Stockertown

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CODE | NEW LAWS | LAW INDEX

[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Stockertown 8-2-2004 by Ord. No. 249. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES

Property maintenance — See Ch. 177.

Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 228.

Zoning — See Ch. 250.


§ 235-1 Intent.

It is hereby determined and declared that the placement, abandonment, leaving, keeping or storing out of doors of any motor vehicle not currently in use for transportation and not licensed for the current licensed year, unless authorized by a restoration permit, or any other unused machine or equipment on public or private lands in the Borough is contrary and inimical to the public welfare in that such articles so placed, abandoned or left, kept or stored attract or may attract persons of tender years who, being so attracted, may play in and about and may be injured in doing so, and in that such articles so placed, abandoned or left, kept or stored out of doors, exposed to the elements, deteriorate and in themselves are unsightly and, deteriorated, become more unsightly and are detrimental to depreciate the value of properties in the neighborhood where they are located and in the Borough as a whole.

§ 235-2 Prohibitions; exemption.

A.

No person shall place, abandon or leave, keep or store, or suffer or permit the placing, abandoning, leaving, keeping or storing, of any article described in § 235-3 of this chapter out of doors upon any public or private lands in the Borough or between the right-of-way side lines of any public thoroughfare therein unless permitted hereunder.

B.

Nothing herein contained shall be deemed to prohibit the placing, keeping or storage of any such article in an enclosed garage, barn or other building.

C.

Nothing herein contained shall be deemed to prohibit the placing, keeping or storage out of doors of a motor vehicle not currently in use for transportation and not licensed for the current licensed year on private lands in the Borough if the owner of such private lands has been issued a restoration permit for such motor vehicle.

D.

It is prohibited to occupy, use, rent, or live in any trailer, camper, RV or boat as a dwelling or temporary "guesthouse" while parked or stored on private property unless a permit has been issued by the Borough for a period not to exceed seven days and which may be renewed.

E.

No commercial vehicle, or part thereof or combination thereof, having a registered gross weight, either solely or in combination exceeding 8,000 pounds, or which is in excess of 18 feet in length, shall be parked, stored or maintained on any street, road right-of-way, lot or within any building or structure in any residential district established by Chapter 250, Zoning, except a construction vehicle or vehicles owned by a contractor or other tradesman temporarily engaged in the performance of actual work or delivery of materials to any location.

