Township of Union, PA
Berks County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Union 4-25-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-02. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Open burning — See Ch. 68.
Zoning — See Ch. 200.
A. 
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
FARM MACHINERY
All types of machinery and equipment which were originally manufactured for farm use, which are retained on farm properties, either as operable equipment or for the purpose of salvaging repair parts.
JUNK
Any discarded, unusable, scrap or abandoned man-made or man-processed materials or articles stored outside of a completely enclosed building and which covers over 200 square feet of land area. Examples of junk include: scrap metal, used appliances, used motor vehicles and parts, worn-out machinery and equipment, used containers, and scrap building materials.
JUNK DEALER
Any person who buys, sells, salvages, stores, or in any way deals in junk; or owns, leases, operates or maintains a junkyard/salvage yard within the municipality.
JUNK VEHICLE
Includes any vehicle or trailer that does not display a current state license and registration and that meets any of the following conditions: (1) cannot be moved under its own power, in regards to a vehicle designed to move under its own power, other than a vehicle clearly needing only minor repairs; (2) cannot be towed, in regards to a trailer designed to be towed; (3) has been demolished beyond repair; (4) has been separated from its axles, engine, body or chassis.
JUNKYARD
A lot, land or structure, or parts thereof used for the collection, storage, dismantling, salvage, or sale of used and discarded materials, including, but not limited to, scrap metal, or the scrap, salvage, or discarded material from vehicles or machinery. Any place where junk, as herein defined, is stored or accumulated. The foregoing shall not apply to duly licensed automobile dealers having operable vehicles on their premises for resale. Such exception shall not apply to inoperable vehicles being stored primarily for salvage purposes.
MOTOR VEHICLE
All types of automobiles, trucks and tractors, including self-propelled machinery of all kinds, with the exception of farm machinery.
PERSON
Any natural person, partnership, firm, company, corporation or other legal entity.
PREMISES
Any parcel of land situated in the Township of Union, having a separate Tax Map parcel number for county assessment purposes.
SALVAGE YARD
Same as "junkyard," see definition of "junkyard" above.
SOLID WASTE
Any waste, including, but not limited to, municipal, residual or hazardous waste, including solid, liquid, semisolid or containing gaseous material.
TRAILER
Any wheeled vehicle, not self-propelled, drawn by a motor vehicle.
B. 
In this chapter, the singular shall include the plural; the plural shall include the singular; and the masculine shall include the feminine and the neuter.
No person may be a junk dealer, or operate a junkyard/salvage yard as herein defined, within the municipality without first obtaining and maintaining an annual license to operate as herein described.
A. 
Any person desiring to be a licensed junk dealer in the Township of Union shall make written application to the Union Township Code Enforcement Officer. Such application shall be in the form established by the Union Township Board of Supervisors, and shall set forth the applicant's name and address, include an accurate description of the premises on which the junkyard is to be located, and a plan of the property in accordance with § 119-2B below, and a statement that the applicant will comply with this chapter and any regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter.
B. 
Plan requirements as part of a junkyard/salvage yard application:
(1) 
Renewal application. An application for renewal of an existing junkyard/salvage yard license, where no improvements or structures have been added during the preceding year, shall include a plot plan of the property. The plan should be drawn to a legible scale (not less than one inch equals 50 feet), and include the following minimum information:
(a) 
Boundary lines of the property in question and rights-of-way based upon either a deed plotting or property survey.
(b) 
Identify adjacent land uses and zoning.
(c) 
Locations of man-made and natural features on the property.
(d) 
Delineation of the specific area of the property for use as a junkyard/salvage yard as previously fixed at time of initial license.
(e) 
Location of existing fencing and/or buffer yards and distances to property lines.
(f) 
Show existing driveway(s) and parking spaces.
(g) 
Location of existing signage and lighting.
(h) 
Show any existing utilities serving the property. If on-lot sewer and water, show locations of on-lot disposal area and well(s).
(i) 
Show any existing easements and floodplains.
(j) 
Statement listing existing activities conducted on the property as part of the junkyard/salvage yard operation.
