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Borough of Somerville, NJ
Somerset County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Somerville 4-19-76 as Ord. No.775. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
JUNK
Any worn-out, cast-off or discarded article or material which is ready for destruction or has been collected or stored for salvage or conversion to some use. Any article or material which, unaltered or unchanged and without further reconditioning, can be used for its original purpose as readily as when new shall not be considered "junk."
PERSON
A person, proprietorship, partnership, franchise, corporation or any combination of the aforesaid. The use of the term "person" in this chapter, whether singular or plural, is intended to include the number as the text of this chapter appropriately requires.
SALVAGE YARD
Any open-air plot of ground, yard of parcel of land consisting of part of one (1) lot or one (1) or more lots as set forth on the Tax Map of the Borough of Somerville, where waste, discarded or salvaged materials are bought, sold, exchanged, stored, baled, cleaned, packed, disassembled or handled, including auto wrecking yards, house wrecking yards, used lumberyards and places or yards for used or salvaged house wrecking and structural steel materials and equipment, as distinguished from such uses when conducted entirely within a completely enclosed building, and as distinguished from pawnshops and establishments for the sale, purchase or storage of used cars in operable condition, salvaged machinery, used furniture and household equipment and the processing of used, discarded or salvaged materials as part of manufacturing operations.
A. 
No person shall engage in the business of keeping or operating a junkyard in the Borough of Somerville without first obtaining a license to do so.
B. 
No such license shall be issued until the applicant shall have made and filed with the License Clerk of the Borough of Somerville a written application on a form furnished by the borough, which application shall include:
(1) 
The name and address or residence of the applicant; and if a proprietorship, partnership, franchise or corporation, the names and addresses of the officers, registered office and registered agent, as well as the telephone number at which an authorized agent of the applicant may be reached in an emergency.
(2) 
The street address and lot and block numbers, as shown on the Borough Tax Map, of the premises desired to be licensed.
(3) 
If the applicant is not the owner of the site where the business is to be licensed and conducted, the owner's consent to conduct the business on his land.
(4) 
An accurate sketch or drawing of the property desired to be licensed, showing the names and locations of all public highways, streets or roads adjoining the premises, the dimensions in feet of the said premises, and the names and addresses of all real property owners within two hundred (200) feet of the premises sought to be licensed. The requirement of such sketch or drawing will apply to the initial application only.
(5) 
An agreement that the applicant will, in all respects, comply with the provisions of this chapter and with all other applicable federal, state and local regulations.
C. 
A separate license shall be obtained for each separate location at which the business of the licensee or any part thereof is to be conducted.
D. 
Each application shall be accompanied by cash or certified check payable to the order of the Borough of Somerville in a sum equaling the whole license fee, which sum shall be returned in the event that the license application is denied.
E. 
All licenses issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall expire at 12:00 midnight on June 30 next succeeding the date of the issuance thereof, and all persons desiring to continue in such business after the expiration of any license granted hereunder shall make application for a new license for the ensuing year and shall pay the license fee in like manner.
F. 
The annual fee to be paid for each license issued pursuant to the revision of this chapter shall be the sum of two hundred fifty dollars ($250), except that, when issued after the beginning of the license year, the license fee shall be prorated on a monthly basis and, when issued prior to the 15th day of any month in which the license is issued, shall be considered one (1) full month of the term of the license. When issued subsequent to the 15th day of any month, the remainder of the month in which the license is issued shall not be considered in prorating the license fee to be paid by the applicant. Additionally, each licensee shall pay the sum of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) for each application for license or application for reinstatement of license, which cost shall be used to reimburse the borough for the cost of inspections as provided in this chapter.
[Amended 5-4-81 by Ord. No.908; 6-6-83 by Ord. No.947; 5-16-88 by Ord. No.1043]
G. 
If the applicant is a corporation, it shall be a corporation of the State of New Jersey or be duly authorized to do business in New Jersey and have a principal office in this state and a registered agent in charge thereof upon whom service of process can be made in New Jersey. The applicant shall submit with its application proof satisfactory to the License Clerk that it is in compliance with this provision.
