Town of Bethlehem, NY
Albany County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Bethlehem 6-21-1961. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Zoning — See Ch. 128.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "House Trailer Ordinance of the Town of Bethlehem."
It is the purpose of this chapter to regulate the maintenance of house trailers and house trailer camps within the Town of Bethlehem and to prescribe regulations for said camps, to regulate the parking and locations of house trailers outside of said camps within the Town of Bethlehem and to require that house trailer camps within the Town of Bethlehem be laid out and constructed in accordance with approved plans.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CAMP UNIT
The lot or space in any camp which shall be assigned to or used and occupied by any one house trailer.
HOUSE TRAILER
Any vehicle or combination thereof used, designated for use or capable of being used as sleeping or living quarters, whether propelled by its own power or by the power of another vehicle to which it may be attached.
TRAILER CAMP
Any lot, piece or parcel of ground whereon one or more house trailers used, designed for use or capable of being used as living or sleeping quarters are parked or located and for which use said premises are held open to the public.
No trailer camp shall be permitted in any district in the Town except in a rural district zoned and rural district not zoned.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 128, Zoning.
No person, firm or corporation being the owner or occupant of any land or premises within the Town of Bethlehem shall use or permit the use of said land or premises as a trailer camp without obtaining a permit therefor as hereinafter provided.
A. 
Application for permit. The application for each trailer camp permit shall be in writing and signed by the applicant. It shall state the name and address of the applicant; the name and address of each partner if the applicant is a partnership; the name and address of each officer and director if the applicant is a corporation; a complete description of the premises upon which the proposed court is to be located; the name and address of the owner or owners of such premises; and the number of camp units to be provided in the proposed camp. Each application shall be in quintuplicate and shall be accompanied by four sets of plans and specifications, prepared and drawn to scale by a registered architect or licensed professional engineer, showing the layout of the camp unit, the location of streets, location and number of toilets, lavatories, showers and tubs for each sex, location of water service and fire hydrants and location of slop sinks, garbage receptacles and laundry trays. One copy of the application and one set of the plans shall be retained by the Town Clerk and the other copies of the application and set of plans shall be given respectively to the Town Building Inspector, the Town Planning Board, the Assessors and the Town Engineer. If the applicant is not the owner of the premises, the application shall also be accompanied by an original or photostatic copy of the lease of the premises and a written statement signed by all the owners consenting that the premises be used for the purpose of a trailer camp.
B. 
Such application shall be accompanied by a letter or other statement from the New York State Health Department indicating compliance by the applicant with all pertinent rules and regulations of the State Department of Health and of the Sanitary Code of the State of New York, Separate investigations shall be made by the Town Health Officer and the Town Building Inspector, following which each officer shall transmit his report to the Town Board, together with his written approval or disapproval and any recommendations pertaining thereto.
C. 
If the application is approved by the Health Officer, the Building Inspector and the Town Board, the Town Clerk, upon receipt of the fee herein provided, shall issue a permit, to become effective from the date thereof and to continue in force for the term specified therein but in no event longer than through the 31st day of December next succeeding, for the use of the premises therein specified as a trailer camp, which permit shall specify the number of camp units which may be used in said camp. Such permit shall not be transferable or assignable.
D. 
Fees. The applicant for a trailer camp permit shall, at the time of issuance of any such permit pay to the Town Clerk a fee computed at the rate of $5 per camp unit per annum, based upon the maximum number of proposed camp units as shown in the application. The minimum fee for an annual permit shall be $50.
[Amended 3-23-1988 by L.L. No. 2-1988]
A. 
Drainage and grading. All lands used as a trailer camp shall be well drained, of ample size and free from heavy or dense growth of brush or weeds. The land shall be properly graded to ensure proper drainage during and following rainfall and shall at all times be so drained as to be free from stagnant pools of water and shall be approved by the Town of Bethlehem.
B. 
Each trailer camp constructed, altered or expanded after the effective date of this chapter shall be subdivided and marked off into lots or camp units numbered consecutively, the number being conspicuously posted on each camp unit, each of which camp units shall contain at least 5,000 square feet. Each camp unit shall have a concrete or macadam base on which the trailer shall be placed, having a minimum size of 10 feet by 50 feet. No more than one house trailer shall be permitted to occupy any one camp unit. All trailers, including additions and appurtenances, shall have a minimum front yard of 20 feet, a minimum side yard of five feet and a minimum rear yard of 25 feet. The camp units shall be grouped in blocks, with streets at least 50 feet wide between each block. Each camp unit shall have direct access to a street. No camp unit shall be located within 50 feet of any public highway or public street line nor within 25 feet of any adjacent property line or 50 feet of any adjacent dwelling house. Each trailer camp and all parts thereof shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition at all times.
