[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Moreau at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter is enacted in recognition of the fact that junk cars abandoned or stored on private property in the Town of Moreau can constitute both a public and private nuisance. They are a source of potential harm to children and others who may find them an attractive nuisance. They are replete with broken glass, sharp, torn metal edges and points, gasoline remaining in tanks of a highly explosive and combustible nature and hurtful acid in batteries, to mention but a few of the more obvious sources of potential physical hurt found on these junk cars. Besides this, these junk cars constitute a blight on the town's landscape, they destroy the aesthetic qualities of the town, and they are generally otherwise unsightly. Their existence tends to depreciate not only the property on which they are located but also the property of other persons in the neighborhood and the town generally. They constitute to the town a less safe and less pleasant place in which to live and to do business. They hurt the welfare of the town as a whole. The intent of this chapter is to establish a legal procedure for the removal of these junk cars where they are found in the town outside duly licensed establishments, pursuant to Junkyards, Chapter 87, of the Code of the Town of Moreau.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The Building Inspector and/or Code Enforcement Officer of the town, unless the Town Board, by resolution, designates some other town officer as enforcement officer.
- JUNK CAR
- Any motor vehicle, whether automobile, bus, truck, trailer, mobile home or any other contraption originally intended for travel on public highways, which is abandoned, stored outdoors, left or located by its owner or any other person, or is permitted or condoned to be abandoned, stored, left or located by its owner or any other person, on private property in the Town of Moreau and outside any junkyard established duly licensed by the town pursuant to Chapter 87, Junkyards, of the Code of the Town of Moreau, which "junk car" is unregistered by the State of New York or any other state or not operable and does not bear a valid New York State inspection sticker in the current year or a valid inspection sticker of any other state for the current year. The use of the term in the singular herein is intended, where applicable, to include the plural.
- Any individual person or persons, firm, partnership, corporation, whether business, membership, religious, charitable or otherwise, or any association or other unit or entity owning real property in the Town of Moreau.
Any junk car, as defined in this chapter, may be removed from the premises on which it is located by the Town of Moreau in the manner hereinafter provided:
The enforcement officer, upon detecting a junk car, shall serve written notice on the person owning the premises on which the same is located, ordering such person to remove the same or cause the same to be removed therefrom within 30 days of the date of such service. Such notice shall also contain a description of the premises, a statement as to the location thereon on a junk car, reference to this chapter and to the fact that the location of such junk car on such premises is in violation of this chapter. If such premises are owned by more than one person, personal service on any one of such owners shall suffice; however, as to any owner not personally served with such notice, or if no owner can be located upon whom to make personal service, the enforcement officer shall mail such notice to owners not personally served or to the owner and to all the owners, if no owner was personally served, by registered mail to their or his last known address as shown on the latest completed assessment roll of the town. In addition, such enforcement officer shall post conspicuously a copy of such notice on the premises upon which such junk car is located.
At the expiration of 30 days after the service or mailing of a notice pursuant to Subsection A above, if such junk car has not been removed, the enforcement officer shall contract for the removal of such junk car.
Any expense to the town in accomplishing such removal may be assessed by the Town Board on the real property from which such junk car was removed, and the expense so assessed shall constitute a lien and charge on the real property on which it is levied until paid or otherwise satisfied or discharged as other town charges.
Upon notification from the property owner within 30 days after the service or mailing of the notice provided for in Subsection A that the junk car was abandoned on his property by another, the following procedure shall be observed.
The enforcement officer shall make an inquiry in an attempt to identify the last registered owner of the junk car.
Following identification of the last owner, the enforcement officer shall contact the owner by registered mail, return receipt requested, and advise said owner that the junk car shall be removed from the property by the enforcement officer at the expiration of 10 days from the receipt of service by registered mail. The notice shall also contain the name and address of the owner of the property, a description of the property and a description of the junk car, including any vehicle identification number or other numerical identification, reference to this chapter and the fact that the location of such junk car on such premises is a violation of this chapter.
In the event that the enforcement officer cannot locate the last owner of the junk car, he shall publish a notice in the official newspaper having a circulation in the Town of Moreau containing a statement that the junk car is to be removed, allowing the owner an opportunity to be heard regarding the removal, a description of the property, a description of the junk car, including any vehicle identification number or other numerical identification, reference to this chapter and the fact that the location of such junk car on such premises is a violation of this chapter and a request for proposals to remove such junk car.
The last registered owner of an abandoned vehicle shall be presumed to be the owner and liable to the Town of Moreau for the costs of removal and storage of such vehicle, unless he shall present proof of present ownership in another person.
If the enforcement officer has received proper notification from the property owner within the thirty-day period that the junk car was abandoned on his property by another and has been unable to identify the last registered owner, the junk car shall be removed from the property, and the cost of removal of the junk car shall become a charge against the Town of Moreau.
In addition to the remedies otherwise provided in this chapter, it shall be unlawful and an offense against the provisions of this chapter for any person to abandon, leave or locate or to permit or condone any other person to abandon, leave or locate any junk car on private premises in the Town of Moreau outside a duly licensed junkyard establishment. Any person committing such an offense shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a violation pursuant to the Penal Law of the State of New York, punishable by a fine not exceeding $250 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. The continuation of an offense shall constitute, for each week the offense is continued, a separate and distinct violation.
In addition to the above-provided penalties and punishment, the town may also maintain an action or proceedings in the name of the town in a court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with or to restrain by injunction the violation of such chapter and collect any other costs incurred, including but not limited to storage and towing costs.