[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Washington 5-1-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-02. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Land development — See Ch. 275.
Mosquito control — See Ch. 297.
Noise — See Ch. 310.
Public health nuisances — See Ch. 490.
Editor's Note: This ordinance superseded former Ch. 269, Junkyards, adopted by Ord. No. 2000-1.
Whereas, the Township Committee of the Township of Washington acknowledges its duty to the residents of and visitors to the Township of Washington and to the public as a whole to protect its health, safety and welfare; and
Whereas, N.J.S.A. 40:48-1 et seq. and 40:52-1 et seq. authorize a municipality to regulate, control and license property, business enterprises and in particular, junkyards, for the public health, safety and welfare; and
Whereas, a substantial portion of the land within the Township of Washington is located in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, which consist of unique geology, plant life and wildlife, and ecological features; and
Whereas, the Pine Barrens area, including the Township of Washington, contains major natural resources, including a pristine supply of surface and underground water; and
Whereas, the residents of Washington Township and the public as a whole depend upon local unpolluted water as the primary source of drinking water with a Class I-PL designation as set forth by N.J.A.C. 7:9-6, Ground Water Quality Standards; and
Editor's Note: See now N.J.A.C. 7:9C-1.1 et seq.
Whereas, the residents of Washington Township and the public as a whole depend in part on surface recharge of the underground drinking water supply, and those surface water supplies must remain within the acceptable bounds as set forth by N.J.A.C. 7:9B, New Jersey Surface Water Quality Standards; and
Whereas, the residents of Washington Township and the public as a whole depend on soil conditions which will not impart, impact or otherwise compromise the unique nature of the underground water through direct leaving or other physical, chemical, or biological means, or any combination thereof, above the standards outlined in N.J.A.C. 7:26D, Cleanup Standards for Contaminated Sites; and
Editor's Note: See now N.J.A.C. 7:9C-1.1 et seq.
Whereas, Washington Township is physically located in a Pinelands Watershed area bounded by three rivers with associated lakes and tributaries and, as such, contains within its borders numerous areas designated as freshwater wetlands, and the encroachment and impact to such areas is protected by regulations specified in N.J.A.C. 7:7-1.4; and
Whereas, the natural and pristine nature of Washington Township provides enjoyment to the residents and the visiting public for camping and related recreational purposes; and
Whereas, preservation of the natural and unpolluted state of the lands, forests, rivers, wetlands and coastal waters in Washington Township not only supports unique geological conditions and plant and animal life but also provides an unhampered study of same; and
Whereas, it is of vital importance to residents of Washington Township and the public as a whole to preserve such unpolluted areas in the face of continually increasing encroachment in the United States as whole; and
Whereas, it is imperative that the Township Committee of the Township of Washington takes what action is necessary to preserve and enhance this natural and unique environment; and
Whereas, the Township Committee of the Township of Washington finds that junkyards in particular, because of the very nature of their operation, present a special threat and concern to the environment, aesthetics, and economy of the Township of Washington; and
Whereas, the special nature of junkyard operations entails actual and potential noise pollution, vermin infestation, and unsightliness; and
Whereas, the special nature of junkyards in particular entails the actual and potential spread of motor vehicle fluids, battery acid, rust, volatile organics and other pollutants through seepage and other means; and
Whereas, such pollution is particularly difficult to control in junkyards because of the broad areas over which, and relatively random placement of, junk; and
Whereas, the existing Junkyard Licensing Ordinance, especially in light of increasing knowledge and education concerning the environment and the extent of damage thereto from adversely impacting activities, does not adequately protect the environment or provide adequate controls; and
Whereas, such protection and control are essential, not only to further the policies of the various federal and state environmental laws and agencies but also to protect the Township of Washington against claims, lawsuits, and economic drain as a result thereof;
Whereas, the existence of potential pollution, actual pollution, and pollution-generating materials may result in monetary and cleanup duties imposed upon the Township of Washington, which could be of vast and enormous expense and well without the parameters of the budget of the Township of Washington; and
Whereas, while not precluding the possibility of eventual imposition on other business of regulations similar to those contained in this chapter, the Township Committee of the Township of Washington is particularly concerned with regulation of junkyards because of their special nature;
It is, therefore, deemed to be in the best interests of the Township of Washington and the general public to license and regulate junkyards as set forth in this chapter.
