[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Putnam 6-2-2004 STM. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is the intention of this chapter to provide for the protection of the health, welfare, property and safety of the public in general by prohibiting the existence of abandoned, wrecked, junked, inoperative, discarded and dismantled motor vehicles left within the Town in places other than junkyards or other so designated areas.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meaning described to them in this section:
- ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLE
- A motor vehicle which, after a good faith determination, has the appearance that the owner has relinquished control without the intention of reclaiming it, including, but not limited to, a vehicle with no marker plates, invalid marker plates, or one which is damaged, vandalized, dismantled, partially dismantled, inoperative, or unusable as a motor vehicle.
- ANTIQUE OR COLLECTIBLE MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any motor vehicle at least 25 years old which holds a distinctive value because of its style, year of manufacture, name, place of manufacture or method of construction.
- ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- For those areas located within the Putnam Special Services District, the enforcement officer for this provision shall be the Putnam Police Department; and for those areas outside the Special Services District, the enforcement officer shall be designated by the Mayor and Board of Selectmen.
- INOPERABLE MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any vehicle which, due to the mechanical condition thereof, cannot be operated upon the public roadway without major repair, or cannot be legally registered with the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles in its current condition.
- JUNKED MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any vehicle unregistered by the Department of Motor Vehicles as defined in the above definition, which is determined to be inoperable.
- MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any vehicle which is self-propelled and designed to travel along the ground and shall include but not be limited to automobiles, buses, motor bikes, vans, motorcycles, motor-scooters, trucks, go-carts, golf carts, campers and trailers.
No person shall park, store, leave, or permit the parking, storing, or leaving of any motor vehicle of any kind which is in an abandoned, wrecked, dismantled, inoperative, rusted, junked, or partially dismantled condition, whether attended or not, upon any public or private property within the Town for a period of time in excess of 30 days. The presence of an abandoned, wrecked, dismantled, inoperative, rusted, junked or partially dismantled vehicle or parts thereof, on private or public property, is hereby declared a public nuisance which may be abated as such in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Further, one motor vehicle is exempted from the provisions of this chapter if it is fully covered by a tarpaulin or other opaque covering and set back at least 40 feet from any road or property line. In order for such a vehicle to be exempt, the cover must be intact and the vehicle must be rendered safe, locked and inaccessible to children and should be free of jagged, sharp, or protruding metal or glass parts which could constitute a danger or a nuisance.
This section shall not apply to any vehicle enclosed within a building on private property or to any vehicle held in connection with a business enterprise duly licensed by the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles and properly operated in the appropriate business zone, pursuant to the zoning laws of the Town, or to any motor vehicle in operable condition specifically adopted or designed for operation on drag strips or raceways, or any vehicle retained by the owner for antique collection purposes.
Whenever it comes to the attention of the Town that any nuisance as defined in this chapter exists, a notice in writing shall be served upon the occupant of the land where the nuisance exists, or in case there is no such occupant, then upon the owner of the property or his agent, notifying him of the existence of the nuisance and requesting its removal within 30 days. The enforcement officer shall also comply with any publication requirements set forth in Section 14-150a of the Connecticut General Statutes, or otherwise for additional notices which may be legally required.
Upon proper notice and opportunity to be heard, the owner of the abandoned, wrecked, dismantled, or inoperative vehicle and the owner or occupant of the private property on which the same is located, either or all of them, shall be responsible for its removal.
The enforcement officer shall give notice to remove to the owner or occupant of the private property where the abandoned, wrecked, dismantled, or inoperative vehicle is located, at least 30 days before the time of compliance. A copy of the notice sent by registered mail to the owner or occupant of the private property at his last known address, together with such additional notices as may be required by law, shall constitute sufficient notice.
The notice shall contain the request for removal within the 30 days specified in this chapter, and the notice shall advise that failure to comply with the notice to remove shall constitute a violation of this chapter.
The persons to whom the notices are directed, or their duly authorized agents, may file a written request with the Mayor's office for a hearing before the Mayor or his designee, within the thirty-day period of compliance prescribed in § 302-6 for the purpose of defending the charges made by the Town.
The hearing shall be held as soon as practicable after the filing of the request and the persons to whom the notices are directed shall be advised of the time and place of said hearing at least seven days in advance thereof. At any such hearing the Town and the persons to whom the notices have been directed may introduce such witnesses and evidence as either party deems necessary.
If the violation described in the notice has not been remedied within the thirty-day period of compliance, or in the event that a notice requesting a hearing is timely filed, a hearing is held, and the existence of the violation is affirmed by the Mayor or his designee as hearing officer, and the vehicle is not removed within one week from notice of the Mayor's decision, such failure shall constitute a violation of this chapter.
Each vehicle maintained in violation of this chapter shall be considered a separate violation of this chapter. The penalty for each violation shall be $100 per day, which may be assessed against the record owner of the real estate upon which the vehicle is located, the occupant in possession of the real estate, or the record owner of the vehicle, if the same can be determined.