[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Carmel 5-3-1983 by L.L. No. 1-1983 (Ch. 58 of the 1972 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The need for this legislation is indicated by the ever-increasing number of abandoned cars in the Town of Carmel. The purpose of this chapter is to punish those persons who abandon motor vehicles, either in public places or on private lands, but, more importantly, to prevent the aggravation of the situation.
It shall be unlawful for any person, his agent or employee to abandon or to suffer, permit or cause to be left any motor vehicle or other movable property, whether or not owned by him, upon any public street or in any public place or on private property not owned by him or on his own property in violation of the Zoning Ordinance of the Town of Carmel or the provisions of this chapter. This chapter shall not prohibit a person from keeping one unregistered motor vehicle on his own property, provided that such unregistered motor vehicle is not inoperable nor has been substantially dismantled nor has been permitted to deteriorate and permitted to continue in that state for a period of time long enough to raise a presumption that there is no intent to make it operate. A period of three months shall be deemed such a period.
A motor vehicle shall be deemed to be an abandoned vehicle if left unattended:
With no number plates affixed thereto or in an inoperable condition, for more than six hours on any highway or in any other public place.
Whether licensed or not, for more than 24 hours on any highway or in any other public place, except a portion of a highway or public place on which parking is legally permitted.
For more than 48 hours after the parking of such vehicle shall have become illegal, if left on a portion of a highway or public place on which parking is legally permitted.
For more than seven days on property of another if left without permission of the owner.
A vehicle parked on private lands not duly licensed as a junkyard or occupied by a garage, repair shop or other facility, in accordance with the Zoning Ordinance of the Town of Carmel, whether said vehicle is owned by the owner of said lands or is there with the knowledge and consent of the owner of said lands, is presumed to be abandoned or junked if it is not registered to be operated on the public highways of the State of New York under a registration currently in effect, provided that a registration is required; is inoperable or has been substantially dismantled or has been permitted to deteriorate and has been permitted to continue in that state for a period of time long enough to raise the presumption that there is no intent to make it usable (a period of three months shall be deemed such a period); or is being dismantled for the purpose of using its parts in the repair of other vehicles or otherwise disposing of the same. The existence of any two or more of the foregoing conditions shall raise a presumption of abandonment.
Nothing herein contained is intended to prevent the storing of any such vehicle in a wholly enclosed area, completely hidden from view from any street or public place or from adjoining or other private property.
If an abandoned vehicle, as hereinbefore defined, at the time of abandonment has no number plates affixed and is of a wholesome value, taking into consideration the condition of the vehicle, of $400 or less, such value to be established by a person to be designated by the Town of Carmel for such purpose, title shall immediately vest in said Town.
Except for vehicles governed by § 145-4 above, the Police Department of the Town of Carmel shall make an inquiry concerning the last registered owner of such vehicle as follows:
Such Police Department shall notify the last owner, if any, that the vehicle in question has been recovered as an abandoned vehicle and that, if unclaimed, it will be sold at public auction after 10 days from the date such notice was mailed. If the agency described in Subsection A also notifies such local authority that a lien or mortgage exists, such notice shall also be sent to the lien holder or mortgagee. Any person claiming such vehicle shall be required to pay the costs of removal and storage of such vehicle and any fine prescribed by the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York.
Title to such abandoned vehicles, if unclaimed, shall vest in the Town of Carmel 10 days from the date such notice is mailed or, if the last registered owner cannot be ascertained, when notice of such fact is received.
The Town shall determine if an abandoned vehicle is suitable for operation on the public highways. If so, the vehicle shall be sold at public auction to the highest bidder or converted to the Town's use in accordance with § 1224 of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law.
If the Town determines that an abandoned vehicle is not suitable for operation on the public highways, it shall sell the vehicle to a vehicle dismantler or scrap processor registered or certified pursuant to the Vehicle and Traffic Law or to a vehicle dismantler or scrap processor who does not have a place of business in this state but who conforms to the laws and regulations of the state in which he has a place of business. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as preventing the Town from applying for a replacement vehicle identification number plate.
Any proceeds from the sale of an abandoned vehicle, less any expenses incurred by the Town of Carmel, shall be held by the Town, without interest, for the benefit of the owner of such vehicle for a period of one year. If not claimed within such one-year period, such proceeds shall be paid into the general fund of the Town.
The last registered owner of an abandoned vehicle shall be presumed to be the owner and liable to the Town of Carmel for the costs of removal and storage of such vehicle, unless he shall present proof of present ownership in another person.
This chapter shall be enforced by the Building Inspector and the Town of Carmel Police Department. The Building Inspector is hereby authorized to issue and serve an appearance ticket with respect to a violation of this chapter.
In addition to the above-named penalty, the Town Board of the Town of Carmel may 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 this chapter.