C. 
Water supply. A sufficient supply of pure drinking water shall be provided in each camp unit.
D. 
Disposal of sewage and other water-carried wastes.
(1) 
All sewage and other water-carried wastes shall be disposed of into a municipal sewerage system whenever available. In house trailer camps in which such connections are not available, disposal shall be into a private system which includes a sanitary means of disposal, the operation of which creates neither a nuisance nor a menace to health.
(2) 
When a water-carriage system of sewage is used, each camp unit shall be provided with a sewer connection for the combined liquid waste outlet or outlets of each house trailer, trapped below the frost line and properly vented. It shall be the duty of the trailer camp operator to provide a water and odor-tight connection from the trailer water drainage to the sewer connection, and it shall be the duty of the trailer camp operator and the occupant of the trailer to make such connection and keep each trailer connected to said sewer while located in a trailer camp. Sewer connections in unoccupied camp units shall be so closed that they will emit no odors or cause a breeding place for flies. No water or waste shall be allowed to fall on the ground from a house trailer.
E. 
Garbage disposal. Each such trailer camp constructed, altered or expanded after the effective date of this chapter shall provide equipment sufficient to prevent littering of the grounds and premises with rubbish, garbage and refuse and shall provide a flytight storage building or buildings of a design approved by the Town Building Inspector and at a convenient location or locations, equipped with flytight metal depositories of sufficient size and number to contain all the garbage and refuse that may accumulate between removals from the premises.
F. 
Electric service and connections. Each trailer camp constructed, altered or expanded after the effective date of this chapter shall provide weatherproof electric service connections and outlets. All electric installations shall be approved by the New York State Board of Fire Underwriters and have a certificate issued by the same.
The police officers, the Town Health Officer and the Town Building Inspector and any other duly authorized agent or employee of the Town of Bethlehem shall have the right at any reasonable time to enter any trailer camp or other premises used for the parking or location of house trailers and shall have the right to inspect all parts of said premises and to inspect the records required to be kept at any trailer camp.
If any authorized representative of the Town of Bethlehem finds that any trailer camp is not being maintained in a clean and sanitary condition or is not being conducted in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, such facts shall thereupon be reported to the Town Board, and said Town Board may direct the Town Clerk to serve an order in writing upon the holder of the permit or the person in charge of said camp, directing that the conditions therein specified be remedied within 10 days after the date of service of such order. If such conditions are not corrected after the expiration of said ten-day period, the Town Board may cause a notice in writing to be served upon the holder of said permit or the person in charge of such trailer camp, requiring the holder of the permit to appear before the Town Board of the Town of Bethlehem at a time to be specified in such notice and show cause why such trailer camp permit should not be revoked. The Town Board may, after a hearing at which the testimony of witnesses may be taken and the holder of the permit shall be heard, if he desires to be heard, revoke such permit if said Town Board shall find that said camp is not being maintained in a clean and sanitary condition or if it finds that any provisions of this chapter have been violated or for other sufficient cause. Upon the revocation of such permit the premises shall forthwith cease to be used for the purposes of a trailer camp, and all house trailers shall forthwith be removed therefrom.
Application for the renewal of any trailer camp permit issued pursuant to this chapter must be filed with the Town Clerk on or before the first day of December next preceding the expiration of said permit. The application for renewal shall be in writing and signed by the applicant and shall contain the same information as required by § 115-6A in the case of an original application for a permit, except that such renewal application need not be accompanied by a plan of the trailer camp unless some change in the plan or layout of the camp is contemplated by the applicant, nor is it necessary that the said renewal application be accompanied by the lease of the premises unless a new lease of the premises has been entered into subsequent to the time of filing the previous application, in which event the original or photostatic copy of the new lease shall be attached to the application for a renewal, nor shall it be necessary to attach to such application for renewal the written consent of the owners of the premises that the same may be used for the purposes of a trailer camp unless there shall have been a change in the ownership since the filing of the previous application, in which event such written statement signed by all of the new owners of the premises must accompany the application for a renewal of the permit. Upon the approval of said application for a renewal of the permit by the Health Officer and the Town Board, the Town Clerk shall issue a renewal permit, which shall become effective upon the expiration of the prior permit and continue in force for the term specified therein but in no event longer than for a period of one-year. Such renewal permit shall not be transferred or assigned. The applicant shall, at the time of issuance of such renewal permit, pay to the Town Clerk the same fee provided in § 115-6D covering the original issuance of trailer camp permits.