All ordinances or parts thereof of the Township of Washington pertaining to junkyards shall be and are hereby repealed; in lieu and instead thereof a new Junkyard Ordinance shall be enacted as set forth herein. It is recognized that junkyards are not a permitted use within the Township of Washington, and this new ordinance pertaining to same applies to existing junkyards deemed to be permissible nonconforming uses. The following are the licensing, application and regulations for junkyards within the Township of Washington.
All junkyards as defined in this chapter are hereby prohibited in all zoning districts in the Township of Washington, except as set forth in this chapter and conditioned upon compliance with the licensing and regulation provisions herein contained.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms are defined as follows:
- AUTOMOBILE GRAVEYARD
- Any land or building which is maintained, used or operated for storing, keeping, buying or selling wrecked, scrapped, ruined or dismantled motor vehicles. Three or more such vehicles will constitute an automobile graveyard.
- GOOD CAUSE
- The violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, or any false statement contained in the application for license, or failure to pay any license fee when due, or any conviction of the applicant during the terms for which the license was issued, or the violation of any statute or law of the State of New Jersey or any statute of the United States or the United States government arising out of and in the course of operating the junkyard.
- Any old, discarded or unused waste material of any type, whether or not it has outlived its usefulness or the original purpose, including but not limited to iron, metals, glass, paper, rags, clothes, machines, boats, automobiles, motor vehicles or parts thereof or accessories thereof, such as auto bodies and the like, and all other materials commonly or generally known as "junk" in the ordinary meaning of the word, including, without limitation, parts or portions of automobiles and discarded automobiles and automobile bodies.
- JUNK DEALER
- Any person who deals in junk for commercial purposes or who buys or otherwise acquires or collects or stores junk within the Township of Washington.
- JUNK SHOP
- Any building within the Township of Washington in which junk is stored, placed, sold or purchased.
- Any lands or parcels thereof on which junk is collected or placed or stored or used or sold. The term "junkyard" shall include, without limitation, automobile graveyards, junk dealers, junk shops and, where applicable, licensed premises. This term does not include and this chapter does not prohibit or require a license for storage of old materials to be used by persons or entities storing the same for manufacturing or other business purposes commonly used in connection with, and as an accessory and subservient part of, the normal operation of that business. However, any such old materials will be presumed to be junk as defined by this subsection if they are kept on site for a continuous period of more than two years.
- LICENSED PREMISES
- Any lands or buildings, or both, for which a license has been properly issued under this chapter.
Where, at the effective date of the adoption of this chapter, the lawful use of land or a parcel thereof as a junkyard exists, such use may be continued as a nonconforming use, provided that it remains otherwise lawful and complies with the provisions of the ordinances of the Township of Washington and the licensing procedures herein contained.
Any person, entity or junk dealer who shall operate or maintain a junkyard shall apply for an annual license from the governing body of the Township of Washington.
The term of each license shall be for a period for one calendar year.
The term of each license shall commence on January 1 of each year, or upon the date of the governing body's granting of the applicant's license.
The applicant shall file a renewal application 90 days before the start of the next annual license term.
Every applicant for a license shall file with the Township Clerk a written application signed by the applicant(s) and the owner(s) of the premises upon which junk is located, which application shall contain the following information:
The name and address and endorsement of the applicant(s) and, if a firm or corporation, the names and addresses of the officers and registered agent or partners of said corporation.
The name and address and endorsement of the owner(s) of premises where the junkyard is located and, if a firm or corporation, names and addresses of the officers and the registered agent or partners.
