[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Norristown 4-6-1982 as Ch. 137 of the 1981 Code. Section 194-14 amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Other amendments noted where applicable.]
Except where otherwise indicated by the context, the following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter:
- BUSINESS PREMISES or PREMISES
- The area of a junkyard as described in a junk dealer's license or application for license, as provided for in this chapter.
- Old iron, steel, brass, copper, tin, lead or other base metals; old cordage, ropes, rags, fibers or fabrics; old rubber; old bottles or other glass; bones; plastics, wastepaper and other waste or discarded material which might be prepared to be used again in some form; and motor vehicles, no longer used as such, to be used for scrap metal or stripping of parts.
- JUNK DEALER
- A person who operates a junkyard, as defined below, within the borough.
- A yard, lot or place, covered or uncovered, outdoors or in an enclosed building, containing junk, as defined above, upon which occurs one (1) or more acts of buying, keeping, dismantling, processing, selling or offering for sale any such junk, in whole units or by parts, for a business or commercial purpose, whether or not the proceeds from such act or acts are to be used for charity.
- Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
It shall be unlawful for any person to maintain a junkyard in the Borough of Norristown, whether personally, by agents or employees, singly or along with some other business or enterprise, without first having obtained a license therefor from the Building Inspector, with the approval of the Bureau of Fire Prevention, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Any person who operates or maintains more than one (1) junkyard within the borough shall be required to have in effect a separate license for each yard.
It is hereby made the duty of the Fire Prevention Bureau to enforce or aid in the enforcement of all provisions of this chapter; and for this purpose, any of the members of the Bureau or their duly authorized representatives shall have the right and are hereby empowered to enter upon any premises on which any business subject to the provisions of this chapter is located or about to be located and inspect the same at any reasonable time. The Bureau is further empowered to issue orders granting, renewing and revoking any license provided for in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
An applicant for license under this chapter shall file with the Building Inspector a written application, signed by himself if an individual, by all partners if a partnership and by the president or chief officer of a corporation or other organization, upon forms provided by the Building Inspector.
Upon receipt of an application for a junkyard license as provided for herein, the Building Inspector and Bureau of Fire Prevention and Health Department shall cause an investigation to be made of the applicant's business responsibility. The proposed or existing premises and equipment with which the junkyard is being or is to be operated shall be examined by the Building Inspector and Bureau of Fire Prevention and Health Department or their duly authorized representative. If the Building Inspector and Bureau of Fire Prevention and Health Department find that the applicant's business responsibility is satisfactory and that the proposed or existing buildings or equipment with which the junkyard is being or is to be operated conform to the requirements of the Building Code, Chapter 320, Zoning, and the requirements of this chapter, a license shall be issued to the applicant upon payment of the fee prescribed by this chapter.
Any license or renewal license issued hereunder shall be effective as of the date of its issue and shall expire at the end of the calendar year.
An applicant for a renewal license shall file with the Building Inspector a written application, upon forms provided by the Building Inspector, signed and sworn to in the same manner required in the case of an original application, with the fee as provided by this chapter.
[Amended 12-4-1990 by Ord. No. 90-33]
The annual fee to be paid for any license or renewal license issued hereunder shall be five hundred dollars ($500.).
No license issued under this chapter shall be transferred or assigned or used by any person other than the one to whom it was issued, and no junkyard license shall be used at any location other than the one described in the application for which it was issued.
The following general operating requirements shall apply to all junkyards licensed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter:
The license issued pursuant to this chapter shall be plainly displayed on the business premises.
The junkyard, together with the things kept therein, shall at all times be maintained in a sanitary condition.
No space not covered by the license shall be used in the licensed business.
No water shall be allowed to stand in any place on the premises in such manner as to afford a breeding place for mosquitoes.
Weeds and vegetation on the premises, other than trees, shall be kept at a height of not more than four (4) inches.
No garbage or other waste liable to give off a foul odor or attract vermin shall be kept on the premises; nor shall any refuse of any kind be kept on the premises, unless such refuse is junk, as defined herein, and is in use in the licensed business.
