[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Chautauqua 4-13-1992 as L.L. No. 1-1992. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Local Law Providing for Licensing and Regulating Automobile Graveyards and Junkyards."
In the Town of Chautauqua, damaged, worn-out, scrapped or discarded materials or objects, such as automobiles and other vehicles, building materials, machinery, metal, wastepaper, rags, glassware, tinware and plastic are, have been and/or in the future may be stored, stocked or used in a dangerous or unsanitary manner on lands, yards, junkyards or other places within the town.
The places in which damaged, worn-out, scrapped or discarded materials or objects are, have been and/or in the future may be stored tend to become overgrown with weeds, littered with rubbish and debris and infested with rats, mice, insects, reptiles and other vermin.
Such conditions tend to attract children and other people and endanger their lives and health, safety and welfare; spread disease; invite plundering; attract vagrants; create fire hazards and other health and safety hazards; create, extend and aggravate blight; interfere with use and enjoyment of and reduce the value of private property; and interfere with the comfort and well-being of the public.
Thieves and receivers of stolen property frequently attempt to dispose of stolen property by representing it to be legitimately acquired junk, scrap or debris.
Adequate protection of public health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants, visitors and guests in the Town of Chautauqua requires that the business of handling and dealing in junk be regulated and controlled.
Therefore, it is the intent of the Town Board of the Town of Chautauqua that a clean, wholesome, attractive community and environment is declared to be of importance to the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants and the safeguarding of the material rights against unwarrantable invasion, and in addition, such an environment is deemed essential to the maintenance and continued development of the economy of the town and the general welfare of the inhabitants. It is further declared that the unrestrained accumulation of junk, vehicles, building materials, machinery, metal, wastepaper, rags, glassware, tinware and plastic, among others, is a hazard to such health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the Town of Chautauqua, necessitating the regulation, restraint and elimination thereof. At the same time, it is recognized that the maintenance of junkyards in a suitable location, as hereinafter defined, can serve a useful purpose and may need to be accommodated when not in conflict with the express purpose of this chapter.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- INOPERATIVE MOTOR VEHICLE
- An old or secondhand vehicle no longer intended or in condition for legal use on a public highway. Lack of a current New York State inspection sticker shall constitute prima facie evidence that such motor vehicle is inoperative.
- Old iron, steel, brass, copper, tin, lead or other base metals; old cordage, ropes, rags, fibers or fabrics; old rubber; old bottles or glass; bones; wastepaper and other waste or discarded material which might be prepared to be used again in the same or alternate form; salvage materials, including old wood products; old machinery, equipment and parts, whether dismantled or not; and motor vehicles, including trailers and mobile homes no longer used as such, whether for the purpose of resale of used parts or components 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, but "junk" shall not include materials or objects held and used by a manufacturing process.
- Includes, but is not limited to, an automobile or vehicle salvage yard; an automobile or vehicle reduction yard; a motor vehicle junkyard; an automobile or vehicle wrecking establishment; an automobile or vehicle graveyard; a scrap metal processing yard or facility; a vehicle dismantling yard or facility; a mechanical disassembly yard or facility; or any premises, establishment, place of business or lot, lands or structure, covered or uncovered if outdoors, whether in connection with another legitimate business or not, which is used for the collecting, storing, keeping, buying, selling, exchanging, dismantling, handling, compacting, baling, shredding, processing or salvaging of junk or salvage. Storage of three or more inoperative motor vehicles other than in a fully enclosed building shall constitute a "junkyard."
- JUNKYARD AREA
- That portion of any piece of property used in the operation of a junkyard.
- MOTOR VEHICLE
- All passenger automobiles, trucks, tractor trucks, trailers, buses, motorcycles, tractors, bulldozers, machinery and equipment, drawn by power other than muscle power, originally intended for use on public highways, racetracks, dirt roads, mines, airports, quarries, construction sites or farms. Off-road farm equipment stored on farm premises in which the owner thereof generates at least 25% of his annual income from farming is exempt from this definition.
- Any individual, firm, association, partnership, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
No person, whether personally, by agents or employees, singularly or along with some other business or enterprise, shall operate, establish or maintain a junkyard until he has obtained a license to operate such junkyard and has obtained a certificate of approval for the location of such junkyard.
No landowner shall permit, allow, tolerate or consent to the operation of a junkyard on his/her property until such landowner or junkyard operator has obtained a license to operate such junkyard and has obtained a certificate of approval for the location pursuant to the terms of this chapter.
Application for license under this chapter shall be made in writing to the Town Board and filed with the Town Clerk. The application shall be signed by applicant, if an individual, by all partners, if a partnership, by the president or chief officer, if a corporation or other organization, and shall be made upon forms provided by the Town Clerk. The applicant shall also pay any required fees hereinafter prescribed when submitting the application. Such application shall provide the following information or material:
The name, residence, address and telephone number of each individual owner, partner or, if a corporation or other organization, each officer and director.
