City of Schenectady, NY
Schenectady County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the Schenectady 4-13-1981 as Ord. No. 81-30. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Vehicles and traffic generally — See Ch. 249.

§ 247-1 Purpose.

The outdoor storage of junked, abandoned, unused or dangerous motor vehicles, or the parts therefrom, within the City of Schenectady is a hazard to the preservation of the public health, welfare and safety in that it constitutes a health, fire and safety hazard and is an attractive nuisance to children, which is a peril to their safety. Their outdoor storage constitutes a blight on the city's landscape, and they are generally unsightly, and their existence tends to depreciate the value of property in the neighborhood and the City generally. The control of the outdoor storage of junked, abandoned, unused or dangerous motor vehicles, or parts therefrom, within the City of Schenectady is therefore regulated for the preservation of the public health, safety and welfare of its residents.

§ 247-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ABANDONED
Any motor vehicle, the ownership of which cannot be reasonably determined or of which the owner does not intend to recover possession.
COMPETITION VEHICLES
Those vehicles which have been so modified for use on a track or dragstrip that they cannot be legally operated on a public way.
DANGEROUS
Any motor vehicle which has smashed and broken windows and/or areas of sharp and torn metal edges and points and which cannot legally be operated upon a public way.
HISTORIC MOTOR VEHICLE
A motor vehicle manufactured more than 25 years prior to the current calendar year, which is owned and operated as an exhibition piece or collectors item and is used for participation in club activities, exhibits, tours, parades and for occasional transportation and similar uses, but not used for general daily transportation.
JUNKED
Any motor vehicle which is unregistered by the State of New York or any other state and is not operable.
LOT
A parcel of land as described on the City of Schenectady Tax Map.
MOTORCYCLES
A motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, but excluding a tractor.
MOTOR VEHICLE
Every vehicle which, if operated on the highways of this state, would be required by law to be licensed by the Department of Motor Vehicles of the State of New York.
OPERABLE
Any motor vehicle which can be registered in the State of New York and which can be legally operated upon a public way.
RECREATIONAL VEHICLE
Those vehicles which are either propelled by their own power or drawn on the public highways and which are used as temporary residences, such as tent trailers, travel trailers, campers or mini- and motor homes.
UNUSED
Any operable motor vehicle which is unregistered by the State of New York or any other state and/or upon which is not displayed a valid state inspection sticker.
UTILITY VEHICLES
Those vehicles having a seasonal or limited use, such as box trailers and construction trailers, and snow removal or snowplowing equipment.
VEHICLE OWNER
A person, other than a lienholder, having the property in or title to a 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 exclusive use thereof, under a lease or otherwise, for a period greater than 30 days.

§ 247-3 Scope.

This chapter does not apply to competition vehicles, recreational vehicles, utility vehicles, motorcycles or historic vehicles, unless such vehicle is abandoned or dangerous.

§ 247-4 Outdoor storage restrictions.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, either as owner, occupant, lessee, agent, tenant, trespasser or otherwise of or on any property within the City of Schenectady, to store or deposit or cause or permit to be stored or deposited a junked, abandoned or dangerous motor vehicle or vehicles, or parts therefrom, in the City of Schenectady except:
(1) 
Within a wholly enclosed building, or in an area enclosed by a secured wall or fence and in conformity with other existing zoning ordinances as they relate to fences and similar enclosures.
[Amended 8-27-1984 by Ord. No. 84-71]
(2) 
That no more than 10 such motor vehicles may be stored at one time in an open area at a gasoline filling station or outdoors at a New York State licensed repair shop for the purpose of repair or reconditioning, only provided that the outdoor storage of a specific vehicle shall not exceed 30 days.
(3) 
That nothing herein shall restrict the storage of unused motor vehicles for sale by a duly licensed new or used car dealer.
(4) 
As otherwise provided by law.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, either as owner, occupant, lessee, agent, tenant, trespasser or otherwise of or on any privately owned lot within the City of Schenectady, to store or deposit or cause or permit to be stored or deposited any unused vehicle for more than eight contiguous months in the City of Schenectady. This prohibition does not apply to the one allowable vehicle so long as the one vehicle stored or deposited on the lot is not stored or deposited in a manner which creates a hazard to the health, safety or morals of the occupant of a building or the public, and he shall place the vehicle out of public view whenever practicable.
[Amended 12-5-1983 by Ord. No. 83-98; 10-15-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-12]
C. 
Any junked, abandoned, unused or dangerous motor vehicle or vehicles, or parts therefrom, stored or deposited in violation of this chapter on any land in the City of Schenectady shall be removed by the vehicle owner, property owner, occupant, lessee, agent, tenant or other person. firm or corporation occupying, managing or controlling such land or vehicle.

§ 247-5 Enforcement.

[Amended 4-27-1992 by Ord. No. 92-15]
A. 
This chapter shall be enforced by the Bureau of Property Management.
B. 
The Bureau of Property Management shall receive the assistance of the Building Inspector, the Department of Engineering and Public Works, the Fire and Police Departments or officers and all other municipal officials as may be required for the total enforcement of this chapter, to the extent and limit determined by the Mayor.

