CHAPTER 253

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 17, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO THE REGULATION OF JUNKYARDS, REQUIRING THE SCREENING OF CERTAIN JUNKYARDS, AUTHORIZING THE REMOVAL OF CERTAIN JUNKYARDS, PROVIDING AUTHORITY TO PURCHASE OR CONDEMN JUNKYARDS IN CERTAIN SITUATIONS AND PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR THE VIOLATION OF THIS ACT.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Section 515, Title 17, Delaware Code, is hereby repealed.

Section 2. Title 17, Delaware Code, is hereby amended by adding thereto a Chapter 12 to read as follows :

CHAPTER 12. REGULATION OF JUNKYARDS § 1201. Purposes

The establishment, operation and maintenance of junkyards in areas adjacent to the public highways of this State should be controlled in order to promote the safety and recreational value of public travel, to protect the public investment in public highways, and to preserve and enhance the scenic beauty of lands bordering such highways.

The people of this State would suffer economically if the State failed to participate fully in the allocation and apportionment of federal-aid highway funds since a reduction in federal-aid highway funds would necessitate increased taxation to support and maintain the State road program system. It is, consequently, the intention of this Act, among other things, to provide a statutory basis for the establishment, operation and maintenance of junkyards consistent with the public policy relating to areas adjacent to federal-aid Interstate and Primary highways declared by the Congress of the United States, in Title 23, United States Code.

§ 1202. Scope and definitions

(a) The powers and authority granted in this chapter are in derogation of no other powers or authority granted or created or exercised under any other statute, by a planning or zoning board or authority, or other public officer, but shall be construed to be in addition to any such power or authority, which shall remain unaffected.

(a) As used in this chapter :

(1) The term "junk" shall mean old or scrap copper, brass, rope, rags, batteries, paper, trash, rubber, debris, waste, or junked, dismantled or wrecked automobiles, or parts thereof, iron, steel, and other old or scrap ferrous or nonferrous material.

(2) The term "automobile graveyard" shall mean any establishment or place of business which is maintained, used, or operated, for storing, keeping, buying, or selling wrecked, scrapped, ruined, or dismantled motor vehicles or motor vehicle parts.

(3) The term "junkyard" shall mean an establishment or place of business which is maintained, operated, or used for storing, keeping, buying, or selling junk, or for the maintenance or operation of an automobile graveyard, and the term shall include garbage dumps and sanitary fills.

(4) "Interestate System" means that portion of the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways located within this State, as officially designated, or as may hereafter be so designated, by the Department, and approved by the Secretary of Transportation pursuant to the provisions of Title 23, United States Code, "Highways."

(5) "Primary System" means that portion of connected main highways of this State officially designated as such, or as may hereafter be designated as such, by the Department, and approved by the Secretary of Transportation, pursuant to the provisions of Title 23, United States Code, "Highways."

(6) "A controlled area" shall mean, and "controlled areas" shall include, any area inside the boundaries of this State which is adjacent to and within 1,000 feet of the nearest edge of the right-of-way of a highway of the Interstate System or the Primary System.

(7) "The laws of this State" includes a provision of the Constitution or statutes of this State, or an ordinance, rule or regulation enacted or adopted by an agency or political subdivision of this State pursuant to the Constitution or statutes.

(7) "Visible" means capable of being seen without visual aid by a person of normal visual acuity.

§ 1203. Enforcement of chapter; rules and regulations; examinations; territorial jurisdiction

(a) The Department shall :

(1) Enforce the provisions of this chapter, and

(2) Make, publish and enforce such regulations governing the establishment, maintenance and operation of junkyards as may be necessary or advisable to implement the policy and accomplish the purposes of this chapter.

Such regulations may include provisions governing the location, planting, construction (including materials used) and maintenance of the screening required by this Act. Regulations pertaining to controlled areas shall be consistent with any National Standards for junkyard control promulgated by the Secretary of Transportation of the United States pursuant to Title 23, United States Code.

(b) All employes of the Department, or any peace officer of this State, when so directed by the Department or its officers, may enter into and upon any land or building to make any examination or survey which the Department deems necessary to the effective administration of the provisions of this chapter, or to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

(c) The territory under the jurisdiction of the Department for the purposes of this chapter shall include all of this State outside the corporate limits of any incorporated municipality and all controlled areas within such corporate limits.

(d) The provisions of this chapter shall apply only to junkyards situate, in whole or in part, outside the corporate limits of any incorporated municipality in this State and to those junkyards situate, in whole or in part, in controlled areas within such corporate limits.

§ 1204. Application and issuance of licenses

(a) No person, whether or not engaged in the junk business, shall establish, operate or maintain a junkyard within the jurisdiction of the Department under this chapter any portion of which is within 1,000 feet of the nearest edge of the right-of-way of any public highway of this State without obtaining a license from the Department.

(b) The Department, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, shall issue and renew permits for a period of One year for the establishment, maintenance and operation of junkyards within its jurisdiction; provided, however, no permit shall be issued for the erection or construction of any junkyard which would be in violation of local law or ordinance at the time the application is filed.

