Township of Independence, NJ
Warren County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Independence 12-8-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-08. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Land development — See Ch. 255.
Licenses and permits — See Ch. 261.
Littering — See Ch. 266.
Recycling — See Ch. 307.
Public health nuisances — See Ch. 407.

§ 250-1 License required.

No person shall establish, operate or maintain a motor vehicle junkyard or business or any other junkyard, or junk business, nor store, purchase, sell or deal in junk unless he shall first obtain a license for such yard, business or storage from the Township Committee of the Township of Independence.

§ 250-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
Includes any and all materials that are deemed to be designated as such a material as designated by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Environmental Protection.
Any old, discarded or unused waste iron or other metal or substance, glass, paper, used lumber, rags, machine parts, accessories, discarded machinery or discarded machines in whole or in part, unregistered motor vehicles which are unfit for reconditioning or for sale for highway transportation, used parts of motor vehicles, tires, drums, canisters, storage containers and any material commonly known and generally referred to as "junk" in the ordinary meaning of the word.
Any lot of land within the Township of Independence on which junk is placed, collected, stored or kept.
Describes any business or place of storage or deposit on property in the Township of Independence of either three or more unregistered motor vehicles or two or more automobiles which, in the opinion of the Police Department, are unfit for reconditioning for use for highway transportation or used parts of motor vehicles or material which has been part of a motor vehicle, the sum of which parts or materials shall, in the opinion of the Police Department, be equal in bulk to three or more motor vehicles.

§ 250-3 Application procedure.

Every applicant for a license under provisions of this chapter shall file with the Township Clerk of the Township of Independence a written application signed by the applicant or applicants, which application shall state or include:
Proof that the existing or proposed junkyard is a permitted or lawful preexisting use in the zoning district in which it is located or proposed.
The name and residence of the applicant; and if a firm, association, partnership or corporation, the name and address of the officers and the registered agent or partners.
The detailed nature of the business to be conducted and the classes of material which it is proposed to store therein.
The place where the business is to be located and carried on, by metes and bounds, and also the present zoning class of said property.
A survey plan showing the existing or proposed entrance or entrances to the premises where said business is to be conducted and the names and addresses of all owners of real estate on both sides of the street or road for a distance of 1,000 feet on each side thereof.
If the applicant is not the owner of the site where the business is to be conducted, the owner's consent to the conduct of the business shall accompany the application.
The type and location of fence to be constructed around the premises.
The applicant must post, in a conspicuous place, the hours of operation and an emergency telephone number. This number must also be on file with the Police Department, Emergency Management and the Township Clerk.
Each application shall contain an environmental assessment of the property to be licensed, prepared by an environmental or chemical engineer, which indicates whether or not the property to be licensed conforms to all federal and state environmental regulations. In the event that a property does not conform to all federal and state environmental regulations, a conditional license may be issued if the property owner can demonstrate that it is engaged in a cleanup of the property, either under the supervision of the Environmental Protection Agency or the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Failure to follow all requirements of such supervised cleanup will result in the revocation of such license. The applicant or license holder may fulfill the requirements of this subsection by submitting any and all documents that are required pursuant to federal, state, and county laws which satisfies this subsection.
The applicant is required to immediately report to the Township any violations of the state, federal or local regulations and all remedial action that is taken. The applicant is further required to provide copies of any and all violations to the Township and any remedial action that has been implemented.
All applications and the required documentation must be submitted to the Clerk's office at least 30 days prior to the renewal date. The Clerk's office shall not be required to assemble the necessary documentation to deem an application complete.
The renewal application must be accompanied by a certified report of the total tonnage of materials recycled during the previous year and documentation to support the lawful disposal of hazardous materials.
The applicant shall submit proof that all real estate tax bills due and owing to the municipality have been paid in full. The applicant shall submit proof that all prior application fees and license fees have been paid in full prior to the issuance or renewal of any license.
Such application shall be accompanied by cash or certified check, payable to the order of the Township of Independence, in a sum equaling the whole license fee, which sum is nonrefundable.

