[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Fort Edward 6-12-1968. Amendments noted where applicable.]
By the adoption of this chapter, the Town Board of the Town of Fort Edward declares its intent in so doing to regulate, control and license the activities or businesses known as "auto graveyards" or "junkyards" or secondhand parts collection areas, the processing of used metals for resale and the dumping, storage and disposal of waste or secondhand or used 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 automobiles often contain, in some quantity, combustible gasoline; the engine and other parts of such automobiles are frequently covered with grease and oil which is also flammable. The tires, plastic seats, tops and other elements of such autos are 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 or abrasions. These autos can constitute attractive nuisances to children and certain adults. The presence of such junkyards is unsightly and tends to detract from value of 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:
- A passenger auto, truck, tractor-truck, trailer, bus, motorcycle or other vehicle, however propelled, as well as tractors, bulldozers, machinery and equipment.
- A place of storage or deposit, whether in connection with another
business or not, where motor vehicles, engines, bulldozers, cranes and other
construction equipment, airplanes, boats, major household appliances, furniture,
farm machinery or other large equipment, or the parts thereof, are held, whether
for the purpose of resale of used parts therefrom, for the purpose of reclaiming
for use some or all of the materials thereof, whether metal, glass, fabric
or otherwise, for the purpose of disposing of the same or for any other purpose.
By the open storage or deposit of any two (2) such items, or of the parts
thereof, such that the recombination of such parts would be substantially
similar to two (2) such items, a rebuttable presumption is created that such
open storage or deposit is a "junkyard." The presumption may be rebutted by
such evidence as a currently valid motor vehicle registration, together with
proof of insurance coverage, and a current inspection with respect to motor
vehicles or, with respect to such other items, evidence demonstrating current
fitness for the original intended purpose, as well as evidence that such storage
or deposit is less than ninety (90) days; provided, however, that the term
"junkyard" shall not be construed to mean an establishment having facilities
for processing iron, steel or nonferrous scrap and whose principal produce
is scrap iron, steel or nonferrous scrap, for sale, for remelting purposes
only.[Amended 6-20-1988 by L.L. No. 3-1998]
- An individual, an association, a partnership or a corporation.
No person shall engage in or conduct on real property within the Town of Fort Edward, New York, either for himself or for and on behalf of any other person, directly or indirectly, as agent, employee or otherwise, any junkyard or any activity or business, either for profit or otherwise, at wholesale or retail, which involves collection, storage, burning, dumping, disassembly, dismantling, salvaging, sorting or otherwise handling or arranging for sale, resale, storage or disposal of bodies, engines or parts of 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, plastics, metals, stone, cement or otherwise, without first obtaining a license therefor and without first having obtained a certificate of approval for the location of such junkyard or activity or business as hereinafter provided.
Each applicant for a license and certificate of approved location shall execute, under oath, an application therefor, to be supplied to him by the Town Clerk, and shall submit such application to the Town Board.
At the time of making the application, the applicant shall submit to and file with the Town Clerk a map or plan of the real property upon which he intends to conduct a junkyard or activity or business for which he is making application for a license and certificate of approved location hereunder, with the area of such real property which it is proposed to use for such purpose, the location of the fence required hereunder indicated thereon, as well as the location of any buildings on such land and the location of any streets or highways abutting or passing through such land.
In the application the applicant shall agree that, if granted the license applied for, he will conduct the activity or business pursuant to the regulations thereinafter set forth and that, upon his failure to do so, such license may be revoked forthwith.
A hearing on the application shall be held within the Town of Fort Edward not less than two (2) nor more than four (4) weeks from the date of the receipt of the application. 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 official newspaper, which publication shall not be less than seven (7) days before the date of the 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 a junkyard or activity or business such as described herein. In considering such application, the Board shall take into account the suitability of the applicant with reference to his ability to comply with the fencing requirements and other regulations herein contained, to any record of convictions for any type of larceny or receiving of stolen goods and to any other matters within the purposes of this chapter.