This chapter shall apply to all existing trailer camps in the Town of Bethlehem on the date of its adoption, except that trailer camps in existence on or before said date shall not be required to comply with the provisions of § 115-7B hereof. The owner or operator of any existing camp shall have 60 days after this chapter becomes effective to make an application for a permit to operate such camp. Such application shall contain the information required by § 115-6A and shall be accompanied by the fee set forth in § 115-6D. Upon payment thereof, the Town Clerk shall therewith issue a temporary permit to operate such camp until the following December 31. Any additions, extensions or enlargements of existing camps shall comply with all the provisions of this chapter. Applications for permits to construct such additions, extensions or enlargements shall be made as provided in § 115-6. A camp operating under such temporary permit shall be maintained and operated in compliance with all the provisions of this chapter except as they have been heretofore excused.
A. 
Highway parking prohibited. No house trailer shall be allowed to remain upon any public highway or private way in the Town of Bethlehem except as herein permitted.
B. 
No house trailer shall be parked outside of a duly licensed trailer camp in the Town of Bethlehem except in accordance with this chapter and with the effective Zoning Ordinance of the Town of Bethlehem,[1] as follows:
(1) 
Any owner of land who intends to build a dwelling house upon a parcel of land located in a Rural, Rural Riverfront or Rural Light Industrial District in the Town of Bethlehem may make application to the Town Board for a permit to park a house trailer upon said parcel of land during the erection of said dwelling. After such investigation as the Town Board deems proper, the Town Board may authorize the Town Clerk to issue a permit for a period not in excess of one year from the date of issuance thereof or until the said dwelling house has been completed, whichever is the shorter period. Said permit may be extended by the Town Board for a period not in excess of one additional year from the date of expiration. Upon the expiration of the said permit or any extension thereof, said trailer shall be vacated as living quarters and disconnected from its water supply and sewage disposal system and removed from the premises.
[Amended 10-8-2008 by L.L. No. 3-2008]
(2) 
Any contractor engaged in construction work in the Town of Bethlehem may apply to the Town Board for a permit to use a house trailer or house trailers as a field office or dressing room for workmen engaged on such construction work, survey projects and other similar work. The Town Board, after such investigation as it deems proper and after all sanitary facilities as are deemed necessary have been provided for and payment of the fee set forth hereinafter, may grant a permit to use the said house trailer or trailers for the duration of the particular work project. The consent in writing of the owner and lessee of any property upon which the said trailer or trailers are to be located shall be accompanied by an application for such permit. The Town Board may authorize the Town Clerk to issue such permit for a period not to exceed one-year from the date of issuance thereof or until the work project is completed, whichever is the shorter period. The said permit may be extended by the Town Board for a further period of one-year or until the work project has been completed. Upon the expiration of the permit issued by the Town Board or any extension thereof, or upon the completion of the work under the said project, the contractor shall forthwith remove the trailer or trailers from the premises on which they are located.
(3) 
Any owner or occupant of a house trailer desiring to place or park the same in the Town of Bethlehem outside a licensed trailer camp other than an owner or occupant as set forth in Subsection B(1) and (2) of this section shall make written application to the Town Board. The Town Board may, in its discretion, upon such terms and conditions as it deems advisable and after compliance with the provisions of this chapter, authorize the issuance of a permit for such house trailer. Said permit shall be valid for a term of not to exceed four weeks. Nothing contained in this Subsection B(3) shall be construed to prevent the owner of a trailer who resides in a Rural, Rural Riverfront or Rural Light Industrial District[2] from parking his unoccupied trailer on his own property in such district without the necessity of obtaining a permit.
[Amended 12-26-1961; 3-23-1988 by L.L. No. 2-1988; 10-8-2008 by L.L. No. 3-2008]
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 128, Zoning.