§ 250-4 Evaluation of application.

Each application shall be reviewed by the Township Engineer, who shall conduct a site visit, and forwarded to the Township Committee with a recommendation. The application shall be acted upon by resolution of the Township Committee upon receipt of a completed application and recommendation from the Township Engineer.

§ 250-5 Time to obtain license; expiration; renewal; extensions.

All licenses issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall expire at 12:00 midnight on April 1 next succeeding the date of the issuance thereof, and all persons, firms, associations, partnerships or corporations desiring to continue in such business after the expiration of any license granted hereunder shall make application before March 1 for a new license for the ensuing year and shall pay the license fee in like manner and amount as for the issuance of the original license. Renewal shall be subject to a site visit and site plan review by the Township Engineer. No hearing shall be necessary for such renewal unless recommended by the Engineer based on substantial changes to operation. Persons operating junkyards as of the effective date of this chapter shall have 60 days within which to apply for and obtain a license to operate. If, after a good faith attempt to do so, the operator of an existing junkyard has not been able to complete all of the requirements of § 250-3 of this chapter within said sixty-day period, he/she may, prior to the expiration of the sixty-day period, request that the Township Committee grant additional time, up to an additional 60 days, to secure a license. The Township Committee shall extend the time to secure a license if the Township Engineer recommends such an extension based on his/her conclusion that the applicant has made a good faith attempt to comply with the terms of this chapter, but has been prevented from submitting all necessary information because of conditions beyond the applicant's control. No further extensions shall be granted absent a showing of extraordinary circumstances beyond the applicant's control. Any existing operator of a junkyard who is not issued a license within the time periods set forth in this section shall immediately cease operations until a license is granted.

§ 250-6 Separate locations; transfer of license.

A separate license shall be obtained for each separate location at which the business of the licensee or some part thereof is proposed to be conducted, and the license shall authorize the licensee to conduct said business only at the place specified in the license and shall not be transferable to another person, firm, association, partnership, corporation or location.

§ 250-7 Classes of licenses; fees.

The annual licensing fees for junkyards in Independence Township shall be as follows:
Motor vehicle junkyard: $1,500.
Junkyard: $1,500.

§ 250-8 Prerequisite for issuance of license.

No license shall be issued until the applicant shall have established that the proposed business can be operated in accordance with the requirements of this chapter.

§ 250-9 Operation and maintenance regulations.

Junkyards shall be operated as follows:
No motor vehicle or junk shall be stored or dismantled within 100 feet of any dwelling house, except such dwelling house as may be situated on the licensed premises, nor shall any motor vehicle or junk be stored or dismantled within 50 feet of any street or roadway.
The license holder shall be required to operate his/her facility in a safe and secure manner and shall comply with all of the requirements of this chapter.
No junk shall be stacked, piled or otherwise placed within 12 feet of the side line of the licensed premises, and there shall be at least a twelve-foot separation between junk that is stacked, piled or otherwise placed within the licensed premises. Said separation shall permit emergency vehicles, such as police, fire, ambulance and rescue vehicles, to pass through said lanes. Each applicant shall be required to submit a plot plan for the site which designates the ingress and egress and corresponding sight distances for the entire site. This plan shall be reviewed and approved by the Township Engineer or his/her designee.
All vehicles which are towed or delivered to a facility licensed herein shall be immediately placed within the designated junkyard area. If a vehicle is towed to the facility after the normal hours of operation to a designated area for overnight storage, said vehicle must be placed within the storage area within 24 hours.
Any and all facilities licensed under this chapter are required to provide to the Office of Emergency Management a quarterly report as to the disposal of all hazardous materials taken in and out, all spills, oil, gas, etc.
The removal and retrieval of all hazardous materials shall take place in one designated area. Said area shall be provided as part of the approved plot plan on file in the Township and shall be approved as a proper storage area.
The applicant or license holder is not required to incur duplicate expense in satisfying the criteria set forth as part of the application or renewal process. The individual or entity may submit documentation that was required for other agencies as long as it satisfies the information requested by the Township. The waiver of these requirements shall only be granted by the Committee.
All junkyards shall be in compliance with the New Jersey Uniform Fire Code, N.J.A.C. 5:70-3.1 et seq.
Any facility contained herein, that currently collects, salvages, recycles and sells or stores tires must store same in conformance with the standards adopted by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 231D).
All liquids are to be drained from all motor vehicles within 24 hours that any such motor vehicle is received at the facility. All such liquids shall be removed from the facility within 48 hours of the time that any such motor vehicle is received at the facility and shall be disposed of in accordance with law.

