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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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Regulation of automobile junk yards
General Municipal (GMU) CHAPTER 24, ARTICLE 6
§ 136. Regulation of automobile junk yards. 1. Legislative intent. A
clean, wholesome, attractive environment is declared to be of importance
to the health and safety of the inhabitants and the safeguarding of
their material rights against unwarrantable invasion and, in addition,
such an environment is deemed essential to the maintenance and continued
development of the economy of the state and the general welfare of its
citizens. It is further declared that the unrestrained accumulation of
junk motor vehicles is a hazard to such health, safety and welfare of
citizens of the state necessitating the regulation, restraint and
elimination thereof. At the same time, it is recognized that the
maintenance of junk yards as hereinafter defined, is a useful and
necessary business and ought to be encouraged when not in conflict with
the express purposes of this section.

2. Definitions. For the purposes of this section, "junk yard" shall
mean any place of storage or deposit, whether in connection with another
business or not, where two or more unregistered, old, or secondhand
motor vehicles, no longer intended or in condition for legal use on the
public 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, 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 any such purposes of
used parts or waste materials from motor vehicles which, taken together,
equal in bulk two or more such vehicles provided, however, the term junk
yard shall not be construed to mean an establishment having facilities
for processing iron, steel or nonferrous scrap and whose principal
produce is scrap iron, steel or nonferrous scrap for sale for remelting
purposes only.

"Municipality" as used in this section shall mean a city of less than
one million in population, town or village.

"Motor vehicle" shall mean all vehicles propelled or drawn by power
other than muscular power originally intended for use on public

3. Requirement for operation or maintenance. No person shall operate,
establish or maintain a junk yard until he (1) has obtained a license to
operate a junk yard business and (2) has obtained a certificate of
approval for the location of such junk yard.

4. Application for license and certificate of approval. Application
for the license and the certificate of approved location shall be made
in writing to the governing board of the municipality where it is
proposed to locate the junk yard, and, in municipalities having a zoning
ordinance or local law and a zoning board, the application shall be
accompanied by a certificate from the zoning board that the proposed
location is not within an established district restricted against such
uses or otherwise contrary to the prohibitions of such zoning ordinance
or local law. The application shall contain a description of the land to
be included within the junk yard.

5. Hearing. A hearing on the application shall be held within the
municipality not less than two nor more than four weeks from the date of
the receipt of the application by the legislative body. Notice of the
hearing shall be given to the applicant by mail, postage prepaid, to the
address given in the application and shall be published once in a
newspaper having a circulation within the municipality, which
publication shall be not less than seven days before the date of the

6. License requirements. At the time and place set for hearing, the
governing board shall hear the applicant and all other persons wishing
to be heard on the application for a license to operate, establish or
maintain the junk yard. In considering such application, it shall take
into account the suitability of the applicant with reference to his
ability to comply with the fencing requirements or other reasonable
regulations concerning the proposed junk yard, to any record of
convictions for any type of larceny or receiving of stolen goods, and to
any other matter within the purposes of this section.

7. Location requirements. At the time and place set for hearing, the
governing board shall hear the applicant and all other persons wishing
to be heard on the application for certificate of approval for the
location of the junk yard. In passing upon same, it shall take into
account, after proof of legal ownership or right to such use of the
property for the license period by the applicant, the nature and
development of surrounding property, such as the proximity of churches,
schools, hospitals, public buildings or other places of public
gathering; and whether or not the proposed location can be reasonably
protected from affecting the public health and safety by reason of
offensive or unhealthy odors or smoke, or of other causes.

8. Aesthetic considerations. At the hearing regarding location of the
junk yard, the governing board may also take into account the clean,
wholesome and attractive environment which has been declared to be of
vital importance to the continued general welfare of its citizens by
considering whether or not the proposed location can be reasonably
protected from having an unfavorable effect thereon. In this connection
the governing board may consider collectively the type of road servicing
the junk yard or from which the junk yard may be seen, the natural or
artificial barriers protecting the junk yard from view, the proximity of
the proposed junk yard to established residential and recreational areas
or main access routes thereto, as well as the reasonable availability of
other suitable sites for the junk yard.

9. Grant or denial of application; appeal. After hearing the governing
board shall, within two weeks, make a finding as to whether or not the
application should be granted, giving notice of their finding to the
applicant by mail, postage prepaid, to the address given on the
application. If approved, the license, including the certificate of
approved location, shall be forthwith issued to remain in effect until
the following April first. Approval shall be personal to the applicant
and not assignable. Licenses shall be renewed thereafter upon payment of
the annual license fee without hearing, provided all provisions of this
chapter are complied with during the license period, the junk yard does
not become a public nuisance under the common law and the applicant is
not convicted of any type of larceny or the receiving of stolen goods.
The determination of the governing board may be reviewed under article
seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules.

10. License fees. The annual license fee shall be twenty-five dollars
to be paid at the time the application is made and annually thereafter
in the event of renewal. In event the application is not granted, the
fee shall be returned to the applicant. A municipality, in addition to
the license fee, may assess the applicant with the costs of advertising
such application and such other reasonable costs incident to the hearing
as are clearly attributable thereto and may make the license conditional
upon payment of same.

11. Fencing. Before use, a new junk yard shall be completely
surrounded with a fence at least eight feet in height which
substantially screens and with a suitable gate which shall be closed and
locked except during the working hours of such junk yard or when the
applicant or his agent shall be within. Such fence shall be erected not
nearer than fifty feet from a public highway. All motor vehicles and
parts thereof stored or deposited by the applicant shall be kept within
the enclosure of the junk yard except as removal shall be necessary for
the transportation of same in the reasonable course of the business. All
wrecking or other work on such motor vehicles and parts and all burning
of same within the vicinity of the junk yard shall be accomplished
within the enclosure.

Where the topography, natural growth of timber or other considerations
accomplish the purposes of this chapter in whole or in part, the fencing
requirements hereunder may be reduced by the legislative body, upon
granting the license, provided, however, that such natural barrier
conforms with the purposes of this chapter.

12. Effect of local ordinances or local laws. This section shall not
be construed to affect or supersede zoning ordinances or local laws or
any other ordinances or local laws for the control of junk yards now in
effect or hereafter enacted in any municipality within the proper
exercise of the police power of such a municipality and shall not be
deemed to apply to any municipality which has any ordinance or local law
or regulation to license or regulate junk yards.

13. Established junk yards. For the purposes of this section the
location of junk yards already established shall be considered approved
by the governing board of the municipality where located and the owner
thereof deemed suitable for the issuance of a license. Within sixty days
from the passage of this section, however, the owner shall furnish the
governing board the information as to location which is required in an
application, together with the license fee, and the governing board
shall issue him a license valid until the next April first, at which
time such owner may apply for renewal as herein provided. Such owner
shall comply with all other provisions of this section including the
fencing requirements set forth in subdivision eleven of this section.

14. Notwithstanding any of the foregoing provisions of this section,
no junk yard, hereafter established, shall be licensed to operate of
such yard or any part thereof shall be within five hundred feet of a
church, school, hospital, public building or place of public assembly.

15. Violators of any of the portions of this section shall be guilty
of an offense punishable by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars and
each week that such violation is carried on or continues shall
constitute a separate violation.