[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of Highland Falls 6-16-1987 by L.L. No. 5-1987 (Ch. 29 of the 1971 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Board of Trustees of the Village of Highland Falls hereby finds that the storage or presence of abandoned, junked or inoperative motor vehicles on private property creates a public and private nuisance and is harmful to the public health, safety and welfare. Such vehicles present a source of serious injury, particularly to children, seriously harm the aesthetic qualities of the Village and tend to depreciate the value of properties in the neighborhood and in the Village. The Board of Trustees finds that the problems can be diminished by permitting the storage of such vehicles only within a garage or other enclosed structure.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings as indicated:
- A. Any motor vehicle, as defined in the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York, that is:
- (1) Unlicensed, old, wrecked, stored, discarded, dismantled or partly dismantled and which is not intended or in any condition for legal use upon the public highway;
- (2) Being held or used for the purposes of resale of used parts therefrom or for purpose of reclaiming for use some or all of the materials therein for the purpose of disposing of the same;
- (3) In such condition as to cost more to repair and place in operating condition than its reasonable market value prior to such repair; or
- (4) Left unattended for more than 96 hours on property of another if left without permission of the property owner.
- B. With respect to any motor vehicle not required to be licensed or not usually used on public highways, the fact that such motor vehicle has remained unused for more than six months and is not in condition to be removed under its own power shall be presumptive evidence that such motor vehicle is an abandoned, junked or inoperative motor vehicle.
- C. The fact that a motor vehicle does not display a current motor vehicle registration or license plate shall be presumptive evidence that such motor vehicle is not in any condition for legal use upon the highways.
- D. The use of the term in the singular herein is intended, where applicable, to include the plural.
- ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL
- Any officer of the Highland Falls Police Department or any person authorized to issue appearance tickets in the Village pursuant to the laws of the State of New York.
- OWNER OF PRIVATE PROPERTY
- Any person, firm, partnership or corporation, whether business membership, religious, charitable or otherwise, or any association or any other unit or entity owning real property in the Village of Highland Falls.
It shall be unlawful for any person within the Village to store or deposit or cause, suffer or permit to be stored or deposited any abandoned, junked or inoperative motor vehicle or part or piece thereof on any private property within the Village, except within a garage or other enclosed structure.
Any abandoned, junked or inoperative motor vehicle found by the enforcement official within the Village in violation of § 225-3 may be removed from the premises on which it is located in the following manner:
The enforcement official shall serve written notice either by personal service on the property owner, tenant or agent or by certified mailing to the owner of the private property on which the vehicle is located and posting a copy of such notice in a conspicuous place on the subject property ordering such property owner to remove the vehicle or cause the vehicle to be removed therefrom within 10 days after the date of a hearing before the Board of Trustees. Such notice shall be mailed at least five days prior to the hearing and shall state the date of the hearing.
Such notice shall also state that:
Failure to remove the vehicle within the specified period shall cause legal title to the vehicle to vest in the Village and shall grant to the Village the legal right to enter upon the premises to remove and dispose of said vehicle.
The expense of such removal and disposal shall be charged against the property.
The enforcement official may determine the ownership and the address of the owner of any parcel of land in the Village from the current assessment roll.
Following the aforesaid hearing before the Board of Trustees, the Board may affirm, modify or rescind the enforcement official's order.
Removal. In the event that said abandoned, junked or inoperative motor vehicle is not removed from the premises within 10 days subsequent to the hearing, or said other time period as the Board may specify, the Village shall have the right to enter upon the premises and to remove and dispose of said vehicle. The expense of such removal and disposal shall be a lawful charge against the owner of the private property and may be collected, pursuant to the Village Law § 4-414 or, if necessary, in a civil action instituted in the name of the Village.
Acquisition of title to vehicle by Village.
If a vehicle which is declared abandoned by the enforcement official has no current registration or license plate and is of a wholesale value, taking into consideration the condition of the vehicle, of $750 or less, title to such vehicle shall vest in the Village 10 days subsequent to the public hearing provided for in § 225-4A. Such determination as to wholesale value shall be made by the enforcement official.
For vehicles other than those governed by Subsection C(1) above, the Village shall notify the last owner of the vehicle and any lienholders thereon that the Village has commenced procedures to acquire title to the vehicle, and if such vehicle is not claimed and removed from the property within 10 days subsequent to the aforesaid public hearing, title to such vehicle shall vest in the Village.
In addition to any expenses which may be collected pursuant to § 225-4B, any person committing an offense against this chapter shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the local justice court and shall be liable for civil penalties not exceeding $250. Each day such offense continues shall constitute a separate and distinct offense hereunder.
In addition or as an alternative to the above provided procedures and penalties, the Board of Trustees may maintain an action or proceeding in the name of the Village in a court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with or to restrain by injunction the violation of this chapter.