A local law to be known as "TOWN OF OTSEGO JUNK STORAGE LAW"


SECTION 1.: This local law shall be known as the "Town of Otsego

Junk Storage Law".




This law is adopted pursuant to the authority granted the Town in

section 10 of Municipal Home Rule Law and section 136 of the

General Municipal law (pertaining to the regulation of





By adoption of this law, the Town of Otsego declares its intent

to regulate and control the storage and keeping of junk, and to

regulate junkyards whether operated for commercial profit or

otherwise. The Town Board hereby declares that a clean, whole-

some and attractive environment is of vital importance to the

continued general welfare of its citizens.


This law is enacted in recognition of the fact that junk and junk

vehicles, as defined in section 5, can constitute both a public

and private nuisance; can be highly flammable and sometimes

explosive; can constitute attractive nuisances to children; can

pollute soil and water through leakage of gasoline, oil and

battery acids; can constitute a blight on the landscape and

destroy the aesthetic qualities of the Town; can be a breeding

ground for insects, rodents, and similar creatures; can depreci-

ate the value of property on which they are located and the value

of surrounding properties.




This local law shall replace and supersede any prior existing

junkyard law as well as that portion of the Local Land Use Law

dealing with junkyards in existence in the Town of Otsego.




As used in this law, the following terms shall have the meanings

as indicated:

Junk Vehicle: Any vehicle, including but not limited to, an

auto, bus, truck, trailer, motor home, motorcycle, minibicycle,

boat, snowmobile, ATV, or any other device originally intended

for travel which meets the following conditions:


            A. It has not been registered or has not passed a New York

            state Inspection within the previous 12 months.


            B. It has remained outdoors for a period of 6 months and

            can be seen from a public highway or any neighboring or

            other property in this or neighboring townships.


Junkyard: Land used for the collecting, storage or sale of

wastepaper, rags, scrap metal or discarded material or for the

collecting, wrecking, dismantling, storage, salvaging, or sale of

vehicles or machinery parts.


Junk Appliance: Any stove, washing machine, dryer, freezer,

refrlgerator, or other household or lawn and garden devlce or

equipment in inoperable condition or abandoned, junked, discard-

ed, wholly or partially dismantled, no longer in condition for

ordinary use for the purpose for which it was designed original-



Junk Trailer: Any house trailer, mobile home or unregistered

camper which:

            A. Is uninhabitable for a period of more than six (6)

            months, as per the New York state Uniform Fire Preven-

            tion and Building Code;

            B. Is unfit for use and cannot be put into operational

            condition, except at a cost in excess of its market

            value after repairs; or

Junk Farm and Construction Eguipment: Any tractor, truck self-

propelled or drawn implement or stationary piece of equipment

which cannot be used for its intended purpose and has been dis-

carded or abandoned for use as a farm vehicle, farm implement or

farm equipment or for any other purpose and said abandonment has

continued for a period of more than twelve (12) months; any inop-

erable construction-related machinery and equipment, including

but not limited to earth grading, excavating and paving equipment,

steel tanks, containers, flatbed carriers and cranes, which is

either abandoned, wrecked, stored, discarded, dismantled or

partly dismantled and said abandonment has continued for a period

of more than twelve (12) months.

Rubbish or debris: Shall include, but not be limited to, ordi-

nary household or store trash of flammable character, such as

barrels, cartons, boxes, crates, furniture, rugs, clothing, rags,

mattresses, blankets, rubber tires, lumber, brick, stone, and

other building materials no longer intended or in condition for

ordinary use; any and all tangible personal property no longer

intended or in condition for ordinary and customary use.

Junk: Shall include junk vehicles, junk appliances, junk trail-

ers, junk farm and construction equipment, rubbish and debris as

described above. Junk does not include inoperable vehicles,

implements,equipment or machinery retained for the purpose of

salvaging usable parts in connection with the ongoing operation

of a business, whose purpose does not include the sale of parts

or devices in which said parts or devices have been included

provided that such items are stored in such a way as to not be

visible from any public highway or other parcel of land and which

does not constitute a public hazard.