H. 
No license shall be issued to or outstanding in the name of any person convicted of a crime. Additionally, no license shall be issued to or outstanding in the name of any person convicted of a disorderly person's offense involving theft by receiving stolen property. If the applicant is other than a natural person, no license shall be issued if any officer, director, partner or other principal of the applicant has been convicted of any of the above listed offenses.
[Amended 5-16-88 by Ord. No.1043]
I. 
The Building Inspector, Health Officer and Fire Chief or their agents shall inspect the premises to be licensed and determine whether or not said premises conform to the requirements of this chapter and all other applicable ordinances of the Borough of Somerville. The Chief of Police or his agent shall investigate the applicant's criminal record, if any, to determine the eligibility of the applicant under this chapter. Not later than thirty (30) days from receipt of the completed application and license fee, the Building Inspector, Health Officer, Fire Chief and Chief of Police shall submit reports of their investigations to the License Clerk. The License Clerk shall promptly transmit said reports, together with the license application, to the Mayor and Council.
J. 
Approval of application for license.
[Amended 5-16-89 by Ord. No.1043]
(1) 
The Mayor and Council shall approve, conditionally approve or disapprove the application for license or reinstatement of license within thirty-five (35) days from the receipt of the last report from its agents or employees as described above. The Mayor and Council shall consider such reports in determining whether to approve, conditionally approve or disapprove the application. In addition, the Mayor and Council may consider the following matters:
(a) 
Whether the maintenance of the operation of a salvage yard at the proposed location would be materially injurious to the public health, public welfare, comfort, prosperity or convenience or be otherwise detrimental to the general welfare and the surrounding property or to the inhabitants of the Borough of Somerville at large.
(b) 
Whether the maintenance and operation of a salvage yard at the proposed location would be likely to produce a condition offensive to the senses of sight, hearing or smell and thus injure the public welfare.
(c) 
Whether the maintenance and operation of a salvage yard cannot be conducted at the proposed location in full compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
(d) 
Whether the applicant has been convicted of prior violations of this chapter.
(2) 
If any of the aforementioned criteria are answered in the affirmative, the Mayor and Council may require that a hearing be held to determine whether the applicant is entitled to obtain a license or reinstatement of a license for a salvage yard pursuant to this chapter.
(3) 
The Mayor and Council may, in their sole discretion, conditionally approve a license application by conditionally approving upon corrective actions taken by the application within a specified period of time.
K. 
The number of licenses which may be issued by the Mayor and Council pursuant to this chapter shall be limited to and in no event may exceed five (5) licenses. The Mayor and Council may, if it chooses, issue less than five (5) licenses in the event that fewer than five (5) qualified applicants apply.
[Added 7-18-77 by Ord. No.816]
L. 
In the event that a hearing is required by the Mayor and Council or is requested by the applicant before the Mayor and Council to determine whether an applicant should be entitled to obtain a license or reinstatement of a license pursuant to this chapter, the following procedures shall be used:
[Added 5-16-88 by Ord. No.1043]
(1) 
The applicant shall present its case first by presenting any testimony and introducing any evidence which is relevant to prove that the applicant is entitled to license or reinstatement as provided in this chapter. The applicant shall be entitled to be represented by an attorney.
(2) 
The burden shall be upon the applicant to present a premie facie case that it is entitled to license or reinstatement.
(3) 
If the applicant has met its burden, the borough, through its Borough Prosecutor or special counsel, may present evidence through testimony and/or documentary evidence to show that the applicant has not met its burden and/or that the applicant is not entitled to license or reinstatement.
(4) 
The applicant shall be permitted to present rebuttal evidence at the close of the case presented on behalf of the borough.
(5) 
After hearing the evidence, the Mayor and Council shall deliberate in a closed session. The Mayor and Council shall then, after deliberation, disclose an oral decision which shall include their factual findings and conclusions and decisions. A written resolution shall be prepared by the Borough Attorney memorializing the decision of Mayor and Council.
A. 
