[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Middlesex 9-21-2005 by Ord. No. 105. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter shall be:
To prevent the accumulation or storage of junked or abandoned motor vehicles which create a hazard or danger to the health and welfare of the citizens of Middlesex Township.
To prevent the accumulation or storage of junked or abandoned motor vehicles which provide a breeding area for rodents and other unhealthful animals.
To prevent the accumulation or storage of junked or abandoned motor vehicles which create an attractive nuisance for children who are not aware of the danger involved therein.
To allow the removal of junked or abandoned motor vehicles or operable motor vehicles which create a hazardous or dangerous condition for the safety of the citizens and of public employees when a vehicle is parked in a public right-of-way during road work and snow removal activity by the Township.
To promote ecological and environmental principles by preventing accumulation or storage of junked or abandoned motor vehicles.
As used in this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section.
- ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any motor vehicle which:
- A. Is inoperable and is left unattended on a public street, road, highway or public property for more than 48 hours;
- B. Has remained illegally on a public street, road, highway or other public property for a period of more than 48 hours; or
- C. Has remained on private property without consent of the owner or person in control of that property for more than 48 hours.
- As applied to a motor vehicle under this chapter:
- A. A motor vehicle that does not have a current registration plate and a current inspection sticker;
- B. A motor vehicle that does not have the required number of tires or wheels, does not have one or more of its doors or windows, does not have an engine, or does not have a battery, or lacks any other part which is necessary to self-propel it and to operate in accordance with any laws of the Township or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
- JUNKED MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any motor vehicle which:
- A. Is inoperable and has been stored or kept outside and not enclosed within a building on any private property for more than 10 days; provided, however, that an inoperable motor vehicle held or stored on the property of a person engaged in the business of servicing, repairing, storing or disposing of inoperable motor vehicles in conformity with the zoning laws of the Township of Middlesex shall not be considered a junked motor vehicle for the purpose of this chapter as long as it is screened from view from the abutting properties; or
- B. Is stored or kept in such a manner as to cause loud noises or offensive odors or attract vermin or is otherwise a detriment to the environment or danger to those who may be in close proximity or a nuisance in any other manner.
- MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon private land, public highways, streets or roads, which is self-propelled, except by human power alone, or drawn by a self-propelled vehicle.
- Any person, partnership, firm, association or corporation, company, limited liability company, limited liability partnership or other organization of any kind or nature whatsoever. When used in any provision prescribing a fine or penalty, the word "persons" as applied to partnerships shall mean the partners thereof and as applied to "firm, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind" it shall mean the officers thereof.
The following provisions shall apply to motor vehicles within the Township of Middlesex:
No person shall store, maintain or park outdoors or permit the storage, maintenance or collection of any abandoned motor vehicle or junked motor vehicle upon his or her premises or property, or any premises or property under his or her control, or in any other place within the Township of Middlesex, unless the vehicle is within a building so as to not be visible from the street or neighboring properties.
No person shall perform major repair or body work on any motor vehicle unless the vehicle is within a building so as to not be visible from the street or neighboring properties and the vehicle is titled to the owner or resident of the premises or property where such major repairs or body work are being performed.
No person shall park, store or place any abandoned motor vehicle, junked motor vehicle, or any motor vehicle, in a public right-of-way when the Board of Supervisors has requested such vehicle be moved in order for the Township to perform road work in the public right-of-way and/or snow removal activities in the public right-of-way. For road work activities, the Township roadmaster or other Township official shall inform a property owner of the proposed Township road work activities either orally or in writing. For snow removal activities, residents shall remove vehicles from the public right-of-way whenever snow or ice is accumulating on a public right-of-way.
The following exemptions shall be available to the prohibitions provided in § 164-3 of this chapter:
Authorized vehicle repair shops or scrap yards. An abandoned motor vehicle or junked motor vehicle may be parked on the exterior premises of a properly zoned and permitted motor vehicle repair shop or scrap or junk yard, provided that the operator of the motor vehicle repair shop or the scrap or junk yard is in compliance with the provisions of their approval to operate such business under the Township of Middlesex Zoning Ordinance.
Property owner exemption. A property owner shall be allowed to store one operable motor vehicle on his property that is without a current registration and a current inspection, provided said vehicle or vehicles are maintained in a good repair and the owner files an application to retain the vehicle for a period of one year, and said exemption shall be renewable annually upon application to the Board of Supervisors.
Farm equipment. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to a farm tractor, farm trailer and/or other motorized farm vehicle, provided the farm tractor, farm trailer and/or motorized farm vehicle is owned by the person where the farm tractor, farm trailer and/or other motorized farm vehicle is stored.
If it appears to the Township that a violation of this chapter has occurred, the Township shall initiate enforcement proceeding by sending an enforcement notice as provided in this section.
The enforcement notice shall be sent to the violator and, if applicable, the owner of record of the parcel on which the violation has occurred, or to any person who has filed a written request to receive enforcement notices regarding that parcel, and any other person requested in writing by the owner of record.
The enforcement notice shall state at least the following:
The name of the violator and, if applicable, the owner of record and any other person against whom the Township intends to take action.
The location of the violation and, if applicable, the property in violation.
The specific violation with a description of the requirements which have not been met, citing the applicable provisions of this chapter.
The date by which the person must commence steps for compliance with this chapter and the date before which compliance must be achieved.
That the recipient of the notice has a right to appeal to the Board of Supervisors within a period of 30 days.
That the failure to comply with this notice within the time specified, unless extended by appeal to the Board of Supervisors, constitutes a violation with possible sanctions clearly prescribed.
Enforcement remedies. Any person who or which has violated or permitted the violation of the provisions of this chapter, shall, upon being found liable therefor in a civil enforcement proceeding commenced by the Township, pay a civil penalty in the amount of $500 and, for each and every subsequent offense, a penalty of $1,000, plus all court costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees incurred by the Township as a result of any enforcement action commenced hereunder. Each day that a violation continues shall be considered a separate violation. No judgment shall commence or be imposed, levied or payable until the date of the determination of a violation by the District Magistrate. If the person found liable neither pays nor timely appeals the judgment of the District Magistrate, the Township may enforce the judgment pursuant to the applicable Rules of Civil Procedure. The Township may commence an equity action in the Court of Common Pleas for purposes of obtaining an injunction to force the removal of junked or abandoned motor vehicles or to prohibit the further storage of junked or abandoned motor vehicles against any person.
In the event a motor vehicle is encroaching on a public right-of-way and is either an abandoned motor vehicle or a junked motor vehicle or an operable motor vehicle that remains in the public right-of-way during road work or snow removal activities after an owner has been informed to remove it, the Township may impound such motor vehicle and the property owner shall be liable for all costs of impoundment as well as any civil penalties that may arise hereunder.