Borough of Spotswood, NJ
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Spotswood 6-13-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-01. (This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 117, Junkyards, derived from Sec. 7-5 of the 1969 Revised General Ordinance as adopted 5-11-1970 by Ord. No. 278, as amended through 9/94.) Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Land development — See Ch. 120.
Abandoned vehicles — See Ch. 196.

§ 117-1 Junkyards prohibited.

All junkyards as defined in this chapter are prohibited unless permitted by Chapter 120 of the Code of the Borough of Spotswood, entitled "Land Development."

§ 117-2 Junkyards as nonconforming uses allowed subject to licensing.

A. 
Existing junkyards may be continued as a nonconforming use, provided that there is compliance with the provisions of this chapter as well as applicable state and federal rules and regulations. Failure to obtain a license or renew a license pursuant to this chapter may be deemed an abandonment of the use of the premises as a junkyard.
B. 
Any person operating an existing nonconforming junkyard or subject to the license renewal provisions of this chapter shall submit a complete application for a license pursuant to this chapter or within 90 days of the effective date of this chapter, whichever shall be applicable.

§ 117-3 Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions are hereby established:
JUNK
Old or scrap copper, glass, brass, rags, batteries, paper, trash, debris, waste or junked, dismantled or wrecked motor vehicles or parts thereof, iron, steel and other old or scrap ferrous or nonferrous metals of any type and all other materials commonly or generally known as "junk" in the ordinary meaning of the word.
JUNKYARD
A place where old metal, junk or material of any kind, including, but not by way of excluding, disabled vehicles either held or not held for sale in parts or as junk and either sold, stored or dealt in. Any place, establishment or land which is maintained, operated or used for storing, keeping, buying, selling or just leaving junk on said premises or for the maintenance or operation of an automobile graveyard is hereby defined as a junkyard.
PERSON
Includes partnerships, corporations or limited-liability companies. The masculine gender shall include the feminine, and the single number shall include the plural numbers.

§ 117-4 License required; application; hearing.

A. 
All persons hereinafter desiring to operate any junkyard within the Borough of Spotswood shall, before commencing such operation or continuing any operation during any calendar year, make application to the Borough Clerk for a license to conduct such operation. Applications for such licenses and a copy of this chapter shall be furnished upon request from the Borough Clerk. Upon submission by the applicant and determination that the application is complete, a public hearing shall be conducted upon said application by the Borough Council prior to the issuance of any license when applicable under the provisions of this chapter. The applicant shall have the burden of proof at such public hearing to demonstrate that there has been compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
An applicant shall be required to notify by certified mail, return receipt requested, all property owners within 200 feet of the premises in question of the time and place of the hearing upon notification by the Borough Clerk that an application is complete. The applicant shall obtain a certified list of property owners from the Borough's Tax Collector. Proof of mailing of notice at least 10 days prior to the hearing shall be provided by the applicant.
C. 
The applicant shall also publish notice of the public hearing in the official newspaper of the Borough and provide proof of publication at least 10 days prior to the hearing.

§ 117-5 Hours of and limitations on operation.

A. 
Hours of operation for any junkyard, except for the operations described in Subsection B hereinafter, shall be from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. No operation shall be conducted on Sundays except for the retail sale of shelf items from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., which items shall not require dismantling or use of any machinery, equipment or tools in order to conduct said sale. In addition, no operation shall be conducted on the following legal holidays: New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day. No machinery or equipment shall be operated upon the junkyard site prior to or subsequent to the permitted hours of operation. Upon written request of the licensee and for good cause shown, i.e., compliance with the provisions of this chapter in order that the public health safety and welfare be secured for the reasons set forth in the preamble to this chapter,[1] the Borough Council may extend the hours of operation, provided that the extension is for specified hours and for specific duration of time not to exceed 90 days, and further provided that the extended hours do not adversely impact upon the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Borough of Spotswood and are required for the efficient regulation of junkyard operations with the Borough.
[1]
Editor's Note: A complete copy of Ord. No. 2005-01, including the preamble, is on file in the Borough offices.
B. 
No hammering, pounding or crushing of any metals or other materials on the premises shall occur before the hour of 8:30 a.m. or after the hour of 6:00 p.m, from Monday through Friday, before the hour of 10:00 a.m. or after the hour of 5:00 p.m. on Saturday or at any time on Sundays or the legal holidays set forth in Subsection A above. All crushing machinery or equipment shall be located on a concrete or impervious surface at all times.

§ 117-6 Plot plans required.

A plot plan shall be submitted with an application. These documents shall contain, as a minimum, the following information:
A. 
Any map or plan submitted in compliance with this chapter shall be 24 inches by 36 inches.
B. 
The title block shall include the following information:
(1) 
The title of drawing.
(2) 
The name of the junkyard.
(3) 
The name, address, membership or license of the professional person who prepared the drawings.
(4) 
The date of the drawing.
(5) 
The drawing reference number.
(6) 
The scale of the drawing.
C. 
Drawings shall also include the following:
(1) 
A North arrow and reference meridian.
(2) 
The date of the original drawing and the date and the nature of all subsequent revisions.
(3) 
A graphic scale.
D. 
General plot plan requirements:
(1) 
An accurate boundary survey prepared and certified by a New Jersey licensed land surveyor showing all internal physical features and improvements. The survey shall be based on a field traverse with an error closure not less than one part in 10,000.
(2) 
In the event that the boundary survey shall reveal any encroachments onto adjoining properties, the applicant shall cause such encroachments to be removed and shall provide a new boundary survey (as required herein) demonstrating that any such encroachments have in fact been removed.
[Added 9-6-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-18]

§ 117-7 Construction and operation standards.

