Township of Independence, PA
Beaver County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Independence 3-10-1993 by Ord. No. 1-93. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Open burning — See Ch. 72.
Nuisances — See Ch. 135.
Peddling and soliciting — See Ch. 146.
Zoning — See Ch. 200.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as "Independence Township Junkyard and Refuse Ordinance."
A. 
General terms. As used in these regulations, words in the singular include the plural and those in the plural include the singular. The masculine shall include the feminine and the neuter. The words "shall" and "will" for the purpose of these regulations are defined as mandatory.
B. 
Specific terms. As used in these regulations, additional specific terms or words shall be defined as follows. Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following definitions shall, for the purpose of these regulations, have the meaning herein indicated. Any pertinent word or term not a part of this listing but vital to the interpretation of these regulations shall be construed to have its legal definition.
BOARD
The Board of Supervisors of Independence Township.
JUNK
Any discarded material or article and shall include, but not be limited to, scrap metal, abandoned or junked motor vehicles or vehicle parts, machinery or machinery parts, papers, glass and related items, containers, or partially dismantled structures or parts thereof. It shall also include a partially dismantled motor vehicle not bearing current registration plates and that is not in the process of ongoing and immediate repair. It shall not include refuse or garbage kept in a proper container for the purpose of prompt disposal.
JUNK DEALER
Any person who shall engage in the business of selling, buying, salvaging or dealing in junk, including the operation of an auto wrecking or salvage yard or business, or any person who shall keep or store on his or other premises junk, as defined hereinabove, for commercial purposes.
JUNKYARD
The use of any lot, whether inside or outside a building, for storage, keeping or abandonment of junk, or for the dismantling, demolition or abandonment of automobiles or other vehicles, machinery or parts thereof for commercial purposes.
LICENSE
The permit granted to a person who accumulates, stores or disposes of junk as herein defined.
PERSON
Includes any partnership, association, firm, corporation and individual.
TOWNSHIP
Independence Township, Beaver County, Pennsylvania.
A. 
Requirement. No person shall from and after the effective date of this chapter keep, conduct or maintain any building, structure, yard or place of keeping, whether temporarily, irregularly, or continually, for the storing, piling, buying or selling at retail or wholesale or dealing in any "junk" as herein defined, whether with a fixed place of business or as an itinerant peddler, without first having obtained and paid for a "junk dealer" license; in addition, no person shall, from and after the effective date of this chapter keep, store or accumulate on his premises or the premises of another, more than two motor vehicles, or bodies of motor vehicles, that are inoperable, or unlicensed, or that do not have a current and valid inspection sticker, or that have been stripped or dismantled without having first obtained and paid for a "junk dealer" license. Operable farm tractors, racing vehicles, duly licensed antique and classic motor vehicles, and other vehicles not subject to state inspection requirements are exempt from this regulation.
B. 
Application. Every applicant for a license to engage in the business of junk dealer shall file with the Township Secretary, upon a form prepared and approved by the Township, signed by the applicant or applicants. The license shall be issued by the Board after written application shall have been made therefor by the person to whom such license is to be given. Such license shall be posted conspicuously upon the premises licensed. The applicant shall also submit therewith a plot of the premises used or to be used in connection with such licenses. Applications shall state:
(1) 
Name of the applicant.
(2) 
Address of the applicant.
(3) 
Length of residence at such address.
(4) 
Place of previous employment.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original Section 3b(5), regarding marital status, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(5) 
Whether the applicant has been convicted of any misdemeanor or felony and if so, what offense, when, and in what court.
(6) 
The address of the premises upon which such business is to be conducted or upon which such junkyard is to be established or operated.
(7) 
The name of the owner or owners of said property if other than the applicant.
(8) 
A statement upon any subsequent applications that the applicant, during the preceding term of his license, did comply with and did maintain his premises in full compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
(9) 
Each application shall describe the premises upon which the junkyard is to be established or operated, specifying therein the area size of the premises to be utilized expressed in square footage, setback lines, structures erected thereon, dwellings erected upon adjacent premises and the county and deed book volume and page where the deed to the premises is recorded.