The length of time said applicant or owner used the subject premises as a junkyard prior to the application.
A full description of that portion of the premises actually being utilized as a junkyard which will therefore be the subject of the license application, including a metes and bounds description of the lands constituting the junkyard portion and the entire outside perimeter lot lines of the premises upon which a portion is utilized as the junkyard, together with a description and location of any and all buildings and improvements thereon, parking areas, description and location of materials stored, location and structure of fencing and landscaping, and means of egress and ingress. The aforesaid description shall include a survey and site plan showing existing and proposed uses prepared and certified by a licensed professional, and the applicant shall provide the names and addresses of all owners of real estate within a five-hundred-foot radius, according to a certified Tax Map locator, of the outside lot lines of the premises. The applicant shall provide notice of time, place and date of the junkyard license hearing to such persons within the five-hundred-foot radius, which hearing will be at the next regular meeting of the governing body of the Township of Washington following submission of a completed application or such other time as the governing body may dictate. Junkyard license applications subsequent to the initial application under this chapter may provide an affidavit of non change, if applicable, in lieu of an annual survey and site plan.
A description of firefighting equipment and means of egress and ingress for emergency-type vehicles, and any license approval shall be conditioned upon approval of same by the local fire company representative or such other official designated from time to time by the governing body of the Township of Washington.
Monitoring wells shall be installed as herein set forth and according to the specifications on file with the Township Engineer and the Township Clerk, which said specifications shall be based upon New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Unconsolidated Monitor Well Specifications. Sampling of monitor wells shall be required to meet those sampling specifications based upon NJDEP's Field Sampling Procedures Manual in force at the time of sampling. Monitoring wells must be tested twice a year. All well groundwater samples shall be analyzed for compounds in accordance with Table 2-3 of the current Technical Requirements for Site Remediation, N.J.A.C. 7:26E. Monitoring well sampling shall be taken and controlled by appropriate "chain of custody" procedures, and analyzed by certified and licensed persons by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. If groundwater sample analysis reveals compounds above NJDEP's most recent cleanup standards, all potable wells located within a one-thousand-foot radius from a contaminated monitoring well must be sampled within 30 days. Samples collected from potable wells must be analyzed for all contaminants detected in affected monitoring wells in accordance with drinking water standards. Test results shall be filed with the Township Clerk within 20 days of issuance.
A description of the means and location of draining, collection, storage and disposal of liquids from automobile or automobile parts prior to and subsequent to storage and a description of the containing surfaces where such acts are to take place. The applicant shall provide such documentation as may be required by the governing body to ensure compliance with all laws pertaining to such materials.
The applicant shall execute such bonding, hold-harmless and/or indemnity agreements and provide such bonds or insurance pertaining to liability and environmental damage as may be reasonably required by the governing body. No such bonds or insurance shall be required if same cannot be reasonably obtained at a fair rate, and no such bonds or insurance shall be required unless otherwise indicated at the license hearing.
A description of and location of monitoring wells as approved by the Township Engineer, which said approval shall be obtained prior to and included within the application. Any junkyard shall have a minimum of three monitoring wells with at least one well located downgradient from a potential area of contamination. One additional downgradient well per each area of potential contamination may be required as determined by the Township Engineer. Placement of monitoring wells must be reviewed and approved by the Township prior to installation. Groundwater flow direction shall be determined by a qualified professional (e.g., hydrogeologist).
No application will be considered unless the applicant provides proof that all municipal real estate taxes and other municipal charges are current on the licensed property.
Additional requirements for the application may be imposed from time to time during the license hearing, or particular requirements may be waived by the governing body on a case-by-case basis as circumstances may justify or dictate, as a condition for issuance of the license, if necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
The applicant shall submit a nonrefundable license application fee, made payable to the Township of Washington, in the amount of $500.
Any issue that may require the Township Engineer to undertake an inspection or investigation shall be billed to the applicant at the Engineer's Washington Township contracted billing rate.
