[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Alden 5-20-1996 by L.L. No. 1-1996 (Ch. 18E of the 1981 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The outdoor storage of abandoned, junked, discarded or unlicensed vehicles upon private property within the Town of Alden 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 property 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 also may contain broken glass and sharp metal edges, and such vehicles usually are stored or abandoned with batteries containing harmful acids. The control of the outdoor storage of abandoned, junked or discarded vehicles is therefore regulated for the preservation of health, safety and general welfare of the community.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ABANDONED VEHICLE
- The intent of the owner of any vehicle, whether or not required to be licensed or whether normally operated on public highways or not, shall be determined by the physical condition of the vehicle, statements of the owner as to its abandonment, the length of time since the vehicle was last operated on the highway, current status of license, registration or inspection and other relevant facts.
- ANTIQUE MOTOR VEHICLES
- A motor vehicle, but not a reproduction thereof, manufactured more than 30 years prior to the current year and which, because of discontinued production and limited availability, is considered to be a model or make of significant value to collectors or exhibitors and which has been maintained in or restored to a condition which is substantially in conformity with the manufacturer's specifications and appearance.
- CLASSIC MOTOR VEHICLE
- A motor vehicle, but not a reproduction thereof, manufactured more than 20 years prior to the current year, and which, because of discontinued production and limited availability, is considered to be a model or make of significant value to collectors or exhibitors and which has been maintained in or restored to a condition which is substantially in conformance with the manufacturer's specifications and appearance.
- COMMERCIAL GARAGE
- Any business licensed by the Town and/or state to repair motor vehicles or any part thereof.
- DISCARDED VEHICLE(S)
- 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 Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer of the Town of Alden is designated as the "Enforcement Officer" for the purposes of this chapter.
- JUNK VEHICLE
- Any vehicle which for any reason is incapable, without repair, of being moved or propelled by application of internal power, if it is a vehicle originally designed to be propelled by internal power, or is incapable, without repair, of being drawn, towed, if it is a vehicle originally designed to be towed or drawn from behind an internally powered vehicle, and, as adjudged by the standards of an ordinary reasonable man, is unsightly in appearance because of the existence of one or more conditions, such as but not limited to the following: deterioration by rust of the body, deterioration of the exterior finish of the vehicle; broken windows; absence of component parts of the vehicle (such as fenders, panels, doors, bumpers, headlights, hood, trunk door, tires, wheels, grille, roof or tailgate); physical damage (such as dents, cracks, scrapes or holes) to component parts of the vehicle; and absence of interior components (such as seats, dashboard or interior door panels), or is incapable of being moved or propelled, drawn or towed without repair as provided for hereinabove and has remained situate on any real property for a period in excess of 90 cumulative days.
- Any place of storage or deposit licensed by the Town where two or more unlicensed, old or secondhand motor vehicles no longer intended or in condition for legal use on the highways are held, whether for the purpose of resale of used parts therefrom; for the purpose of reclaiming for use some or all of the materials therein, whether metal, glass or fabric, or otherwise for the purpose of disposing of the same; or for any other purpose. Such term shall include any place of storage or deposit for such purposes of used parts or waste materials from motor vehicles, which, taken together, equal in bulk two or more such vehicles.
- OPEN STORAGE
- Storage other than in a completely enclosed structure constructed of wood, masonry or metal.
- OWNER OF PRIVATE PROPERTY
- The legal owner, contract purchaser, tenant, lessee, occupant, subtenant, trustee, bailee, receiver of assignee of premises or real property located within the Town of Alden.
- OWNER OF VEHICLE
- The person having the property and/or title, including a person entitled to the use and possession of a vehicle subject to a security interest of another person, and also including any lessee or bailee of a vehicle having the use thereof under lease or otherwise.
- An individual, firm or partnership, association, corporation, company or organization.
- REPAIR SETTLEMENT
- Determination by whatever means, including settlement of a claim, arbitration or legal action, that any person other than the owner of a vehicle is liable to pay or will pay for the repair of damage resulting from any vehicular accident.
- All areas within the Town of Alden, both publicly and privately owned.
- UNLICENSED VEHICLE
- Any vehicle which may be licensed or registered for operation on public highways and which has not been registered during the preceding six months or is not currently registered and not in a condition for legal use on the public highways. A vehicle which is in a condition to receive a current New York State motor vehicle inspection sticker shall be deemed to be in a condition for legal use on the public highways.
- Any means of transport or conveyance operated, driven, drawn or capable and intended to be operated, drawn or driven upon a public highway by power other than muscular power. A "vehicle" shall include but not be limited to automobiles, motorcycles, motorbikes, buses, all types of trailers, including trailers used for storage, trucks, truck tractors, manufactured homes, other than those legally in use in an authorized manufactured home park, recreational vehicles, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles and jitneys or any other contraption originally designed and intended for travel on public highways.
- Any business licensed or designated by the Town to tow or haul other vehicles.
