[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of LaFayette 2-16-1970. Amendments noted where applicable.]
A clean, wholesome and attractive environment is important to the health and safety of the inhabitants of the community. Unrestrained accumulation of junk and junked motor vehicles is a hazard to such health, safety and welfare, necessitating the regulation, restraint and elimination thereof. However, the maintenance of junkyards as herein defined is a useful and necessary business to be encouraged when not in conflict with the purposes of this chapter.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- An accumulation of old, wrecked or worn out materials or products, either discarded or for fill, salvage or resale.
- A. Any motor vehicle, as defined in the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York, that is:[Amended 9-12-1994]
- (1) Unlicensed, old, wrecked, stored, discarded, dismantled or partly dismantled and not in condition for legal use open the public highway; or[Amended 8-14-2000]
- (2) Being held or used for the purposes of resale of used parts therefrom or for the purpose of reclaiming for use some or all of the materials therein for the purpose of disposing of the same; or
- (3) In such condition as to cost more to repair and place in operating condition than its reasonable market value at that time before such repair.
- B. With respect to any motor vehicle not required to be licensed or not usually used on public highways, the fact that such motor vehicle has remained unused for more than eight months and is not in condition to be moved under its own power shall be presumptive evidence that such motor vehicle is a junked motor vehicle, except as necessary to dismantle, store or salvage farm machinery or farm vehicles not in working condition.[Amended 12-8-2020 by L.L. No. 2-2020]
- C. Exceptions:[Amended 9-12-1994; 12-8-2020 by L.L. No. 2-2020]
- (1) Any motor vehicle for use in connection with a farm or for maintenance of the property, not intended for use on public highways, which, upon the request of the Code Enforcement Officer, starts and operates under its own power, i.e., self-propulsion;
- (2) Any motor vehicle used on a seasonal basis intended for use on public highways, which, upon the request of the Code Enforcement Officer, starts and operates under its own power, i.e., self-propulsion, and which is licensed and registered for at least four consecutive months during a twelve-month period, such proof of licensing and registering being presented to the Code Enforcement Officer upon request.
- (3) Any motor vehicle manufactured more than 25 years prior to the current calendar year, and any other model, year and type of vehicle which has unique characteristics, and which is determined by a nationally recognized motor vehicle publication of the values of classic or antique motor vehicles to be of historical, classic or exhibition value, in excess of $4,000, such proof of age and value being provided to the Code Enforcement Officer upon request.
- An establishment or place of business which is maintained, operated or used for storing, keeping, buying or selling junk or junked motor vehicles.
No person shall deposit, accumulate or maintain any junk or one or more junked motor vehicles in the Town of LaFayette, visible from any property line, for a period in excess of 30 days, except in an approved and licensed junkyard.
[Amended 12-8-2020 by L.L. No. 2-2020]
Upon approval and issuance of a special use permit by the Board of Appeals to locate a junkyard upon specified premises, written application for a junkyard license shall be made to the Town Board, setting forth the legal description of the property, the nature of the proposed use and the conditions attached to such special use permit by the Board of Appeals.
A hearing on the application shall be held within the Town of LaFayette not less than two weeks or more than four weeks from the date of the receipt of the application by the Town Board. Notice of the hearing shall be given to the applicant by mail, postage prepaid, to the address given in the application and shall be published once in the Syracuse-Herald Journal 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 a license to operate, establish or maintain the junkyard. In considering such application, it shall take into account the suitability of the applicant with reference to his ability to comply with the fencing requirements or other reasonable regulations concerning the proposed junkyard, any record of convictions for any type of larceny or receiving of stolen goods and other matters within the purposes of this chapter.
At the hearing, the Town Board may also take into account the clean, wholesome and attractive environment which has been declared to be of vital importance to the continued general welfare of its citizens by considering whether or not the proposed location can be reasonably protected from having an unfavorable effect thereon. In this connection, the Town Board may consider collectively the type of road servicing the junkyard or from which the junkyard may be seen, the natural or artificial barriers protecting the junkyard from view, the proximity of the proposed junkyard to established residential and recreational areas or main access routes, as well as the reasonable availability of other suitable sites for the junkyard. No junkyard hereafter established shall be licensed to operate if such yard or any part thereof shall be within 500 feet of a church, school, hospital, public building or place of public assembly.
