City of Amsterdam, NY
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Amsterdam 10-6-1992. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Nuisances — See Ch. 161.
Towing — See Ch. 219.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 228.
[Amended 7-1-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-8]
The Common Council of the City of Amsterdam hereby finds that the storage or presence of abandoned, junked or inoperative motor vehicles or the repair of motor vehicles on private property, except at a duly licensed repair shop or vehicle dealership, creates a public and private nuisance and is harmful to the public health, safety and welfare. Such vehicles present a source of serious injury, particularly to children, seriously harm the aesthetic qualities of the City and tend to depreciate the value of properties in the neighborhoods of the City. The Common Council finds that the problem can be diminished by permitting the storage and/or repair of such vehicles only within a garage or other enclosed structure and only under the restrictions as set forth in this chapter.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
A. 
Any motor vehicle, as defined in the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York, that is:
(1) 
Unlicensed, old, wrecked, stored, discarded, dismantled or partly dismantled and which is not intended or in any condition for legal use upon the public highway.
(2) 
Being held or used for the purpose of resale of used parts from the motor vehicle or for the purpose of reclaiming for use some or all of the materials from the motor vehicle for the purpose of selling or transferring those materials.
(3) 
In such condition as to cost more to repair and place in operating condition than the reasonable market value of the vehicle prior to such repair.
(4) 
Left unattended for more than 96 hours on property of another if left without permission of the property owner.
B. 
With respect to any motor vehicle not required to be licensed or not usually used on public highways, the fact that such motor vehicle has remained unused for more than three months and is not in condition to be removed under its own power shall be presumptive evidence that such motor vehicle is an abandoned, junked or inoperative motor vehicle.
C. 
The fact that a motor vehicle does not display a current motor vehicle registration or license plate in the name of a homeowner or tenant or the name of a member of his immediate family shall be presumptive evidence that such motor vehicle is not in any condition for legal use upon the highways or is being repaired in violation of this chapter.
D. 
The use of the term in the singular herein is intended, where applicable, to include the plural. The use of the masculine is intended, where applicable, to include the feminine.
ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL
The Police Chief of the City of Amsterdam or any official subordinate to the Police Chief acting at his direction.
OWNER OF PRIVATE PROPERTY
Any person, firm, partnership or corporation, whether business membership, religious, charitable or otherwise, or any association or any other unit or entity owning real property in the City of Amsterdam.
[Amended 7-1-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-8]
It shall be unlawful for any person within the City to store or deposit, or to cause, suffer or permit to be stored or deposited, any abandoned, junked or inoperative motor vehicle or part or piece thereof on any private property within the City, except within a garage or other enclosed structure or except at a duly licensed repair shop or vehicle dealership.
It shall be unlawful for any person to perform automotive repair or maintenance on any motor vehicle in an area zoned for detached single-family or multifamily dwelling units in the City, except under the following condition: Any person may perform automobile maintenance or repair work on a currently licensed motor vehicle titled in his name or in the name of a member of his immediate family, provided that such work shall be done on the premises of his residence; and provided, further, that such work shall not be performed in violation of any other City ordinance.
It shall be unlawful for any person to perform repairs or maintenance on any combustion engine in an area zoned for detached single-family dwelling units in the City, except under the following conditions: Any person may perform maintenance or repair work on a combustion engine owned by a property owner or tenant or a member of his immediate family, provided that such work shall be done on the premises of his residence; and provided, further, that such work shall not be performed in violation of any other City ordinance.
[Amended 7-1-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-8]
Any person violating § 232-3, 232-4 or 232-5 is guilty of a violation and may be fined up to $250 or imprisoned for 15 days, or both. Any police officer or code enforcement officer is authorized to enforce this chapter.
[Amended 7-1-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-8]
Any abandoned, junked or inoperative motor vehicle found within the City in violation of § 232-3 may be removed from the premises on which it is located by the City of Amsterdam or its agents after the following steps are taken:
A. 
Notice.
(1) 
The enforcement official shall:
(a) 
Serve written notice either by personal service on the property owner, tenant or agent or by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the property owner or tenant of the private property on which the vehicle is located. If such parcel is occupied and/or owned by one or more individuals, personal service on any one of such individuals shall suffice.