An application for a renewal of an existing junkyard/salvage yard license, where improvements or structures have been added and permits have been issued under the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code, shall include a land development plan prepared in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 172 of the Union Township Code relating to land development plans.
(2) 
Application for new or expanded land area facility. An application for a new or existing but expanded land area junkyard/salvage yard shall include a formal land development plan. Said land development plan shall be prepared, reviewed and approved in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 172, Subdivision and Land Development, Union Township Code.
C. 
An application for license under this chapter shall be examined by the Union Township Code Enforcement Officer, or a duly authorized agent thereof, and the license issued or refused within 60 days of submission to the Union Township Code Enforcement Officer. Examination of the application shall include consideration of the suitability of the property proposed to be used for the purpose of the license, the character of nearby properties, and the effect of the proposed use upon the Township of Union. When the application is found in compliance with the provisions herein given, the Union Township Code Enforcement Officer shall issue a license to the junk dealer applicant for operation of the junkyard/salvage yard as described in the application.
D. 
The license fee shall consist of two parts: the initial application fee for new or expanded facilities shall be $500, and it is not returnable in case of refusal of license; and the annual license fee shall be $500, per year. All fees are due, payable to and for the use of the Township of Union, at time of application. The period of any license issued under this chapter shall be for one calendar year or portion thereof, and shall terminate on December 31 of the year in which issued.
E. 
Licenses issued under this chapter are required to be renewed on or before January 1 of the year in which it is desired to continue operations. Such application for renewal must be in writing, in such form as may be required by the Union Township Board of Supervisors and accompanied by the license fee. Renewal applications are subject to complete reexamination and consideration by the Union Township Code Enforcement Officer, for continued compliance.
F. 
No person licensed under this chapter shall, by virtue of one license, operate more than one junkyard/salvage yard within the municipality. No person shall engage in business or operate a junkyard/salvage yard at any place other than the place designated by his license. Licenses are nontransferable. The permitted size of a junkyard/salvage yard shall be fixed at the time of license issuance, with due regard for the existing and proposed uses of the surrounding area and properties, and shall not be in excess of five acres, excluding setback areas.
The license under which the junkyard/salvage yard is operated shall, at all times, be conspicuously posted on the licensed premises, and the operating requirements as herein provided shall be complied with.
A. 
Permanent records of all junk received in or removed from any junkyard/salvage yard shall be kept by the junk dealer on the premises, containing the name and address from whom received or to whom delivered, the date thereof and a description of the junk. Such records shall be open to inspection at all reasonable times by the Union Township Board of Supervisors, Township Code Enforcement Officer, and by any law enforcement officer.
B. 
Junkyards/salvage yards licensed under this chapter may not operate between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., except to remove any wrecked automobile from any public highway.
C. 
Junkyards/salvage yards shall be operated in compliance with the noise standards set forth in Chapter 131, Union Township Code.
All junkyards/salvage yards licensed under this chapter shall be: located and operated in accordance with the following conditions:
A. 
The locations of any junkyards/salvage yards shall be as permitted under Chapter 200, Union Township Zoning Ordinance, Code of Union Township.
B. 
No operation, activity, use, or occupation of any type for the junkyard/salvage yard shall be carried on within 40 feet of any property line or any street right-of-way.
C. 
All junk shall be stored and arranged so as to permit access by firefighting equipment. Junked motor vehicles shall be spaced in rows with at least 12 feet between double rows; other junk shall be stored in piles or tiers which also shall be separated by aisles or cleared areas of no less than 12 feet.
D. 
Junk shall be arranged so as to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water and shall be stacked to a height of not more than 12 feet from the ground.
E. 
All liquids and/or fluids shall be drained from any junk or scrapped automobiles. Fluid draining shall occur on an impervious and properly drained surface. Liquids and/or fluids in amounts not exceeding 10 gallons in industrial containers or 50 gallons in the aggregate may be stored on a temporary basis not to exceed 60 days above ground in approved containers. Fuel and/or waste oil which is kept on the premises shall not exceed 50 gallons and shall only be stored on a temporary basis above ground in a manner approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP), Underwriters' Laboratories and/or the State Fire Marshal. No garbage and/or organic waste shall be permitted to be stored on any junkyard/salvage yard.
