Abandoned Vehicles


Chapter 277: VEHICLES, UNREGISTERED OR ABANDONED
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Yorktown 7-21-1998 by L.L. No. 23-1998. Amendments noted where applicable.]

GENERAL REFERENCES
Littering — See Ch. 201.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 225.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 275.

§ 277-1. Purpose.

The outdoor storage of unregistered or abandoned vehicles on privately owned property within the Town of Yorktown is detrimental to the health, safety and general welfare of the community. The same also constitutes an attractive nuisance to children and in many ways imperils their safety. Such storage also endangers the person and property of members of the community, since fuel tanks containing gasoline or gasoline fumes may easily explode. Such storage is unsightly and depreciates all property values. The control of the outdoor storage of unregistered or abandoned motor vehicles on privately owned properties within the Town of Yorktown is, therefore, regulated for the preservation of the health, safety and general welfare of the community.

§ 277-2. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context or subject matter otherwise requires, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

ABANDONED VEHICLE — Any motor vehicle not required to be licensed, or a motor vehicle not usually used on public highways. The fact that such motor vehicle has remained unused for more than six months, and is not in a condition to be moved under its own power, shall presumptive evidence that such motor vehicle is an abandoned motor vehicle.
MOTOR VEHICLE — Every vehicle originally designed and intended to be operated, drawn or driven, or capable of being operated, drawn or driven upon a public highway by any power, other than muscular power. For the purposes of this chapter, the term “motor vehicle” shall include, but is not limited to, automobiles, trucks, buses, motorcycles, snowmobiles and trailers (except that “motor vehicle” does not include a motorized mode transportation for use by the physically impaired).
OWNER OF MOTOR VEHICLE — A person, firm or corporation having title to the motor vehicle. It will be the presumption that an owner of the property will also be the owner of any vehicle stored on its property.
OWNER OF PRIVATE PROPERTY — A person, firm or corporation being the owner, contract purchaser, tenant, lessee, occupant, undertenant, receiver or assignee of private premises or private property located within the Town of Yorktown.
PRIVATE PREMISES or PRIVATE PROPERTY — Includes all parcels of real property not owned by any unit of government situated in the Town of Yorktown, whether occupied or vacant, regardless of size, topography or location.
UNREGISTERED MOTOR VEHICLE — Any unregistered motor vehicle under §§ 125 and 401 of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law (except that “motor vehicle” does not include a motorized mode of transportation for use by the physically impaired) which is discarded, abandoned, dismantled or partially dismantled, or which is in such deteriorated condition that it cannot be legally operated upon the public highway without substantial repairs.

§ 277-3. Outdoor storage on private property prohibited.

A. It will be unlawful for any property owner or occupant, lessee, agent and/or tenant of a property owner within a residentially zoned district in the Town of Yorktown to store or deposit, or cause or permit to be stored or deposited, outdoors, more than one unregistered or abandoned motor vehicle, unless said motor vehicle is screened from view. An unregistered or abandoned motor vehicle will be presumed to be screened from view so long as it is permanently covered by a custom fit car cover; only one such properly screened motor vehicle is allowed, unless the property owner obtains a permit for each additional unregistered or abandoned motor vehicle that the property owner wishes to store outdoors. The property owner shall obtain an outdoor storage permit for each additional motor vehicle sought to be stored.
B. The Building Inspector of the Town of Yorktown may permit the outdoor storage of more than one unregistered or abandoned motor vehicle on a residential property upon a finding that the storage and/or deposit of said motor vehicle does not present a safety hazard or nuisance to surrounding property. The Building Inspector shall require, where feasible, that any unregistered or abandoned motor vehicle must be stored behind the rear building line and interior to the side building lines, and properly screened. A vehicle so stored shall for purposes of this chapter be presumed not a safety hazard or a nuisance to surrounding property.
C. The Building Inspector may allow for the outdoor storage or deposit of more than one unregistered and abandoned motor vehicle on residentially zoned property for a period of 180 days, at which time the property owner must re-apply for a new permit. The fee for each permit shall be $30.
D. Should any property owner feel aggrieved by the decision of the Building Inspector in regard to either denying or approving a permit for the storage of additional unregistered or abandoned motor vehicles on residentially zoned private property, they may appeal such decision to the Zoning Board of Appeals without a fee. Any matter so appealed shall be heard by the Zoning Board of Appeals within 60 days.

