Ordinance #323-89: An Ordinance Prohibiting Storage of Motor Vehicle Nuisances

An Ordinance of the Borough of Darlington defining and prohibiting the storage of motor vehicle nuisances or parts thereof in the open on private property and providing for exceptions by permit; authorizing inspections of premises, notices of compliance and appeal hearings; requiring the removal repair, or alteration of the conditions constituting a nuisance or danger to the citizens; and prescribing penalties and remedies for violation.

The Borough Council of the Borough of Darlington, Beaver County, Pennsylvania hereby ordains:

Sec. 1.   Definitions

As used in this ordinance the following terms shall have the meanings indicated unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:

Lessee……………      Owner for the purpose of this ordinance when the lessor holds the lessee responsible for maintenance and repairs.

Motor Vehicle….Any type of mechanical device, propelled by a motor, in which persons or property may be transported upon public streets or highways, and including trailers or semi-trailers pulled thereby.

Nuisance………..Any condition, structure, or improvement which shall constitute a danger or potential danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the citizen of the Borough of Darlington.

Owner…………….The actual owner, agent or custodian of the property on which motor vehicles are stored whether individual or partnership, association or corporation.

Person……………A natural person, firm partnership association, corporation or other legal entity.

In the ordinance, the singular shall include the plural; the plural shall include the singular; and the masculine shall include the feminine and the neuter.

Sec. 2.   Motor Vehicle Nuisance Prohibited

It shall be unlawful for any person owner or lessee to maintain a motor vehicle nuisance upon the open private grounds of such person, owner or lessee within the Borough of Darlington. A motor vehicle nuisance shall include any motor vehicle which is unable to move under its own power and has any of the following physical defects:

  • Broken windshields, mirrors or other glass, with sharp edges.
  • One or more flat or open tires or tubes which could permit vermin harborage.
  • Missing doors, windows, hood, trunk or other body parts which could permit animal harborage.
  • Any body parts with sharp edges including holes resulting from rust.
  • Missing tires resulting in unsafe suspension of the motor vehicles.
  • Upholstery which is torn or open which could permit animal and/or vermin harborage.
  • Broken head lamps or tail lamps with sharp edges.
  • Disassembled chassis parts apart from the motor vehicles stored in a disorderly fashion or loose in or on the vehicle.
  • Protruding sharp objects from the chassis.
  • Broken vehicle frame suspended from the ground in an unstable manner.
  • Leaking or damaged oil pan or gas tank which could cause fire or explosion.
  • Exposed battery containing acid.
  • Inoperable locking mechanism for doors or trunk.
  • Open or damaged floor boards including trunk and firewall.
  • Damaged bumpers pulled away from the perimeter of vehicle.
  • Broken grill with protruding edges.
  • Loose or damaged metal trim and clips.
  • Broken communication equipment antennae.
  • Suspended on unstable supports.
  • Such other defects which could threaten the health safety and welfare of the   citizens of the Borough of Darlington.

Sec. 3.   Storage of Motor Vehicle Nuisance Permitted

Any person, owner or lessee who has one or more motor vehicles nuisances as defined in Section 2 above may store such vehicle(s) in the Borough of Darlington only in strict compliance with the regulations provided herein. Such person, owner or lessee must first, apply for a permit for either temporary or permanent storage and pay a fee to the Borough of Darlington pursuant to a resolution of the Borough Council of Darlington. The motor vehicle nuisance(s) must be stored within a garage or other enclosed building or, outside within an opaque fence at least six (6) feet high which is locked at all times when unattended. With the special approval of the Borough of Darlington, motor vehicle nuisances may also be stored outside in an area enclosed by a chain link fence, at least six (6) feet high, screened by shrubbery around the perimeter to the height of the fence, with an unobstructed gate capable of admitting fire or emergency equipment. Such gate shall remain locked at all times when unattended.   In addition, all gas and oil or other flammable liquid shall be removed from the motor vehicle and it shall be kept free of vermin infestation while being stored. The total area of storage of motor vehicle nuisances may not exceed 300 square feet.

Nothing shall be construed to permit the storage of motor vehicle nuisances contrary to the provisions of the Borough of Darlington Zoning Ordinance.

Sec. 4.   Inspection of Premises, Notice to Comply

  1. The Mayor is hereby empowered to inspect private property on which motor vehicles are stored to determine if there is compliance with the provisions of this ordinance. If non-compliance with the provisions of this ordinance constitutes a nuisance, or if any conditions, structure or improvement poses a threat to the health, safety or welfare of the public, he shall issue a written notice to be served by registered or certified mail upon the owner of said premises, or if the owner’s whereabouts or identity be unknown, by posting the notice conspicuously upon the offending premises.
  2. Said notice shall specify the condition or structure or improvement complained of, and shall require the owner to commence to remove or otherwise rectify the condition or structure or improvement as set forth therein within ten (10) days of mailing or posting of said notice, and thereafter, to fully comply with the requirements of the notice within a reasonable time.

Sec. 5.   Authority to Remedy Non-Compliance

If the owner of grounds on which motor vehicle are stored does not comply with the notice to abate the nuisance, within the time limit prescribed, the Borough of Darlington shall have the authority to take measures to correct the conditions and collect the cost of such corrections plus ten (10%) percent of all costs. The Borough of Darlington, in such event and pursuant to its statutory or otherwise authorized police powers, shall have the right and power to enter upon the offending premises to accomplish the foregoing.

Sec. 6.   Hearing

  1. Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Mayor may request and shall then be granted a hearing before the Borough Council of Darlington; provided he files with the Borough Council of Darlington within ten (10) days after notice of the Mayor’s decision, a written petition requesting such hearing and setting forth a brief statement of the grounds therefore, the hearing shall commence not later than thirty (30) days after the date on which the petition was filed unless postponed for sufficient cause.
  2. After such hearing, the Borough of Council of Darlington shall sustain, modify or overrule the action of the Mayor.

Sec. 7.   Penalties

Any person who shall violate any provision of this ordinance shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine not more than three hundred ($300.00) dollars, and in default of payment, to undergo imprisonment for a term not to exceed thirty (30) days. Each day that a violation of this ordinance continues shall constitute a separate offense.

Sec. 8.   Remedies Not Mutually Exclusive

The remedies provided herein for the enforcement of this ordinance, or any remedy provided by law, shall not be deemed mutually exclusive; rather they may be employed simultaneously or consecutively, at the option of the Borough Council of Darlington.

Sec. 9.   Replace

All ordinances or parts of ordinances which are inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed. The following ordinances or parts thereof are specifically repealed.

Sec. 10.   Severability

If any sentence clause, section, or part of this ordinance is for any reason found to be unconstitutional, illegal or invalid such unconstitutionality, illegality or invalidity shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions, sentences, clauses sections of parts of this ordinance. It is hereby declared as the intent of the Borough Council of Darlington that this ordinance would have been adopted had such unconstitutional, illegal or invalid sentence, clause section or part thereof not be included herein.

Sec. 11.   Effective Date

This Ordinance shall become effective on January 1, 1990.

Romaine Shugars, President of Council

Attest:                                                            Virginia Martin, Secretary of Council

Approval of the Mayor

And now, this 4th day of December, 1989 I, the undersigned Mayor of the Borough of Darlington, do hereby approve the above and within Ordinance No. 323-89.

Linda Wilson, Mayor

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