[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Lock Haven 12-17-2007 by Ord. No. 812. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The outdoor storage of abandoned, junked or discarded vehicles upon private property within the City of Lock Haven is hereby declared to be detrimental to the health, safety and general welfare of the community, aesthetically unattractive and detracting from the enjoyment of the environment by said residents, tending to depreciate neighborhood property values, and is an infringement on their properties and homes. The same also constitutes a potential nuisance to the children of the community and may imperil their safety. The fuel tanks of abandoned, junked or discarded vehicles containing gasoline or gasoline fumes constitute an ever-present danger of explosion. The abandoned, junked or discarded vehicles may also contain broken glass and sharp metal edges, and such vehicles usually are stored or abandoned with batteries containing harmful acids or air-conditioning units containing Freon. The control of the outdoor storage of abandoned, junked or discarded vehicles is therefore regulated for the preservation of the health, safety and general welfare of the community.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ABANDONED VEHICLE
- A vehicle:
- A. That is inoperable and left unattended on a highway or other public property for more than 48 hours; or
- B. That has remained illegally on a highway, street or on other public property for a period of more than 48 hours; or
- C. Without a valid registration plate or certificate of inspection or title left unattended on or along a public property; or
- E. That has remained on private property without the consent of the owner or person in control of the property for more than 48 hours.
- DISCARDED VEHICLE
- Any vehicle(s) which the owner thereof, as established by the surrounding circumstances, relinquishes ownership and possession of, and any vehicle(s) the owner of which cannot be found after due and reasonable inquiry.
- ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The Code Enforcement Officer, the Zoning Officer, any City police officer, or any other City employee assigned to enforcing City ordinances.
- JUNKED VEHICLE
- Any vehicle which has no valid registration or certificate of inspection and has been stripped or partially disassembled so that it is inoperable or immovable and is parked or permitted to stand on private property for a continuous period in excess of 48 hours.
- A premises permitted by the City of Lock Haven as a junkyard.
- Any condition, structure, improvement, materials or toxins which shall constitute a danger or potential danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the citizens of the City of Lock Haven.
- Any person living in a dwelling or having possession of a space within a building.
- Any person, agent, operator, firm or corporation having a legal or equitable interest in the property; or recorded in the official records of the municipality as holding title to the property; or otherwise having control of the property, including the guardian of the estate of any such person, and the executor or administrator of the estate of such person if ordered to take possession of real property by a court.
- Any individual, partnership, corporation, association, institution, cooperative enterprise, or any other legal entity whatsoever which is recognized by law as the subject of rights and duties.
- A lot, plot or parcel of land, whether improved or unimproved, including portions occupied by a street or alley and portions of land between sidewalks and streets.
- Any vehicle, including trucks, tractor trucks, automobiles, motorcycles, pedalcycles, campers, motor homes, trailers, fifth-wheel units, and any other device included in the definition of "vehicles" in the Vehicle Code, 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 101 et seq.
- VEHICLE ACCESSORIES
- Any part or parts of any motor vehicle.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, either as a private property owner, vehicle owner, occupant, lessee, agent, tenant or otherwise, to openly store or deposit or cause or permit to be openly stored or deposited an abandoned, junked, discarded or unlicensed vehicle or vehicles or parts or pieces thereof on any private property within the City of Lock Haven, except as permitted in junkyards or by this chapter, unless such vehicle or part or piece thereof is stored or deposited in a completely enclosed building or such vehicle or part or piece thereof is under repair, reconstruction or refurbishing by the owner thereof, who must actually be residing upon the premises where such repair, reconstruction or refurbishing is being done. Such vehicle or part or piece thereof must be maintained and protected so as not to create a safety hazard or nuisance to surrounding property owners and shall not remain on the premises for more than 48 hours.
A vehicle nuisance shall include any vehicle which has any of the following physical defects:
Broken windshields, mirrors or other glass with sharp edges.
One or more flat or open tires or tubes which could permit vermin harborage.
Missing doors, windows, hood, trunk or other body parts which could permit animal harborage.
Any body parts with sharp edges, including holes resulting from rust.
Missing tires resulting in unsafe suspension of the motor vehicle.
Upholstery which is torn or open which could permit animal and/or vermin harborage.
Broken headlamps or tail lamps with sharp edges.
Disassembled chassis parts apart from the motor vehicle stored in a disorderly fashion or loose in or on the vehicle.
Protruding sharp objects from the chassis.
Broken sharp objects from the chassis.
