[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Lewiston 12-29-1965 (Ch. 17 of the 1965 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
By adoption of this chapter, the Town Board of the Town of Lewiston declares its intent in so doing to be to regulate, control and license the activities or businesses known as junkyards, auto "graveyards," secondhand-parts yards, the processing of used metals for resale, and the dumping, storage and disposal of waste, secondhand or used materials of whatever composition. Said Town Board hereby declares that such activities or businesses can constitute a hazard to person and property and constitute a public nuisance. Gasoline tanks on old motor vehicles often contain gasoline fumes; the engine and other parts are frequently covered with grease and oil. Tires, tops, and other elements are likewise inflammable. Batteries can contain acids. Sharp metal or glass edges can result in injury and such motor vehicles are attractive to children and certain adults, and unless such businesses are properly conducted and maintained, they tend to detract from value of surrounding property, even in areas zoned for industrial use. Other items of salvage can also be attractive to children and constitute a public hazard. A clean, wholesome, attractive environment is declared to be of importance to the health and safety of the inhabitants and the safeguarding of their material rights against unwarrantable invasion, and such an environment is essential to the maintenance and continued development of the economy and general welfare of the citizens of the Town.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Includes rags, scrap metal, scrap lumber, motor vehicles unfit for use, used parts of motor vehicles or other machinery, and any other secondhand articles or used materials and merchandise which are commonly classified as junk.
- MOTOR VEHICLES
- Shall include passenger automobiles, trucks, tractor trucks, trailers, busses, bulldozers, and any other vehicles propelled by power, whether designed for highway or off-highway use.
- An individual, an association, a partnership or a corporation.
No person shall engage in or conduct on real property within the Town of Lewiston either for himself or for or on behalf of any other person, directly or indirectly as agent, employee or otherwise, at wholesale or retail, any activity or business which involves the collection, storage, dumping, disassembly, dismantling, salvaging or otherwise handling or arranging for sale, resale, storage or disposal, of any motor vehicle unfit for highway use when designed for such use, or unfit for the use for which it was designed, or of any other secondhand or used property constituting junk as defined in this chapter, without first having obtained a license therefor as hereinafter provided.
The Town Board may place such reasonable restrictions on the number of premises to be licensed within any zoned district in which the operation of a junkyard is authorized by Chapter 360, Zoning, of the Code of the Town of Lewiston as such Board may deem necessary and proper for the preservation of the public health, safety and welfare of the Town and its inhabitants.
Each applicant for a license hereunder shall execute under oath an application therefor, to be supplied to him by the Zoning Officer of the Town of Lewiston, who is hereby designated as the Permit Officer for this chapter. Such application shall contain at least the following information:
That the applicant, if a natural person, or if a corporation, that the principal officers, are over the age of 21 years and citizens of the United States.
Whether the applicant, or if a corporation the principal officers, have ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor and if so, such other facts or evidence as may be required to establish that such a person is fit and capable of properly conducting the activity or business for which the license is sought.
A description of the exact type of business intended to be conducted.
The nature of the materials intended to be handled.
The number of employees intended to be employed.
The name and address of the owner or owners of the land.
The nature of the right of occupancy of the applicant to the use of such land.
At the time of making the application, the applicant shall submit and file a map or plan of the real property upon which it is intended to conduct the activity or business, showing the area of such real property which it is proposed to use for such purpose, the location of any fences or other method of screening the property from view as hereinafter provided, the location of any buildings on such land, and the location of all highways abutting or passing through such land.
In the application, the applicant shall agree that if granted the license applied for, the activity or business shall be conducted in accordance with the regulations set forth herein, and that upon failure to do so, such license may be revoked forthwith.
Any person presently conducting a business regulated by this chapter within an area presently zoned for I-2 use shall be exempted from compliance with the provisions of this chapter, but any person presently conducting a business regulated by this chapter in any other zoning district shall apply for a license within 30 days of the adoption of this chapter. If any such place is presently in compliance with the requirements of this chapter for a license, a license shall be issued therefor. If it does not presently comply with such requirements, a temporary license shall be issued for a period of six months during which period such business shall be brought into full compliance with this chapter to secure a license in the first instance. If at the end of such period, such person has failed to bring such business into compliance, he shall forthwith cease and desist from conducting such business and shall remove all junk from the area.
