[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Gardner 11-6-1995 by Ord. No. 1201. Amendments noted where applicable.]
For the purpose of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them by this section:
- A sudden unforeseen happening or state of repairs requiring prompt action.
- Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
- Any real property within the City which is not a street or highway.
- To restore to good condition by replacing parts or putting together something torn or broken; to restore to a healthy state.
- STREET or HIGHWAY
- The entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained when any part thereof is open to the use of the public or for the purposes of vehicular travel.
- Happening quickly and without warning, unexpectedly, immediate, without delay, instant, directly.
- A machine propelled by power other than human power designed to travel along the ground by the use of wheels, treads, runners or slides and transport persons or property or pull machinery, and shall include, without limitation, automobile, truck, trailer, motor vehicle, tractor, buggy and wagon.
Except as to vehicles for which other provisions are made under the laws of the commonwealth, no person shall abandon any vehicle within the City and no person shall leave any vehicle at any place within the City for such time and under such circumstances as to cause such vehicle reasonably to appear to have been abandoned.
Except as to vehicles for which other provisions are made under the laws of the commonwealth, no person shall leave any partially dismantled, nonoperating, or junked vehicle on any street or highway within the City, nor shall any person upon a public way, or where the public has access as to invitees, or on any City property, within the City repair any motor vehicle, except for an emergency repair to allow a traveler to continue on his or her interrupted journey.
As to any motor vehicle upon any public way or upon any property owned or maintained by the City of Gardner that is in need of repair, other than "emergency" as herein defined, the Police Chief or his designee shall order the removal of such vehicle from said public way or City-owned property.
The present owner of said vehicle shall be responsible for all monetary charges incurred in the removal and storing of said vehicle.
Storing, parking or leaving dismantled or other such motor vehicles on private property prohibited and declared a nuisance. No person shall park, store or leave or permit the parking, storing or leaving of any motor vehicle of any kind which is in an abandoned, wrecked, dismantled, inoperative, rusted, junked or partially dismantled condition, whether attended or not, upon any private property within the City for a period of time in excess of 10 days. The presence of an abandoned, wrecked, dismantled, inoperative, rusted, junked or partially dismantled vehicle, or parts thereof, on private property is hereby declared a public nuisance which may be abated as such in accordance with the provisions of this section. This section shall not apply to a vehicle enclosed within a building on private property or to any vehicle held in connection with a business enterprise lawfully licensed by the City and properly operating in an appropriate business zone, pursuant to the zoning laws of the City, or farm vehicles.
Notice of existence of violation and notice to remove. Whenever it comes to the attention of the Building Commissioner or his designee that any nuisance, as defined in Subsection A of this section, exists in the City of Gardner, a notice in writing shall be sent by certified mail to the owner of the land where the nuisance exists notifying said owner of the existence of the nuisance and ordering its removal in the time specified in this section.
Contents of notice. The written notice to the owner of the property where the vehicle is located shall contain the demand for removal specified in this section and shall contain a description as to the make, if attainable, as well as the color of the abandoned, wrecked, dismantled, inoperative, rusted or junked vehicle.
Period for removal of vehicle from property. Upon receipt of written notice, the owner of the property where the vehicle is located shall be required to remove or provide for the removal of the abandoned, wrecked, dismantled, inoperative, rusted or junked vehicle during a period not to exceed 21 calendar days. Such removal shall be in accordance with the law, and said vehicle shall not be placed in a public way as prohibited by MGL c. 90, § 22B.
Failure to remove. If the violation described in this notice has not been remedied by the owner of the property within 21 calendar days, the Building Commissioner or his designee shall notify the Police Chief or his designee and shall request police assistance in removing the vehicle from the property. The City is authorized to pay any private entity which performs said towing services at the direction of the Police Chief or his designee. The removal shall be conducted in a manner similar to that used in removing vehicles from a public way, MGL c. 90, § 22C. It shall be unlawful for any person to interfere with, hinder or refuse to allow such person or persons to enter upon the private property for the purpose of removal.
Costs for removal. If, after the twenty-one-day period, the vehicle has not been removed by the owner of the property where the vehicle is located and the removal is carried out by the Police Chief or his designee, the fee for such removal shall be $100 for each vehicle removed, plus any additional costs that are incurred in the gathering and removal of any dismantled parts of such vehicle. The costs of such removal shall be the responsibility of the owner of the land where the vehicle is located. The Building Commissioner, or his designee, shall submit the bill incurred for such removal to the owner of the land, in writing, and mail the same to the owner of the land at his last and usual known address.
Attachment of lien. When it comes to the attention of the Building Commissioner, or his designee, that the owner of the land where the vehicle was located has refused to pay the costs of the removal of such vehicle within a period of 30 days, the Building Commissioner, or his designee, may take legal means to secure a lien against the property where said violations occurred.
Disposal of abandoned vehicles. Whenever a private entity authorized to remove such abandoned vehicles does remove the same at the direction of the Police Chief, or his designee, the entity shall dispose of such vehicle in accordance with MGL c. 135, §§ 7 through 11, and MGL c. 90, § 22C.
Exemptions. Any person may keep on his premises, whether as owner, tenant, lessee, occupant or otherwise, one nonoperating or unregistered motor vehicle so long as said vehicle is stored or kept at least 50 feet from the edge of a public way and 25 feet from the nearest property line, unless otherwise authorized by a permit issued by the Police Chief or his designee.
Permits to keep said nonoperating or unregistered motor vehicles may be issued for up to six months upon presentation of such sufficient evidence that:
The vehicle in question is being kept by the owner thereof, following the owner's purchase of a new motor vehicle, on a temporary basis, until the owner may sell the vehicle.
The vehicle is owned by a person serving in the Armed Forces of the United States or the National Guard and such owner is temporarily stationed outside of Massachusetts.
The vehicle is a classic or antique vehicle over 25 years old, and the owner is actually in the process of restoring such vehicle.
The vehicles are an integral part of doing business in commercial and industrial zones and such use can be demonstrated.
[Added 8-3-1998 by Ord. No. 1280]
The Police Chief or his designee may require reasonable conditions upon the issuance of such a permit and his decision shall be final.
The Police Chief, or any member of his Department designated by him, is hereby authorized to remove or have removed any vehicle left at any place within the City which reasonably appears to be in violation of this chapter or lost, stolen or unclaimed. Such vehicle shall be impounded until lawfully claimed or disposed of in accordance with MGL c. 135, relative to unclaimed and abandoned property. Neither the removal nor the storage of a vehicle under the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed a service rendered or work performed by the City. The City shall not be liable for any damage caused to a vehicle, as defined herein, arising in the course of removal or impounding, except as may be due to the negligence of the City, its servants or employees.
[Amended 11-18-2013 by Ord. No. 1563]
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be fined $50. Each day such violation is committed or permitted to continue shall constitute a separate offense and shall be punishable as such hereunder.