No junk shall be allowed to rest upon or protrude over any public street, walkway or curb or to become scattered or blown off the business premises.
Junk shall be stored in piles not exceeding ten (10) feet in height and shall be arranged so as to permit easy access to all such junk for fire-fighting purposes.
No combustible material of any kind not necessary or beneficial to the licensed business shall be kept on the premises; nor shall the premises be allowed to become a fire hazard.
Gasoline and oil shall be removed from any scrapped engines or vehicles on the premises.
No junk or other materials shall be burned on the premises in any incinerator not meeting the requirements of the Building Code and the regulations pertaining to incinerators in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and no junk or other materials shall be burned on the premises in the open.
No noisy processing of junk or other noisy activity shall be carried on in connection with the licensed business on Sunday, Christmas, Thanksgiving or at any time between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
The area on the premises where junk is kept (other than indoors) shall be enclosed, except for entrances and exits, with a solid, vertical wall or fence, to be opaque, constructed of wood, metal, plastic or masonry, with a minimum height of six (6) feet measured from the ground level. Entrances and exits shall not be wider or more numerous than reasonably necessary for the conduct of the licensed business. All materials for fences and/or walls must be in good condition, and the fences or walls must be constructed in a workmanlike manner.
The license shall permit inspection of the business premises by any member or representative of a member of the Fire Prevention Bureau at any reasonable time.
No junkyard dealer licensed hereunder or his agent or employee shall purchase or receive any junk for use in the licensed business from any person under the age of twenty-one (21) years without the written consent of a parent or guardian of such person. Such writing shall be held available for inspection by any member or representative of a member of the Fire Prevention Bureau for a period of at least one (1) year.
No junkyard shall be allowed to become a nuisance; nor shall any junkyard be operated in such manner as to become injurious to the health, safety or welfare of the community or of any residents close by.
The Fire Prevention Bureau or its duly authorized representatives shall inspect the junkyards of all junk dealers licensed under this chapter at least once a year to determine whether such yards are being operated in accordance with this chapter and other applicable provisions of law.
When the Fire Prevention Bureau determines that the public interest so requires, it shall revoke or suspend the license of any junkyard when it finds, after due investigation, that:
The junk dealer or any agent or officer of such dealer who takes part in the operation of the licensed yard is not capable of operating the licensed yard or carrying on the licensed activity in a good manner consistent with public health, safety and morals.
The junk dealer has failed to comply with the provisions of this chapter or any provision of law applicable to the premises, equipment or operation of the licensed business.
The licensee has obtained his license through any fraud or misstatement.
The licensed yard or activity is being conducted in a manner detrimental to the health, safety or general welfare of the public or is a nuisance or is being operated or carried on in any unlawful manner.
Any person aggrieved by an order of the Fire Prevention Bureau or the Building Inspector granting, denying, renewing or revoking a license for a proposed or existing yard or activity subject to the provisions of this chapter may file a written request for a hearing before the Bureau within ten (10) days after issuance of such order. The Bureau shall give notice of a public hearing upon this request to be held not less than ten (10) days after service of the notice of the person requesting the hearing. The Bureau shall also give notice of the hearing to other persons directly interested in the order in question. At such hearing, the Bureau shall determine whether the granting, denial, renewal or revocation of the license was in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and shall issue an order which will be filed with the Borough Secretary and served upon all parties appearing or represented at said hearing.
Any person maintaining a junkyard within the borough on the effective date of this chapter shall have a period of ninety (90) days after such effective date to comply with the provisions of this chapter.
Any person or persons, corporation, partnership or other entity whatsoever violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine not to exceed the maximum fine of six hundred dollars ($600.), plus costs of prosecution, and in default of payment of such costs and prosecution, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding thirty (30) days; provided, however, that if the District Justice determines that the defendant is without the financial means to pay the fines and costs immediately or in a single remittance, such defendant shall be permitted to pay the fines or costs in installments and over such periods of time as the District Justice deems to be just.