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Chapter 672-8 RULES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE CONTROL OF JUNKYARDS

Rule 672-8-.01 Definitions

The following terms, as used in the Rules of this Chapter, shall have the following meanings unless the context thereof indicates to the contrary:

(a) Department: The Department of Transportation of the State of Georgia.
(b) Commissioner: The Commissioner of the Department of Transportation, acting directly or through a duly authorized representative, such representative acting within the scope of the particular duties assigned to him and within the authority given him.
(c) Junkyard: Any establishment which is maintained or used for storing, buying, or selling junk or for an automobile graveyard; and the term shall include garbage dumps, sanitary fills, and scrap processor establishments.
(d) Junk: Old or scrap copper, brass, rope, rags, batteries, paper, trash, rubber, debris, waste; junked, dismantled, or wrecked automobiles, or parts thereof; or iron, steel, and other old scrap ferrous or nonferrous material.
(e) Automobile graveyard: Any establishment which is maintained or used for storing, buying, or selling wrecked, scrapped, ruined or dismantled motor vehicles or motor vehicle parts.
(f) Scrap Processor: Any person, firm, or corporation engaged only in the business of buying scrap iron and metals, including, but not limited to, old automobiles, for the specific purpose of processing into raw material for remelting purposes only, and whose principal product is ferrous and nonferrous scrap for shipment to steel mills, foundries, smelters, and refineries, and who maintains an established place of business in this State and has facilities and machinery designed for such processing.
(g) Interstate Highway: Any State-aid road which is also a portion of the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways located within this State, as officially designated, or as may hereafter be designated by the Department and approved by the Secretary of Transportation or other appropriate Federal official, pursuant to the provisions of Title 23 of the United States Code.
(h) Federal-Aid Primary Highway: Any State-aid road which is a portion of connected main highways as officially designated or as may hereafter be designated by the Department and approved by the Secretary of Transportation or other appropriate Federal official, pursuant to the provisions of Title 23 of the United States Code.
(i) Main Traveled Way: The traveled way of a highway on which through traffic is carried. In the case of a divided highway, the traveled way of each of the separated roadways for traveling in opposite directions shall be deemed the main traveled way. It does not include such facilities as frontage roads, turning roadways or parking areas.
(j) Industrial Zones: Those districts or areas established by official zoning authorities as being most appropriate for industry or manufacturing. A zone which simply permits certain industrial activities as an incident to the primary land use designation is not considered to be an industrial zone.
(k) Unzoned Industrial Areas: Any area where there is no zoning in effect and which is used primarily for industrial activities. An unzoned industrial area does not include areas which may have a rural zoning classification or land uses established by zoning variances or special exceptions.
(l) Zone of Control: All areas within the boundaries of this State which are adjacent to and within one thousand (1000) feet of the edge of the. right-of-way of any Interstate or Federal-aid primary highway within this State. Any revision in right-of-way limits after initial control is obtained will require a similar revision in the zone of control.
(m) Screening: The use of any vegetative planting, fencing, ornamental wall of masonry, or other architectural treatment or device, earthen embankment, or a combination of any of these which will effectively hide from view any deposit of junk from the main traveled way, on a year round basis. Screening does not include the use of junk.
(n) Person: Means any individual, firm, agency, company, association, partnership, business trust, joint stock company, body politic or corporation.
(o) Maintain: To allow to exist.
(p) Establish: To construct, build, raise, assemble, place, affix, create or in any way bring into existence.
(q) Visible: Capable of being seen without visual or optical aid by a person of normal visual acuity.
(r) Nonconforming Junkyard: Any junkyard which was lawfully established and in existence on April 6, 1967, and any part of which is located within 1000 feet of the nearest edge of the right-of-way of any Interstate or Federal-aid primary highway and which:
1. is not screened by natural objects, plantings, fences, or other appropriate means so as to be visible from the main traveled way of such highway systems, or otherwise removed from sight, and
2. is not located within an industrial zone, and
3. is not located within an unzoned industrial area, and
4. is visible from the main traveled way of said highways.
(s) Unlawful Junkyards: Any junkyard which comes into existence after April 6, 1967, any portion of which is located within 1000 feet of the nearest edge of the right-of-way of any Interstate or Federal-aid primary highway and which:
1. is not screened by natural objects, plantings, fences, or other appropriate means so as to be visible from the main traveled way of such highway systems, or otherwise removed from sight, and
2. is not located within an industrial zone, and
3. is not located within an unzoned industrial area, and
4. is visible from the main traveled way of said highways.
(t) Highways: Any road or highway which is a portion of an Interstate or Federal-aid primary highway.

