[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the Borough of Sharon Hill 8-25-1994 by Ord. No. 1238 (Ch. 119 of the 1972 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following words and terms shall be defined as follows:
- ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLE
- A vehicle which is found unattended without the current year's registration or identification markers as required by law and has been continuously parked or stored on private property for a period of 10 days and is so disabled as to be incapable of being operated under its own power or is without one or more of its tires.
- JUNKED, STRIPPED OR WRECKED MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any motor vehicle which is no longer in actual use as a motor vehicle or which is wholly unfit to be operated or has been discarded for use.
The purpose of the chapter is to protect the health, safety, morals and welfare of the citizens of the Borough by causing the removal of abandoned, illegally parked, stored, wrecked, junked or stripped motor vehicles from private property and to abate public nuisances caused by the storage or parking of an accumulation of such motor vehicles which are detrimental to the health, safety, morals and welfare of the citizens of the Borough.
It shall be unlawful to park, store or leave any motor vehicle of any kind in a wrecked, junked, stripped or abandoned condition in a place where its presence constitutes a hazard on private property or for the owner of such motor vehicle or the owner or occupant of any property to allow, permit or suffer the same to be left upon any privately owned property unless the same is authorized in connection with a business property operated pursuant to the zoning laws and other laws of the Borough.
If the Police Department or the Borough Manager or any of their authorized agents find that a violation of this chapter exists, the Police Department or the Borough Manager or their agent shall notify the owner of the property on which the motor vehicle is stored or parked or the owner of the vehicle, or both, of the violation and request either or both of said owners to remove said motor vehicle or vehicles within five days thereof or any other reasonable time as the conditions warrant.
Notice shall be given by personal service or registered mail to the last known address of the violator. In the event that, upon diligent search, the address of either property owner or the vehicle owner cannot be ascertained, the posting of said notice or copies thereof on the real property, vehicle, structure or area immediately adjacent thereto shall constitute sufficient notice.
Within five days after notice, the party or parties affected may request a hearing by filing a written request with the Borough Manager. Said hearing shall be conducted before the Magisterial District Judge. The issue at said hearing shall be whether or not the activity complained of in the case constitutes a nuisance.
If a hearing is not requested within the five-day period, said notice shall become an order, and the parties affected shall proceed to remove or have removed the motor vehicle or vehicles in question from the property in question in accordance with the notice and order.
On proper request, a hearing on the matter shall be given forthwith before the aforesaid Magisterial District Judge, and when more than one party is involved, it shall be the duty of the party requesting said hearing to notify all other parties affected or interested of the time and place of the impending hearing.
If the violation complained of shall not have been remedied within the period as required by the order, the Borough of Sharon Hill shall, through its own agents, contractors and/or employees, remedy the violation and charge the costs thereof to the real property owner on whose property the motor vehicle or vehicles are located. In addition to said costs, the Borough shall be entitled to collect a penalty sum of 10% of such costs. Said costs and penalty shall, after a proper demand and refusal to pay after 30 days, constitute a lien on said realty, which shall be filed by the Solicitor upon receipt of all information.
Nothing in this chapter shall prevent duly authorized police officials from removing from private property, without notice, any attended or unattended motor vehicles, the presence of which constitutes a hazard or threat to the life, health, safety or welfare and morals of the citizens of the Borough of Sharon Hill and which is imminently dangerous and, in the opinion of the authorized police officials, constitutes a nuisance which gives rise to the existence of emergency conditions.
Removal by the Police Department or its agent of a motor vehicle as called for herein shall be to the nearest garage or lot or other place of safety or to a garage designated or maintained by the Police Department or otherwise maintained by the Borough.
The Borough Council shall designate one or more storage garages or lots as approved storage garages or lots for the storage of its impounded vehicles.
Every such approved storage garage shall post a bond in the amount of $2,000, to be filed with the Borough Manager, for the indemnification of the owner of any such impounded vehicle against the loss thereof or injury or damage thereto while in the custody of said garage keeper.
The Council of the Borough of Sharon Hill, by resolution or motion, shall from time to time establish the fair and reasonable charges for the towing and storage of any vehicle removed and impounded under the authority of this chapter.
Within 12 hours of the time of removal of any motor vehicle under authority granted in this chapter, notice of the fact that such vehicle has been impounded shall be sent by the Police Department or its agent to the owner of record of such vehicle and the real property owner from whose land said vehicle was removed. Such notice shall designate the place from which said vehicle was removed, the reason for its removal and the garage or lot in which it shall have been impounded.
The payment of any towing and storage charges authorized by this chapter shall, unless payment shall have been made under protest, be final and conclusive and shall constitute a waiver of any right to recover the money so paid.
In the event that any towing or storage charges so imposed shall be paid under protest, the offender shall be entitled to a hearing before a Magisterial District Judge or court of record having jurisdiction.
The Police Department shall keep a record of all motor vehicles impounded and shall be able at all times to furnish the owners or agents of the owners thereof with information as to the place of storage of such vehicles.
The payment of towing and storage charges shall not operate to relieve the owner of any motor vehicle or owner of any real property on which said vehicle was parked, stored or abandoned from liability for any fine or penalty for the violation of any law or ordinance on account of which said motor vehicle was removed and impounded.
No motor vehicle shall be removed under the authority of this chapter if, at the time of the intended removal thereof, the owner or the landowner on whose property said motor vehicle is standing is present and expresses a willingness and intention to remove such motor vehicle immediately.
[Amended 7-14-1988 by Ord. No. 1180]
Any person who shall be convicted of a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter before any Magisterial District Judge shall be sentenced to pay a maximum fine as provided from time to time by state statute, together with costs of prosecution, or to imprisonment in the county jail for a term not to exceed 30 days, or both.