[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Bergen 5-24-1976 by L.L. No. 1-1976. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The governing board of the Town of Bergen recognizes that the proper storage or disposal of unregistered, abandoned, dismantled or partially dismantled automobiles, as well as other large scrap metal objects, is in the overall best interests of the residents of the Town of Bergen in order to avoid potential health hazards or nuisances, protect property values in the community and provide for a pleasing visual landscape. As such, the governing board institutes the policies set forth in this chapter and asks the cooperation and support of the residents of this community.
The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the uniform regulation of junkyards and used material collection or processing operations. It is not intended to prevent the operation of such a business; rather, it seeks to allow such a use of land to exist in harmony with surrounding land uses and be an asset to the community.
This chapter shall be known as the "Junkyard and Used Material Processing Law of the Town of Bergen, New York." By the adoption of this chapter, the Town Board of the Town of Bergen declares its intent in so doing to regulate, control and license the activities or business known as auto "graveyards," junkyards, secondhand parts collection areas, the processing of used materials for resale and the dumping, storage and disposal of waste, secondhand or used materials of whatever composition. Said Town Board hereby declares that such activities or businesses can constitute a hazard to property and persons and a public nuisance. Such materials may be highly inflammable and sometimes explosive. Gasoline tanks on old autos often contain in some quantity combustible gasoline; the engine and other parts of such autos are frequently covered with grease and oil which is also inflammable. The tires, plastic seats, tops and other elements of such autos are also inflammable. Batteries and other elements of such autos can contain acids and other matter potentially harmful to humans. These autos frequently contain sharp metal or glass edges or points upon which a human can receive serious cuts and abrasions. These autos can constitute attractive nuisances to children and certain adults. The presence of such businesses even in areas zoned for industry is unsightly and tends to detract from value of surrounding land and property unless such areas are properly maintained and operated.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- DISMANTLING FOR IMMEDIATE REPAIR
- Dismantling operations necessary to repair the vehicle, machine or equipment of the customer of a junkyard operator. Said operations can be completed within a short period of time (less than eight hours), and the vehicle or machine will be in operable condition upon completion of said repairs.
- DISMANTLING FOR SALVAGE
- Dismantling operations performed on a machine, vehicle or piece of equipment in which the components of the vehicle or machine are removed and used (or stored) for their own intrinsic value rather than as part of the entire vehicle or machine. The operations render the vehicle or machine, as a whole, inoperable and are performed solely because of the value of the parts or components, rather than of the whole.
- An area of land, including buildings thereon, on which metal, automobiles, wastepaper, rags, and other materials are collected, stored, processed, dismantled, and/or sold.
- JUNKYARD OPERATOR
- The owner of land upon which a junkyard is located, or his associates or assignees responsible for the operations and conduct of business in the junkyard.
- Piling two or more vehicles, machines, pieces of equipment, or other materials on top of one another to make use of vertical space rather than horizontal space.
The storage or abandonment of wastepaper, rags, scrap metal, discarded materials or the collection, storage, salvage or abandonment of machinery or vehicles not in operable condition shall constitute a junkyard and be governed by the Junkyard and Used Materials Law of the Town of Bergen, Genesee County, New York.
Two or more unregistered, disabled, dismantled or partly dismantled vehicles, not stored in a completely enclosed structure, allowed to remain on a premises for more than 30 days shall constitute a junkyard and shall be in violation of the law, except the following:
Seasonal vehicles or machinery stored during their off-season.
Vehicles or machinery used on the premises for purposes of conducting a business or industry.
Operable vehicles stored by an approved auto agency in business or industrial districts.
One or more customized or modified vehicles in operable condition (all modifications must be performed in a fully enclosed structure).
Refuse or waste generated on the premises which is stored and/or disposed of in a sanitary manner as determined by the County Health Department.
[Amended 8-22-1983 by L.L. No. 1-1983]
No new junkyards are permitted in the Town of Bergen. Existing junkyards of which qualify as legal nonconforming uses under Chapter 475, Zoning, of the Town of Bergen must continue to comply with the provisions of the Junkyard and Used Material Processing Law of the Town of Bergen.
The operator of a junkyard shall be licensed according to the provisions of § 304-8 of this chapter. This license shall be renewed on a yearly basis.
Each applicant for a license hereunder shall execute under oath an application therefor to be supplied to him by the Town Clerk, which shall contain the following information: a description of the exact type of business he intends to conduct, the nature of the materials he intends to handle; the number of employees he intends to engage; and the name and address of the owner or owners of the land and the nature of the right of occupancy of the applicant, and the use by the applicant of such land.
At the time of making the application, the applicant shall submit to and file with the Town Clerk a map or plan of the real property on which he intends to conduct the activity or business for which he is making application for a license hereunder with the area of such real property which it is proposed to use for such purpose, the location and composition of the fence required hereunder indicated thereon as well as the location of any buildings on such land and the location of any streets or highways abutting or passing through such land and the location of any water, sewer, or gas mains or laterals available thereto as well as the general drainage pattern of such land.
In the application, the applicant shall agree that if granted the license applied for, he will conduct the activity or business pursuant to the regulations hereinafter set forth and that upon his failure to do so such license may be revoked forthwith.
