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CLIFTON PARK: Town mulls changes to law

Amateur gearheads beware: Soon, you may need to move some of your disabled vehicles out of public view.

The Clifton Park Town Board held a public hearing on a proposed amendment to the town's junkyard laws at the Monday, Aug. 6, meeting.

Under the current law, residents can have any number of vehicles in various states of disrepair in their yard as long as the cars are registered, which requires a license plate and insurance.

Town Supervisor Phil Barrett read the proposed change to the law, which adds the words uninspected and inoperable.

"Any place of storage or deposit outside of a building where two or more uninspected, inoperable, or unregistered vehicles no longer intended or in condition for legal use on public highways are stored," would be in violation of the law, he said.

Deputy Town Attorney Lou Renzi said the amendment had two purposes.

"One is to expand the language to what really is junk," Renzi said. "It also expands the idea of what is or is not visible whether it's out there in the yard or in a carport visible to the road."

"I think this legislation is important," Councilman Sandy Roth said. "I'm not trying to make it difficult for junkyards, but I think we all take pride in our community, and this is really an unsightly view to people who go by."

The proposed change came about in June when Ted Kunker of Bay Hill Court complained to the town board about a neighbor who had nine cars in his yard, three of which were unregistered.

According to Kunker, many of the cars had been on jacks for more than 10 years and had since sunk into the driveway. He also said his neighbor did not regularly mow his lawn.

Kunker, who is on the board of the town's water authority, said that his property has been on the real estate market since spring, and that his agent told him in a letter that the appearance of his neighbor's property has turned prospective buyers away.

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