The trade name and address and telephone number of the business on behalf of which the application is made.
The name, residence, address and telephone number of each person employed or intended to be employed in the business as of the time the application is filed.
The exact address and location of the place where the business is, or is proposed to be carried on, plus a survey and proposed site plan of the premises to be used, giving the precise location of all fencing, buildings, water, sewer and gas mains or laterals, and the general drainage pattern of the land. Such survey shall also show the precise portion of the property that may be devoted to the operation of a junkyard. In the event that additional premises are used for junk storage and if such premises were not included in the previous application, the applicant is required to file a supplementary application including all of the information as herein required and in the same form and subject to the same conditions as the original application. If such supplementary application is duly approved, a supplementary license will be issued.
The zoning classification in which each of the premises described in Subsection D hereof is situated.
A statement as to whether or not the applicant has been convicted of any crime, misdemeanor or violation of any municipal ordinance, or any violation of Article 6 of the General Business Law.
The location of all premises where said applicant stores junk, permanently or temporarily, in the Town of Chautauqua.
The names and address of the owner or owners of the real property and the nature of the right under which the applicant possesses said property.
Whether applicant has obtained a valid junk dealer's license under Article 6 of the New York State General Business Law.
Whether the application is for a temporary or permanent license.
Such other information as the Town Board, Town Clerk, Town Supervisor or Town Engineer may from time to time reasonably require to effectuate the purposes of this chapter and to fairly and reasonably determine whether applicant has complied with the provisions of this chapter.
A hearing on the application shall be held by the Town Board within the town not less than four nor more than eight weeks from the date of the receipt of the application by the Town Board. 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 a newspaper having a circulation within the town, which publication shall be not less than seven days before the date of the hearing.
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 a license to operate, establish or maintain the junkyard. In considering such application, it shall be taken into account the suitability of the applicant with reference to his ability to comply with the fencing requirements or other reasonable regulations concerning the proposed junkyard, to any record of convictions for any type of larceny or receiving of stolen goods and to any other matter within the purpose of this section. The Town Board may approve the application only upon the determination that the applicant has complied with all zoning, fire and building code and/or site plan requirements of the Town of Chautauqua.
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 for the location of the junkyard. In passing upon the same, it shall take into account, after proof of legal ownership or right to such use of property for the license period by the applicant, the zoning district in which the property is located, the nature and development of surrounding property, such as the proximity of churches, public buildings or other places of public gathering, 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.
At the hearing regarding the location of the junkyard, 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 its citizens 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 servicing the junkyard or from which the junkyard may be seen, the natural or artificial barriers protecting the junkyard from view, the proximity of the proposed access routes thereto, as well as the reasonable availability of other suitable sites for the junkyard.
After the 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 approval of location, shall be forthwith issued to remain in effect until December 31 of the year in which the license is first issued. Approval shall be personal to the applicant at the specific location applied for and not assignable. Licenses shall be renewed thereafter upon payment of the proper annual license fee without hearing, provided that all provisions of this chapter are complied with during the license period, that the junkyard does not become a public nuisance under the common law and that the applicant is not convicted of any type of larceny or the receiving of stolen goods. The determination of the Town Board may be reviewed under Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
Such license, except a temporary license, shall be effective from the date of its issuance until the 31st day of December of the year of such issuance, upon which date such license shall expire. An applicant for a renewal license shall file with the Town Clerk a written application upon forms provided by said Town Clerk, along with all fees as hereinafter subscribed. Such license, issued pursuant to this chapter, shall be plainly displayed on the business premises.
The basic fee shall be $50 per year and shall entitle the applicant to 5,000 square feet of junkyard area. An additional fee of $5 per year shall be charged each year for each additional 5,000 square feet of storage area. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, no applicant shall be charged in excess of $250 per license per year under this provision. In addition to the license fee, any new applicant shall pay to the town the cost of advertising such application and such other reasonable costs incident to the hearing as are clearly attributable thereto, and such costs shall be paid to the Town Clerk prior to publication of the notice of hearing.
No license issued under this chapter shall be transferred or assigned or used by any person other than the one to whom it was issued, and no junk dealer's license shall be used at any location other than the one described in the application upon which it was issued.
Each junkyard shall be completely enclosed within a fence with entrance only through a suitable gate which shall be closed and locked except when the junkyard is staffed and open for business. The gate shall not be wider than reasonably necessary for the conduct of the licensed business. The fence facing any public highway, street or road, and for the first 200 feet back from the point where such fence turns substantially away from the street, road or highway, shall be opaque and constructed of wood or similar approved material and be at least six feet in height. Such fence shall be erected not nearer than 30 feet from the closest edge of the highway and not nearer than 50 feet from any existing dwelling on neighboring property and not nearer than 25 feet from each property line. Where the topography, natural growth of timber or other considerations accomplish the purposes of the chapter in the whole or in part, the fencing requirements hereunder may be reduced by the Town Board upon granting the license; provided, however, that such natural barrier conforms to the purposes of this chapter.
