[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Amherst 1-10-1966. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is hereby declared that the unrestrained accumulation of junk motor vehicles is a hazard to the health, safety and welfare of citizens of the community, necessitating the regulation, restraint and elimination thereof.
No person, firm, association or corporation shall operate, establish or maintain a junkyard in the Town of Amherst until he or it has obtained a license as hereinafter provided and has obtained a certificate of approval for the location of such junkyard.
Application for the license and the certificate of approval application shall be made in writing to the Town Board of the Town of Amherst. The application shall be accompanied by a certificate of the Building Commissioner of said Town that the proposed location is not within an established district restricted against such uses or otherwise contrary to the prohibitions of Chapter 203, Zoning. The application shall contain a description of the land to be included within the junkyard.
A hearing on the application shall be held by the Town Board not less than two weeks nor more than four weeks from the date of the receipt of the application. Notice of the hearing shall be given to the applicant by mail to the address given in the application and shall be published once in a newspaper having a circulation within the Town of Amherst, which publication shall be not less than seven days before the date of the hearing.
At the time and place set for hearing, the Town Board shall hear the applicant and all other persons wishing to be heard on the application for the license. In considering such application, the Board shall take into account the suitability of the applicant with reference to his ability to comply with fencing requirements or other reasonable regulations concerning the proposed junkyard and to any other matter within the purposes of this chapter.
At the time and place set for hearing, the applicant and all other persons wishing to be heard on the application and certificate of approval for the location of the junkyard shall be heard. In passing upon same, it shall take into account, after proof of legal ownership of right to such use of the property for the licensed period by the applicant, the nature and development of surrounding property, its proximity to churches, schools, hospitals, public buildings or other places of public gathering and whether or not the proposed location can be reasonably protected from affecting the public health and safety by reason of offensive or unhealthy odors, smoke or other causes. The Board shall also take into account the clean, wholesome and attractive environment which is considered to be of vital importance to the continued general welfare of citizens, also the type of street or road servicing the junkyard or from which the junkyard will be seen, the natural or artificial barriers protecting the junkyard from view and the proximity of the proposed junkyard to established residential and recreational areas.
After hearing, the Town Board shall, within two weeks, make a finding as to whether or not the application should be granted, giving notice of its finding to the applicant by mail. If approved, the license, including the certificate of approved location, shall be forthwith issued, to remain in effect until the following April 1. Approval shall be personal to the applicant and not assignable. Licenses shall be renewed thereafter upon payment of the annual license fee without hearing, provided that all provisions of this chapter are complied with during the licensed period, the junkyard does not become a public nuisance and the applicant does not have a record of conviction for violation of law. The determination of the Town Board may be reviewed under Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
The annual license fee shall be $25, to be paid at the time the application is made and annually thereafter in the event of renewal. In the event that the application is not granted, the fee shall be returned to the applicant. In addition to the license fee, the applicant may be assessed with the costs of advertising such application, and the license shall be conditioned upon payment of same.
Before use, a new junkyard shall be completely surrounded with a fence at least five feet in height, or such greater height as the Town Board shall determine, which shall substantially screen the junkyard, with a suitable gate which shall be closed and locked except during the working hours of such junkyard or when the applicant or his agent shall be within. Such fence shall be erected not nearer than 50 feet to a public highway. All motor vehicles and parts thereof stored or deposited by the applicant shall be kept within the enclosure of the junkyard, except as removal is necessary for the transportation of same in the ordinary course of business, and wrecking or other work on such motor vehicles and parts shall be accomplished within the enclosure.
Within 60 days from the preparation of this chapter, the owner of an established junkyard shall furnish the Town Board with information as to the location which is required in an application, together with the license fee, and the Town Board shall issue him a license valid until next April 1, at which time such owner may apply for renewal as herein provided. Such owner shall comply with all other provisions of this chapter, including the fencing requirement as set forth in § 129-9.
Notwithstanding any of the foregoing provisions of this chapter, no junkyard hereafter established shall be licensed to operate within 500 feet of a church, school, hospital, public building or place of assembly.
Any person, firm, association or corporation violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be fined not less than $10 nor more than $100 for each offense, and a separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.
This chapter shall take effect immediately upon its adoption and publication in accordance with the provisions of law.