Enforcement Officer: Any person appointed by the Town Board to

represent the Town Board in particular matters pertaining to this

local law.


Permit Issuing Committee: Any group of persons appointed by the

Town Board to review permit applications for junkyards.

Person: Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation,

company or organization of any kind.


Business: A continued or regular activity for the purpose of

earning a livelihood such as a trade, profession or occupation,

or a commercial activity. Evidence of a business shall be shown

by the filing of a Federal business tax return or an appropriate

business schedule (i.e. Schedule C to 1040) to a personal Federal

tax return.




No person shall have or permit the existence or the accumulation

of rubbish or debris, junk appliances, junk vehicles, junk trail-

ers, junk farm equipment, or junk construction equipment out of

doors on property owned by such person and visible from any

public highway or other parcel of land except that:

            A. Two junk vehicles may be stored out of doors.

            B. Other junk may be placed out of doors for no more than

            two weeks to facilitate pickup and disposal.




A. Location:

1. No junkyard shall be located within:

                        a] Two hundred (200) feet of any adjoining

                        property line;

                        b] Two hundred (200) feet of any stream, pond,

                        wetland or floodplain (as designated on maps

                        prepared by the Federal Emergency Management

                        Agency (FEMA) for the Town of Otsego) , other

                        body of water, or

                         c] Two hundred (200) feet from the right of way

                        of any public highway.


            2. No site shall be approved for use as a junkyard if

            the topography of the surrounding property is such

            that land within three hundred (300) feet of the

            junkyard site has an elevation higher than any

            point on the junkyard site.

B. Screening:


Where a junkyard is visible from a public highway or

from neighboring properties, an eight (8) foot high

fence shall be erected of wood or other materials, as

approved by the Town Board, sufficient to totally

screen the junkyard from view. As an alternative, the

Town Board may permit ,such screening by the planting

of evergreen trees or shrubbery, or some combination

of fencing and landscaping. In addition, on the

inside, adjacent to, and contiguous with such fencing,

a graded strip of land at least fifteen (15) feet in

width shall be maintained and kept free of all dry

vegetation or other combustible materials so as to

provide a fire lane around the perimeter of the junk-



C. Burning:


No materials shall be burned on a junkyard site except

in compliance with the New York State Outdoor Burning

Law (see 6 NYCRR 215).


D. Burying:


No junkyard items shall be buried.


E. Approved Junkyard Items:


No junkyard items shall be stored other than those

items specified on a junkyard permit approved by the

Town Board pursuant to this Local Law.




A. Permit Required: No person shall establish or maintain

a junkyard, as defined herein, without first obtaining

a junkyard permit from the Town of Otsego. All permits

shall be issued for a period of one (1) year, after

which time renewal shall be required. To renew a per-

mit, the holder shall demonstrate compliance with this

t law by a Certificate of Compliance issued by the Code

Enforcement Officer.


B. Existinq Junkyards,Temporary Permit: Any person

presently maintaining a junkyard, as defined herein, on

real property within the Town of Otsego must apply for a

permit within sixty (60) days of the adoption of this

Local Law. If the place where such activity is conduct-

ed does not meet the requirements of section 7 herein, a

temporary permit may be granted for a period not to

exceed one (1) year, during which time the premises

shall be brought into compliance with said requirements.

If, at the end of such period, the premises are not

brought into compliance, such person shall cease and

desist from maintaining a junkyard and all junk;.shall be

removed by the landowner within sixty (60) days. If

after sixty (60) days the junk is not removed, the Town

reserves the right to have the junk removed and disposed

of and all costs of such removal and disposal shall be

born by the landowner, and, in addition, such person may

be subject to the penalties set forth in section 14.