The premises shall at all times be kept and maintained by the licensee in a safe manner. Said premises shall be kept free of rodents, vermin, insects, weeds, brush, unbound or loose paper and stagnant water or any other unhealthy or unsanitary condition.
B. 
A fence, obstructing view and access and providing adequate security, not less than seven (7) feet high and not more than ten (10) feet high, shall be constructed to enclose the entire salvage yard or any portion of the premises used as a salvage yard. The fence shall include a gate which can be secured against unauthorized entry, which gate shall remain closed at all times except when in actual use. Said fence shall contain no more than two (2) entrances or exits. All portions of the fence facing any roadway shall be of a solid-type, uniform material. On the roadway side or all portions of the fence facing a roadway, trees and shrubs of sufficient size and density to provide year-round effective screening shall be planted. Said trees and shrubs shall be selected to complement the existing highway and adjacent land use and environmental conditions. Dead trees and shrubs shall be replaced in order to provide continuous effective screening. The fence shall surround the entire area designated as the salvage yard on the application for the license submitted under § 137-2 of this chapter. The fence shall be placed no closer to any property line or road frontage as is permitted by the Zoning Ordinance[1] of Somerville Borough, except that in no event shall the fence be closer than five (5) feet to any side or rear property line nor closer than ten (10) feet to the edge of the right-of-way of any roadway. The fence must be installed within ninety (90) days of the passage of this chapter unless an application is made to the Borough Council for an extension of time, based upon weather conditions or for good cause shown. The fence shall be located to provide a minimum setback from any roadway of at least ten (10) feet from the right-of-way line to provide a minimum buffer area of at least five (5) feet to all property lines on all sides. All buffer areas shall be properly landscaped.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 102, Art. X. Zoning Regulations.
C. 
The premises shall be maintained so that there is a ten-foot fire lane within the yard to the reasonable satisfaction of the Fire Chief.
D. 
The height of the junk piles in junkyards at any time shall be subject to the reasonable regulation of the Fire Chief, but in no case shall junk be piled higher than the fence or wall.
E. 
No material shall be stored within ten (10) feet of a sidewalk or within five (5) feet of any side or rear lines of the licensed premises.
F. 
The licensee shall not conduct or transact business between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.
G. 
The premises shall be maintained so that weeds, brush and trash do not collect within or without the premises, and particular attention should be given to the area at the base of both sides of the fence or wall.
H. 
The parking or stopping of motor vehicles on sidewalk areas shall be prohibited.
I. 
The licensee shall be required to keep a written book or record in bound form at the licensed premises. Said book or record shall contain a legible daily record of the description of all articles purchased, the name and address of the person from whom each was purchased and the price paid. Said book or record shall be open for inspection at any reasonable time requested by any officer or agent listed in § 137-2I or his authorized agents.
J. 
The licensee shall be required to keep a written book or record in bound form at the licensed premises. Said book or record shall contain a legible record of visits from a professional exterminating company or proof of proper extermination by the licensee or his agent. Each licensee shall provide for, at his own expense, a regular extermination program with reference to insects and rodents. Said book or record shall be open to inspection at any reasonable time requested by any officer or agent listed in § 137-2I or his authorized agent.
K. 
The licensee shall take precaution to safeguard all flammable, combustible or explosive materials on the licensed premises from fire. No licensee shall stack, pile, place or permit personal property on the premises in such a manner as to create a fire hazard.
L. 
The burning of junk or refuse material in the open air is prohibited.
M. 
The licensee shall not make or permit excessive noise on the licensed premises so as to unreasonably disturb adjacent or nearby residents in the quiet enjoyment of their properties and to be detrimental to the health and well-being of the residents in the immediate vicinity of the licensed premises.
N. 
The owner and licensee and their agents and employees shall permit official inspection of the licensed premises by the Mayor, Council, Building Inspector, Health Officer, Fire Chief, Chief of Police and their authorized agents at any time, whether such inspections are with or without prior notice. Refusal to permit such inspections shall constitute a violation of this chapter.
O. 
