[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Philipstown 9-10-1965. Section 107-9B added and § 107-12B and D amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Other amendments noted where applicable.]
A clean, wholesome, attractive environment is declared to be of importance to the health and safety of the inhabitants of the Town of Philipstown and the safeguarding of their material rights against unwarrantable invasion. Such an environment is essential to the maintenance and continued development of the town, particularly in view of the unique natural beauty which exists in this area of the Hudson Highlands. By the adoption of this chapter, the Town Board of the Town of Philipstown declares its intent, in so doing, to be to regulate, control and license the activities or businesses known as "auto graveyard," "junkyards" and "secondhand parts collection areas," the processing of used metals for resale and the dumping, storage and disposal of waste, 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 inflammable and sometimes explosive. Gasoline tanks on old autos often contain in some quantity combustible gasoline; the engine and other parts of such autos are frequently covered with grease and oil which is also inflammable. The tires, plastic seats, tops and other elements of such autos are also inflammable. 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 is unsightly and tends to detract from the value of surrounding land and property unless such areas are properly maintained and operated. All of these considerations have led to the need of a municipal ordinance to protect the inhabitants of the Town of Philipstown and the environment in which they live. This chapter is also in accordance with and in replacement of § 136 of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York for the Town of Philipstown.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any place of storage or deposit, whether in connection with another business or not, where two or more unregistered, old or secondhand motor vehicles, no longer intended or in condition for legal use on the public highways, 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 therein, whether metal, glass, fabric or otherwise, for the purpose of disposing of the same or for any other purpose. Such term shall include any place of storage or deposit for any such purposes of used parts or waste materials from motor vehicles which, taken together, equal in bulk two or more such vehicles.
- An individual, an association, a partnership, a joint venture or a corporation.
- All vehicles propelled or drawn, or intended to be propelled or drawn, by power other than muscular power, and shall include automobiles, trucks, tractor-trucks, truck trailers, buses, motorcycles, tractors, bulldozers, machinery and equipment.
No person shall engage in or conduct on real property within the Town of Philipstown, either for himself or for and on behalf of any other person, directly or indirectly as agent, employee or otherwise, any activity or business, either for profit or otherwise, at wholesale or retail, which involves the operation or maintenance of a junkyard or the collection, storage, burning, disassembling, dismantling, salvaging, sorting or otherwise handling or arranging for sale, resale, storage or disposal or otherwise of bodies, engines or parts of vehicles or of any other 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 as hereinafter provided.
Each applicant for a license hereunder shall execute, under oath, an application therefor to be supplied to him by the Town Clerk, which shall contain the following information:
That the applicant is over 21 years of age.
That he is a citizen of the United States.
Whether he has ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor and such other facts or evidence as is deemed necessary to establish that he is a person fit and capable of properly conducting the activity or business for which the license is sought.
A description of the exact type of business he intends to conduct.
The nature of the materials he intends to handle.
The number of employees he intends to engage.
The name and address of the owner or owners of the land and the nature of the right of occupancy of the applicant to the use of such land.
At the time of making the application, the applicant shall submit to and file with the Town Clerk a survey map or plan of the real property upon which he intends to conduct the activity or business for which he is making application for a license 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 and the location of any water, sewer or gas mains or laterals available thereto, as well as the general drainage pattern of 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 hereinafter set forth, and that upon his failure to do so, such license may be revoked forthwith.
The application required in § 107-4 shall be accompanied by a certificate from the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Philipstown indicating that the application conforms with all requirements of the Zoning Law, and the Zoning Board of Appeals is hereby directed to investigate requests made under this chapter seeking such a certificate and to issue or deny the same, as the situation requires.
A public hearing on the application shall be held not less than two nor more than six weeks from the date of the receipt of the application by the Town Clerk. Notice of the hearing shall be given to the applicant by mail, at his address set forth in the application, and shall be published once in a newspaper having a general circulation in the town, which publication shall be not less than five days before the hearing.
At the time and place set for the public hearing, the Town Board shall hear the applicant and all other persons wishing to be heard on the application. In considering the application, the following items shall be reviewed, in addition to such other items deemed appropriate at the time and under the circumstances:
The character of the applicant and his criminal record, if any.
The ability of the applicant to comply with requirements and regulations of this chapter, together with his agreement and plans for compliance.
The location of the area described in the application; proof of ownership or right to use the property during the license period; the nature and development of surrounding property; the proximity of churches, schools, hospitals, public buildings, parks or other places of public gathering and assurance that the facility will not be within 500 feet of the same.
Whether or not the proposed location can be reasonably protected from affecting the public health, safety or comfort by reason of offensive or unhealthy odors or other causes.
Whether or not the proposed location can be reasonably protected from having any unfavorable effect on the clean, wholesome and attractive environment in the town, which is of vital importance to the continued general welfare of its citizens.