Inside, adjacent to and continuous with such above-referenced fence, applicant shall maintain a strip of land at least 10 feet in width which shall be kept free of all dry grass, junk, plant growth or other combustible material so as to provide a fire break around the entire area where business activity is conducted.
All motor vehicles and parts thereof and all junk as hereinabove defined, stored either permanently or temporarily by the applicant, shall be kept within the enclosure of the junkyard except for reasonable transportation of the same, which shall then be conducted only during reasonable business hours.
No motor vehicles or other junk shall be piled to any height above six feet, except that junkyards located in an industrial district may stack cars up to a height of 12 feet.
The junkyard, together with all things therein, shall at all times be maintained in a sanitary condition and arranged in neat rows so as to permit easy, clean passage and inspection of the premises.
No water shall be allowed to stand in any place on the premises in such manner as to afford a breeding place for mosquitoes.
No garbage or other waste liable to give off a foul odor or attract vermin shall be kept on the premises, nor shall any refuse or garbage of any kind be kept on the premises unless such is junk as defined herein and is in use in the licensed business.
No junk or other material shall be burned on the premises, except in accordance with the other applicable provisions of the law governing the burning of refuse or junk.
No junkyard shall be allowed to become a nuisance, nor shall any junkyard be operated in such a manner as to become injurious to the health, safety or welfare of the community or of any residents.
No drums, barrels, tanks or other vessels containing any kind of liquid shall be stored outdoors at any time, except those tanks used regularly in the conduct the applicant's business and in compliance with all applicable regulations.
Licensee shall permit inspection of the business premises by any member or any representative of the Town Board, Town Supervisor, Town Code Enforcement Officer or his designee or their agents or employees.
There shall be maintained at each place of activity or business for which a license is issued at least one fire extinguisher of approved design and capacity for each 40,000 square feet of area. Such fire extinguisher shall be mounted or placed in a conspicuous place and clearly marked.
Suitable sanitary facilities shall be available for use by patrons, visitors and employees of such business. A port-a-john or other similar device and proof of a valid enforceable maintenance contract for such device shall be presumed suitable under this provision.
Sufficient off-street parking shall be provided for licensee's customers.
For the purposes of this section of this chapter only, the location of junkyards already established shall be considered approved by the Town Board where located and the owner thereof deemed suitable for the issuance of a license but nothing herein contained shall constitute approval under Chapter 143, Zoning, of the Code of the Town of Chautauqua which requires approval and compliance separate and apart from this chapter. Within 60 days from the date this chapter shall take effect, however, the owner shall furnish the Town Board the information as to location which is required in an application, together with the license fee, and the governing board shall issue him a license valid for six months under this chapter, at which time such owner may apply for renewal as herein provided. A licensee may apply for one additional six-month period to come into compliance if considerable progress toward compliance can be shown after a five-month period. Such license shall be renewed only upon satisfactory proof that all provisions of this chapter, including the fencing requirements, have been fully complied with, except that the setback and boundary line dimension provisions may, in the discretion of the Town Board, be waived or modified based upon a finding that no neighboring property or the public at large is harmed or prejudiced by such waiver or modification.
The Code Enforcement Officer his duly authorized representative shall inspect the junkyards of all junk dealers licensed under this chapter at least once a year to determine whether such yards are being operated in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and other applicable provisions of law.
No person shall refuse entry to the Town Code Enforcement Officer or his designee or other town officer attempting to enter any premises for the purpose of inspection. Such entry shall be permitted not only to areas open to the public but also to all other areas, provided that no employee shall be required to accompany any officer in any area that the employee deems to be dangerous, if the employee tells the inspector or officer that the area is, in the employee's opinion, dangerous.
The owner or licensee of any such place of business 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 also shall be liable for any such violation or the penalty therefor. Each day such violation shall continue or be permitted to exist shall constitute a separate violation.
Conviction for any above-mentioned violation shall constitute and effect an immediate forfeiture of the license.
If any junk is stored or placed in any part of the operator's property other than that designated for such purpose on that person's application, without first supplementing such application, and paying the required fees, the junkyard license shall be revoked.
Town of Chautauqua Local Law No. 1 of 1967, entitled a "Local Law Regulating Junk Yards," is hereby repealed, except that this repeal shall not affect or prevent the prosecution or punishment of any person for any act done or committed in violation of the local law or resolution hereby repealed prior to the taking effect of this chapter.