[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Queensbury 8-26-1983 by L.L. No. 4-1983. Amendments noted where applicable.]
A clean, wholesome, attractive environment is declared to be of importance to the health and safety of the inhabitants of the Town of Queensbury. It is further declared that the unrestrained accumulation of junk motor vehicles, machinery, scrap metals, wastepaper, rags, used or salvaged building materials or other discarded materials is a hazard to such health, safety and welfare of citizens of the Town necessitating the regulation, restraint and elimination thereof. At the same time, it is recognized that the maintenance of junkyards, has hereinafter defined, is a useful and necessary business and ought to be encouraged when not in conflict with the express purposes of this chapter.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any place of storage or deposit, whether in connection with another business or not, where two or more unregistered, old or secondhand motor vehicles, no longer intended or in condition for legal use on the public highways, are held, whether for the purpose of resale of used parts therefrom, for the purpose of reclaiming for use some or all of the material therein, whether metal, glass, fabric or otherwise, for the purpose of disposing of the same or for any other purpose; such term shall include any open lot or area for the dismantling, storage or sale as parts, scrap or salvage of used or wrecked motor vehicles, machinery, scrap metals, wastepaper, rags, used or salvaged building materials or other discarded materials.
- MOTOR VEHICLE
- All vehicles propelled or drawn by power other than muscular power originally intended for use on public highways.
No person shall operate, establish or maintain a junkyard upon property having fewer than five acres of land. No person shall operate, establish or maintain a junkyard until he has obtained a certificate of approval for the location of such junkyard and has obtained a license to operate a junkyard business.
Before filing an application for the operation of a junkyard, the applicant must obtain a certificate of approval from the Town of Queensbury Planning Board or any other applicable board or governmental body having jurisdiction. Such certification of approval shall state that the proposed location is not within an established district restricted against such uses or otherwise contrary to the prohibitions of Chapter 179, Zoning.
Application for the license shall be made in writing to the Town Board. The application shall specify the name, occupation and residence address of the applicant, the location of the proposed junkyard, a description of the land to be included in the junkyard and the details and specifications of the fencing and other screening devices to be utilized by the applicant. The application shall be accompanied by a certificate of approval from the Planning Board. The application, license and filing fees shall be filed with the Town Clerk.
A hearing on the application shall be held not less than 14 days nor more than 60 days from the date of the receipt of the application by the Town Board. Notice of the hearing shall be given to the applicant by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the address given in the application and shall be published once in a newspaper having circulation within the Town, which publication shall not be less than seven days before the date of the hearing.
At the time and place set for the 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 take into account the suitability of the applicant with reference to his ability to comply with the fencing requirements or other applicable regulations concerning the proposed junkyard, to any record of conviction of any type of larceny or receiving of stolen goods and to any other matter within the purposes of this chapter.
At the time and place set for the hearing, the Town Board shall hear the applicant and all other persons wishing to be heard on the application for a certificate of approval for the location for the junkyard. In passing upon the same, it shall take into account, after proof of legal ownership or right to such use of the property for the license period by the applicant, the nature and development of surrounding property, such as the proximity of churches, schools, hospitals, 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 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 junkyard to established residential and recreational area or main access routes thereto, as well as the reasonable availability of other suitable sites for the junkyard.
After a hearing, the Town Board shall, within four weeks, make a finding as to whether or not the application should be granted, giving notice of its findings to the applicant by mail, postage prepaid, to the address given on the application. Conditional approval may be granted setting forth reasonable requirements, including the completion of the fencing requirements set forth in § 102-11.
If approved, the license, including the certificate of approved location, shall be forthwith issued to remain in effect until the following July 1.
Approval shall be personal to the applicant and not assignable.
The license shall be renewed thereafter upon payment of the annual license fee without a hearing, provided that all provisions of this chapter are complied with during the license period, the junkyard does not become a public nuisance under the common law and the applicant is not convicted of any type of larceny or the receiving of stolen goods.
The annual license fee shall be $50, to be paid at the time the application is made and annually thereafter in the event of renewal. Such fees shall be prorated to July 1, the date for renewal of all junkyard license fees. In addition to the license fee, the applicant shall pay the costs of advertising the hearing and such other reasonable costs incidental to the hearing as are clearly attributable thereto.
[Amended 5-16-2005 by L.L. No. 2-2005; 10-20-2008 by L.L. No. 7-2008]
Before use, a new junkyard shall be completely surrounded with a fence, at least eight feet in height, which substantially screens the junkyard. The fence shall include a suitable gate which shall be closed and locked except during the working hours of such junkyard or when the applicant or his agent shall be within. Such fence shall consist of opaque material which is uniform in height and construction material. Such fence shall be painted in such a color that it will blend in with the surroundings. No advertising matter of any kind shall be attached to or painted on any fence enclosing a junkyard, except as authorized by Chapter 140, Signs. Such fence shall be erected not nearer than 100 feet from a public highway right-of-way.
All junkyard materials, including junk motor vehicles and parts thereof, shall be kept within the enclosure of the junkyard except as removal shall be necessary for the transportation of the same in the reasonable course of the business. Such materials temporarily located outside the enclosure, any motor vehicles held for resale for use in the public highway and any equipment held for resale for the purposes for which it was originally intended shall be set back at least 20 feet from any public highway right-of-way. In no event shall more than ten such vehicles intended for resale be allowed outside the enclosure. No vehicle which meets the definition of "junk vehicle" as set forth at § 179-2-010 shall be allowed outside the enclosure. It shall be a rebuttable presumption that such motor vehicles and equipment are not held for resale if no sale thereof occurs within three months from the date they are first located outside of the enclosure of the junkyard. Vehicles and parts thereof and other material shall not be piled or stacked to a height above the fence or screening device. All wrecking or other work on such motor vehicles and parts shall be accomplished within the enclosure.
Where the topography, natural growth of timber or other consideration on the applicant's property accomplishes the purposes of this chapter, in 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 with the purposes of this chapter.
Garbage and waste (located outside of the residence) may be temporarily stored only in water-tight metal or plastic containers with tight-fitting covers sufficient to keep out water and prevent disturbance by animals. Wooden containers are not acceptable for this purpose because they are susceptible to vermin and water damage.
For the purposes of this chapter, 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. Within 60 days from the passage of this chapter, 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 Town Board shall issue him a license valid until the next July 1, at which time such owner may apply for renewal as herein provided. Such owner shall comply with all other provisions of this chapter, including the fencing requirements set forth in § 102-11 above.
Notwithstanding any of the foregoing provisions of this chapter, no junkyard hereafter established shall be licensed to operate if such yard or any part thereof shall be within 500 feet of a church, school, hospital, public building or place of public assembly.
[Amended 5-24-1991 by L.L. No. 6-1991; 5-16-2005 by L.L. No. 2-2005]
Violators of any of the portions of this chapter shall be guilty of an offense, punishable by a fine not exceeding $950 for the first offense; and by a fine of not more than $950 or by imprisonment for not more 15 days, or both, for a second offense. Each day that the violation is carried on or continues shall constitute a separate violation.
[Amended 5-24-1991 by L.L. No. 6-1991]
The Town of Queensbury Division of Building and Code Enforcement shall be responsible for the administration and enforcement of this chapter. A member of such Department shall conduct an on-site inspection of all licensed junkyards prior to the date for renewal of junkyard licenses. A report of such inspection shall be furnished to the Town Board prior to June 1.