[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Wheatfield 11-2-1980 by L.L. No. 2-1980. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter is enacted in recognition of the fact that the accumulation of rubbish, refuse, litter, noxious growths, inoperable or abandoned vehicles or other debris abandoned or stored on private property can constitute both a public and private nuisance. Such accumulations are a source of potential harm to children and others who may find them a nuisance, they constitute a blight on the Town's landscape, destroying the aesthetic qualities of the Town, and are generally unsightly and obvious sources of potential danger. The existence of such accumulations tends to depreciate not only the property on which they are located but also the property of other persons in the neighborhood and in the Town generally. They constitute for the Town a less safe and less pleasant place in which to live and to do business.
Certain public and private uses excluded.
The regulations of this chapter shall not be so construed as to limit or interfere with the dedication, development or use of any land or building for public parks, public playgrounds or public schools required for compulsory education; or with the use of land or buildings owned by the United States government, the State of New York, the County of Niagara or the Town of Wheatfield and used for governmental purposes; or with the construction, installation, operation and maintenance for public utility purposes of water or gas pipes, mains or conduits, electric power transmissions lines, telephone or telegraph lines, oil pipelines, sewers, sewer mains or incidental appurtenances; or with any highway or railroad right-of-way existing or hereafter authorized by the State of New York, County of Niagara, or the Town of Wheatfield.
The regulations of this chapter shall not be so construed as to limit or interfere with normal agriculture operations.
The intent of this chapter is to establish a legal procedure for removal of rubbish, refuse, litter, noxious growths, inoperable or abandoned vehicles or other debris on lands in the Town of Wheatfield, New York, where they are found outside of duly licensed establishments.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings given herein:
- The putrescible animal and vegetable wastes resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and consumption of food.
- LITTER or GARBAGE, REFUSE AND RUBBISH
- All other waste material which, if thrown or deposited as herein prohibited, tends to create a danger to public health, safety and welfare.
- Any public area in the Town owned or used by the Town and devoted to active or passive recreation.
- Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
- PRIVATE PREMISES
- Any dwelling, house, building or other structure designed or used either wholly or in part for private residential or other purposes, whether inhabited or temporarily or continuously uninhabited or vacant, and shall include any yard, grounds, walk, driveway, porch, steps, vestibule or mailbox belonging or appurtenant to such dwelling, house, building or other structure.
- PUBLIC PLACE
- Any and all streets, sidewalks, boulevards, alleys or other public ways and any and all public parks, squares, spaces, grounds and buildings.
- All putrescible and nonputrescible solid wastes (except body wastes), including but not limited to garbage, rubbish, ashes, street cleanings, dead animals, abandoned vehicles and automobiles, discarded refrigerators, mattresses, stoves, hot water tanks, washing machines, clothes dryers, furniture, motors and solid market and industrial wastes.
- Nonputrescible solid wastes consisting of both combustible and noncombustible wastes, such as paper, wrappings, cigarettes, cardboard, tin cans, glass, crockery, scrap metal and similar materials.
- The Town of Wheatfield, New York.
- Every device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, including devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.
- Refers to but is not limited to any organic growth which constitutes a fire, health or safety hazard.
No person shall throw or deposit litter in or upon any street, sidewalk or other public place within the Town except in public receptacles, in authorized private receptacles for collection or in official Town dumps.
No person shall sweep into or deposit in any gutter, street or other public place within the Town the accumulation of litter from any building or lot or from any public or private sidewalk or driveway. Persons owning or occupying property shall keep the sidewalk or walkways in front of their premises free of litter.
All storage shall either be in enclosed buildings or structures or, if open to the sky, shall be screened from view by landscaping and shall be stored only in a required rear yard. Such landscaping shall be of sufficient height and density to completely hide the storage from view. In some cases fencing may be necessary to supplement landscaping. All screening (fences, landscaping, and combinations of each) shall be kept neat and trim at all times, presenting an orderly appearance.