The type of road servicing the facility or from which it may be seen; the natural or artificial barriers protecting the facility from view; the proximity of the proposed facility to established residential and recreational areas; and the general suitability of the site for the facility.
After said hearing, the Town Board shall, within two weeks, make a finding as to whether or not the application should 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 April 1. Approval shall be personal to the applicant and not assignable. All 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 facility 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.
Such license shall be placed and at all times displayed in a conspicuous place at the licensee's place of activity or business for which it is issued.
Such license may be revoked by the Town Board after a public hearing thereon, at which the licensee shall have an opportunity to be heard. Upon revocation of a license, the Town Board may require the removal of autos, parts and materials of the nature described herein from the premises involved.
Any determination of the Town Board of the Town of Philipstown under this chapter may be reviewed under Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, if such review is taken within 30 days from the date of said determination and the filing thereof with the Town Clerk.
The annual license fee shall be $250, with the first fee covering the period from the time the license is first issued to April 1 the following year. In addition to the first annual license fee, the application for a license hereunder shall be accompanied by an application fee of $50 to cover the cost of advertising and the other costs of the town personnel and facilities incident to the hearing in connection with the application. If the application is not granted, the first annual license fee paid in the amount of $250 shall be refunded.
The fees herein established may be amended from time to time by resolution of the Town Board.
[Added 9-7-1989 by L.L. No. 5-1989]
The licensee must personally manage or be responsible for the management of the 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 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 fence which substantially screens visibility, with a suitable gate which shall be adequate to prohibit the entrance of children and others into the area of the activity or business and to contain within such fence the materials dealt in by the licensee, and such fence shall be set back from any public highway 50 feet and set back from any district or lot boundary such distance as is required for structures in said area under the Zoning Law. All the materials dealt in by the licensee shall be kept within such fence at all times. Said fence shall be maintained in good condition and appearance, physically and aesthetically.
Inside such fence there shall be fire lanes adequate in number, location and size to allow access for emergency vehicles. Fire lanes shall be kept clear at all times, including clear of dry grass and other growth and material. The Fire Marshal of the Fire District or Fire Protection District in which the business is located shall make the final determination of the adequacy of the fire lanes.
[Amended 12-7-1995 by L.L. No. 6-1995]
No burning will be allowed. The autos, parts and materials dealt in by the licensee shall be disassembled or dismantled by means other than by burning. They shall be piled or arranged in neat rows so as to permit easy, clear passage through the area. Reasonable cutting and severing by means of a torch is permitted.
There shall be maintained, at each such place of activity or business for which a license is issued, at least one fire extinguisher of approved design and capacity for the combustible materials on hand for each 20,000 square feet of area or as recommended by the Board of Fire Underwriters, whichever is more restrictive. Each such fire extinguisher shall be hung or mounted in a conspicuous place, clearly marked and available.
Except during working hours, or when the area is not supervised in person by the licensee or his employees, the fence shall be locked at a secure gate in a secure manner.
Suitable sanitary facilities shall be available, connected to approved public sewers or septic tanks, for the use and convenience of the employees of the licensee as well as the general public visiting the area.
The area of the licensee's activity or business shall not be used as a dump area nor as a place for the burning and disposal of junk or trash.
The town police, the Town Clerk, the Town Building Inspector or the Town Board or any of its representatives shall be granted access to the area of the activity or business of the licensee at all reasonable hours to inspect the same for compliance herewith.
The area shall have suitable lighting facilities.
No newly licensed area shall be within 500 feet of a church, school, hospital, public building, park or place of public assembly.
A person presently legally engaged in or conducting an activity or business within the Town of Philipstown such as described herein as requiring a license must apply for a license and pay the necessary fee of $25 within 30 days of the adoption of this chapter, but no public hearing for the issuance of the license is necessary in such instance.
If the regulations of § 107-10 herein are not being met, then the Town Board of the Town of Philipstown may issue a license, provided that reasonable arrangements are made to assure compliance with § 107-10 within a reasonable time, except that:
Existing fences located in accordance with permissive regulations of the Zoning Law and other legally existing nonconforming structures may remain in their present legally permissible location, provided that the other standards, including fencing, herein are attained; and
If presently located within 500 feet of a church, school, hospital, public building, park or place of public assembly, it may remain.
If compliance is refused by the applicant or issuance of the license is withheld by the Town Board, then a public hearing shall be held at which the applicant can be heard, and the procedures outlined in §§ 107-6, 107-7 and 107-8 shall be followed, except as modified by this section. If the Town Board decides the applicant is ineligible for a license, then the applicant shall cease operation and shall remove from his place of business all property and business activity in violation of the chapter.
The owner, operator, lessee or licensee of any such place described above who commits or permits any acts in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed to have committed an offense against such chapter and shall also be liable for any such violation and the 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 or not more than $250 or imprisonment not exceeding 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
Conviction for any abovementioned violation shall constitute and effect an immediate forfeiture of the license.
Any person violating this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty enforceable and collectible by the town in the amount of $250 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.