If the existing junkyard cannot meet the require-

ments of section 7 herein because of pre-existing site

limitations, the Town Board may modify the requirements

after a mitigation plan has been presented to the Town

Board by the applicant. A mitigation plan must be filed

with the Town Board within thirty (30) days of the

Board's initial rejection of the permit application. If

a mitigation plan is not filed within thirty (30) days

or is rejected by the Town Board, such person operating

the junkyard shall cease and desist from maintaining the

junkyard and all junk shall be removed by the land owner

within sixty (60) days from the date of the official

rejection. If after sixty (60) days the junk is not

removed, the Town reserves the right to have the junk

removed and disposed of and all cost of such removal and

disposal shall be born by the land owner. In addition,

such persons may be subject to the penalties set forth

in section 14.




A. Application Form: The applicant for a junkyard permit

or permit renewal shall obtain application forms from

the Town Clerk. The completed forms, along with one

copy of the proposed or existing site plan and the

appropriate fees, shall be returned to the Town Clerk.

The Town Clerk shall submit the application materials to

the Town Board for the Town Board's review. Applica-

tions must be submitted to the Town Clerk no later than

ten (10) days prior to a regularly scheduled meeting of

the Town Board in order to be considered at that meet-



B. Environmental Assessment: An Environmental

Assessment Form (EAF) shall be completed and submitted

with all applications for new or existing junkyards,

pursuant to the provisions of the state Environmental

Quality Review (6 NYCRR 617). The application shall not

be considered complete until the environmental review

has been conducted and the Town Board has made a deter-

mination that the proposed junkyard will not have sig-

nificant environmental consequences. No EAF will be

required for permit renewal unless the renewal increases

the size or changes the character of the junkyard.


C. Application Fee: A non-refundable application fee shall

accompany all applications for initial permits. Routine

annual renewal applications shall be accompanied by a

non-refundable fee. These fees shall be set by a reso-

lution of the Town Board from time to time.


D. Public Hearing: The Town Board shall hold a public

hearing within forty-five (45) days of the date a com-

plete application is received by the Town Board. Notice

of the hearing shall be made in the official newspaper

at least five (5) days prior to the date thereof. At

the hearing, the Town Board shall hear the applicant and

all other persons wishing to be heard on the junkyard

application. A permit shall be renewable annually

without a public hearing upon payment of the annual fee

and inspection and approval of the Town Enforcement

Officer, unless the renewal increases the size or

changes the character of the junkyard.


E. Approval or Disapproval:


1. within forty-five (45) days of the public hearing,

the Town Board shall render a decision to approve,

approve with conditions, or to disapprove the

application for a junkyard permit. The forty-

five (45) day period may be extended by mutual

consent of the applicant and the Town Board.


2. If the application is approved by the Town Board,

a Junkyard Permit shall be issued by the Town

Clerk. Approval shall be granted to the appli-

cant, only, and is not assignable.


3. If the application is approved with conditions by

the Town Board, the Town Clerk shall issue a Junk-

yard Permit upon notification by the Enforcement

Officer that said conditions have been complied with.


4. If the application is disapproved, the-reasons for

such disapproval shall be entered into the Town

Board minutes. The applicant shall be notified of

the decision and the reasons for such decision by

certified mail within five (5) days of the decision

of the Town Board.




In reviewing, and prior to granting or denying a permit, the Town

Board shall take the following aesthetic and locational factors

into consideration:


A: Aesthetic Considerations:


1. Type of road serving the junkyard or from which

the junkyard can be seen.

2. Natural or artificial barriers protecting the

junkyard from view.


B: Locational Considerations:


1. The nature and development of surrounding property,

such as the proximity of agricultural lands,

churches, residential settlements, public build-

ings, or places of public gathering.


2. Whether or not the proposed location can be reason-

ably protected from affecting the public health and

safety by reason of offensive or unhealthy noise,

odors or smoke, or of other causes.


3. The proximity of streams, wetlands, floodplains,

groundwater supplies and public water systems.


