[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Rensselaer 2-2-1994 by L.L. No. 1-1994. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Garbage, rubbish and refuse — See Ch. 113.
Towers and towing — See Ch. 161.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 169.
Unlicensed vehicles — See Ch. 171.
Editor's Note: This local law also superseded former Ch. 167, Vehicles, Abandoned, adopted 12-1-1993 by L.L. No. 5-1993.
The outdoor storage of abandoned, junked, discarded and unlicensed motor vehicles and/or parts thereof upon privately owned properties within the City of Rensselaer is hereby regulated for the preservation of the health, safety and general welfare of the community. Such storage of said vehicles and/or parts constitutes an attractive nuisance to children and imperils their safety. Such storage also endangers person and property, is unsightly, depreciates property values and constitutes a public nuisance.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLE
- The intent of the owner of a motor vehicle not in use shall establish it as abandoned. The intent of the owner shall be determined by the physical condition of the motor vehicle, his statements as to its abandonment, the length of time since the motor vehicle has last been used on the public highway, whether the motor vehicle is currently licensed and other relevant facts and, with respect to a vehicle not required to be licensed or a motor vehicle not usually used on the public highways, the length of time since it was last used for the purpose intended, any statements as to its abandonment by the owner and other relevant facts.
- DISCARDED MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any motor vehicle which the owner thereof, as established by the surrounding circumstances, does not intend to recover the possession of or any motor vehicle the owner of which cannot be found after reasonable inquiry.
- JUNKED MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any motor vehicle in such condition as to cost more to repair and place in operating condition than its reasonable market value at the time before such repairs.
- MOTOR VEHICLE
- Every vehicle operated, driven or capable of being operated or driven upon a public highway by any power other than muscular power. For the purposes of this chapter, "motor vehicle" shall include tractors used exclusively for agricultural purposes, self-propelled harvesting machines and self-propelled caterpillar or crawl-type equipment. For the purpose of this chapter, the term "motor vehicle" shall also include motorcycles, buses and house trailers.
- OWNER OF MOTOR VEHICLE
- The person having the ownership of or title to a motor vehicle, including a person entitled to the use and possession of a motor vehicle subject to a security interest in another person and also including any lessee or bailee of a motor vehicle having the use thereof under lease or otherwise.
- OWNER OF PRIVATE PROPERTY
- Includes the legal owner, contract purchaser, tenant, lessee, occupant, undertenant, receiver or assignee of premises or property located within the City of Rensselaer.
- Includes all parcels of real property situated in the City of Rensselaer, whether occupied or vacant, irrespective of size or topography.
- UNLICENSED MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any motor vehicle which has not been licensed with the proper authorities for a period of at least 30 days from the expiration of the last licensing period.
Each property owner (residential and agricultural residential) will be permitted one unlicensed car for seasonal use, provided that it carries a valid effective New York State inspection sticker.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, either as owner, occupant, lessee, agent, tenant or otherwise, of any private property within the City of Rensselaer to store or deposit outside or cause or permit to be stored or deposited outside any abandoned, junked or discarded or unlicensed motor vehicle or motor vehicles and/or parts thereof upon any private land within the limits of the City of Rensselaer.
This restriction shall not apply to licensed junkyards.
If the provisions of the foregoing sections are violated, the Building and Zoning Administrator shall serve written notice, either personally or by regular mail, upon the owner, occupant or person having charge of any such private property to comply with the requirements of this chapter. The Building and Zoning Administrator shall determine ownership of any parcel of land in the City of Rensselaer from the current assessment rolls of the City. The Building and Zoning Administrator may, as a courtesy, send a first notice to the owner listed on the current assessment rolls in substantially the following form:
"Pursuant to Local Law No. 1 of 1994, you are in violation of § 167-3B which states: It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, either as owner, occupant, lessee, agent, tenant or otherwise, of any private property within the City of Rensselaer to store or deposit outside or cause or permit to be stored or deposited outside any abandoned, junked or discarded or unlicensed motor vehicle or motor vehicles and/or parts thereof upon any private land within the limits of the City of Rensselaer.
"Formal notices will be sent two weeks from this date if said vehicle(s) is still present. Any and all steps will be taken pursuant to the provisions of Local Law No. 1 of 1994 to ensure compliance with this law."
If such courtesy notification is ignored and/or compliance is refused, a notice of violation will be served upon the owner, occupant or person having charge of any such property either personally or by regular mail. Such notice will be in substantially the following form:
"The City of Rensselaer assessment rolls indicate that you are the owner, occupant or person having charge of land within the City of Rensselaer briefly described as follows:
(Description of Property)
"Notice is hereby given that an abandoned, junked, discarded or unlicensed motor vehicle(s) or parts thereof have been deposited or are being stored on the above-described property in the City of Rensselaer. This vehicle(s) or parts thereof must be removed therefrom within 10 days from the date of this notice. In case you fail or refuse to comply with this notice on or before the expiration of said 10 days from the date of this notice, an appearance ticket will be issued to you by personal service or registered mail to come before the City Court of the City of Rensselaer to determine the disposition of this violation."
In the event that an abandoned, junked, discarded or unlicensed motor vehicle or parts thereof are not removed as prescribed above, the interested person(s) shall appear before the City Court of the City of Rensselaer as prescribed by appearance ticket to show cause why any such vehicle or parts have not been removed. At the time of said appearance or hearing, the Court shall determine if said person(s) is in violation of this chapter and order any such vehicle(s) or parts to be removed within three calendar days from the date of the City Court appearance. Failure to comply with any order by the Rensselaer City Court for said removal will result in the following action: to wit, the City of Rensselaer and/or its agents shall enter said property and cause the vehicle and/or parts to be removed and destroyed. Any expenses incurred by the City of Rensselaer shall be assessed against the property as described in the notice, all in the manner provided by law.
Any owner, occupant, lessee, agent or tenant who shall neglect and refuse to remove an abandoned, junked, discarded or unlicensed motor vehicle or parts as required by this chapter or who shall fail or refuse to comply with the order of the Rensselaer City Court to remove a motor vehicle or part after notice and hearing as herein provided or who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter or who shall obstruct or resist the duly authorized agents, servants, officers and employees of the City of Rensselaer in the removal and destruction of a motor vehicle as described herein shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined a sum not to exceed $250 or be imprisoned for a term not to exceed 15 days, or both, for each such violation. Each separate occurrence may constitute a separate violation.
Nothing herein contained shall prevent the City of Rensselaer from directing the removal of a motor vehicle or part thereof in accordance with the terms and provisions of this chapter in addition to imposing the penalties herein provided.
This chapter supersedes and repeals all other laws, ordinances or resolutions governing, regulating or affecting abandoned, junked, discarded or unlicensed vehicles on private property.
The invalidity of any clause, sentence, paragraph or provision of this chapter shall not invalidate any other clause, sentence, paragraph or part thereof.
This chapter shall take effect immediately.