The following construction and operation standards shall be adhered to in junkyard operations:
A. 
All entrances shall be gated, the gates shall be of the same material as required for fencing referenced below, and accessible around the clock for emergency vehicle access.
B. 
It shall be unlawful to stack, pile or place motor vehicles, parts of motor vehicles or any other junk or materials upon such premises in such a manner as to create a place for the harboring or breeding of mice, rats or other vermin or to stack, pile or place junk above the height of the boundary fence surrounding the premises.
C. 
All junkyards shall be completely obstructed from the ground level view of every and all adjoining landowners and from any and every public street. Every junkyard or place where junk is stored shall be enclosed completely on all sides by a fence at least eight feet high and shall be of cinder block, masonry or other type and construction as shall be approved by the Borough Engineer. There shall be no advertisement allowed or any description or writing on said fence, except the name of the business, if any, and said writing shall not exceed an area of six square feet. The fencing shall be completed within one year of application for a license under this chapter, and completion shall be a condition of renewal. The fence shall effectuate the obstruction of the junkyard from view as set forth hereinabove.
D. 
All burning of any kind shall be prohibited, and adequate precautions shall be taken in every junkyard to prevent fire from breaking out or spreading. No explosive or extremely inflammable material shall be stored in a junkyard except as permitted in Subsection G below.
E. 
No junk, rubbish or salvage of any type shall be maintained outside the enclosure surrounding any junkyard.
F. 
No license issued pursuant to the terms of this chapter shall entitle any applicant or anyone else to operate under said license at, in or on any lot, building, dwelling or location or any part thereof other than that specified in the license. No license shall be assignable or transferable to any other person or party whatsoever or to any other land or premises other than premises previously approved as a junkyard and operating under a valid license previously issued. The only transfer allowed shall be a person-to-person transfer, upon application made to the Borough Council of the Borough of Spotswood, of an existing licensed junkyard. The application shall contain the names and addresses of all parties to the transfer, and the applicant shall provide all information required by this chapter; the application shall be accompanied by a check payable to the Borough of Spotswood in the amount of $500. Any license authorized for transfer by the Borough Council of the Borough of Spotswood shall expire on the 31st day of December of the year in which the transfer is made. Thereafter, the license may be renewed in accordance with the terms of this chapter.
G. 
No materials of an explosive nature shall be stored, maintained, detonated or demolished on any premises except as may be permitted to be maintained by fire prevention code or other applicable law for operation of a junkyard.
H. 
No materials shall be kept or maintained on any said premises which shall be of such odorous nature as to be offensive to adjoining landowners and property owners or other inhabitants in the area of the licensed premises nor shall any intentional discharge be permitted.
[Amended 9-6-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-18]
I. 
The applicant shall maintain sufficient fire extinguishers on the licensed premises at all times and shall establish such fire protection measures as may be required by the Uniform Fire Safety Code or by reason of any other law.
J. 
All junkyards shall comply with all county, state and federal governmental laws and regulations.
K. 
Any new buildings or junkyard operations shall be located at least 100 feet from any property line or roadway. Existing buildings or operations, closer than 100 feet at the time of initial licensing under this chapter, shall be exempt.
L. 
No materials regulated herein shall be placed on the licensed premises in a manner which permits rainwater to collect and remain in and about the premises for a period longer than 24 hours.
M. 
No operator of a junkyard shall permit rodents or conditions likely to attract rodents or any other unhealthful or unsanitary condition to exist on the premises.
N. 
Copies of all applicable local, state and federal licenses that may be required shall be maintained on the site, made available to the Borough for inspection, and be resubmitted with renewal applications.

§ 117-8 Criteria for issuance of license and renewal.