Within two weeks after the hearing the Town Board shall grant or deny the application, giving written notice thereof to the applicant. If approved, the license shall forthwith be 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 all provisions of this chapter are complied with during the license period, the junkyard does not become a public nuisance under the common law and the applicant is not convicted of any type of larceny or the receiving of stolen goods. The determination of the Town Board may be reviewed under Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
[Amended 12-8-2020 by L.L. No. 2-2020]
An annual license fee in an amount set from time to time by the Town Board shall be paid at the time the application is made and annually thereafter in the event of renewal. In the event the application is not granted, the fee shall be returned to the applicant. In addition to the license fee, the Town Board may assess the applicant with the costs of advertising and holding the hearing.
Before use, a junkyard shall be enclosed with a fence providing effective protection and screening of the junkyard. The fence shall have a suitable gate, which shall be closed and locked except during the working hours of such junkyard or when the applicant or his agent is on the premises. The fence shall be erected not closer than 50 feet to a public highway. All junk shall be kept within the enclosure of the junkyard. All wrecking or other work on junk shall be performed within the junkyard and shall be confined to normal weekday business hours. Junk shall not be stacked or piled so as to be visible from public highways or neighboring properties.
[Amended 12-8-2020 by L.L. No. 2-2020]
Operators of established junkyards in operation on the effective date of this chapter shall be entitled to the issuance of a license upon submission to the Town Board, within 60 days thereafter, of the legal description of the property, a description of the nature of the junkyard use, the owner's agreement to comply with the regulations contained in § 181-10 and payment of the annual license fee.
[Amended 6-13-1983; 8-9-1993; 2-26-2007; 12-8-2020 by L.L. No. 2-2020]
The Code Enforcement Officer of the Town of LaFayette shall be responsible for the administration and enforcement of this chapter. The Code Enforcement Officer shall investigate complaints and make inspections and upon becoming aware of an apparent violation of any provision of this chapter, shall serve a notice of violation upon the violator and/or the record owner(s) of the premises upon which the violation occurs. In instances where the property owner is not an occupant of the property, the written notice shall be provided to the occupant and duplicate written notice shall be mailed to the property owner at the address listed on the most recent tax records. The notice of violation shall be served personally or by registered mail, and shall require the violation to be remedied within 14 days of receipt of said written notice. In addition, the Code Enforcement Officer shall have authority to issue appearance tickets to the extent authorized by state and local law. Appearance tickets shall in all cases be served in accordance with Chapter 7, Appearance Tickets, § 7-4, of the Town Code. The Code Enforcement Officer shall maintain complete records of all notices of violation and appearance tickets served and the status of their correction, and submit monthly reports of such matters to the Town Board.
If a violation for which a notice of violation has been served is not ceased within 14 days after receipt of the written notice, the Town Board may institute such further action as may be necessary to terminate the violation, including but not limited to any means of method provided for in § 135 of the Town Law. In addition to other remedies available, a violation of any provision of this chapter shall be punishable as set forth in Chapter 1, Article II, General Penalty, § 1-16, of the Town Code. Each week's failure to comply shall constitute a separate violation. The Town also shall have the power to impose for each violation a civil penalty of not more than $500, plus court and proceeding costs and reasonable attorneys' fees incurred by the Town in enforcing this chapter, as amended.
Where appropriate, and in addition to any other remedies, fines or penalties otherwise available, violations of this chapter may be remedied directly by the Town of LaFayette upon failure of the property owner to remedy the stated violation(s) within 14 days after receipt of the written notice from the Code Enforcement Officer. The actual costs of said remedial action, including any and all tipping fees and an overhead charge of 20%, shall be billed to the owner of the property at which the violation(s) occurred. Prior to the imposition of said costs and within 10 days after the Town's remedial action, the property owner may request a hearing before the Town Board regarding the costs. Should said costs remain unpaid for a period of 90 days following receipt of the bill from the Town or following the Town Board hearing and a decision adverse to the person charged, if such hearing is requested, these costs shall be added to and become and form a part of the real property taxes next to be assessed and levied upon such lot or land and shall bear interest at the same rate as taxes and shall be collected and entered by the same officer and in the same manner as taxes levied and assessed against such property.