(10) 
If the applicant is a partnership or association, the application shall furnish the above information for every member thereof.
(11) 
If the applicant is a business corporation, the applicant shall furnish the above information for every member thereof.
(12) 
The detailed nature of the business to be conducted and the kind of materials to be collected, bought, sold or otherwise handled.
(13) 
An agreement that the applicant accepts the license, if granted, upon the condition that it may be suspended or revoked by the Board of Supervisors upon conviction of violation of this chapter.
(14) 
A separate application will be required for each junkyard conducted by a junk dealer.
C. 
Issuance. Upon receipt of an application and upon approval of such by the Zoning Hearing Board and upon receipt of the fee and bond as herein provided, the Board shall authorize the Township Secretary to issue a license or shall refuse to issue a license to the person applying therefore after an examination of the application and taking into consideration the suitability of the property proposed to be used for the purposes of the license, the character of the properties located nearby, and the effect of the proposed use upon the Township, both economic and aesthetic. In the event the Board shall authorize a license, it may impose upon the license and the person applying therefore such terms and conditions, in addition to the regulation herein contained and adopted pursuant to this chapter, as may be deemed necessary to carry out the spirit and intent of this chapter. Such additional terms and conditions to be complied with within six months. Licenses shall be issued upon the condition that the same may be summarily revoked in the event the said license is found to have given any false information or in any way misrepresented any material fact upon which the issuing authority has relied in granting such license, in which event the licensee shall not be entitled to a refund of any portion of a required license fee.
D. 
Guarantees.
(1) 
Applications shall be accompanied by a bond to the Township of Independence, approved as to form by the Township Solicitor, in the penal sum of $5,000 for those premises not exceeding five acres and an additional sum of $5,000 for each additional five acres or increment thereof for those premises exceeding five acres. The bond shall guarantee that in the event the dealer ceases to operate, or vacates or abandons the auto wrecking or junkyard, said yard will be cleaned of all junk, including automobiles, parts thereof and all debris.
(2) 
In instances where the premises on which the business is located are owned by applicants, said bond shall be secured by a judgment note to the Township of Independence in an amount equal to the penal sum of said bond and shall be signed by the dealer, and if married his or her spouse. In the event the said premises are not owned by the applicant, then the judgment note shall be executed by the owner or owners of said premises as well as by the applicant dealer. A cash bond may be posted in lieu of the judgment note.
E. 
Fee. A license fee as set from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors shall be paid to the Township for the use of the Township at the time the license is issued.
(1) 
The license shall be issued for the 12 month period beginning May 1 and ending April 30 of the following year, and each license must be renewed annually on or before the first day of May of each year.
(2) 
The license fee together with an administrative and inspection levy shall be paid immediately upon the issuance or renewal of a license. The amount of the administrative and inspection levy shall be as set from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors as determined by the land to be used by the person to whom the license is issued. No license shall be issued for the use of a tract of land of less than five acres or in excess of 20 acres.
F. 
Limitation. No person licensed under this chapter shall, by virtue of one license, keep more than one place of business within the Township or maintain more than one junkyard, for the purpose of buying, selling, and dealing in junk. No person shall engage in business as a junk dealer in any place other than the place designated upon his license, or maintain a junkyard in any place other than the place designated upon his license.
G. 
Transfer. No license issued by the Board shall be transferable by the licenser to any other person unless such a transfer is authorized by the Board. Any person desiring to transfer his license shall notify the Board in writing, which notification shall be accompanied by an application for a license, as described in § 114-3B of this chapter, by the transferee.
(1) 
In the event the Board shall approve the transfer of a license, the transferee shall immediately pay to the Township a transfer fee as set from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.
(2) 
In the event the Board shall approve the transfer of a license, the transferee shall provide all guarantees required by § 114-3D of this chapter.