The Building Inspector, Health Officer, Fire Chief and Chief of Police shall promulgate rules and regulations and administrative practices necessary to carry out the intent of this chapter.
P. 
No double-stacking of motor vehicles shall be permitted. No salvage shall be placed or stacked to a level higher than the height of the fence. No salvage shall be stored or stacked in any manner which shall render it visible from any public highway.
[Added 5-16-88 by Ord. No. 1043]
Q. 
All motor vehicles' gas tanks shall be completely drained prior to storage, and the gasoline shall be disposed of or stored in appropriate tanks.
[Added 5-16-88 by Ord. No. 1043]
R. 
No more than one (1) sign shall be permitted, which sign shall be constructed and maintained in accordance with the applicable ordinances of the Borough of Somerville.
[Added 5-16-88 by Ord. No. 1043]
S. 
No licensee, agent or employee of a licensee shall purchase or have in his possession any motor vehicle or part of a motor vehicle from which the manufacturer's serial number or any other number or identification mark has been removed, altered, concealed or destroyed. Any licensee, agent, employee of a licensee or agent to whom a motor vehicle or part is offered shall immediately report that fact to the Borough Police Department.
[Added 5-16-88 by Ord. No. 1043]
T. 
Adequate precaution shall be taken in every salvage yard to prevent fire from breaking out or spreading. No salvage shall be stored within ten (10) feet of any frame building or within five (5) feet of any fireproof building, and no explosives or extremely flammable material shall be stored in a salvage yard.
[Added 5-16-88 by Ord. No. 1043]
A. 
In addition to and not in limitation of § 137-5 below, in the event a licensee violates this chapter and/or any rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, the Building Inspector, Health Officer, Fire Chief or Chief of Police shall revoke said license, subject to the following procedures:
(1) 
A determination shall be made that a violation exists.
(2) 
Notice of the violation shall be given to the licensee and owner of said premises as set forth in the license application. Said notice shall be given by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the addressee set forth in said application, or personally upon said persons.
(3) 
Said notice shall give said persons ten (10) days to correct said violation, and notification that if the violation is not corrected within said ten-day period, the license shall be revoked.
(4) 
If the person notified disputes the notice given of the revocation of said license by the Building Inspector, Health Officer, Fire Chief or Chief of Police, said person may, within five (5) days after said notice of revocation, make an appeal to the Mayor and Council by personally serving upon said Mayor and Council written notice of the appeal and the basis of the appeal. The Mayor and Council shall hold a hearing and make a determination within ten (10) days of receipt of said notice. The decision of the Mayor and Council shall be final.
B. 
After revocation or suspension of a license, the licensee may at any time apply for a new license pursuant to the procedures set forth in § 137-2J, provided that said violation has been corrected. The licensee shall pay any additional fees for reinspection as provided in § 137-2F above. The Mayor and Council shall consider the applicant's past record on any application for reinstatement of the license after prior revocation or suspension by the Mayor and Council.
[Amended 5-16-88 by Ord. No. 1043]
A. 
Any owner or agent and any person, as defined above, who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter or fail to comply therewith or with any of the requirements thereof, or who shall refuse to comply with the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this chapter, shall be guilty of a violation and, upon conviction, shall be liable to the penalties set forth in Subsection C below.
B. 
The owner or licensee of any building or structure, lot or land or part thereof in violation of this chapter, including rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, shall be guilty of a violation and, upon conviction thereof, shall be liable to the penalties set forth in Subsection C below.
C. 
The penalty for a violation of this chapter and the rules and regulations promulgated in pursuance thereto shall be a fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500) or imprisonment for not more than ninety (90) days, or both such fine and imprisonment.
D. 
Each and every day such violation continues shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation.
[Added 5-16-88 by Ord. No. 1043]
Before any license shall be granted, the applicant shall file with the Clerk a bond in the sum of five thousand dollars ($5,000) with a duly licensed surety company as surety thereon. The bond shall be approved as to form and execution by the Borough Attorney, conditioned for the due observances of all ordinances of the borough as may be enforced representing salvage yards and the keepers of salvage yards at any time during the continuance of such license.