City of Monessen, PA
Westmoreland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Monessen 9-15-2010 by Ord. No. 11-2010. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Abandoned vehicles — See Ch. 364.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 365.
Zoning — See Ch. 375.

§ 367-1 Abatement by owners and occupiers of private property.

A. 
The owner and occupiers, which shall include tenants, lessees and/or occupants, of private real property within the City upon which a junk vehicle, as defined in § 375-21 of the Zoning Ordinance of the City, is kept, in violation of § 375-33C of the Zoning Ordinance, as amended, shall jointly and severally be responsible for the removal of the junk vehicle from the identified private property, and shall, upon notification by the City, remove the junk vehicle to a completely enclosed structure, so that it is not visible from the outside, or otherwise remove the junk vehicle to a location outside the City;
B. 
The owner of the vehicle, and the owner of the real property and its occupier (if any), are responsible to remove the junk vehicle, or make repairs and/or title compliance requirement so the vehicle is no longer a "junk vehicle" within 14 days of the date of the notice;
C. 
The failure of the vehicle owner or property owner and/or occupier or any or all of them to comply within 14 days shall constitute a violation of this chapter and shall subject those persons to the issuance of a summary citation which, upon conviction, shall result in a fine of not less than $200 nor more than $600, plus costs. Each day during which those persons shall fail to comply shall constitute a separate offense.

§ 367-2 Notice.

A. 
Means of notice.
(1) 
A City Code Enforcement Officer shall verify through the City Police Department whether the junk vehicle is registered with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. If the vehicle is registered and the registered owner resides within the City, the Code Enforcement Officer shall serve the notice described below upon the owner at his or her address either by personal service upon the owner or an adult member of his or her household. If service may not be accomplished as described above, the notice may be posted conspicuously upon said premises. The owner shall have a period of 10 days from service of the notice to dispose of the junk vehicle as described in § 367-1. If the vehicle owner has an address outside of the City, then the notification shall be sent to the owner by certified mail, return receipt requested and a copy posted conspicuously upon the vehicle. Those methods shall constitute valid service.
(2) 
If the junk vehicle is not registered with the Commonwealth, the Code Enforcement Officer shall make a good faith effort to ascertain whether the real property owner, or any tenant, lessee and/or occupant of the property upon which the junk vehicle is located claims ownership of the vehicle. If so, he or she shall be served with the notice. If no registered owner is listed and if there is no tenant, lessee or other occupant who claims ownership, then the Code Enforcement Officer may place the notice on the vehicle, and said act shall constitute valid notice of the ordinance violation to the junk vehicle owner. Nothing contained herein shall prevent the City from taking immediate action relative to the vehicle to safeguard those in its vicinity if it poses an immediate health or safety hazard.
(3) 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall provide the notice prescribed herein to the record owner of the private property upon which the junk vehicle is located by personal service, or by first class mail to the record owner's address and posting a copy of the notice in a visible place upon the private property upon which the junk vehicle is located;
(4) 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall provide the notice prescribed herein to the tenant, lessee and/or occupier, if any, of the private real property upon which the junk vehicle is located by personal service or by placing in a mailbox on the property or by mailing the notice by first class mail to the address upon which the junk vehicle is located and posting a copy of the prescribed notice upon the private property upon which the junk vehicle is located.
B. 
Contents of notice. The notice required by this chapter shall contain the following information:
(1) 
Name of last registered vehicle owner and vehicle license number, if a license plate is on the vehicle;
(2) 
Name and address of record property owner; and of tenant, lessee or occupant (if any);
(3) 
Property address upon which the junk vehicle is present;
(4) 
Description of junk vehicle (make, model and, if ascertainable, VIN), and including reasons for the Code Enforcement Officer's determination that the subject vehicle is a "junk vehicle" under the City's ordinance;
(5) 
The procedure for compliance, and the City's procedure following noncompliance, as set forth in this chapter.
(6) 
The notice may contain the address, telephone number and contact person of the location to which the City will remove and store the junk vehicle if the notice's requirements are not met. If the City has not included that information within the notice, the City shall state that information in writing, which information shall be posted in a visible location on the real property from which the junk vehicle is removed and shall be placed into the United States Mail to the vehicle owner, if known, and to the owner and occupier (if any) of the real property from which the junk vehicle was removed, within 24 hours of the removal of the junk vehicle. If the address and location of the storage site are not included in the original notice, the thirty-day period to pay the costs of removal and storage of the junk vehicle shall begin to run at midnight immediately following the posting and mailing of notice of the storage location.

§ 367-3 Violations and penalties.

Upon failure of the vehicle owner or property owner or occupier, including tenants, lessees, or occupants, to remove the junk vehicle(s) to a completely enclosed area or from the identified private property to a location outside the City, after notice by the City, such persons shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $200 nor more than $600. Each day during which the owner or occupier permits such nuisance to exist shall be deemed to be a separate offense. Any fine imposed is separate from the City's costs for removal and storage of the junk vehicle.

§ 367-4 Abatement by City.

A. 
Noncompliance with the chapter within 14 days after notice shall authorize the City Code Enforcement Officer, and the City's towing designee, without further notice, to enter the private property and remove the junk vehicle(s) to a location chosen by the City, where the vehicle shall remain for 30 days in order to provide for the payment of the costs of removal and storage of the vehicle;
B. 
Pursuant to the laws of the Commonwealth, the City may sell the junk vehicle if the costs of removal and storage have not been paid within 30 days of placement in storage. The proceeds of the sale shall be applied by the City to its costs for removal and storage of the junk vehicle;
C. 
The City may file a lawsuit against the vehicle owner and the owner and/or occupier of the private real property upon which the junk vehicle was removed by the City, or any or all of them, in order to recover the costs incurred by the City for removal and storage of the junk vehicle(s) which were unreimbursed by the sale or attempt to sell the junk vehicle;
D. 
The City may file a municipal claim of record against the vehicle owner and the owner of the private real property from which the junk vehicle is removed in order to secure the City's right to recover the costs incurred by the City for removal and storage of the junk vehicle which were unreimbursed by the sale or attempt to sell the junk vehicle;
E. 
If the proceeds of such sale exceed the costs of removal and storage, the balance shall be paid to said private property owner or occupant, or the junk vehicle owner, as their rights and interests may appear, and if identified and located, or otherwise such funds shall be deposited in the City's General Fund for its use.

§ 367-5 Filing of municipal claims.

Notwithstanding the above provisions, the City may file a municipal claim of record against the owner of the private real property from which said junk vehicle is removed for the cost of removal if the cost of removal and storage exceeds the proceeds received at the sale thereof, or if no sale can reasonably be accomplished.