§ 277-4. Penalties for offenses; affirmative defense.

A. Any person convicted of having violated or disobeyed any provision of this chapter, any order of the Building Inspector or Zoning Board of Appeals or any condition duly imposed by the Building Inspector or Zoning Board of Appeals in a permit granted pursuant to this chapter shall, for the first offense be punishable by a fine of not less than $500 a day, not to exceed $5,000. Each consecutive day of the violation may be considered a separate offense. [Amended 4-20-2004 by L.L. No. 10-2004]
B. Affirmative defense. It shall be an affirmative defense to any prosecution hereunder that the motor vehicle for which the property owner is cited had at the time of the offense a valid New York State inspection sticker affixed to said motor vehicle.

§ 277-5. Notice; duties of Building Inspector.

A. If the provisions of the foregoing sections are violated, the Building Inspector shall serve a written notice, either personally or by registered, certified or ordinary mail, upon the owner, occupant or person having charge of such private property to comply with the requirements of this chapter. If the Building Inspector is unable to ascertain the ownership of such private property by any other means, he or she may determine ownership of any such parcel of land in the Town of Yorktown from the current assessment roll of the town and may serve written notice upon the owner thereof by mailing such notice by certified mail to the owner at the address listed on the current assessment roll. If the Building Inspector is unable to determine the ownership or address of the owner of said private property, such notification may be made by publishing the same in the official newspaper of the town once each week for two consecutive weeks.
B. The notice shall be in substantially the following form:

“To the owner or lessee of lands shown on the Tax Map of the Town of Yorktown as Section _____, Parcel _____, Lot _____, upon which one or more unregistered or abandoned motor vehicles stored or deposited on the above-described property in violation of the Unregistered or Abandoned Motor Vehicle Law of the Town of Yorktown. The vehicle must be removed therefrom within 20 days from the date of this notice; provided, however, that if this notice is served on you by publication, said motor vehicle shall be removed within 24 days from the first publication date of this notice. If such motor vehicle is not removed on or before the expiration of said 20 days from the date hereof or on or before the expiration of said 24 days from the date of this notice, in the event that it is served on you by publication, you are hereby summoned to appear before the Town Board of the Town of Yorktown, 363 Underhill Avenue, Yorktown Hts., New York, at _____ o’clock p.m. on the _____ day of __________, 19_____, at which time a hearing will be held to determine why the Town Board of the Town of Yorktown, acting through its duly authorized agents, servants, officers and employees, should not enter upon said property and remove and dispose of or cause said motor vehicle to be destroyed. In the event that the Town Board of the Town of Yorktown directs that said motor vehicle be removed and disposed of or destroyed, the expense incurred by the Town of Yorktown shall be assessed against said property and shall constitute a lien thereon and be collected in the manner provided by law.

Dated: __________

Building Inspector

Town of Yorktown
§ 277-6. Hearing before Town Board.

In the event that an unregistered or abandoned motor vehicle is not removed as prescribed above, the Town Board of the Town of Yorktown shall thereafter hold the public hearing upon legal notice thereof duly published in the official town newspaper. After such hearing and upon making a determination that a violation of this chapter exists, the Town Board may cause said unregistered or abandoned motor vehicle to be removed from the premises and disposed of or destroyed and direct that the expense of such removal and disposition or destruction be assessed against the property described in the notice and 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.

§ 277-7. Filing.

This chapter shall take effect immediately upon filing in the office of the Secretary of State of New York in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Home Rule Law.