[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Riverhead 5-5-1970 by Ord. No. 9 (Ch. 71 of the 1976 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
By the adoption of this chapter, the Town Board of the Town of Riverhead declares its intent in so doing to be to regulate, control and license the activities or businesses known as auto graveyards, junk cars, secondhand collection areas, the processing of used metals for resale and of materials of whatever composition. Said Town Board hereby declares that such activities or businesses can constitute a hazard to property and persons and a public nuisance. Such materials may be highly flammable and sometimes explosive: gasoline tanks on old autos often contain in some quantity combustible gasoline; the grease and oil is also flammable. Batteries and other elements of such autos can contain acids and other matter potentially harmful to humans. These autos frequently contain sharp metal or glass edges or points upon which a human could receive serious cuts and abrasions. These autos can constitute attractive nuisances to children and certain adults. The presence of such junkyards even in areas zoned for business or industry can be unsightly and tend to detract from the value of the surrounding land and property unless such areas are properly maintained and operated.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- JUNK MOTOR VEHICLE
- Includes every vehicle or part or section of a vehicle manufactured, made, altered or designed to be operated by any power other than muscular power, whether in running condition or not or without a motor, that is not properly and currently registered as a motor vehicle or does not display a proper and current registration plate.
- MOTOR VEHICLE JUNKYARD
- Includes any premises or real property or part thereof upon which there shall be kept, stored or parked three or more junk motor vehicles, whether for sale or not or otherwise.
- Includes an individual, society, club, firm, partnership, private corporation, officers of said corporation or an association of persons; the singular number shall include the plural number.
No person shall own, lease, rent, use, control or be in possession of any premises upon which there is carried on the activity or business, either for profit or otherwise, or incidental to another business which accumulates junk or junk vehicles, at wholesale or retail, which involves the collection, storage, burning, dumping, disassembling, dismantling, salvaging, sorting or otherwise handling or arranging for sale, resale, storage or disposal or otherwise of secondhand auto wrecks, bodies, engines or parts of such autos, or of any other secondhand or used property of whatever material it is composed or any waste material, whether composed of wood, paper, cloth, cardboard, plastic, metals, stone, cement or otherwise, without obtaining a license therefor as hereinafter provided.
To be eligible for such a license, the premises upon which the business is to be conducted or upon which junk is stored shall:
Be so graded and maintained that no surface waters will collect upon them.
Be so maintained as to be kept reasonably free of rodents and any other disease-carrying animal.
Be either completely within an enclosed building or enclosed with a board fence at least six feet high on all sides and so constructed as to reasonably obstruct the ingress and egress of children and small animals. The entrances to such premises, unless in an enclosed building, shall be closed by gates or doors of the same construction as the fence enclosing the premises, which gates or doors shall be kept closed except when actually in use.
[Amended 5-4-1976 by Ord. No. 9]
In the issuance of the junk dealer's license, the provisions of General Municipal Law § 136 shall be adhered to. The Town Clerk is the person authorized to issue the license herein. Every junk dealer's license shall expire on June 30 of each year.
A license may be refused or revoked if the applicant or holder shall have been or is convicted of a misdemeanor or felony which, in the judgment of the Town Clerk, renders the applicant or holder unfit or undesirable to carry on the business of a junk dealer.
Prior to the issuance of a junk dealer's license, the applicant must furnish the Town Clerk with the names and addresses of the owners of record of property adjoining the premises to be used as a junkyard. The Town Clerk shall cause to be mailed to the adjoining owners notice that the applicant has applied for a junk dealer's license, and a return date, not less than 10 days from the date of mailing said notice, shall be fixed for such adjoining owners to show cause why such a license shall not be issued.
The applicant must submit to the Town Clerk an application in affidavit form, and the application must include the following information:
The location of all premises where junk is to be stored, permanently or temporarily. If additional premises are to be used for junk storage and such premises were not included in the previous application, the applicant must file a supplementary application, including therein all of the information in the original application and in the same form and subject to the same conditions as the original application. If such supplementary application is duly approved, a supplementary license will be issued without further cost.
Whether the applicant has been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor and, if so, full details as to the nature of the crime, the court in which the conviction was obtained and the sentence imposed.
The Supervisor of the Town or such person as the Town Board may designate shall be permitted reasonable access to premises upon which buying, selling, handling or dealing in junk is conducted, for the purpose of ascertaining whether the provisions of this chapter are being observed.
The license fee for junk dealers shall be in the amount of $25 annually, together with costs related to public hearing and posting of notice.
Any violation of the provisions of this chapter may be grounds for revocation of the license.
Any person found guilty of engaging in the business of junk dealer without a license, or who owns or operates premises in violation of any section of this chapter, shall be deemed to have committed an offense against this chapter and shall be liable for any such violation or penalty therefor. Each day such violation shall continue or be permitted to exist shall constitute a separate violation.
For every violation of any provision of this chapter, the person violating the same shall be subject to a fine of not more than $100 or imprisonment not exceeding 15 days, or to both such fine and imprisonment.
Conviction for any above-mentioned violation shall constitute and effect an immediate forfeiture of the license.
Any person violating the chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty enforceable and collectible by the Town in the amount of $100 for each such offense. Such penalty shall be collectible by and in the name of the Town for each day that such violation shall continue.
In addition to the above-provided penalties and punishment, 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 of such chapter.