(c) The Department may establish and collect fees for the issuance of licenses and renewals thereof. The amount of such charge shall be so fixed as to provide the funds deemed necessary by it to defray the cost of the administration of this chapter.

§ 1205. Restrictions as to locations

(a) No license shall be granted for the establishment, maintenance or operation of a junkyard, any portion of which is within a controlled area except the following :

(1) Junkyards which are lawfully in existence on the effective date of this Act.

(2) Junkyards which are screened by natural objects, plantings, fences or other means found appropriate by the Department so as not to be visible from the main-traveled way of the highway of the Interstate or Primary Systems.

(3) Junkyards located within areas which are zoned for industrial use under the laws of this State.

(4) Junkyards located within unzoned areas which the Department shall find are used for industrial activities. No such license shall be granted for a junkyard which is permitted in a controlled area hereunder solely because of the provisions of paragraphs (3) and (4) of this subsection unless such junkyard is fenced in the manner provided in paragraph (3) of subsection (b) hereof,

(b) No license shall be granted for a junkyard which is not located within the limits of an incorporated municipality and which is within 1,000 feet of the nearest edge of the right-of-way of a public highway of this State other than a highway of the Interstate or Primary Systems except the following :

(1) Junkyards lawfully in existence on the effective date of this Act.

(2) Junkyards which are screened by natural objects, plantings, fences, or other means found appropriate by the Department so as not to be visible from the main-traveled way of public highway.

Junkyards which have a fence parallel to the public highway for the full length of the yard along the highway and a further fence extending back from the parallel fence the full length of the junkyard or for a distance of 1,000 feet, whichever distance shall be shorter, which fence or fences shall be at least seven feet in height and shall to the extent of such height substantially shield the junkyard from the view of persons traveling on the main-traveled way of the public highway.

§ 1206. Screening, relocation, removal or disposal of junkyards lawfully in existence on the date of this Act

Any junkyards lawfully in existence on the effective date of this Act, any portion of which is within a controlled area and which is not in any of the classes specified in paragraphs (2), (3) and (4) of Section 1205 (a), shall be screened, if physically and economically feasible, by the Department at locations on the highway right-of-way or in areas acquired for such purposes outside the right-of-way, so as not to be visible from the main-traveled way of the highway of the Interstate or Primary Systems. Any such junkyard which the Department determines cannot, as a practical matter, be screened pursuant to this Section shall be relocated, removed or disposed of by the owner thereof on or before July 1, 1970.

§ 1207. Compensation to owners on relocation; removal or disposal of their facilities

Just compensation shall be paid by the Department to the owners of junkyards in controlled areas which must be relocated,

removed or disposed of pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and which fall into the following categories :

(a) Those lawfully in existence on the effective date of this Act ; and

(b) Those lawfully established on or after the effective date of this Act.

§ 1208. The Department is authorized to acquire real property interest to effectuate screening, relocation, etc.

The Department is authorized to acquire by gift, purchase or the power of eminent domain, such interest in real property as may be necessary to secure the screening, relocation, removal or disposal of junkyards required by the provisions of this chapter.

§ 1209. Public nuisance, Department's authority to screen, relocate, etc., non-complying junkyards; action to recover expenses

Any junkyard which is established, maintained or operated in violation of this chapter is declared to be a public nuisance. The Department may screen, relocate, remove or dispose of any junkyard or portion thereof which is established or maintained in violation of the provisions of this chapter or the regulations prescribed thereunder after a written notice has been posted on such property for a period of thirty days and a copy thereof has been forwarded by mail to the owner of such junkyard at his last known address. All costs incurred under this section in screening, relocating, removing or disposing of such junkyards shall be the responsibility of the owner thereof and the Department shall have an action at law to recover such costs as well as the expenses of suit.

§ 1210. Injunction

The Department may apply to the Court of Chancery for an injunction to restrain any violation or threatened violation of this Act.

lation lawfully adopted pursuant to this chapter shall be fined not less than $25 nor more than $200.

Each day that a violation is allowed to continue, after notice of its existence, shall constitute a separate offense.

§ 1212. Agreements with the United States Government

The Department is hereby authorized to enter into agreements with the United States Secretary of Transportation provided by Title 23, United States Code, relating to the control of junkyards in areas adjacent to the Interstate and Primary Systems and to take action in the name of the State to comply with the terms of such agreement.

§ 1213. Separability

The provisions of this chapter are declared to be separable ; and should any word, phrase, sentence, section or particular application thereof be declared unconstitutional or otherwise invalid, the remainder of such provisions and the other applications thereof shall not thereby be affected, but shall remain in full force and effect.

Section 3. The provisions of this Act shall not apply to occurrences prior to its effective date and all violations, offenses, prosecutions and criminal appeals under the prior law are saved and preserved. Any junkyard which, immediately prior to the effective date of this Act, was being operated or maintained in violation of such prior law shall not be considered "lawfully in existence on the effective date of this Act" as that phrase is used in this Act.

Section 4. The effective date of this Act shall be thirty clays after the date of its enactment.

Approved March 4, 1968.