(4) 
Applications.
(a) 
Applications for permits pursuant to this section shall be made to the Town Board of the Town of Bethlehem. The application shall set forth the following:
[1] 
The name and address of the applicant.
[2] 
The name and address of each partner if the applicant is a partnership.
[3] 
The name and address of each officer and director if the applicant is a corporation.
[4] 
The description of the premises upon which the house trailer is to be located.
[5] 
The name and address of the owner or owners of such premises, and if the applicant is not the owner of the premises where the said house trailer is to be located, the applicant shall file with the issuing officer the acknowledged consent of the said owner that the premises may be used for such purposes and subject to the provisions of this chapter.
(b) 
Each application shall be accompanied by a plot plan drawn to scale and prepared by a licensed professional engineer or surveyor and showing:
[1] 
The boundaries of the premises upon which the said house trailer is to be located.
[2] 
The location of the said house trailer upon the said premises.
[3] 
The location of the water supply and sewage disposal systems to be used by the said house trailer.
(5) 
Any inhabited house trailer parked and maintained pursuant to the provisions of this section shall have an approved water supply and shall install and use a sewage disposal system at least equal to that required by a two-bedroom dwelling.
(6) 
A house trailer or house trailers exhibited for sale and uninhabited may be maintained in connection with a bona fide house trailer sales agency only in an industrial, rural-zoned or rural-not-zoned district.
(7) 
Fees. The applicant for a house trailer permit pursuant to the provisions of this section shall, at the time of issuance of any such permit or renewal thereof, pay to the Town Clerk a fee of $10, except that no fee shall be required for a permit issued pursuant to Subsection B(3) of this section.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 128, Zoning.
If any authorized representative of the Town of Bethlehem finds that any house trailer outside a trailer camp is not being maintained in a clean and sanitary condition or is not being maintained in accordance with the provisions of this chapter or is being maintained in violation of any terms and conditions imposed by the Town Board, such facts shall thereupon be reported to the Town Board, and the said Town Board may direct the Town Clerk to serve an order in writing upon the holder of the permit and/or the owner of the house trailer and/or the owner of the premises, directing that the condition therein specified be remedied within five days after the date of service of such order. If such conditions are not corrected after the expiration of said five-day period, the Town Board may cause a notice in writing to be served upon the holder of such permit and/or the owner of said house trailer and/or the owner of the premises upon which it is located, requiring the appearance of the person so served before the Town Board of the Town of Bethlehem at a time to be specified in such notice, to show cause why such house trailer permit should not be revoked. The Town Board may, after a hearing at which testimony of witnesses may be taken and the person so served shall be heard, if he desires to be heard, revoke such permit if the Town Board shall find that the said house trailer is not being maintained in a clean and sanitary condition or if it finds that any provision of this chapter has been violated or for any other sufficient cause. Upon the revocation of such permit, the said house trailer shall be disconnected from its water supply and sewage disposal system and removed forthwith from the premises.
The provisions of § 115-12B shall apply only to a house trailer parked or placed outside a licensed trailer camp on and after the effective date of this chapter. House trailers parked outside of a duly licensed trailer camp prior to the effective date of this chapter and occupied as a dwelling may remain in the position or place in which they are then parked, subject to the existing ordinances of the Town of Bethlehem; provided, however, that no such house trailer shall be moved to a new location in the Town of Bethlehem except in compliance with the provisions of this chapter, and provided also that any owner or lessee of a house trailer presently parked outside a licensed trailer camp may replace the same with a new house trailer located upon the same plot of ground and in the same location. The owner of an existing house trailer replacing the same with a new house trailer shall file a plot plan with the Town Building Inspector, showing the dimensions of the new trailer and its location upon the building lot.
[Amended 3-23-1988 by L.L. No. 2-1988]
Any person committing an offense against the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $250 or by imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both, and each day of continuance of an offense shall constitute a separate violation. The prosecution for an offense against the provisions of this chapter shall not be deemed to prevent the revocation of any permit issued pursuant thereto or the enforced removal of conditions prohibited by this chapter.
The issuance of a trailer camp permit pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall not be deemed to waive compliance by the holder thereof, by the property owner or by any occupant of said camp with any statute of the State of New York or ordinance or health regulation of the Town of Bethlehem or regulation of the New York State Health Department or the Albany County Health Department.