(b) 
Mail via first-class mail to the titled owner of the vehicle, registrant of the vehicle, if any, and to the owner of the real property where the abandoned, junked or inoperative motor vehicle is located a notice as specified herein.
(c) 
Post a copy of such notice in a conspicuous place on the subject real property and the abandoned, junked or inoperative motor vehicle ordering the owner of the vehicle, property owner or tenant to remove the vehicle or cause the vehicle to be removed from the property by the date specified in the notice.
(2) 
Such notice shall state the following information:
(a) 
The date of the notice.
(b) 
A description of the abandoned, junked or inoperative motor vehicle, including the VIN number, if available, registration holder and titled owner.
(c) 
The following statement: “This vehicle is an abandoned, junked or inoperative motor vehicle as defined in Chapter 232 of the Code of the City of Amsterdam; storage of a vehicle of this type outside of a building is prohibited in the City of Amsterdam. If the vehicle is not removed or registered and repaired within seven days of the date of this notice, then the vehicle will be towed away by the City of Amsterdam, and all associated costs will be charged to the owner of the real property where the vehicle was located.”
(d) 
A description of the parcel of property, including the address and owner of record, where the vehicle is located.
(3) 
Such notice shall also state in plain English that:
(a) 
Failure to remove the vehicle in the time period set forth in the notice will cause legal title to the vehicle to vest in the City and will grant to the City the legal right to enter upon the premises to remove and dispose of said vehicle.
(b) 
All of the costs of such removal and disposal shall be charged against the real property upon which the vehicle was stored.
(4) 
The ownership and the address of the owner of any parcel of land in the City shall be determined from the current assessment roll. The address of the titled owner or registrant shall be that which is listed with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles or any other state's motor vehicle department, if applicable.
B. 
Removal. In the event that the abandoned, junked or inoperative motor vehicle is not removed from the premises within the time period specified in the notice, the City shall have the right to enter upon the premises and to remove and dispose of the vehicle after proper notice has been given pursuant to § 232-7A. All of the cost of such removal and disposal shall be a lawful charge against the owner of the private property and may be collected in a civil action instituted in the name of the City or levied and charged against said real property.
C. 
Acquisition of title to vehicle by City.
(1) 
If a vehicle which is declared abandoned by the Police Chief has no current registration or license plate and is of a wholesale value, taking into consideration the condition of the vehicle, of $750 or less, then title to such vehicle shall vest in the City 10 days after removal by the City. The determination as to wholesale value shall be made by the Police Chief.
(2) 
For vehicles other than those governed by Subsection C(1) above, the City shall notify the last owner of the vehicle and any person or corporation holding a lien on the vehicle, by certified mail and first-class mail directed to the address of record in the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, that the City has commenced procedures to acquire title to the vehicle, and, if the vehicle is not claimed within 10 days after such notification by the City, title to the vehicle will vest in the City.
This chapter shall not be construed to prohibit the renovating and restoration of a motor vehicle which is or could be classified as historic by or under the provisions of the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York or any regulations promulgated by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles of the State of New York; provided, however, that such vehicle shall be subject to the following regulations:
A. 
The vehicle shall be placed on blocks with the wheels and tires removed.
B. 
The vehicle shall be surrounded with suitable screening or fencing so as to prohibit the same from being visible from the street or contiguous property owners.
C. 
The vehicle shall not be located on a front yard.
D. 
No more than one such vehicle shall be stored on any separate property in any residential zone within the City of Amsterdam.
E. 
To be eligible for this exclusion, the property owner must apply for a permit to store such vehicle from the City Clerk:
(1) 
On an application form approved by the Common Council.
(2) 
Accompanied by a filing fee to be set by resolution of the Common Council. The permit shall be granted for a one-year period. The permit may be renewed for an additional one-year period upon submitting the same application and filing fee.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 232-8, Appeal of cease and desist order, was repealed 7-1-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-8. This ordinance also provided for the renumbering of former §§ 232-9 and 232-10 as §§ 232-8 and 232-9, respectively.
[Amended 7-1-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-8]
In addition or as an alternative to the above-provided procedures and penalties, the City of Amsterdam may maintain an action or proceeding in the name of the City in a court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with or to restrain by injunction any violation of this chapter.