F. 
All batteries shall be removed from vehicles and properly stored in a suitable area on an impervious and properly drained surface.
Paper, rags, plastic and similar materials for salvage shall not be accumulated or remain on the junkyard/salvage yard premises for more than 60 days. Materials separated as solid waste shall not be accumulated for more than 30 days.
Any burning of materials shall be in compliance with Chapter 68, Open Burning, of the Code of Union Township.
Garbage, organic waste or plain solid waste shall not be received or stored in any junkyard/salvage yard. Materials designated as solid waste may be received only as mixed with salvageable materials, and shall be promptly disposed of as herein provided.
Every junkyard/salvage yard licensed under this chapter shall enclose and maintain the junkyard/salvage yard as herein provided:
A. 
Every new, or existing junkyard/salvage yard premises approved for an expanded land area, shall be completely enclosed by a fence. Such fences shall be set back in accordance with the provisions of § 119-4B of this chapter, located on the interior side of any required landscape buffer, and shall be a minimum of 12 feet in height, and shall be constructed of solid or opaque material. Entrance gates, of a maximum of 35 feet in width, shall be of similar material, well constructed, and shall be kept securely locked except during business hours. Fencing shall be maintained in good condition throughout its length at all times. The installation of fencing may also be required, and constructed as set forth above, on existing junkyards/salvage yard premises, where documented trespass onto the property or migration of varmints off of the property have been established.
B. 
All required fencing shall be set back 40 feet from all property and right-of-way lines. When a property abuts residential lands or municipal parkland, a forty-foot wide landscaped buffer yard comprised of three rows of staggered evergreen plantings of a minimum six feet height at planting shall buffer all areas used for the storage of junk/salvage material. The buffer yard shall sufficiently screen all stored junk/salvage material and fencing from the view of adjacent property owners. No materials of any nature shall be stored within this buffer yard. All required open areas between fence and lot lines of the premises shall be maintained continuously in good order, free of weeds and scrub growth.
C. 
All junkyard/salvage yard premises shall be maintained in such manner so as not to cause a public or private nuisance; nor shall they cause any menace to the health or safety of persons off the premises; nor shall they cause any excessive or offensive or noxious odors or sounds; nor shall they cause the breeding, harboring or infesting of rats, rodents or vermin; nor shall they be in violation of any health or sanitation law or ordinance or regulation of any governmental body.
Every junk dealer and junkyard/salvage yard licensed under this chapter is subject to inspection and regulation as herein provided.
A. 
Any member of the Union Township Board of Supervisors, the Union Township Code Enforcement Officer, or the agent of the Board, may, at any reasonable time, enter upon the premises currently licensed or for which a license application is pending.
B. 
The Union Township Board of Supervisors may, from time to time pursuant to resolution, adopt regulations to carry out the provisions of this chapter, upon giving notice to licensees affected by such regulations.
A. 
Any person who is found to have violated an order of the Township or who willfully or negligently failed to comply with the provisions of this chapter and the orders, rules, regulations, and permits issued hereunder shall be prosecuted by action brought before a magisterial district judge in the same manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure. The Municipal Solicitor or the Code Enforcement Officer may assume charge of the prosecution consistent with the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, No. 420 et seq. The Board of Supervisors shall pursue criminal fines not to exceed $1,000 for the violation of this chapter and imprisonment to the extent allowed by law for the punishment of summary offenses. Each day or portion thereof that such violation continues or is permitted to continue shall constitute a separate offense, and each section of this chapter that is violated shall also constitute a separate offense.
B. 
The Union Township Board of Supervisors may take any appropriate action at law or equity, civil or criminal, to enforce the provisions of this chapter and recover the fees, expenses and costs associated with the enforcement. This chapter shall in no way restrict any remedies, including but not limited to injunctive remedies, otherwise available and provided by law.