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 certificate of approval of the location of the junkyard or activity or business contemplated herein. In passing upon the same, the Board shall take into account, after proof of legal ownership or right to the use of the property for the license period by the applicant, the nature and development, such as the proximity of churches, schools, public buildings or other places of public gatherings, and whether or not the proposed location can be reasonably protected from affecting the public health and safety by reason of offensive or unhealthy odors or smoke or of other causes. If the proposed location is within five hundred (500) feet of a church, school, public building or place of assembly, a license shall not be granted.
At the hearing regarding location of the proposed junkyard or activity or business as contemplated herein, 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 the citizens of the town 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 serving the junkyard or activity or business or from which the junkyard or activity or business may be seen, the natural or artificial barriers protecting the junkyard or activity or business to established residential areas or main access routes thereto, as well as the reasonable availability of other suitable sites for the proposed junkyard or activity or business described herein.
After hearing, the Town Board shall, within two (2) weeks, make a finding as to whether or not the application shall be granted, giving notice of its finding to the applicant by mail, postage prepaid, to the address given on the application. If approved, the license, including the certificate of approved location, shall be forthwith issued, to remain in effect until the following December 31. 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 that all provisions of this chapter are complied with during the license period, the junkyard or activity or business does not become a public nuisance and the applicant is not convicted of any type of larceny or the receiving of stolen goods.
For the purposes of this chapter, the location of a junkyard or activity or business described herein already established shall be considered approved by the Town Board where located and the owner thereof deemed suitable for the issuance of a license; however, within thirty (30) days from the adoption of this chapter, such owner shall comply with all regulations of this chapter, including fencing requirements, and such owner shall further furnish the Town Board the information as to location which is required in an application, together with a license fee, and the Town Board shall issue him a license valid until the next December 31, at which time such owner may apply for renewal as herein provided.
The fee for the license shall be the amount adopted by the Town Board pursuant to Town Code §50-1 and listed on the Fee Schedule, which sum covers not only the cost of issuing the license itself, but also the cost of making the necessary inspections of premises to ascertain compliance with the regulations hereinafter prescribed.
[Amended 6-20-1988 by L.L. No. 3-1998; 6-13-2005 by L.L. No. 6-2005]
Such license shall be placed and at all times displayed in a conspicuous place at the licensee's junkyard or place of activity or business for which it is issued.
Such license shall be effective from the date of its issuance until the 31st day of December of the year of such issuance after which an application for renewal must be made yearly if the licensee desires to continue such junkyard or activity or business.
Such license is personal with the licensee. It does not go with the title of the land, nor may it be sold, assigned, transferred or disposed of.
Such license may be revoked by the Town Board after a public hearing thereon at which the licensee shall have the opportunity to be heard. Upon revocation of the license, the Town Board may require the removal of autos, parts and materials left.
The licensee must personally manage or be responsible for the management of the junkyard or activity or business for which the license is granted.
The licensee must maintain an office and a sufficient number of employees on the premises to assure the proper and safe conduct of such junkyard or activity or business to minimize the fire hazard therefrom and to prevent improper trespass thereon by children and others.
The licensee must erect and maintain an eight-foot-high fence which screens the junkyard, business or activity from view and is adequate to prohibit the entrance of children and others into the area of the junkyard or activity or business and to contain within such fence the materials dealt in by the licensee, and if such area abuts a residential area or public street or highway, such fence shall be fifty (50) feet from the boundary line thereof. All materials dealt in by the licensee shall be kept within such fence at all times.
When the area is not supervised by the licensee or his employees, the fence shall be locked at a secure gate in a secure manner.
The area of the licensee's junkyard or activity or business shall not be used as a dump area nor a place for the burning and disposal of junk or trash.
[Amended 6-20-1988 by L.L. No. 3-1998]
A violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.) per day or by imprisonment for not more than fifteen (15) days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.