§ 250-10 Businesses near state, interstate and primary highways.

Any motor vehicle junk business or motor vehicle junkyard adjacent to or visible from a state highway as defined in N.J.S.A. 39:11-2 shall also be subject to the provisions included in N.J.S.A. 39:11-1 et seq.
Any junkyard as defined in N.J.S.A. 27:5E-3 within 1,000 feet of the nearest edge of the right-of-way of any interstate or primary highway shall also be subject to the provisions included in N.J.S.A. 27:5E-1 et seq.

§ 250-11 Fencing.

All yards or places where such businesses are or shall be conducted or where such materials are to be stored or kept shall have the following type of fence installed in order to ensure that all motor vehicles and junk are stored only within the fenced and enclosed area:
The fence posts must be made of steel pipe of at least 1 1/2 inches in diameter or another type of durable material of the equivalent strength.
Fence posts must be set in cement at no more than 25 feet apart.
The fence must be made of an opaque material.
The fence shall be at least six feet high.
The fence shall surround the entire area designated as the junkyard on the application for the license submitted under § 250-3. The fence shall be placed directly upon the property line on any side or rear yard property line and may not be any closer than 50 feet to the edge of the right-of-way of any roadway and shall be erected in a location as to shield the operation from adjoining properties and/or the public roadway.
A gate must be installed to secure the facility and must be capable of being locked during nonbusiness hours.
This section shall be applicable to all existing and future facilities. In the event a fence is replaced, repaired or newly installed, the fence shall be required to be opaque in nature.
The fence shall be placed no closer to any property line or road frontage than is permitted by the Zoning Ordinance[1] of Independence Township.
Editor's Note: See Ch. 255, Art. XII.
This section is applicable to all existing and future facilities.
The fence must be installed within 60 days of the passage of this chapter, unless an application is made to the Township Committee for an extension of time, based upon weather conditions or for good cause shown.

§ 250-12 Noise.

It shall be unlawful to hammer or pound any metals or other materials on said premises between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., Monday through Friday, nor between the hours of 12:00 noon on Saturday through 7:00 a.m. on Monday. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the facility shall be required to operate in compliance with all applicable ordinances of the Township of Independence.

§ 250-13 Right of entry.

The Township Engineer, Fire Inspector, Zoning Officer or any authorized agent of the Township shall have the right at any and all reasonable times to inspect any or all parts of the licensed premises. Each facility is required to be inspected on a quarterly basis by a designated Township official. Any refusal by the licensee to permit access to the property by a Township official shall constitute a violation of this chapter.

§ 250-14 Depositing of junk or abandoned vehicles outside junkyards.

It shall be unlawful for persons to deposit or leave any abandoned or unlicensed automobile, truck or other automotive equipment or any part thereof or any other junk in open fields or upon any public or private property unless said premises is a junkyard licensed under the provisions of this chapter and said placing of such automobile, truck or other automobile equipment or parts thereof is placed with the direct permission of the owner of said licensed junkyard. The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by the Independence Township Police Department.

§ 250-15 Storage of unlicensed automobiles.