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 any zoning district within the Town of Alden, 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. A single winter use or seasonal vehicle such as winter cars or light truck plow vehicles, which may not be licensed year round by the property owner, may be stored outside, provided that the vehicle is behind the front yard on an adequately maintained surface in the side or rear yard and is at least 10 feet from the property lines. In the case of a vehicle temporarily out of service that is under repair or refurbishment by the owner thereof who must actually reside on the premises where such repair or refurbishment is being done, this single vehicle may be openly stored for a period of up to 90 days, provided that it is maintained and protected so as to not create a safety hazard or nuisance to surrounding property owners, but not upon the public right-of-way.
Recreational vehicles, specifically boats, camping trailers and motor homes or snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles on trailers, may be openly stored upon the premises, but not on the public right-of-way, provided that the owner actually resides upon the property, and provided further that the subject recreational vehicle has been licensed within the last 12 months.
Unlicensed trailers and truck bodies.
In any C-1, C-2 or C-3 Commercial District nonresidential use or recognized nonconforming commercial use in a residential district, wheeled unlicensed trailers made to be pulled by a truck or truck body, whether now with or without wheels, are permitted for storage purposes but are not permitted in any front yard.
One unlicensed trailer or truck body as recited in Subsection C(1) above which is at the time of the adoption of this chapter used for storage in any R Zoning District shall be exempt but shall not be permitted in any front yard.
Owners of wheeled trailers not otherwise exempted herein made to be pulled by a truck, whether now with or without wheels, and currently used for storage have six months from the date of adoption of this chapter to terminate the use of the same for storage and comply with this chapter.
The Town of Alden Code Enforcement Officer shall have the right to enter and inspect, at any reasonable hour, any premises on which vehicle(s) are openly stored and to inspect such vehicle(s) to determine if the same are a hazard to the health and welfare of the community. The right of entry shall not be limited in any way by the existence or lack of existence of a request, authorization or other consent or approval of entry for inspection.
After the Code Enforcement Officer has determined that an abandoned, junked or unlicensed vehicle(s) or parts thereof is openly stored or deposited or is permitted to be openly stored or deposited on a parcel of property in violation of this chapter, he shall give written notice, by personal service or by registered or certified mail, on the owner of the abandoned, junked or unlicensed vehicle(s) or parts thereof or on the owner of any private property on which the vehicle(s) is openly stored. Such notice shall direct the person so served, regardless of the ownership of the vehicle (s) if the property owner or tenant is served, to terminate the open storage of such vehicle(s) within the Town within 10 days of said notice.
A single antique or classic motor vehicle that is in the process of being restored may be kept out-of-doors upon the premises of the owner of said vehicle for a period of 18 months to allow the restoration to be completed, provided that the vehicle is stored behind the required front yard on an adequately maintained surface and is at least 10 feet from the property line, and provided further that such vehicle or component part thereof is covered with a tarpaulin or custom-made cover for vehicles or is otherwise completely hidden from public view with proper screening.
A wrecker commercial garage may store abandoned, junked or unlicensed vehicle(s) or parts thereof on any one site within the Town of Alden, provided that such storage is confined in an enclosed area, and provided further that the business operation of the wrecker of commercial garage is permitted by all applicable zoning laws or regulations, including rights under any nonconforming uses and including any limitations, restrictions or conditions established according to law by the Town Board, the Zoning Board of Appeals, or any court of competent jurisdiction, and provided that the vehicle(s) is not stored at any time on a public highway right-of-way.
Any farm vehicle being actively used in farming operations shall be exempted from the provisions of this chapter, provided that:
The vehicle is being used on private property by the property owner or lessee in possession of evidence of a leasehold interest and is being held for continuing operation on private property and is not being held primarily for nonoperating purposes.
The vehicle, if not in a condition for legal operation on public highways, is in a condition so that it can be operated and so that such operation on private property will not be unduly dangerous to the operator, passengers or others.
The vehicle is in such a condition that there is no sharp metal, broken glass or other condition which would endanger children who might be attracted to play around the vehicle.
The farm vehicle is not stored in any front yard.
In the event of noncompliance with the provisions of this chapter and after 10 days have elapsed from receipt of the written notice, the Code Enforcement Officer may issue an appearance ticket, returnable to the Town of Alden Justice Court at a date and time as specified on the appearance ticket. The appearance ticket shall specify the alleged violation, the date and time and a description of the vehicle(s) involved, a copy of which shall be forwarded to the Town Justice Court and shall be accompanied by information detailing the violation and attempts made by the Code Enforcement Officer to achieve compliance.
A violation of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $250, imprisonment not to exceed 15 days, or both. Each abandoned, junked, discarded or unregistered/unlicensed vehicle stored in violation of this chapter shall constitute a separate violation. The court may impose additional fines for each day that the violation continues beyond the order to either remove or enclose said vehicle.
This chapter has been enacted to supplement and to be read in conjunction with § 1224 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York.