A. 
Requirement. Every licensee hereunder shall provide and shall at all times keep and maintain records, in the English language, at the time of his purchase, acquisition or receipt of junk, a full and complete description, including trade names, serial or manufacturer's numbers, if any, of every article or item of junk purchased, acquired or received by him, the date and approximate hour of such purchase, acquisition or receipt, and the name and address of the person from whom such article or item of junk was purchased, acquired or received. Such written records shall at all times be subject to the inspection of the Township Police for just cause. Such records shall be retained for a period of three years.
B. 
Identification. No person shall knowingly buy, sell, receive, dispose of, conceal or have in his possession any motor vehicle, part or accessory from which the manufacturer's serial number or any other number or identification mark has been removed, defaced, covered, altered or destroyed for the purpose of concealing or misrepresenting the identity of such vehicle, part or accessory. Any person to whom is offered for sale, storage or wreckage any motor vehicle, part or accessory from which has been removed, defaced, covered, altered or destroyed the manufacturer's serial number or any other number or identification mark shall immediately notify the Independence Township Police Department of such offer or sale.
C. 
Retention. Every person, licensed under this chapter shall keep and retain upon the licensed premises, for a period of 48 hours after the purchase or receipt thereof, all junk received or purchased by him, and he shall not disturb or reduce the same or alter the original form, shape or condition until such period of 48 hours shall have elapsed.
Every person licensed under this chapter shall develop and operate the licensed premises in accordance with the following requirements:
A. 
Area. No tract of land less than five acres, or more than 20 acres, shall be licensed or utilized as a junkyard.
B. 
Property setbacks. The premises to be licensed shall be set back a minimum distance of 150 feet from the right-of-way on all streets or roads and a minimum distance of 50 feet from all other property lines. Areas between the setback line and the right-of-way, and between property and setback lines shall be kept clear of all storage and operations at all times.
C. 
Environmental setbacks. All storage and operations shall be set back a minimum distance of 50 feet from all known floodplain elevations, wetland areas, streams, creeks and other natural waterways.
D. 
Highway setbacks. Setbacks of 1,000 feet shall be maintained from the right-of-way line of all federal aid or other limited access highways.
E. 
Parking. All parking in association with the junkyard and any related operations shall, be accommodated on site, exclusive of any required setback areas. A minimum of 15 parking spaces shall be provided.
F. 
Access. The site shall contain one entrance and one exit less than 30 feet in width. Site access points shall be designed to preclude the stacking or maneuvering of vehicles on any adjacent public right-of-way.
G. 
Safety. Every structure erected upon or remodeled for use in connection with the licensed premises shall be constructed or remodeled with nonflammable material so as to be fire-resistant as that term is defined by the regulations of the Department of Labor and Industry of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania concerning the prevention of fire and panic.
H. 
Fencing.
(1) 
All junkyards shall be protected and buffered from roads and developed adjacent areas with a fence or wall of eight feet or more in height, maintained in good condition. The placement of such fence or wall shall be controlled by the setback provisions of Subsections B, C and D, above.
(2) 
The foregoing provisions shall be applicable only to those portions of the premises being used for operations or the storage of junk and shall not be applicable to the balance of the property owned or used by said junkyard operator so long as said remaining portion of land is not being used for the storage of junk as defined in this chapter.
(3) 
The fence shall be a metal chain link fence of at least 12-gauge thickness and supported on steel posts. Such fence shall not be less than eight feet in height, nor shall two or more vehicles or major parts thereof be stacked on top of one another or otherwise so as to protrude above it.
I. 
Screening.
(1) 
Where any side of the premises adjoins a residential dwelling, church, school or public building now existing or constructed in the future, and said structure is within 150 feet of said side, a landscape screen shall be established along the adjoining side for a reasonable distance. It is further provided that the foregoing screening provision shall be applicable only to that portion of the adjacent premises being used for the storage of junk or related operations and shall not be applicable to the balance of the property owned or used by said junkyard operator so long as said remaining portion of land is not being used for the storage of junk as defined in this chapter.