In no case shall this section be construed as to allow storage of any material which would create in any manner a public health or safety hazard.
No person while a driver or passenger in a vehicle shall throw or deposit litter upon any street or other public place within the Town or upon private property.
No person shall drive or move any truck or other vehicle within the Town unless such vehicle is so constructed or loaded as to prevent any load, contents or litter from being blown or deposited upon any street, alley or other public place.
No person in an aircraft shall throw out, drop or deposit within the Town any litter, handbill or any other object.
No person shall throw or deposit litter on any private property within the Town, whether owned by such person or not, except that the owner or person in control of private property may maintain authorized private receptacles for collection in such a manner that litter will be prevented from being carried or deposited by the elements upon any street, sidewalk or other public place or upon any private property.
The owner or person in control of any private property shall at all times maintain the premises free of litter; provided, however, that this section shall not prohibit the storage of litter in authorized private receptacles for collection.
No person shall throw or deposit litter on any open or vacant private property within the Town, whether owned by such person or not.
It shall be the duty of every owner or owners of land, vacant or improved, and of every tenant, lessee or occupant of land, vacant or improved, within the territorial boundaries of the Town to keep the land that he or she owns, rents or occupies free from weeds, as defined herein.
The Town Building Inspector is hereby authorized and empowered to notify the owner, tenant, lessee or occupant of any open or vacant private property within the Town or the agent of such owner, tenant, lessee or occupant to properly dispose of litter and/or weeds located on such owner's, tenant's, lessee's or occupant's property which is dangerous to public health, safety or welfare after making an inspection thereof. Such notice shall be in writing and shall be directed to the owner of the property or directed to the owner and the tenant, lessee or occupant of the property, if the same is occupied, postage prepaid, at their last known post office address or, if not known, as recorded in the Town Assessor's records.
Upon failure, neglect or refusal of any owner, tenant, lessee or occupant or agent thereof so notified to properly dispose of litter or remove weeds within five days from the date of notice provided for in Subsection A above, the Building Inspector shall notify the Town Board, and the Town Board, upon review, shall thereupon authorize and direct the appropriate Town officer, department or designee to proceed to dispose of such litter and/or cut and remove such weeds. The Town department, officer or designee performing such work shall keep an accurate and itemized account of the expenses incurred for all labor, equipment and materials furnished and any other cost. All bills shall reflect labor and equipment time, plus a charge of 20% to cover the costs and disbursements and administrative handling.
[Amended 8-1-1994 by L.L. No. 2-1994]
The Town Clerk, upon receiving the accounts described in Subsection B above, shall prepare and collect the bills. In the event that collection is not made within 30 days, the Town Clerk shall forward the unpaid accounts to the Town Assessor, who shall charge the cost of such expenditure against the owner or owners of said property on the next regular tax bill forwarded to such owner by the Town, and said charge shall be due and payable by said owner at the time of payment of such bill.
The Town Building Inspector or any authorized Town employee shall have the right, at reasonable times, upon notification, to enter upon lands within the Town for the purpose of inspection to determine compliance with this section. The right of inspection herein granted shall apply to the exterior of the buildings and grounds only and the owner or tenant, lessee or occupant may require postponement of such inspection for a period of up to 48 hours.
[Amended 10-7-1985 by L.L. No. 6-1985; 9-18-1988 by L.L. No. 4-1988; 3-6-1989 by L.L. No. 1-1989]
Any person committing an offense against any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation punishable as follows:
A fine up to and not exceeding $500 per day for each day the offense is continued by the violator. Each day shall be considered a separate and distinct offense hereunder for purposes of the court levying a fine.
In addition, a violation shall also be punishable by imprisonment for one term up to and not exceeding 15 days. Each day's violation shall not be punishable by additional imprisonment for 15 days if that day's violation shall arise out of the same circumstances.
The court may impose either a fine or imprisonment, or both, upon a violator of any section of this chapter.