City of Clairton, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Clairton 7-12-2016 by Ord. No. 1922.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
Motor vehicle nuisances — See Ch. 247, Art. II.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 274.
Solid waste — See Ch. 299.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 303.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 331.
Zoning — See Ch. 337.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also superseded former Ch. 327, Abandoned or Junked Vehicles, adopted 3-21-1988 by Ord. No. 1433, as amended.

§ 327-1 Definitions.

The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter, unless the context clearly indicates that a different meaning is intended:
Any motor vehicle which is found unattended without the current year's registration or state inspection or identification markers, as required by law, or has been continuously parked on any public street, public land, or private property for a period of 20 days or is so visually disabled as to be incapable of being operated under its own power or is without one or more tires.
The City of Clairton.
Every highway or portion thereof on which vehicular traffic is given preferential right-of-way, and at the entrances to which vehicular traffic from intersecting highways is required by law to yield the right-of-way to vehicles on such through highway in obedience to a stop sign, yield sign, or other official traffic-control device, when such signs or devices are erected as provided by law.
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 or otherwise abandoned.
Every natural person, firm, copartnership, association, corporation, or organization of any kind.
The entire width between boundary lines of every publicly maintained right-of-way when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of the vehicular travel.
A vehicle which is self-propelled and shall include, without limitation, automobile, truck, trailer, motorcycle and tractor.

§ 327-2 Abandonment of motor vehicles on public property prohibited.

No person shall abandon for any length of time a motor vehicle on any street, highway, alley, or other public way of this City.

§ 327-3 Abandonment of motor vehicles on property of another prohibited.

No person shall abandon for any length of time a motor vehicle on the private property of another person. Any resident of the City on whose property a motor vehicle is abandoned may file a complaint with the Police Department. Thereafter, the motor vehicle shall be removed, impounded and subject to the same treatment as provided for motor vehicles abandoned on the public ways.

§ 327-4 Abandonment of motor vehicles of operator's personal property.

No person in charge or control of any property within the City, whether as owner, tenant, occupant, lessee, or otherwise, shall allow any partially dismantled, nonoperating, wrecked, discarded or abandoned motor vehicle to remain on such property longer than seven days, except that this chapter shall not apply with regard to a vehicle in an enclosed building; a vehicle on the premises of a business enterprise operated in a lawful place and manner, when necessary to the operation of such business enterprises; or a vehicle in a storage place or depository maintained in a lawful location and manner by the City.

§ 327-5 Removal of abandoned motor vehicles.

Any regularly employed law enforcement officer of this City and any other employee of the City designated by the City Council, who has reasonable grounds to believe that a motor vehicle has been abandoned, shall affix to the windshield or other prominent part of the vehicle, a tow warning emblem. The emblem shall be five by seven inches or larger, bright in color, with printed words "tow warning" in bold letters at least two inches high, and also state that unless the vehicle is removed within 30 days, the vehicle will be impounded and taken to a location as designated by the City, and after 30 days it will be sold to recover the costs of removal, storage, and sale. The emblem shall be self-adhesive and the blanks above stated shall be completely filled in with permanent dark ink indicating the required details. The time set for removal shall be at least 30 days after the emblem is affixed. After the time set for removal has expired, any designated City employee or officer shall cause the motor vehicle to be removed to the depository maintained by the City for the purpose of storing such motor vehicles. In the event the vehicle is illegally parked or is disabled, a tow warning emblem need not be affixed, and the vehicle may be immediately impounded.
Upon arrival at the depository, the vehicle shall be impounded and its contents inventoried if accessible and if capable of being inventoried.
The Police Department shall, within five days after a motor vehicle is impounded, notify the State Department of Motor Vehicles of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania of the impoundment of the motor vehicle, and such notification shall include such information as is available that will enable the Department of Motor Vehicles to identify the registered owner of the vehicle.

§ 327-6 Notification of owner and claiming of vehicles.

Within 10 days after the impoundment of a motor vehicle pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, the Police Department shall give written notice to the owner, secured parties of record, and known lienholders, if any, at least 30 days prior to the date of the sale of the motor vehicle advising of the complete description of the vehicle and the date and place the vehicle was found or taken into possession, the approximate amount owed for the cost of towing and storage, the location of storage of the vehicle, the time and place that a sale of the vehicle will be held, and the right of the owner, secured parties and lienholders to contest the right to sell such vehicle. The notice required by this section shall be deemed to be given when sent by certified mail, postage prepaid, to the address of the owner, secured party of record, and known lienholder shown on any public filing evidencing such ownership, security interest, or lien, or, if none, to any such address ascertained by reasonable effort.
If the name and address of the owner, secured parties or lienholders of the vehicle are unknown or cannot be reasonably ascertained, then the notice required herein shall be given by publication once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the sale is to be held. The first publication shall be at least 30 days before the date of sale.
The registered owner, or other person who can prove he is entitled to possession of a motor vehicle impounded pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, may claim the motor vehicle within 30 days of the date of impoundment by presenting himself at the depository and by paying the applicable fees for the cost of removal and storage.

§ 327-7 Disposal of unclaimed motor vehicles.

If a motor vehicle remains unclaimed after the expiration of 30 days from the date of impoundment, the City shall cause such vehicle to be disposed of in accordance with the procedures established under 75 Pa.C.S.A. Chapter 73 (relating to public sale of unclaimed vehicles).

§ 327-8 Severability.

It is the intention of the City Council that each separate provision of this chapter shall be deemed independent of all other provisions herein, and it is further the intention of the City Council that if any provisions of this chapter be declared invalid or unconstitutional, all other provisions hereof shall remain valid and enforceable.

§ 327-9 Violations and penalties.

Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000 and/or to undergo imprisonment for a term not to exceed 90 days; each day that a violation of this chapter continues shall constitute a separate offense.