(2) 
The screen shall have a height adequate to achieve its purpose. Plant materials used for screening shall consist of dense evergreen plants. They shall be of a kind, or, used in such a manner, so as to provide a continuous opaque screen within 24 months after commencement of operations in the area to be screened. The Board shall require that either new planting or alternative screening be provided if, after 24 months, the plant materials do not provide an opaque screen.
J. 
Landscaping. Setback areas adjacent to public rights-of-way and occupied adjoining property shall be planted with an all-season ground cover and shall be landscaped with trees and shrubs in accordance with an overall landscape plan. A replacement program for nonsurviving plants shall be included.
Every person licensed under this chapter shall constantly maintain the licensed premises in accordance with any special provisions imposed by the Board and in the manner prescribed by this section and any subsequent regulations adopted by the Board.
A. 
Maintenance. Such premises shall at all times be maintained so as not to constitute a nuisance or a menace to the health of the community or of residents nearby or a place for the breeding of rodents and vermin.
B. 
Garbage. No garbage or other organic waste shall be stored on such premises.
C. 
Automobile handling. Whenever any motor vehicle shall be received on such premises as junk, all gasoline shall be drained and removed therefrom. All gasoline that is kept on the premises shall be stored in a manner approved by the Board of Township Supervisors and shall meet all applicable standards of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States government.
D. 
Storage. The manner of storage and arrangement of junk and the drainage facilities of the premises shall be such as to prevent the pollution of springs and streams, to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water upon the premises, and to facilitate access for inspection purposes and fire fighting. All junk and vehicles on the licensed premises shall be arranged and maintained in a neat and orderly fashion. All vehicles without wheels shall be set upon stable, secure, nonslide risers to achieve a minimum elevation of at least six inches off the ground to provide for drainage and vermin control. All such vehicles and other junk are to be arranged in rows with a minimum of 20 feet of clear space between each row and each of said rows to be no greater in width than 40 feet.
E. 
Burning. Persons governed by these regulations shall not burn motor vehicles at any time. No grease, oil, tires, gasoline or other similar material that might be dangerous or tend to produce obnoxious smoke or odors shall be burned within or on said premises at any time.
F. 
Business hours. Premises shall not be open for business nor shall any work be done therein in connection with the storage, processing and transporting or removal of junk at any time on the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday, or on any other day of the week before 7:00 a.m. All work shall cease at 8:00 p.m. except for sales.
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to the appropriate penalties set forth in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article II.
The Zoning Hearing Board shall have authority to grant variances to dealers properly licensed under this chapter from the provisions as set forth herein, as the circumstances, and in the Board's sole judgment may require, in order to avoid undue hardship or an unrealistic application of the provisions of this chapter. The decision of the Board in granting or refusing to grant a variance shall be exclusive and final. No variance shall be granted that is not in harmony with this chapter and all other ordinances of the Township.
The Township Police or a representative duly authorized by resolution of the Independence Township Board of Supervisors shall from time to time regularly inspect the premises of every licensee hereunder for the purpose of determining whether said licensee has established and maintained his premises in full compliance with the provisions of this chapter and such rules and regulations which may hereafter be adopted by the Township of Independence regulating and licensing junk dealers and the establishment and maintenance of junkyards.
In addition to the remedies provided in § 114-7, above, any continued violations of this chapter that shall constitute nuisance in fact or that shall in the opinion of the Board constitute a nuisance may be abated by proceeding against the violator in a court of equity for relief.
The Independence Township Police Department shall have the authority to, and is therefore authorized to, enforce this chapter by initiating summary criminal proceedings for violations of any of the provisions of this chapter. The enforcement authority of the Independence Township Police Department given shall in no way be construed to limit the authority of the Independence Township Supervisors to initiate any suits in law or equity or otherwise to secure compliance with the provisions of this chapter.