[HISTORY: Adopted by Town Meeting of the Town of Bethel 9-21-1978. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The outdoor storage of abandoned, junked, discarded and unlicensed motor vehicles upon privately owned properties within the Town of Bethel is dangerous, unsightly and a detriment to the preservation of public health, the protection of property and the safety and welfare of the residents of the Town of Bethel. The outdoor storage of abandoned, junked, discarded and unlicensed motor vehicles upon privately owned properties within the Town of Bethel constitutes an attractive nuisance to children and a peril to their safety. Such storage constitutes a threat to the safety and welfare of the residents of the Town of Bethel since the fuel tanks frequently contain gasoline or gasoline fumes and may be subject to explosion in case of fire. Such storage depreciates the value of neighboring properties and is unsightly and discourages the orderly, progressive development of the Town of Bethel. The control of the outdoor storage of abandoned, junked, discarded and unlicensed motor vehicles upon privately owned properties within the Town of Bethel is therefore regulated for the preservation of the public health, safety and welfare of the residents of the Town of Bethel.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The intent of the owner of a motor vehicle not to use the motor vehicle on the public highways. The intent of the owner of the motor vehicle may be determined by the physical condition of the motor vehicle, the statements of the owner of the motor vehicle, the length of time since the motor vehicle was last used on the public highway and whether the motor vehicle is licensed or unlicensed. With respect to motor vehicles not required to be licensed or motor vehicles not customarily used on the public highway, the intent of the owner may be determined by the physical condition of the motor vehicle, the length of time since it was last used for the purposes intended and the statements of the owner.
- Any motor vehicle which the owner thereof does not intend to recover possession thereof, or any motor vehicle to which ownership cannot be reasonably determined with due inquiry.
- Any motor vehicle in such condition as to cost more to repair in order to place such motor vehicle in operating condition than the value of the motor vehicle at any given time.
- MOTOR VEHICLE
- Every vehicle operated or driven or capable of being driven or operated upon a public highway by any power other than muscular power, which includes electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires and includes vehicles operated upon rails and such vehicles as are run only upon rails or tracks. For the purposes of this chapter, "motor vehicles" shall include tractors used exclusively for agricultural purposes, self-propelled combines, self-propelled corn and hay-harvesting machines and self-propelled caterpillar or crawler-type equipment, and shall also include motorcycles, omnibuses and house trailers.
- OWNER OF MOTOR VEHICLE
- A person having property in or title to a motor vehicle. The term includes a person entitled to the use and possession of a vehicle subject to a security interest in another person and also includes any lessee or bailee of a motor vehicle having the use thereof under lease or otherwise.
- OWNER OF PRIVATE PROPERTY
- Includes the legal owner, contract purchaser, a tenant, lessee, occupant, undertenant, receiver or assignee of premises or property located within the Town of Bethel.
- Includes all parcels of real property situate in the Town of Bethel, whether occupied or vacant, irrespective of size or topography.
- UNLICENSED MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any motor vehicle which has not been licensed with the proper authorities for a period of at least 30 days from the expiration of the last valid licensing, with the exception of those motor vehicles in the possession of authorized used car dealers or garagemen for the purpose of sale or repair.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, as either owner, occupant, lessee, agent, tenant or otherwise of any private property within the Town of Bethel, to store or deposit or cause or permit to be stored or deposited an abandoned, junked, discarded or unlicensed motor vehicle or vehicles upon any private land within the corporate limits of the Town of Bethel.
This section shall not apply to the following categories:
Cars under covered structure, as approved by the Zoning Enforcement Officer; also, cars being privately repaired or restored to use, the time for which shall not exceed 90 days, after which an extension would have to be secured from the Board of Selectmen.
Antique cars, registered classics, horseless carriages, milestone autos and special-interest cars, all of which are listed by the American Antique Automobile Club of America.
If the provisions of the foregoing section are violated, the Director of Public Works or his designated agent shall serve written notice, either personally or by mail, upon the owner, occupant or person having charge of any such private property to comply with the provisions of this chapter. The Director of Public Works may determine ownership of any parcel of land within the Town of Bethel from the then-current tax rolls of the Town of Bethel and may serve written notice upon such owner by mailing such notice by regular mail to the owner at the address listed in the then-current tax rolls.
If said abandoned, discarded, junked or unlicensed motor vehicle is not removed within 20 days after the date of said notice by the Director of Public Works, the Town of Bethel may enter onto the premises where said vehicle is located and remove the same. The cost of removal of said vehicle shall become a lien upon said property.
Any person committing an offense against any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not less than $100.