§ 235-3 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

ABANDONED VEHICLE
The intent of the owner shall be determined by the physical condition of the vehicle; statements of the owner as to its abandonment; the length of time since the vehicle has last been used on the highway; whether the vehicle is currently licensed, registered or inspected; and other relevant facts. With respect to a vehicle not required to be licensed or a vehicle not usually used on public highways, the intent of the owner shall be determined by the physical condition of the motor vehicle, the length of time since it was last used for the purpose intended, any statement as to its abandonment by the owner and other relevant facts.
ANTIQUE MOTOR VEHICLE
A motor vehicle, but not a reproduction thereof, manufactured more than 25 years prior to the current year and which, because of discontinued production and limited availability, is considered to be a model or make of significant value to collectors or exhibitors and which has been maintained in or restored to a condition which is substantially in conformity with the manufacturer's specifications and appearance.
BOROUGH/BORO
All areas within the Borough of Stockertown, both publicly and privately owned.
CLASSIC MOTOR VEHICLE
A motor vehicle, but not a reproduction thereof, manufactured more than 10 years prior to the current year and which, because of discontinued production and limited availability, is considered to be a model or make of significant value to collectors or exhibitors and which has been maintained in or restored or will be maintained in or restored to a condition which is substantially in conformity with the manufacturer's specifications and appearance.
COMMERCIAL GARAGE
Any business permitted by the Borough to repair motor vehicles or any part thereof.
DISCARDED VEHICLE(S)
Any vehicle(s) which the owner thereof, as established by the surrounding circumstances, relinquishes ownership and possession of and any vehicle(s) the owner of which cannot be found after due and reasonable inquiry.
ENCLOSURE
A completely enclosed privacy-type structure or fence constructed of wood, metal or masonry, which shall be at least six feet in height and not more than eight feet in height and of such construction and type that an ordinary person of ordinary height and eyesight cannot see into the enclosure. Such enclosure shall be adequately maintained so as not to create an eyesore to the community.
ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
The Code Enforcement Officer(s), the Zoning Officer, the Building Inspectors or any Police Officer whose powers and duties are within or include the Borough of Stockertown.
JUNK VEHICLE
Any vehicle which, for any reason, is incapable, without repair, of being moved or propelled by application of internal power, if it is a vehicle originally designed to be propelled by internal power, or is incapable, without repair, of being drawn or towed, if it is a vehicle originally designed to be towed or drawn from behind an internally powered vehicle, and, as adjudged by the standards of an ordinary reasonable man, is unsightly in appearance because of the existence of one or more conditions, such as but not limited to the following: deterioration by rust of the body; deterioration of the exterior finish of the vehicle; broken windows; absence of component parts of the vehicle (such as fenders, panels, doors, bumpers, headlights, hood, trunk door, tires, wheels, grille, roof or tailgate); physical damage (such as dents, cracks, scraps or holes) to component parts of the vehicle; and absence of interior components (such as seats, dashboard or interior door moldings), or is incapable of being moved or propelled, drawn or towed without repair as provided for hereinabove and has remained situate on any real property for a period in excess of 30 days.
JUNKYARD
Any place of storage or deposit licensed by the Borough where two or more unlicensed, 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 such purposes of used parts or waste materials from motor vehicles which, taken together, equal in bulk two or more such vehicles.
OPEN STORAGE
Storage other than in a completely enclosed structure constructed of wood, masonry, metal or weather resistant material.
OWNER OF PRIVATE PROPERTY
The legal owner, contract purchaser, tenant, lessee, occupant, subtenant, trustee, bailee, receiver or assignee of premises or real property located within the Borough of Stockertown.
OWNER OF VEHICLE
The person having the property and/or title to a vehicle, including a person entitled to the use and possession of a vehicle subject to a security interest of another person, and also including any lessee or bailee of a vehicle having the use thereof under lease or otherwise.
PERSON
An individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization.
REGISTERED GROSS WEIGHT
Shall have the meaning ascribed to it in the definitions section of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code.
REPAIR SETTLEMENT
Determination by whatever means, including settlement of a claim, arbitration or legal action, that any person other than the owner of a vehicle is liable to pay or will pay for the repair of damage to a vehicle resulting from any vehicular accident.
UNLICENSED VEHICLE
Any vehicle which may be licensed or registered for operation on public highways and which has not been registered during the preceding six months or is not currently registered and not in a condition for legal use on the public highways. A vehicle which is in a condition to receive a current Pennsylvania State motor vehicle inspection shall be deemed to be in a condition for legal use on the public highways.
VEHICLE
Any means of transport or conveyance operated, driven, drawn or capable and intended to be operated, drawn or driven upon a public highway by a power other than physical power. A "vehicle" shall include but not be limited to automobiles, motorcycles, motorbikes, scooters, buses, all types of trailers, including trailers used for storage, trucks, tractors, mobile homes, other than those legally in use in an authorized mobile home park, recreational vehicles, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles and jitneys or any other contraption originally designed and intended for travel on the public highways.
WRECKER
Any business permitted by the Borough to tow or haul other motor vehicles.

§ 235-4 Open storage restricted.

A.

It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, either as a private property owner, vehicle owner, occupant, lessee, agent, tenant or otherwise, to openly store or deposit or cause or permit to be openly stored or deposited an abandoned, junked, discarded or unlicensed vehicle or vehicles or parts or pieces thereof on any private property within the Borough of Stockertown.

B.

Except as permitted in junkyards or by this chapter, unless such vehicle or part or piece thereof is stored or deposited in a completely enclosed building or such vehicle or part or piece thereof is under repair, reconstruction or refurbishing by the owner thereof, who must actually be residing upon the premises where such repair, reconstruction or refurbishing is being done.

C.

Such vehicle or part or piece thereof must be maintained and protected so as not to create a safety hazard or nuisance to surrounding property owners and shall not remain on the premises for more than 30 days, but not on a public highway right-of-way.

§ 235-5 Motor vehicle restoration permit.

A motor vehicle restoration permit will be issued by the Borough Secretary for the Borough of Stockertown on the following terms and conditions:

A.

A restoration permit will be issued to the private property owner only.

B.

The motor vehicle being restored shall be titled to the property owner being issued the permit.

C.

Only one motor vehicle restoration permit at a time will be issued to a property owner.

D.

The motor vehicle restoration permit shall be valid for a maximum of one motor vehicle and shall be valid for one year from the date of issuance.

E.

At all times that the motor vehicle is not being worked on for restoration, said vehicle of the property owner shall be covered with an approved car cover and the area shall be free of debris, litter, discarded parts or equipment utilized for the restoration.

F.

An approved car cover must cover the entire vehicle and be securely fastened to the vehicle. An approved car cover shall be made of material which will resist wind, rain and other weather-related circumstances. The use of bricks, stones, blocks or other material as a fastener shall not be permitted.