A. 
Upon determining that an application complies with the standards and requirements of this chapter, and after public hearing, the Borough Council shall grant the application for a license. The initial license shall expire December 31 of the year following the year of issuance and thereafter must be renewed annually. Renewal applications shall be made by October 1 of the year in which the license shall expire and acted upon by the Borough Council prior to December 31. Failure to file a complete application and documentation shall constitute a violation of this chapter in the event an applicant is notified that the application is incomplete and shall not submit missing or accurate information or correct documentation by December 31 of the year in which the license shall expire. No public hearing shall be required upon application for license renewal except pursuant to Subsection B hereof.
[Amended 9-6-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-18]
B. 
The Borough of Spotswood, by issuing a junkyard license, reserves unto itself the right to refuse renewal of any existing license upon a finding by the Zoning Officer, Code Enforcement Officer, Borough Engineer, or any county, state or federal authority, that the operation of a junkyard is detrimental to the health, safety and general welfare of the public due to failure of an applicant to comply with the provisions of this or any other ordinance. The granting of a license under this chapter shall not be construed to permit a licensee to maintain any condition which would constitute a public or private nuisance or maintain any condition which would constitute a violation of the provisions of this chapter or any other law.
[Amended 9-6-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-18]
C. 
Should the Borough determine upon an application for renewal of an existing license that there are reasonable grounds for refusing to renew a license, due to failure of an applicant to comply with the provisions of this chapter, the Borough Clerk shall immediately notify the applicant that the governing body will hold a hearing on whether or not said license shall be renewed. Such notice shall inform the applicant of the time, date and place of the hearing, which shall be held no less than 10 nor more than 20 days from the date of service of said notice. The applicant shall then have an opportunity to be heard on the issue of whether or not said license should be renewed. The Borough Clerk shall also notify all property owners within 200 feet of the subject premises of the time and place of the hearing by serving such notice by certified mail, return receipt requested. In such instance, the burden of proof required in § 117-4A shall be on the Borough.
D. 
An applicant shall have the right to appeal any determination of the Borough Council to the Superior Court of New Jersey within 20 days of such determination made by resolution.
E. 
The Borough Council shall authorize issuance of a temporary license for a licensee seeking renewal of a license until a hearing has been completed and a determination made in order to avoid suspension of, interference with or undue hardship upon a junkyard operation.

§ 117-9 Suspension and revocation of license; inspection.

A. 
The Borough Council may revoke any license previously issued upon filing of a complaint by the Zoning Officer, Code Enforcement Officer of the Borough or any resident or owner of property in the Borough of Spotswood and finding of a violation of the provisions of this chapter after a hearing, to be held within 45 days after filing of complaint, at which hearing a licensee may present evidence and witnesses and cross-examine witnesses presented on behalf of the complaining party. No such hearing shall be held and no license may be suspended or revoked unless a complaint shall have been filed in writing setting forth the facts constituting a violation of this chapter and service of the complaint upon a licensee in accordance with the requirements of this chapter.
B. 
The licensed premises shall be open to inspection by the Zoning Officer, Code Enforcement Officer, Fire Sub-Code Official and Borough Engineer of the Borough of Spotswood, the Middlesex County Board of Health and any other appropriate governmental agencies with jurisdiction at any reasonable time of day or night.
C. 
In the event that any license shall be revoked for good cause as defined in § 117-5 or terminated voluntarily by the licensee, there shall be no refund of any portion of the annual license fee.

§ 117-10 Applications.

A. 
Application forms shall be obtained from the Borough Clerk in a form prescribed by the Borough Council.
B. 
Eight copies of the application shall be filed with the Borough Engineer, who shall determine whether the application is complete based upon the requirements of § 117-6. An applicant for a license may apply to the Borough Council for a waiver from any checklist requirement. In making his determination, the Borough Engineer shall be guided by and apply the standards set forth in § 117-6 hereof. Upon determining that the application is complete, the Borough Engineer shall notify the Borough Clerk that a public hearing date can be established. If the application is incomplete, he shall notify the owner of the reasons for such determination. The determination of the Borough Engineer shall be made within 30 days of submittal of an application. Any submittal or fee described in this chapter together with any supporting documentation shall accompany the application forms. An applicant shall have the right to appeal the determination of the Borough Engineer to the Borough Council.

§ 117-11 License fees; escrow deposit for professional fees.

A. 
An application fee of $500 shall be payable to the Borough upon submission of an application for a junkyard license. Upon expiration of a license, a renewal application fee in the same amount shall be payable to the Borough in accordance with this chapter and submitted with the renewal application.
B. 
All professional charges for review of an application shall be reasonable and necessary, given the status and progress of the application. Each payment charged to an escrow deposit for review of applications shall be pursuant to a voucher from the professional, which voucher shall identify the person performing the service, and for each date the service is performed, the hours spent, the hourly rate and any expenses incurred. All professionals shall submit vouchers to the Chief Financial Officer of the Borough in accordance with schedules and procedures established by the Chief Financial Officer of the municipality, and shall send an informational copy simultaneously to the applicant. Whenever the applicant disputes the charges made by a professional for services rendered in reviewing the application, an applicant shall notify the Borough Council and the professional in writing. The Borough Council, or its designee, shall within a reasonable time period attempt to remediate any disputed charges. If the matter is not resolved to the satisfaction of the applicant, the applicant may appeal to a court of competent jurisdiction.

§ 117-12 Insurance.

Any person who seeks a license under this chapter shall obtain and deliver to the Borough Clerk with the application evidence that the applicant has in effect a public liability insurance policy with limits of liability of not less than $1,000,000 combined single limit for any one accident for bodily injury and property damage.

§ 117-13 Bond required.

An application for a junkyard license shall be accompanied by a bond to the Borough in the penal sum of $1,000, with a surety or sureties approved by the Borough Council, or a letter of credit pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-53.5 conditioned for the observance during the term of the license of all laws, ordinances, rules and regulations applicable to the junkyard or the junkyard business in force or thereafter adopted by the governing body of the Borough.