisions of this section, no automobile junkyard shall be established after the effective date of this section within 500 feet of a church, school, hospital, public building or place of public assembly.
[Added 5-26-1952; amended 4-27-1970; 4-28-1997]
The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by and on the complaint of the Commissioner of the Department of Public Works or his designee.
[Amended 4-27-1970; 10-13-1992; 4-28-1997]
Any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of an offense within the meaning of the Penal Law of the State of New York and, upon conviction thereof, shall be subject to a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $750 or by imprisonment for a period not exceeding 15 days, or both such fine and imprisonment. Each day that a violation is permitted to exist shall constitute a separate offense. In addition to the above-described penalties, the City of Middletown may also maintain an action or proceeding in the name of the City in a court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with or to restrain by injunction the violation of any of the provisions of this chapter.