[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the Borough of West Chester 8-24-1988 as Ord. No. 15-1988. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is the purpose of this chapter to regulate the deposit, storage, maintenance or accumulation of abandoned vehicles for the following reasons:
The accumulation of abandoned vehicles poses a danger to the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the borough.
Abandoned vehicles provide a harbor and breeding area for rodents and other animals.
Abandoned vehicles create an attractive nuisance for children.
The accumulation of abandoned vehicles on a property constitutes the maintenance of a junkyard thereon.
This chapter shall be known as the "Borough of West Chester Abandoned Vehicles Ordinance."
For purposes of this chapter, the terms set forth herein are defined as follows:
- ABANDONED VEHICLE
- Any vehicle not displaying a current state inspection and license or any other vehicle which is disabled, discarded, wrecked, junked or inoperative.
- Any natural person, firm, corporation, association or other legal entity.
No person owning, managing, maintaining or leasing any property within the Borough of West Chester shall allow or permit the deposit, storage, maintenance or accumulation of abandoned vehicles on the property in such a manner as to constitute a nuisance.
A determination as to the existence of an abandoned vehicle nuisance shall take into account but shall not be limited to the following considerations:
The presence of broken glass.
The existence of exposed sharp metal or plastic surfaces.
Exposed rust and/or holes in the body of the vehicle.
Missing tires or wheels resulting in unsafe suspension of the vehicle.
Flat or discarded tires.
Disassembled or discarded parts, including tires, which might attract children, harbor animals or vermin or otherwise pose a danger to the public health, safety or welfare.
Rusting, leaking or damaged oil pans or gas tanks which could cause fire or explosion.
Exposed battery containing acid.
Missing doors or doors containing inoperable locking mechanisms.
The number of abandoned vehicles on the property.
Such other conditions and considerations as might pose a danger to the public health, safety or welfare or otherwise constitute a nuisance in fact.
In circumstances where the borough's Ordinance Enforcement Officer, the Borough Manager, any police officer of the Borough of West Chester or any other official designated by the Council of the Borough of West Chester to enforce this chapter (hereinafter collectively referred to as the "ordinance enforcement officer") determines the existence of a nuisance in accordance with § 103-5, the ordinance enforcement officer shall cause notice to be sent or personally delivered to the property owner, manager, lessee and/or responsible local agent, describing the reasons that the concerned property is in violation of this chapter and requiring corrective action within 10 days from the date of mailing or posting of this notice. If mailed, such notice shall be sent by regular or certified mail. Where the mailing address of the property owner, manager, lessee and/or responsible local agent may not be determined upon reasonable investigation, the notice required hereunder shall be sufficiently given by conspicuously posting the notice upon the concerned property.
Failure to take corrective actions sufficient to bring the concerned property into compliance with the requirements of this chapter within the ten-day notice period shall constitute a violation hereof.
If, following notice as provided by § 103-6, including notice to the property owner, where practicable, the property which is the subject of this chapter is not brought into compliance with this chapter, the borough may proceed to take measures to bring the property into compliance with this chapter and take other reasonable corrective measures and assess the costs of such corrective action, plus a penalty of 10% of such costs, against the property owner. Such costs may be assessed and collected in the same manner as a municipal lien or in such other manner as may be provided by law or equity.
[Amended 3-17-1999 by Ord. No. 5-1999]
Any person who violates or permits the violation of any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding brought before a District Justice, be guilty of a summary offense and shall be subject to the payment of a fine of not less than $25 and not more than $1,000, plus the costs of prosecution. Upon default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment in the county prison for a period of not more than 30 days. Each section or provision of this chapter that is violated shall constitute a separate offense, and each day or portion thereof in which a violation of this chapter is found to exist shall constitute a separate offense, each of which violations shall be punishable by a separate fine imposed by the District Justice of not less than $25 and not more than $1,000, plus the costs of prosecution, and, upon default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment in the county prison for a term not more than 30 days.