A person presently engaged in or conducting an activity or business such as described herein, on real property within the Town of Bergen must apply for a license therefor within 30 days of the adoption of this chapter. If the place where he conducts such activity or business presently complies with the requirements a person must meet to secure a license in the first instance, he shall be issued a license therefor if he meets the other requirements contained herein. If the place where he conducts such activity or business does not comply with the requirements a person must meet to secure a license in the first instance, he may be granted a temporary license for one year, during which year he must arrange the place where he conducts such activity or business so that it does then comply with the requirements a person must meet to secure a license in the first instance. If at the end of such year, such person has not so arranged his place of such activity or business, he shall forthwith cease and desist engaging in or conducting the same and shall remove from such place any autos, parts or other materials of the nature described herein.
If the person conducting such activity or business is not the sole owner thereof, he shall state such fact at the time he applies for his temporary license and the Town Clerk at the time of issuing such temporary license shall send the owners or each of them a notice of the issuance of such temporary license to such person together with a copy of this chapter.
[Amended 8-22-1983 by L.L. No. 1-1983; 12-28-1991 by L.L. No. 4-1991]
The fee for the issuance of the license, the fee for inspection of the premises to ascertain compliance with the regulations hereafter prescribed, and the fee for reinspection, if necessary, shall each be fixed in a sum to be determined by the Town Board.
Such license shall be placed and at all times displayed in a conspicuous place at the licensee's place of activity or business for which it is issued.
Such license shall be effective from the date of its issuance until the 31st day of August of the year of such issuance after which a new application for license must be made every year.
Such license is personal with the licensee. It does not go with the title of the land nor may it be sold, assigned, transferred or disposed of.
Such license may be revoked by the Town Board upon good cause shown, after a public hearing thereon at which the licensee shall have an opportunity to be heard. Upon revocation of the license, the Town Board may require the removal of autos, parts and materials left from said premises.
Editor's Note: This local law provided that it shall take effect 1-1-1992.
These requirements are instituted to accomplish the following purposes:
Provide adequate screening of all operations and storage carried on in the junkyard so as to maintain a pleasing visual landscape.
Provide sufficient distance between the road right-of-way and junkyard operations so as not to interfere with the flow of traffic.
Provide for adequate fire protection of the junkyard as well as provide a buffer for adjacent land uses.
All buildings located on the site must be set back a distance of at least 100 feet from the closest edge of the right-of-way (ROW) of any roadway.
The front yard (fronting on a roadway) must be enclosed by a chain link metal fence containing metal slats to a height of at least eight feet. Said fence shall be required to effectively screen the operations and storage taking place within the yard from the view of passing motorists, pedestrians, and neighbors. If, upon good cause shown, the Town Board alternatively agrees to permit same, the landowner may provide a natural screening of evergreen trees that would be to an effective height of at least eight feet. Such alternative method of screening must be such as to effectively screen the operations completely year round from the view of passing motorists, pedestrians and neighbors.
The front yard fence must be set back a distance of at least 50 feet from the right-of-way of the roadway.
The remainder of the site shall be enclosed by a fence or barrier of acceptable natural or man-made materials ("natural" to include stands of trees, brush, a berm of dirt, etc.) to effectively screen the operations and storage taking place within the year from the view of passing motorists, pedestrians, and neighbors.
There shall be a fifteen-foot fire lane around the entire site between the adjoining property line and the fence. Said lane shall be free of debris and excessive growth (trees, underbrush), except where the natural materials are part of the fencing required.
No materials may be stacked higher than the top of the fence at any point within the yard.
Those junkyards legally operating at the time of adoption of this chapter, yet which do not conform to some or all provisions of this chapter, shall initiate substantial procedures to comply with all provisions of this chapter within a six-month period after adoption. Front yard screening shall be completed within six months after adoption of this chapter. The remaining compliance procedures must be completed within two years from the date of adoption of this chapter. Failure to do so shall result in the revocation of the operator's license.
Individuals or business firms found in violation of the above sections of this chapter shall be subject to the following penalties:
Each week the violation is allowed to occur, notice of violation having been legally served, shall constitute a separate offense subject to separate penalties. The violator shall be subject to reimburse the Town of Bergen for any costs incurred in order to determine the violation and/or enforce the prescribed penalties. The Town of Bergen shall also have the authority to do whatever else is reasonable and prudent to prevent the violation from occurring or to remove or discontinue the violation. The penalties provided in this section shall not be construed as limiting the Town of Bergen to only those remedies specifically alluded to.
Determination of violation shall be by the Zoning Enforcement Officer of the Town of Bergen with the cooperation of the county sheriff's department as follows: if the sheriff's patrol or any person notices a violation, he shall notify the Zoning Enforcement Officer of the Town of Bergen. The Zoning Enforcement Officer, if he finds such violation, shall then legally serve notice of violation. If a summons is required to remedy the situation, the Zoning Enforcement Officer may request the assistance of the county sheriff if he has reason to expect unusual difficulties in serving the summons.
In the case of a violation of the provisions of § 304-3 of this chapter (storing vehicles in such a manner as to constitute an illegal junkyard), the Zoning Enforcement Officer or the officer of the sheriff's department shall also provide the accused party with a list of licensed scrap dealers or other approved parties who may be willing to pick up or otherwise accept said scrap or junk.