G.

The area where the motor vehicle is being stored, placed or left shall be subject to periodic and random inspections by the Stockertown Police Department. Should it be determined that the subject motor vehicle is not being restored or the area surrounding the vehicle being restored is not properly maintained and free of debris, litter, unused parts or equipment, then, in that event, the restoration permit will be rescinded and the property owner will be subject to other provisions of this chapter.

§ 235-6 Exceptions.

A.

Any person may maintain a motor vehicle altered for drag or stock-car racing as long as said motor vehicle is maintained on registered trailers. Vehicles may not be kept in the front yard, and any work done on said vehicles shall not interfere with the setting of the neighborhood.

B.

Owners of antique motor vehicles which are classified as such under the state statutes are exempt for the provisions of this chapter as long as they are properly registered and all regulations set forth by the state are followed.

C.

Farm machinery kept on the farmer's own premises shall be exempt from the articles of this chapter as long as they are maintained and kept in an orderly manner.

D.

New or used automobile dealers that are licensed by the State of Pennsylvania for the purpose of displaying vehicles for sale to the general public and have received zoning approval will be exempt from this chapter as long as they hold a current dealer's license.

E.

Service stations (repair garages) and auto body repair shops will also be exempt from the provisions of this chapter as long as they are permitted by the Borough for the type of business they are conducting and have received zoning approval for the area where they are operating. They shall maintain a neat and orderly lot and limit the number of vehicles that are being kept on the lot for repairs, according to the size of the available space. No vehicle shall be kept on the lot for more than 30 days awaiting repairs.

§ 235-7 Storage by wreckers and commercial garages.

A.

A wrecker or commercial garage may store abandoned, junked or unlicensed vehicle(s) or part thereof on any one site within the Borough, provided that such storage is confined in an enclosed area and such vehicle(s) may not be stored for more than 30 days, and provided further that the business operation of the wrecker or commercial garage is permitted by all applicable zoning laws or regulations, including rights under any nonconforming uses and including any limitations, restrictions or conditions established according to law by the Borough, the Planning Board or any court of competent jurisdiction, and provided that the vehicle(s) is not stored at any time on a public highway right-of-way.

B.

Where a repair settlement is pending in good faith, the foregoing time periods shall not start to run until a repair settlement has been made, but in no event to exceed 60 days from the date said vehicle(s) is (are) first stored upon the premises.

C.

In the event that any abandoned, junked or unlicensed vehicle or part thereof is stored at any wrecker or commercial garage and such wrecker or commercial garage is restrained from allowing the owner to move said vehicle from the location of such wrecker or commercial garage by reason of a legal detainer or order of any federal, state, county or local government agency or body, the thirty-day period of time as provided for in Subsection A hereinabove shall not commence to run until said legal detainer or order is released or vacated.

§ 235-8 Farm vehicles.

Any vehicle being actively used in farming operations shall be exempted from the provisions of this chapter, provided that:

A.

The vehicle is being used on private property and is being held for continuing operation on private property and is not being held primarily for non-operating purposes.

B.

The vehicle, if not in a condition for legal operation on public highways, is in a condition so that it can be operated and so that such operation on private property will not be unduly dangerous to the operator, passengers or others.

C.

The vehicle is in such condition that there is no sharp metal, broken glass or other condition which would endanger children who might be attracted to play around the vehicle.

§ 235-9 Repairs on street.

It shall be a violation of this chapter to make any repairs or greasing or fluid changes to any vehicle while it is parked on a roadway within the Borough of Stockertown.

§ 235-10 Sales of vehicles.

No person operating a business within the limits of the Borough of Stockertown shall display or permit to be displayed any vehicle for sale unless he has obtained approval from the Stockertown Borough Zoning Officer, unless said vehicle is registered to the business owners or titled to such, except as stated in § 235-6.

§ 235-11 Parking or storing of abandoned vehicles.

It shall be unlawful for any person or persons, firm, company, partnership or corporation, whether by principal or agent, to park, store or permit to be parked or stored any abandoned vehicle on the public streets or alleys or on any Borough Property of the Borough of Stockertown.

§ 235-12 Parking or storing of junked vehicles.

It shall be unlawful for any person or persons, firm, company, partnership or corporation, whether by principal or agent, to park, store or permit to be parked or stored any junked vehicle on public or private property within the Borough of Stockertown.

A.

Any vehicle which is parked or permitted to stand on any public street or alley for a continuous period exceeding 48 hours unattended and not bearing one of the following: a valid registration plate, a certificate of inspection and an ascertainable vehicle identification number; and

B.

