[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Emerson 11-17-1992 by Ord. No. 1010. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Abandoned Vehicle Ordinance" of Emerson.
A clean, wholesome, attractive environment is declared to be of importance to the health and safety and well-being of the inhabitants of the Borough of Emerson.
Such environment is deemed essential to the economy and general welfare of its citizens.
The unrestrained accumulation of motor vehicles not in operating order can be a hazard to the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Borough of Emerson.
It is deemed to be in the best interests of the citizens of the Borough and for the general welfare that the following regulation restraints are adopted pursuant to this chapter.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ABANDONED VEHICLE
- Any motor vehicle, including, but not limited to, automobile, bus, truck, tractor, mobile home, motorcycle, motorbicycle or snowmobile, stored, left or located on public or private property in the Borough of Emerson and which is not registered for operation on the public highways and which has not been registered for the preceding 12 months or is in an unsafe condition as defined in N.J.S.A. 39:3-44 shall be defined as an "abandoned vehicle," except that:
- A. The term "abandoned vehicle" shall expressly exclude vehicles granted historical registration or "Q Q" license plates.
- B. For the purposes of this chapter, a motor vehicle registered as a farm vehicle or which is operable and used by the owner on his own property for the transport of wood, snowplowing or similar uses shall not be considered an abandoned vehicle.
- ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The Chief of Police of the Borough, unless the Borough Council, by resolution, designates some other Borough official as enforcement officer or, by resolution, establishes the position of enforcement officer for the Borough and appoints some qualified person thereto at a salary specified in such resolution.
- LEGAL OCCUPANT
- Any person who, singularly or together with other persons, is in possession of real property pursuant to an agreement with the owner thereof. The term shall include tenants, contract vendors and licensees.
- OPEN STORAGE
- Storage other than in a completely windowed structure, such as a garage constructed of wood, brick and metal.
- A person owning real property in the Borough. A parcel of real property owned by more than one person shall be considered as having each such person being an owner.
- PARCEL OF PROPERTY
- Real property appearing on the tax rolls of the Borough as one unit.
- Includes natural persons, corporations, copartnerships, unincorporated associates or any other organizations of one or more persons.
Open storage of one or more abandoned vehicles shall not be permitted on private or public property within the Borough, except as permitted by this chapter.
Any person wishing to store or locate an abandoned vehicle on a parcel of property must first obtain a no-fee permit from the Borough's enforcement officer allowing such storage.
That permit may be granted after an application has been made showing:
The make, model and year of the vehicle.
The name and address of the last registered owner and the last registration plate number as issued by the appropriate Department of Motor Vehicles.
The vehicle identification number.
The nature of the applicant's ownership or title to such vehicle.
The purpose(s) for which the abandoned vehicle(s) is being stored or located.
Permits shall be issued for:
A restored antique or classic car. A permit will be issued on an annual basis, renewable for a year at a time.
Restoration. A permit will be issued for a one-year period, renewable for an additional one-year period. The renewal shall be granted only if the abandoned vehicle has been substantially improved since the issuance of the original permit.
Removal of parts or components. A permit will be issued for a sixty-day period, renewable for one sixty-day period only.
Permits shall not be granted under this chapter for a motor vehicle junk business or a motor vehicle junkyard. Such dealers must comply with the Borough ordinance licensing and regulating motor vehicle junk business and motor vehicle junkyards.
Any owner or occupant of a parcel of property in the Borough who shall abandon, store, locate, leave or allow or condone any other person to abandon, store, locate or leave an abandoned vehicle upon a parcel of property owned or occupied by him within said Borough contrary to the provisions hereof shall be guilty of a violation hereof. Any person, whether as owner or driver of a vehicle or an operator of a towing vehicle or carrier, who shall abandon, store, locate or leave an abandoned vehicle upon a parcel of property in the Borough of which he is not either the owner or legal occupant, without the written permission of the legal occupant, shall be guilty of a violation hereof.
A violation of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine of up to $100 for each violation and by imprisonment for up to 30 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. A violation of this chapter shall also subject the violator to a civil penalty of $100 for each violation, less any criminal monetary fine which may be imposed. Each vehicle abandoned, stored, left or located in violation of this chapter shall constitute a separate violation. Each week of continuous violation shall constitute a separate and distinct violation.
In addition to the penalties set forth above, the Borough may commence an action in its own name against any person in any civil court of competent jurisdiction to seek an injunction to enforce compliance with this chapter. Such an action for injunctive relief may be independent of or part of an action to collect the civil penalties as hereinabove provided.
In addition to any penalty or fine as provided in § 273-7 hereof or the remedy provided in § 273-8 hereof, any abandoned vehicle may be removed from the premises upon which it is located by the Borough in the manner hereinafter provided:
The enforcement officer, upon detecting an abandoned vehicle, shall serve written notice on the person owning the parcel of property on which the same is located, ordering such person to remove the same or cause the same to be removed therefrom within 30 days of the date of such service. Such notice shall contain a description of the parcel of property, a statement as to the location thereon of an abandoned vehicle and a reference to this chapter and to the fact that the location of such abandoned vehicle on such parcel of property is in violation of this chapter. If such parcel of property is owned by more than one person, personal service on any one of such owners shall suffice; however, as to any owner not personally served with such notice or if no owner can be located upon whom to make personal service, the enforcement officer shall mail such notice to the owners not personally served by registered mail to their or his last known address as shown on the latest completed assessment roll of the Borough. In addition, the enforcement officer shall post conspicuously a copy of such notice on the parcel or property upon which said abandoned vehicle is located.
At the expiration of 30 days after the service or mailing and posting of such notice, if such abandoned vehicle has not been removed, the Borough may cause such abandoned vehicle to be removed, and the cost of such removal shall be certified by the enforcement officer to the Collector of Taxes and shall thereupon become and be a lien upon the real property from which said abandoned vehicle was removed and shall be added to and form part of the taxes next to be assessed on said real property and shall be collected and enforced by the same office and in the same manner as taxes.
Any abandoned vehicle released to the Borough by its owner shall be disposed of at a public auction to the highest bidder, and the proceeds shall be added to the general fund of the Borough. Any abandoned vehicle released to the Borough by the owner or legal occupant of the parcel of property from which it is removed who is not the owner of the abandoned vehicle shall be disposed of by the procedure set forth in Subsections A and B hereof. In the event that the abandoned vehicle is released to the Borough by the owner or legal occupant of the parcel of property who is not the owner of the abandoned vehicle, there shall be no expense for the removal thereof chargeable to the person so releasing said abandoned vehicle.
The Borough's enforcement officer or his designee shall have and is hereby given the authority to go upon any parcel of real property in the Borough, public or private, exclusive of enclosed structures or buildings, at any time during daylight hours, to examine and inspect any vehicles or parts or components thereof to determine whether a violation of this chapter has been committed or to determine the condition of any vehicles or parts or components thereof. The officer shall notify the property owner, in writing, prior to the entering of such property.