County of York, VA
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. No. 07-10(R), 6-19-2007]
Pursuant to the authority provided under § 15.2-903 of the Code of Virginia, the following provisions are established to regulate the maintenance and operation of automobile graveyards and junkyards in the County of York. The provisions of this article shall apply to any automobile graveyard or junkyard existing as of June 19, 2007, and to any established subsequently pursuant to the terms of Chapter 24.1, Zoning, of this Code.
[Ord. No. 07-10(R), 6-19-2007]
For the purposes of this chapter the following words and terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section:
AUTOMOBILE GRAVEYARD
Any lot or place which is exposed to the weather and upon which more than five motor vehicles of any kind that are incapable of being operated, and which it would not be economically practical to make operative, are placed, located or found.
JUNK
Old or scrap copper, brass, rope, rags, batteries, paper, trash, rubber, debris, waste, or junked, dismantled or wrecked automobiles, or parts thereof, iron, steel and other old or scrap ferrous or nonferrous material.
JUNKYARD
An establishment or place of business which is maintained, operated or used for storing, keeping, buying or selling junk or for the maintenance or operation of an automobile graveyard.
MOTOR VEHICLE
Any motor vehicle as defined by § 46.2-100 of the Code of Virginia.
VISIBLE
Capable of being seen, without visual aid, by a person of normal visual acuity.
[Ord. No. 07-10(R), 6-19-2007]
It shall be unlawful for any person, alone or in connection with any other business, to maintain or operate an automobile graveyard or junkyard in the County, except upon compliance with the provisions of this chapter, which are hereby declared to apply to all automobile graveyards and junkyards maintained or operated within the County.
[Ord. No. 07-10(R), 6-19-2007]
Any person, whether as principal, agent, employee or otherwise, violating, causing or permitting the violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.
[Ord. No. 07-10(R), 6-19-2007]
Any person maintaining or operating an automobile graveyard or junkyard shall keep at his place of business a book or a computer database in which a record shall be kept of the day and time of each purchase, the name and residence, as well as the race, age and height of the person selling and actually delivering any vehicle, parts or accessories purchased, the amount of the purchase price, the make, state license number, motor number, body number, style and seating capacity of the vehicle purchased and the make and identifying numbers of radiators, speedometers and magnetos purchased, together with such other information concerning such property as may be necessary to prove ownership or identity of vehicles, parts or accessories purchased. Diligent inquiries shall also be made as to the legal right of the seller to make such sale. If the above-required records are kept in a computer database system, it shall be in a format capable of being printed for County inspection.
All automobile graveyards and junkyards, together with the records required by § 5-5 of this article, shall at all times be kept open for inspection to all officers of the County having police powers.
[Ord. No. 07-10(R), 6-19-2007]
(a) 
Pursuant to the authority provided under § 15.2-903 of the Code of Virginia, automobile graveyards or junkyards located in the County of York, regardless of the date on which any such automobile graveyard or junkyard may have come into existence and notwithstanding the provisions of § 33.1-348 of the Code of Virginia, shall be screened by natural objects, plantings, fences, or other appropriate means so as to ensure that any junk or inoperable vehicles shall not to be visible from the main-traveled way of any highway, street or road. For the purposes of compliance with the screening requirements established herein, the term inoperable vehicle shall be deemed to include any vehicle that has deflated tires, body damage rendering it incapable of being driven, missing wheels, tires, doors, hoods, trunk lids, fenders, major body panels or roofs, or missing or removed window glass.
(b) 
Such screen shall be nontransparent, shall be a minimum of eight feet in height measured from ground level at its base and of uniform height along its entire length. The screen shall be composed of one or more of the following materials, or such other materials or combinations thereof:
(1) 
Salt-treated or creosote-treated pine, cedar, cypress or similar decay resistant material.
(2) 
Protected metals, such as Teflon-coated steel, anodized aluminum or similar materials.
(3) 
Composite materials such as cementious planks, vinyl or PVC, or similar materials.
(4) 
Masonry construction such as brick, glazed terra-cotta or painted cinder block.
(5) 
Evergreen plantings, eight feet in height at the time of installation, and of sufficient density and quantities to provide an immediate visual buffer.
(c) 
Fences shall be constructed in accordance with all applicable requirements of Chapter 24.1, zoning, relative to the "finished side."
(d) 
The walls of a building may be used to form a part of the screen required by this section provided, however, that the display or storage of goods thereon shall be prohibited.
(e) 
The contents of the automobile graveyard or junkyard shall not be placed or deposited to a height greater than the height of the plantings, fence or other screening methods used to comply with the terms of this section.
(f) 
The screening required by this section shall be maintained in good repair, and any damaged or deteriorated materials and/or dead plantings shall be reconstructed, repaired or replaced as necessary so as to provide and maintain the permanent visual screen.
(g) 
Notwithstanding the foregoing, automobile graveyards or junkyards that are established on or after June 19, 2007, or which otherwise shall fall within the application of County Code § 24.1-476, shall comply with the screening requirements imposed by that section.