Any vehicle which shall stand or be parked on a public street or alley for a period of 48 hours without the consent of the owner or person in control.

§ 235-13 Enforcement.

A Borough Officer may enforce this chapter by either issuing a citation or removing the vehicle pursuant to the provisions of § 235-17 or by invoking both enforcement provisions.

§ 235-14 Presumption of violation.

There shall be a presumption that a person who has received the notice prescribed by § 235-20 has openly stored or deposited or caused or permitted to be openly stored or deposited an abandoned junked, discarded or unlicensed vehicle described in said notice.

§ 235-15 Violation on private lands.

Whenever it shall appear to any member of the Police Department of the Borough of Stockertown that § 235-2 of this chapter is being violated and that the land on which the violation exists is privately owned, he shall, in writing, notify the owner or tenant in possession of the land on which the violation exists to abate the violation by removing the article or articles constituting the violation from the Borough or into an enclosed garage, barn or other building within 10 days of the service of the notice, which notice shall be served upon such owner or tenant, if he resides in the Borough, personally or by leaving it at his usual place of abode with some member of his household over the age of 14 years, but if any such owner or tenant shall reside outside the Borough, the notice shall be served upon him by registered or certified mail addressed to him at his usual residence if ascertainable, otherwise by notice published in the newspaper in which the legal notices of the Borough may be published, and the said owner or tenant shall so abate the violation within the time fixed by the notice.

§ 235-16 Violation on public lands or between right-of-way side lines.

Whenever it shall appear to any member of the Police Department of the Borough of Stockertown that § 235-2 of this chapter is being violated and that the violation exists on public lands or between the right-of-way side lines of any public thoroughfare:

A.

He shall determine whether any article constituting the violation constitutes or may constitute a traffic hazard, and if so, he shall move it or cause it to be moved to a nonhazardous location or into an enclosed storage place.

B.

He shall ascertain, if he can, who is the owner of the article or articles and shall, in writing, notify such owner to abate the violation forthwith and in all events within 10 days after the service of the notice upon him, which notice shall be given as required in § 235-20 for the service of notice thereunder.

C.

He shall, if any article constituting the violation constitutes or may constitute a traffic hazard and it cannot be moved to a nonhazardous location or if the name and address of the owner of the article cannot he ascertained or if the violation is not abated in the time required by the notice given under the foregoing Subsection B:

(1)

Determine whether the article or articles have a value in excess of the cost of removing it or them to enclosed storage and the cost of storing it or them for three months in the case of motor vehicles and for six months for all other articles.

(2)

Unless the articles appear to have a value clearly in excess of such cost, arrange, if he can, for the removal of it or them by someone who will undertake that removal without cost to the Borough, but otherwise arrange for that removal at the expense of the Borough to an authorized dump.

(3)

If the article or articles appear to have a value clearly in excess of said cost, remove it or them or cause it or them to be removed at the expense of the Borough to enclosed storage.

(4)

If the article or articles are removed under the foregoing Subsection A or Subsection C(2) or (3), give notice, in the manner required by § 235-20, for service of notice thereunder, to the owner of that removal and of the place to which the article or articles have been removed and of the owner's right to reclaim it or them by paying the cost of removal and interim storage charges.

§ 235-17 Violations and penalties.

A.

Any person or persons, firm, company, partnership or corporation violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction before the Magisterial District Judge, pay a fine of not more than $300 plus court cost for each offense, and the accrued cost of the Borough for that prosecution.

B.

Each abandoned, junked, discarded or unregistered vehicle stored in violation of this chapter shall constitute a separate violation. Each day that such separate violation shall continue or be carried on shall constitute an additional separate violation, for which the court may impose an additional fine and continuing fine until the vehicle(s) is (are) removed or enclosed.

§ 235-18 Time limit.

If any vehicle described in this chapter shall be left for a period of more than 10 days on any private property, it shall be considered in violation, and notice shall be served. If the violation occurs on lands owned by the Borough of Stockertown, immediate action can be taken to correct the violation before notice is sent to the owner of the vehicle in question.

§ 235-19 Notice of violation.

When a violation is observed, the Borough of Stockertown Police Department or the Zoning Officer of the Borough of Stockertown shall serve notice to the tenant, owner or occupant in possession of the land that a violation exists. This notice will serve as notice that the violation must be corrected within 10 days of service of such notice. This notice shall be served upon the owner, tenant or occupant personally, by leaving it with any household member, by posting, it at the residence in question or by posting it on the vehicle in question. If the owner is known to reside outside the Borough, then notice shall be served upon him by certified mail, addressed to him at the address of record, such as the address on the tax rolls or address at Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles.

 

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