It shall be unlawful for persons to store, keep or place two or more unregistered motor vehicles or two or more automobiles which, in the opinion of the Police Department, are unfit for reconditioning for use for highway transportation, or to store used parts of motor vehicles or material which has been a part of a motor vehicle, the sum of which parts or materials shall, in the opinion of the Police Department, be equal in bulk to three or more motor vehicles, without first obtaining a junkyard license.

§ 250-16 Additional rules.

All licenses under this chapter shall at all times be subject to such reasonable rules as may be made from time to time by the Township Committee for the proper operation and regulation of the place of business named in such license. Said licenses are further subject to all zoning regulations[1] of the Township and N.J.A.C. 5:70-3.1 et seq. Nothing in this chapter shall authorize the continued operation or establishment of a junkyard in a zoning district in which it is not a permitted or lawful preexisting use.
Editor's Note: See Ch. 255, Art. XII.

§ 250-17 Revocation of license; hearing; rendering of decision.

Any license issued under this chapter may be revoked after at least 10 days written notice to the licensee at the address set forth on the initial application of the same and after a fair and impartial hearing is held by the Township Committee to consider any charges presented for any violation of the terms of this chapter or of any state or federal statute or for any falsification in applying for the license.
A hearing shall be held by the Township Committee after the licensee has received at least 10 days notice of a hearing date. The Township Committee may extend a hearing date for just cause.
The Township Committee shall render a decision pertaining to said revocation as a result of the hearing within 30 days from the date of the initial hearing or 30 days of a hearing resulting from any extension requested.

§ 250-18 Limitation on number of licenses.

Any person, firm or corporation keeping, maintaining and operating a junkyard on the effective day of this chapter shall be entitled to a license as provided herein, provided that they file their application for said license within 60 days from the effective date of this chapter, pay the required license fee therefor and comply in all respects with the provisions of this chapter. After the period of 60 days from the effective date of this chapter, no new license shall be issued unless and until the number of such licenses outstanding is fewer than five. If for any reason a license under this chapter is either revoked or voluntarily forfeited, then the number of licenses permitted shall be reduced by that amount.

§ 250-19 Conditions for renewal.

Any junkyard license for a new license term, which is issued to replace a license which expired on the last day of the license term which immediately preceded the commencement of said new license term, or which is issued to replace a license which expired on the last day of the license term, shall be deemed to be a renewal of the expired or expiring license; provided, however, that said license is for the same owner as the expired or expiring license, covers the same junkyard and is issued to the holder of the expired or expiring license and is issued pursuant to an application therefor which shall have been filed with the Township Clerk prior to the commencement of said new license term. Junkyard licenses issued otherwise than above herein provided shall be deemed to be new licenses. At the time of renewal, the applicant shall report all DEP, EPA and/or county violations that occurred during the preceding year for the junkyard in question and all other junkyards in which the owner has had an interest.

§ 250-20 Violations and penalties.

Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate a provision of this chapter or fail to comply therewith or who shall violate or fail to comply with any order or regulation made thereunder shall severally for each and every such violation and noncompliance forfeit and pay a penalty not to exceed the sum of $1,000 or be imprisoned in the Warren County Jail for a period of not more than 90 days, or both. The imposition of a penalty for a violation of this chapter shall not excuse the violation nor permit it to continue. Such violation shall be remedied within 10 days of the imposition of said penalty; thereafter each additional 10 days that such violation is permitted to exist shall constitute a separate offense. The application of the above penalty shall not be held to prevent the enforced removal of prohibited conditions.

§ 250-21 Waiver.

Upon request to the Township Clerk by any applicant for a renewal license, the Township Committee may, for good cause shown, waive or reduce any provision of this chapter providing for operation and maintenance regulations and fencing when it shall determine that a particular application is unique and the intended public safety and aesthetic considerations do not require the enforcement of a particular portion or portions of said sections as to that particular applicant.