[Ord. No. 07-10(R), 6-19-2007]
Safety devices, such as fire extinguishers or other like apparatus, shall be provided at such locations within automobile graveyards and junkyards as deemed necessary by the fire official to comply with applicable provisions of the Statewide Fire Prevention Code.
[Ord. No. 07-10(R), 6-19-2007]
No open fires that would constitute a violation of the state air pollution control laws or a hazard to adjoining properties, for the burning of rubbish, trash, automobiles or any part thereof, or other waste matter, shall be permitted on the premises of an automobile graveyard or junkyard. An accidental or casual fire occasioned by the use of any acetylene torch shall not be regarded as open fire under this section, where it is shown that the person operating or maintaining the automobile graveyard or junkyard has, by the use of fire extinguishers or other safety devices, made reasonable effort to prevent the same.
[Ord. No. 07-10(R), 6-19-2007]
All tanks and engines of inoperable vehicles in an automobile graveyard or junkyard shall be kept thoroughly drained of gasoline and other combustible material.
[Ord. No. 07-10(R), 6-19-2007]
All tanks, engines, automobile parts, receptacles and other containers capable of holding water or any source of stagnant water whatever, where mosquitoes may breed, located at an automobile graveyard or junkyard, shall be kept thoroughly drained and dry.
To protect the use and development of abutting and adjacent property, a screen of hardy evergreen vegetation or an earthen berm, or any combination of either, shall be established and neatly maintained along the perimeter of the area occupied by an automobile graveyard or junkyard; provided, however:
(a) 
That when a common boundary exists between the areas used for storage by two or more automobile graveyards or junkyards, the common boundary shall be exempt from the screening requirements.
(b) 
That where existing vegetation effectively meets the requirements of a perimeter screen as set forth above, no additional screen shall be required.
(c) 
That an area not exceeding a total of 20 feet in width shall be exempt, when such area provides access to a gate constructed of opaque materials.
The screen established shall completely obscure the contents within the automobile graveyard or junkyard from view from the abutting and adjacent property and public rights-of-way.
When evergreen trees are used to form the screen required by this article, such screen shall consist of a minimum of two rows of trees, which shall consist of a minimum of two rows of trees, which shall be spaced not more than six feet apart. Trees within each row shall be spaced not more than six feet apart and shall be offset from the trees in the adjacent row by a distance of 1/2 the spacing between trees to produce a staggered pattern. Where the tree canopy does not extend to the ground, low growing evergreen plant material shall be planted between rows to obscure the view between the ground and tree canopy.
When an earthen berm is used to form the screen required by this article, the minimum slope shall be three to one and it shall be completely covered with lawn grass, evergreen natural shrubbery or vegetation, evergreen plants or trees or any combination thereof.
The walls of a building may be used to form a part of the screen required by this article; provided, however, the display or storage of goods thereon shall be prohibited.
The screen required by this article shall comply with the setback requirements of the zoning ordinance, legal nonconforming structures excepted.
(a) 
The owner or lessee of an automobile graveyard or junkyard existing on October 5, 1978, shall comply with the conditions set forth in this article within 90 days from such date, or in lieu of the screen required by this article, shall establish, within such 90 days, a fence and screen around the perimeter of the area occupied by the automobile graveyard or junkyard, except that portion of the perimeter that abuts another automobile graveyard or junkyard or which is obscured by a wall or building. Such fence shall completely obscure the contents within the automobile graveyard or junkyard from view from abutting and adjacent property and public rights-of way and shall be constructed of one or more of the following materials:
(1) 
Salt-treated or creosote-treated pine, cedar, cypress or similar decay resistant material.
(2) 
Protected metals, such as Teflon-coated steel, anodized aluminum or similar materials.
(3) 
Masonry construction such as brick, glazed terra-cotta or cinder block, when protected by an epoxy coating.
(b) 
The fence referred to in this section shall be maintained in good repair, and any damage or deteriorated materials shall be reconstructed and renewed. Any damaged or deteriorated treated surfaces or such fence shall be repainted and renewed.
(c) 
Screening required by this section shall be comprised of hardy evergreen vegetation of a species that will reach a height sufficient to obscure the fence within three years and shall be planted in accordance with the spacing requirements set forth in § 5-24 of this article.
(a) 
The owner or lessee of property upon which is located an automobile graveyard or junkyard shall post with the County Administrator written evidence of cash in escrow or an irrevocable letter of credit in the amount of $1,000. Such cash in escrow or letter of credit shall be available for use by the County to maintain, replace or repair the screening required by this article should the owner fail to do so. Such cash in escrow or letter of credit shall be replenished within 10 days of any draw down by the County under provision of this section. Failure to replenish such cash in escrow or letter of credit within the prescribed time shall constitute a violation of this section.
(b) 
Cash in escrow provided for in this section shall be deposited in an interest bearing account and interest accruing to such account shall be paid annually to the owner or lessee.
The screen required by this article shall not be used for billposting or other advertising purposes, except that a space may be used for the advertisement of the business of the owner thereof, when in compliance with the sign regulations contained with the zoning ordinance.