4. Local drainage patterns.


5. The Master Plan as well as any long range compre-

hensive plans for the Town, if such exist.


6. Availability of other suitable sites for the junk-





A. Reauirements for Operation:


            1. The permittee must personally own the land.


            2. Such permit shall be displayed conspicuously at all

            times at the junkyard location.


            3. The permittee is responsible for the proper and

            safe conduct of such activity or business, to

            minimize the fire hazard therefrom and to prevent

            trespass thereon. All junkyard operations shall be         

            accomplished within the junk storage area.


B. Inspections:


            1. The Town of Otsego Code Enforcement Officer is

            designated the enforcement officer for this Local

            Law and shall be granted access to the area of

            business of the applicant or permit holder~at all

            reasonable hours to inspect the same for compli-



2. The enforcement officer shall make inspections of

the premises of any junkyard for which application

for permit has been made and shall inspect at least

annually, all junkyards within the town, and shall

report to the Town Board on the conditions of such



3. The enforcement officer shall make periodic inspec-

tions of the Town to ensure that all junkyards have

permits and that the requirements of this law are



4. The enforcement officer shall not enter the prem-

ises of any private property without the consent of

the owner. However, upon demonstration of "reason-

able cause" a search warrant may be obtained from

a Judge allowing access to the property. It shall

be the responsibility of the owner to arrange for

all required inspections of the premises prior to

permit issuance or renewal. The refusal of the

owner or permit holder to allow access to the

property by the enforcement officer may subject the

permit holder to the penalties set forth in section

14 and 15 of this law.




A. The enforcement officer shall give written notice by

personal service or by certified mail on the owner

of the property in violation of these regulations. Such

notice shall direct the person so served to terminate

the open storage of such junk or the junkyard violation

within thirty (30) days from mailing where service is



B. At the expiration of thirty (30) days after the personal

service of the notice or after expiration of thirty-

three (33) days from the expiration of the mailing of

notice by certified mail, the enforcement officer shall

report to the Town Board in writing at the next sched-

uled meeting of the Town Board. Such report may include

or refer to photographs of said violation. Such report

and any such photographs shall be filed in the Town

Clerk's office. After allowing another thirty (30) days

for the filing of a permit application, the Town en-

forcement officer shall then lodge a complaint ~ith the

Town Justice of the Town of Otsego, charging any person

in violation of this law with an offense against this





The Town Board may revoke a junkyard permit upon reasonable cause

should the permit holder fail to comply with any provision of

this law. Should the Town Board decide to revoke the permit, the

reasons for such revocation shall be stated in the Town Board's

minutes. The permit holder shall be notified of the revocation

by certified mail. Before a permit may be revoked, the Town

board must conduct a public hearing at which time all interested

parties must be heard. Notice of the hearing shall be made in

the official newspaper at least five (5) days prior to the date


Upon revocation, all operations shall stop and the owner will

have sixty (60) days to remove all junk. If the junk is not

removed, the Town reserves the right to have the junk removed and

disposed of and all costs of such removal shall be born by the

permit holder and may be assessed on the real property from which

said materials were removed and shall constitute a lien and

charge on the real property on which it is levied until paid or

otherwise satisfied.




Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this local

law shall be guilty of an offense and subject to a fine of not

more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) or by imprisonment

for a period not to exceed fifteen (15) days or by both

imprisonment and fine. Every such person shall be deemed guilty

of a separate offense for each week such violation, disobedience,

omission, neglect or refusal to comply shall continue.




In addition to the above provided penalties, the Town Board may

also maintain an action or proceeding in the name of the Town in

a court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with or

restrain by injunction the violation of any section of this local





If any clause, sentence, paragraph, or section of this l~cal law

shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be

invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair, or invalidate

the remainder hereof but shall be confined in its operation to

the clause, sentence, paragraph, or section thereof directly

involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have

been rendered.




This law shall be effective upon filing with the Secretary of ~

State of New York.