Upon receipt, the Township Clerk shall present any application, together with the fee accompanying same, to the governing body at its next regular meeting. Should the application be deemed by the governing body to be incomplete, written notification by certified mail shall be directed to the applicant, setting forth the reasons for determining that the application is incomplete. If the application is deemed complete, the governing body shall set forth when the license hearing shall take place, which shall be at the next regular governing body meeting, unless the governing body otherwise specifically provides, but in no event more than 30 days after receipt of a complete application.
The following regulations shall pertain to junkyards:
It shall be unlawful to stack, pile or place motor vehicles, parts of motor vehicles, or any other junk or materials upon the premises subject to the license, so that any such item or composite of items exceeds 13 feet in height from ground level.
The entire perimeter of that portion of the entire premises for which a junkyard license has been issued shall be enclosed completely on all sides by a fence approved by the governing body, or, at the option of the license applicant, permanent survey monuments shall be provided, indicating the portion beginning and end of each course of the premises' legal description, and the part of the premises for which the junkyard license is issued shall be delineated by the placement of metal posts at least four feet in height, spray-painted a bright color every 20 feet around the perimeter. A fence providing a visual barrier shall be required for enclosing any portion of the licensed premises adjacent to or bordering a public road or right-of-way and any portion of the licensed premises within 150 feet of such road or right-of-way, thus creating a U-shaped visual barrier.
Disposal of junk by incineration on the licensed premises is prohibited.
No junk or rubbish or salvaged material of any type shall be kept without the parameters of the monuments and fencing enclosing the licensed premises.
Any excessive or unreasonable noise created by operation of the junkyard, creating a nuisance or otherwise violating any ordinance or law shall be considered a violation of the license by the licensee.
No license issued pursuant to the terms of this chapter shall entitle any licensee or any person to operate under said license at, in or upon 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 place, lands or premises. A person-to-person transfer may be permitted at the discretion of the governing body upon proper application by an existing licensee. The application shall contain names and addresses of all parties to the transfer applied for, in accordance with all terms of this chapter, and shall be accompanied by a payment to the Township of Washington in the amount of $100. Any license so permitted to be transferred by the Township of Washington shall expire on the same date as it would have had no transfer taken place.
No materials of an explosive, corrosive, ignitable or toxic nature shall be kept, stored, used, maintained or demolished on the licensed premises, except motor vehicle liquids and other materials and items normally involved in the operation of the junkyard, and in accordance with this chapter.
No materials of an odorous, hazardous or environmentally detrimental nature shall be kept or maintained on the licensed premises, except motor vehicle liquids and other materials and items normally involved in the operation of a junkyard, and in accordance with this chapter.
The licensee shall at all times keep whatever fire equipment has been required, pursuant to the application process, on the premises in an accessible place and maintained in operating condition, and shall at all times maintain clear and accessible egress and ingress for emergency vehicles. The following minimum equipment for fire safety shall be maintained and accessible to employees during the junkyard operations:
No licensee or his agent, representative or employee shall knowingly or illegally buy, sell, receive, dispose of, conceal or have in its possession any motor vehicle from which the manufacturer's serial number or any other number or identification mark has been removed, defaced, altered, covered or destroyed for the purpose of concealing the identity of such vehicle, except as same may be accepted by the licensee from a person or entity authorized by law to deliver such items.
No licensee or agent, representative or employee thereof shall illegally receive or possess any goods, articles, or things which may have been stolen and shall not have been legally obtained from a person or entity authorized to deliver same. Should the licensee receive any such items other than from a legal and authorized source, the licensee shall immediately notify the nearest New Jersey State Troopers' barracks of same.
Any drainage, collection, storage or disposal of any liquids retrieved from automobiles or parts thereof shall be accomplished on and over a containing surface in a manner so as not to spill any such material on the ground. The licensee shall drain antifreeze and fuel from any automobile or part thereof within 48 hours of receipt of same and prior to storage or any other disposition of such motor vehicle or motor vehicle parts. Said liquids shall be disposed of in accord with Department of Environmental Protection regulations.