Exposed battery containing acid.
Inoperable locking mechanism for doors or trunk.
Open or damaged floorboards, including trunk and fire wall.
Damaged bumpers pulled away from the perimeter of the vehicle.
Broken grill with protruding edges.
Loose or damaged metal trim and clips.
Broken communications equipment antennas.
Suspended or unstable supports.
Such other defects which could threaten the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the City.
It shall be permissible for a person to park, store, keep and maintain a junked vehicle on private property under the following conditions:
The junked vehicle is completely enclosed within a building where neither the vehicle nor any part of it is visible from the street or from any other abutting property. This exception shall not exempt the owner or person in possession of the property from any zoning, building, housing, property maintenance and other regulations governing the building in which such vehicle is enclosed.
The junked vehicle is parked or stored on property lawfully zoned for businesses engaged in wrecking, junking or repairing vehicles. This exception shall not exempt the owner or operator of any such business from any other zoning, building, fencing, property maintenance and other regulations governing businesses engaged in wrecking, junking or repairing vehicles.
A vehicle restoration permit will be issued by the enforcement officer for the City on the following terms and conditions:
A restoration permit will be issued to the private property owner only.
The vehicle being restored shall be titled to the property owner being issued the permit.
Only one vehicle restoration permit at a time will be issued to a property owner.
The vehicle restoration permit shall be valid for a maximum of one vehicle and shall be valid for one year from the date of issuance.
The vehicle shall be stored on the property owner's premises on an adequately maintained surface in the side or rear yard.
At all times that the vehicle is not being worked on for restoration, said vehicle of the property owner shall be covered with a car cover, and the area shall be free of debris, litter, discarded parts or equipment utilized for the restoration. A car cover must cover the entire vehicle and be securely fastened to the vehicle. A car cover shall be made of material which will resist wind, rain and other weather-related circumstances. The use of bricks, stones, blocks or other material as a fastener shall not be permitted.
The area where the vehicle is being stored, placed or left shall be subject to periodic and random inspections by the City enforcement officer. Should it be determined that the subject vehicle is not being restored or the area surrounding the vehicle being restored is not properly maintained and free of debris, litter, unused parts or equipment, then, in that event, the restoration permit will be rescinded, and the property owner will be subject to other provisions of this chapter.
The enforcement officer is hereby empowered to inspect private property on which vehicle(s) are stored to determine if there is compliance with the provisions of this chapter. If noncompliance with the provisions of this chapter constitutes a nuisance, or if any condition, structure, improvement, material or toxin poses a threat to the health, safety, or welfare of the public, he/she shall issue a written notice to the owner and/or occupant either by personal delivery, by United States mail directed to the last known address, or by posting the written notice conspicuously upon the offending premises.
If such owner and/or occupant, within seven days after personal delivery, mailing or leaving of such notice, pays to the Treasurer of the City the sum of $35 for the violation, the same will constitute full satisfaction for the violation noted in said notice.
Each day that a violation exists shall constitute a separate violation. The failure of such owner and/or occupant to make payment, as aforesaid, within seven days shall render such owner and/or occupant subject to the penalties as provided herein.
If the owner of the premises on which the vehicle(s) are stored does not comply with the notice to abate the nuisance within the time limit prescribed, the City shall have the authority to take measures to correct the conditions so as to comply with the provisions of this chapter, and the reasonable cost thereof, together with any additional penalty authorized by law, may be collected by the City from such owner or occupant as a penalty under the provisions of this chapter, or in any other manner provided by law. This right, as herein vested in the City, shall be in addition to penalties prescribed by the provisions of this chapter for the failure of the owner or occupant, as aforesaid, to comply with the terms of this chapter. The City, in such event and pursuant to its statutory or otherwise authorized police powers, shall have the right and power to enter upon the offending premises to accomplish the foregoing.
Any person, firm or corporation who shall fail to make payment in accordance with § 386-6 hereof shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $300 nor more than $1,000, plus costs. Each abandoned, junked, discarded or unregistered vehicle stored in violation of this chapter shall constitute a separate violation. Each day that such separate violation shall continue or be carried on shall constitute an additional separate violation for which the court may impose an additional fine and continuing fine until the vehicle is removed or enclosed. Notice to the offender shall not be necessary in order to constitute a separate violation, nor shall notice to the offender be necessary in order to constitute an offense. In default of payment of the penalty stated herein, such offender may be committed to the County Jail for a period not exceeding 30 days.