If the applicant is not the owner of the site where the business is to be conducted, the owner's consent to the conducting of the same shall be endorsed on the application.
Not more than four weeks after receipt of the application, the Town Board shall hold a hearing thereon, notice of which shall be given to the applicant by mail and shall also be published once in a newspaper having a circulation within the Town of Lewiston, such notice and publication to be given not less than 10 days before the date of hearing. At the time and place set for such hearing, the Town Board shall hear the applicant and all other persons wishing to be heard and in passing upon the application shall take into account, after proof of legal ownership or right to use the premises for the license period by the applicant, the nature and development of the surrounding property, whether the location can be reasonably protected from effecting the public health and safety by reason of offensive or unhealthy odors, smoke, or other causes, the type of road servicing the proposed location, natural and artificial hazards blocking the premises from view and proximity to existing residential and recreational areas, churches, schools, hospitals, public buildings, or other places of public gathering and within two weeks after such hearing, shall make a determination as to whether or not the application should be granted, giving notice of determination to the applicant by mail, postage prepaid. The determination of the Town Board may be reviewed under Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
The fee for the license is hereby fixed in the sum of $50 which shall include the cost of necessary inspections of the premises to ascertain compliance with this chapter.
Such license shall be placed and at all times displayed in a conspicuous place at the licensee's place of business for which it is issued.
Such license shall be effective from the date of issuance until December 31 of the year of such issuance, and a new application for a new license shall be made and filed during the month of December for the subsequent year if the licensee desires to continue such business.
Such license is personal with the licensee and shall not be transferable to another location nor assignable or transferable in any manner.
Any license may be revoked by the Town Board after a public hearing thereon shall be held, at which the licensee shall have the opportunity to be heard and to be represented by counsel. Upon revocation of a license, the Town Board may require the removal of all junk as defined herein within a period of time to be fixed by the Town Board.
The licensee if a natural person, or if a corporation one of its principal officers, shall personally manage or be responsible for the management of the business for which the license is granted.
The licensee shall maintain an office and a sufficient number of employees on the premises to assure the proper and safe conduct of the business to minimize the fire hazard therefrom and to prevent improper trespass thereon by children and others.
The licensee shall erect and maintain in good condition a wire fence of close mesh or a wood fence at least eight feet in height above ground level not less than 100 feet from any public highway, unless otherwise authorized by the Town Board, completely surrounding the area to be used in the business adequate to prevent the entrance of children or others into the area, entrance or entrances through which can be had only through gates capable of being locked, and all materials dealt in by the licensee shall be kept within such fence at all times.
Where the topography, natural growth of timber or other considerations justify it, the Town Board may reduce the fencing requirements, provided that such natural barriers shall conform with the purposes hereof.
Inside such fence a strip of land at least 10 feet in width shall be kept free of all dry grass or other growth and of all combustible material so as to provide a fire lane around the entire area in which the business is conducted.
The burning of any material within the licensed premises is strictly prohibited. All materials shall be stored in the site area in such a way as to provide fire lanes throughout.
There shall be maintained at each such business site at least one fire extinguisher of approved design and capacity for each 40,000 square feet of area, and each such extinguisher shall be hung or mounted in a conspicuous place, clearly marked and available.
At times when the area is not supervised by the licensee or his employees, all gates shall be locked in a secure manner.
Suitable sanitary facilities shall be available connected to approved public sewers or other acceptable means of sewage disposal for the use of employees and customers.
No licensee shall purchase any material defined as junk hereby from any person under the age of 16 years.
The license officer and any police officer shall be granted access to the area at all reasonable times to inspect the same for compliance herewith.
Any licensee who commits or permits any act in violation of any provision of this chapter shall be deemed to have committed an offense against such chapter and to be liable for any such violation or the penalty therefor. Each day such violation shall continue or be permitted to exist shall constitute a separate violation.
For the purpose of jurisdiction, any violation of this chapter is hereby declared to be a misdemeanor.
Conviction of a licensee for any violation shall constitute ground for the revocation of the license after a public hearing as hereinabove provided.
Any licensee who shall violate or permit the violation of any provision of this chapter may also be subject to a civil penalty enforceable and collectible by the Town in the amount of $100 for each such offense for each day that such a violation shall continue.
In addition to the above, the Town Board may also maintain an action or proceeding in the name of the Town in a court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with or to restrain by injunction the violation hereof.