The junkyard shall be served by a fire lane that is 15 feet wide, terminates in a manner which provides safe and efficient entry and turnaround for fire equipment and, if present, has bridges or culverts having a highway load limit of at least 20 tons. The fire lane shall be kept clear of junk materials and storage that would impede access by fire equipment.
Storage areas for tires shall be separated from other junk materials and storage areas by a firebreak that is clear of flammable material and vegetation, to mineral soil or other road-surface material.
If such motor vehicles, parts of motor vehicles, or any other junk or materials upon the premises are stored one on top of another, then such vehicles shall not be stored more than 16 feet in width. In no case shall any item or composite of items exceed 13 feet in height from ground level. Such storage configuration shall not exceed 500 feet in length. The purpose of this requirement is to allow access by EMTs, firefighters, and equipment in the event of fire or other emergency within the licensed premises.
Each licensee shall comply with the relevant provisions and requirements of the New Jersey Worker and Community Right to Know Act, N.J.S.A. 34:5A-1 et seq., and N.J.A.C. 8:59. A copy of the annual inventory and report submitted to the New Jersey Department of Health and Services shall be filed with the Clerk of Washington Township within 20 days of submission.
The Township of Washington, by licensing said license, reserves unto itself the right to refuse the renewal of any existing license upon a finding by the Township of Washington that the operation of said junkyard at the premises used for said purpose is detrimental to the health, safety and general welfare of the public. The granting of a license under this chapter shall not be construed for any purposes as permission to the licensee to maintain any condition which would constitute a public or private nuisance, be detrimental to the environment, or maintain any condition which would violate the regulations propounded in this chapter or any other federal, state, county or local law or regulation.
Any licensee who has filed a timely and complete application shall be permitted to continue junkyard operations, pending the application hearing and determination, unless the governing body, upon such notice to the licensee as is reasonably possible under the circumstances, orders an immediate shutdown of junkyard operations because of a reasonable belief of imminent public or environmental hazard as a result of such operations.
The Township of Washington may revoke any license at any time during the period for which the license was issued on the Township's own action or on the objection of a taxpayer or inhabitant of the Township of Washington, upon any violation of the provisions of this chapter, upon hearing, and upon at least 10 days' written notice by certified mail to the licensee.
The licensed premises shall be open to inspection by the Code Enforcement Officer of the Township of Washington, the Board of Health, the Health Officer, the State Troopers, or any authorized agent of the Township of Washington, who shall have the right at any and all reasonable times without prior notice to inspect any and all parts of the licensed premises to ensure compliance with this chapter as well as applicable state and federal law.
In the event any license shall be revoked or voluntarily terminated, any activities permitted by the license shall cease immediately. The licensee or former licensee shall, within 90 days of such revocation or termination, remove all junk from the premises, leaving the premises clean and pollution-free, and provide full documentation of proper disposal of the junkyard items. Any request for an extension of time for such removal beyond the 90 days herein provided shall be made to the governing body by filing such request with the Municipal Clerk within 45 days of the final revocation or termination. Failure to so remove shall, in addition to any other remedies that may be provided by law, be deemed a nuisance and subject to removal by the Township, the costs and expenses of which shall become a lien on the premises.
Any modifications to the terms and conditions of this chapter shall be by amendatory ordinance, except that, as provided in § 269-6B(11), additional specific requirements or waiver thereof to a specific applicant during a specific application proceeding may be imposed or permitted as consistent with and as provided in this chapter and § 269-6B(6).
Enforcement in a Municipal Court by way of prosecution of violations of this chapter shall not be exclusive and shall not preclude other remedies that may be available at law. A person violating any portion of this chapter shall be subject to a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $1,000, community service and/or may be imprisoned for a term not to exceed 30 days.