§ 247-6 Right to enter to inspect

[Amended 4-27-1992 by Ord. No. 92-15]
A. 
During regular business hours or in an emergency at any hour whatsoever, the Bureau of Property Management or its representative or any duly authorized City representative, upon the showing of proper credentials and in the discharge of his duties, may enter upon any premises where a motor vehicle is stored. If access to such property is refused, the Bureau of Property Management shall apply for a search warrant in an appropriate court, and a warrant shall be issued upon a showing that there are reasonable grounds to believe that a junked, abandoned or dangerous vehicle, or parts therefrom, are stored or deposited on the property or that the owner of the property or the owner of the vehicle is in violation of this chapter.
B. 
The Bureau of Property Management or its representative or any duly authorized City representative may enter the premises without a search warrant in the case of an emergency which requires immediate action to abate a direct hazard or imminent danger to the health, safety, morals or welfare of the occupants of a building or the public.

§ 247-7 Violations.

A. 
Notice of violation. Whenever the Bureau of Property Management determines that there has been a violation of this chapter, he shall serve written notice upon the property owner, occupant or person having charge of such land upon which any vehicle is illegally stored or deposited and upon the vehicle's owner, if such party can be determined. Such notice shall specify the alleged violation, shall provide a reasonable time for compliance and shall advise the party of his right to appeal.
[Amended 4-27-1992 by Ord. No. 92-15]
B. 
Notice shall be served, either personally or by registered mail, to the property owner at his last known address, as shown upon the latest assessment roll, and to the vehicle's owner at his last known address, as shown upon the latest records of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. If, after due diligence, an address for either party cannot be determined or if either party cannot be served in the above stated manner, then the Director shall cause a copy of such notice to be posted on the property or on the motor vehicle, or both.
C. 
Right of appeal. Any person affected by a notice of violation issued in connection with the enforcement of any provision of this chapter or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto may request and shall be granted a hearing before the Bureau of Property Management if such person shall file with said bureau a written request for a hearing, setting forth the following: a brief statement of the grounds for the appeal, the name and address of a party upon whom orders may be served and the reasons why such notice of violation should be modified or withdrawn. This request must be filed within 10 days after the service of the notice of violation, and compliance with such notice shall not be required while the hearing is pending.
[Amended 4-27-1992 by Ord. No. 92-15]
D. 
Failure to abate violations. In case the property owner, agent, operator, vehicle owner or occupant cannot be found within the time limit set for the abatement of said violations or if such owner, agent, operator, vehicle owner or occupant shall fail, neglect or refuse to abate such violations, the Corporation Counsel shall be advised of all facts in the case and shall institute appropriate action in the court to compel compliance.
E. 
A cause of action for recovery of penalties provided for in § 247-8 may be released, settled or compromised by the Bureau of Property Management before the matter is referred to the Corporation Counsel or thereafter by such attorney.
[Amended 4-27-1992 by Ord. No. 92-15]

§ 247-8 Penalties for offenses.

[Amended 4-27-1992 by Ord. No. 92-4]
A. 
Each violation of this chapter shall be a misdemeanor and shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding $150 or by imprisonment not exceeding 30 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment; or by a penalty of not less than $5 nor more than $500 to be recovered by the City in a civil action.
B. 
A separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues unabated after the time limit set for the abatement of the violation.
C. 
Any person issued a notice of violation pursuant to any provision of this chapter, where the same has not been withdrawn by administrative appeal or dismissed by a court of competent jurisdiction, shall be subject to an administrative fee of $50, and such administrative fee shall be charged against the land upon which the notice of violation was issued as a municipal lien and, if unpaid, such administrative fee shall be added to the tax rolls as an assessment or levied as a special tax against said property or recovered in a civil suit against the person to which the notice of violation was issued.
[Added 7-1-1996 by Ord. No. 96-37]

§ 247-9 Emergency action.

[Amended 4-27-1992 by Ord. No. 92-15]
In cases in which the Bureau of Property Management determines that immediate action to abate a direct hazard or imminent danger to the health, safety, morals or welfare of the occupants of a building or the public is required, he shall promptly cause the removal of the motor vehicle, vehicles or parts presenting such hazard or danger as a public nuisance, and the expense incurred by the City shall be assessed against the property upon which such vehicle was found, which assessment shall constitute a lien and charge on such property and be collected as provided by law for the collection of delinquent taxes.

§ 247-10 Removal at owner's request; costs to become lien.

[Added 2-2-1988 by Ord. No. 88-06; amended 4-27-1992 by Ord. No. 92-15]
The Bureau of Property Management of his or her representative or any duly authorized City representative is hereby authorized to remove any junked, abandoned, unused or dangerous motor vehicle or the parts thereof at the request of the property owner on whose property said vehicle or parts are stored. The cost of such removal shall be borne by the property owner making such request and shall be payable to the Bureau of Property Management. In the event of nonpayment, the cost may be assessed against the property upon which such vehicle was found, which assessment shall constitute a lien and charge on such property and be collected as provided by law for the collection of delinquent taxes.