[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Wilkins 4-28-2008 by Ord. No. 987. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The following definitions shall apply to this chapter:
- ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLE ON PRIVATE PROPERTY
- As defined by § 102 of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, a vehicle which has remained on private property without the consent of the owner or person in control of the property for more than 24 hours.
- ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLE ON PUBLIC PROPERTY
- Any motor vehicle which falls under Subsection (1) or (2) hereof and set forth as follows:
- (2) Any motorized vehicle which possesses one or more of the following conditions constituting a nuisance:
- (c) Conditions which do or could permit harborage of vermin/animals, including but not limited to the following:
- (f) Disassembled motor vehicle parts, including but not limited to the following: chassis or other motor vehicle parts stored in a disorderly fashion in or about the vehicle.
- (g) Such other conditions which constitute nuisances and threaten the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Township of Wilkins.
- ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- A police officer, code enforcement officer or other person or entity designated by the Township of Wilkins to enforce its ordinances.
- MOTOR VEHICLE
- A car, truck, motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle or any other type of mechanical device, propelled by a motor, in which persons or property may be transported upon public streets or highways, and including trailers or semitrailers pulled thereby; and any parts of a motor vehicle.
- Any condition or use of motor vehicle or property, structure or improvement which shall constitute a danger or potential danger to the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Township of Wilkins.
- NUISANCE MOTOR VEHICLE ON PRIVATE PROPERTY
- Any motorized vehicle which possesses one or more of the following conditions, constituting a nuisance:
- (3) Conditions which do or could permit harborage of vermin/animals, including but not limited to the following:
- (6) Disassembled motor vehicle parts, including but not limited to the following: chassis or other motor vehicle parts stored in a disorderly fashion in or about the vehicle.
- (7) Such other conditions which constitute nuisances and threaten the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Township of Wilkins.
- The owner of the abandoned motor vehicle; or the owner, tenant, occupant, lessee, resident or custodian of the property on which abandoned motor vehicles are located, whether individual or partnership, association or corporation.
- PRIVATE PROPERTY
- Any real property located within the Township of Wilkins, which a person owns, and which is not public property as defined in this section.
- PUBLIC PROPERTY
- Any street or highway, which shall include the entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained for the purposes of vehicular travel, and shall also mean any other publicly owned property or facility.
In this chapter, the singular shall include the plural; the plural shall include the singular; and the masculine shall include the feminine and neuter.
Violations. A person shall be in violation of this chapter for committing the following prohibited behavior:
No person shall keep or leave, or permit to be kept or left, any abandoned motor vehicle parts, as defined by this chapter, within the Township of Wilkins for more than 72 hours.
No person shall keep or leave, or permit to be kept or left, any abandoned motor vehicle, as defined by this chapter, within 10 feet of public streets or alleys in the Township of Wilkins for more than 72 hours.
This chapter shall not apply to:
A vehicle in an enclosed building, excluding tarps or similar coverings and carport-type structures which are open to view and are unsecured.
A vehicle on the premises of a business enterprise lawfully licensed to operate a motor vehicle junkyard or other such lawfully licensed business requiring the keeping of abandoned vehicles, or parts thereof, as defined herein.
A classic or antique vehicle which is in the process of being restored, provided that the use of oxy-acetylene or electric arc welding (torch cutting) or the use of spray painting are performed inside an approved enclosed area or as approved by the Fire Marshal.
A vehicle in an appropriate storage place, lawful depository or impoundment facility.
The Township of Wilkins shall enforce or abate the nuisances, defined by this chapter, as follows:
Inspections. Enforcement officers of the Township of Wilkins are hereby authorized and empowered to inspect private property on which motor vehicles are stored to determine if there is compliance with the provisions of this chapter. If a Wilkins Township enforcement officer finds a violation or violations of this chapter, he shall issue a written notice to be served by registered or certified mail upon the owner of the abandoned motor vehicle, or if unknown, the owner of the premises, lessee, agent of the owner, household or family member, and/or custodian of the property on which the abandoned motor vehicle is located, whether individual or partnership, association or corporation. If the whereabouts or identity of the above-defined persons is unknown or if they fail to respond to the written notice, service shall be by posting the notice conspicuously upon the premises where the motor vehicles are located.
Said notice shall specify the violation complained of and shall require the person to remove or rectify the violation within 10 days of the mailing or posting of said notice.
The authorized enforcement officer, whether the Wilkins Township Police or the code enforcement officer, shall have the right and power to enter upon the premises where the abandoned motor vehicles are located to accomplish the service of notice and any other remedy under this chapter.
Impounding of abandoned motor vehicles. If the person notified does not comply with the notice to abate, the Township of Wilkins enforcement officer is hereby authorized to remove or have removed any abandoned motor vehicle which reasonably appears to be in violation of this chapter, within the boundaries of the Township of Wilkins, at the initial expense of the Township. Such abandoned motor vehicle shall be impounded at the closest junk automotive dealership or yard until lawfully claimed or disposed of according to law. The Township of Wilkins shall then assess the person notified with the cost of such towing and impoundment, plus 10% of all costs.
Enforcement of nuisance motor vehicles and abandoned motor vehicles. An action shall be brought against any person in violation of this chapter by filing a citation with the Magisterial District Justice for the Township of Wilkins for a summary offense under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure. Any person who shall be convicted of violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, in a summary proceeding, be sentenced to pay a fine not less than $300 nor more than $1,000, plus costs of prosecution, removal of the vehicle, restitution for the costs of removal of the vehicle(s) and/or a term of imprisonment of up to 90 days, per violation. Each day that a violation continues after conviction shall constitute a separate offense.
Civil action for unpaid fines, penalties and costs and other relief. The Township of Wilkins may file a civil enforcement proceeding with the same Magisterial District Justice to recover the unpaid fines, penalties, costs, restitution and expenses accruing for each day the violation continues when they are not voluntarily paid. Penalties shall not exceed $1,000 per violation. The civil enforcement proceeding shall be initiated by complaint or by such other means as may be provided by the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedures. In any civil action, the Township of Wilkins shall be exempt from the payment of costs of any civil case brought to enforce this chapter and in accordance with 53 P.S. § 66601 (c.1)(1).
Remedies not exclusive. The remedies provided herein for the enforcement of this chapter, or any remedy provided by law, shall not be deemed mutually exclusive; rather, they may be employed simultaneously or consecutively, at the option of the Township of Wilkins.