Rule 672-8-.02 Purpose

Pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 136 and Ga. Laws 1973, pp. 947, 1069-1070, this chapter prescribes rules and regulations relating to the exercise of effective control of junkyards in areas adjacent to or within 1000 feet of the right-of-way boundaries of Interstate and Federal-aid primary highways.

Rule 672-8-.03 Policy

In carrying out the purposes of this Chapter:

(a) Emphasis shall be placed on encouraging recycling of scrap and junk where practicable.
(b) Every effort shall be made to screen nonconforming junkyards which are to continue as on-going businesses.
(c) Nonconforming junkyards are to be relocated only as a last resort.
(d) The provisions of this chapter shall be carried out in relationship to such resources as are available to the Department.

Rule 672-8-.04 Measurement of Distance

Distance from the edge of a right-of-way shall be measured horizontally along a line normal or perpendicular to the centerline of the highway.

Rule 672-8-.05 Screening

(a) Responsibility for Screening.
1. Any junkyard lawfully in existence on April 6, 1967. the effective date of the Georgia Junkyard Control Act (Ga. L. 1967, pp. 433-438), which is within 1000 feet of the nearest edge of the right-of-way of a highway may be screened by the Department if physically feasible and provided that federal-aid beautification funds are made available 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. Whenever the Commissioner shall determine that screening prescribed for an existing junkyard is not physically or economically feasible, and when federal-aid beautification funds are available, the Commissioner may cause said junkyard to be removed, relocated, or disposed of after the payment of just and adequate compensation therefor.
2. Junkyards established subsequent to April 6, 1967, and located within zones of control must provide for adequate screening located off the highway right-of-way and at the expense of the person owning the junkyard. Screening provided by such owner must be in compliance with these rules and of a type approved by the Department. Those junkyards which are established subsequent to April 6, 1967, and located within zones of control and which cannot be adequately screened shall be relocated at the owner's expense.
(b) Every effort shall be made to screen nonconforming junkyards where they are to be continued as on-going businesses. Screening may be accomplished by use of natural objects, landscaping, plantings, fences, and other appropriate means, including relocating inventory on site to utilize an existing natural screen or a screenable portion of the site.
(c) Where screening is used, it must, upon completion of the screening project, effectively screen the junkyard from the main traveled way of the highway on a year-round basis, and be compatible with the surroundings.

Rule 672-8-.06 Nonconforming Junkyards

For the purposes of this chapter, a discontinued junkyard is any junkyard which was operated as a business enterprise in the past and where the proprietor is retaining the inventory for the present but not actively engaged in buying or selling junk.

(a) If the location or site of a nonconforming junkyard is changed as a result of a right-of-way taking or for any other reason it is relocated, it ceases to be a nonconforming junkyard, and shall be treated as a new junkyard at a new location.
(b) The nonconforming junkyard may continue as long as it is not extended, or changed in use. Once a junkyard has been made conforming, the subsequent placement of junk so that it may be seen, above or beyond a screen, or if the junk otherwise becomes visible, said junkyard shall then be treated the same as the establishment of a new junkyard.
(c) A nonconforming junkyard must have been in lawful existence and operation on April 6, 1967, and may continue to exist and operate (1) as long as it continues to be lawfully maintained, (2) is not extended or enlarged, or (3) substantially changed in use.
(d) In order for a junkyard to continue as a nonconforming junkyard, there must be existing property rights in the junkyard and junk affected by these rules. A junkyard may not continue to exist if it has been abandoned, destroyed, or voluntarily discontinued. The Department shall consider the following criteria as the minimum criteria which must exist and must be applied before any determination can be made by the Department that a junkyard or junk has been abandoned:
1. The junkyard has not operated or conducted business for 1 year or more, or
2. The junkyard is in need of substantial repair or maintenance; or
3. The junkyard owner cannot be found or determined after a diligent search has been made by a representative of the Department as verified by his affidavit which shall set forth all the steps taken and attempts made to locate and determine said owner.

Rule 672-8-.07 Unlawful Junkyards

(1) The Department, through its designated representatives shall inspect junkyards periodically to insure that they are being operated in accordance with the applicable laws, rules and regulations pertaining to junkyard control, and shall require that all screening materials be maintained in such a manner as to accomplish the objective of these rules. If the inspection discloses that a junkyard is being operated in violation of these rules or the provisions of Georgia Laws 1973, pp. 947, 1068-1069 (Code Section 32-6-240et seq., O.C.G.A.), the owner shall be informed in writing, sent by registered mail, stating the violation and instructing him to make the corrections within 60 days from the date of the letter.
(2) If the owner fails to make the correction noted in the letter mentioned in subsection (a) above within the required time, the Department's representative making the inspection shall submit to the State Traffic and Safety Engineer the following information:
(a) Name and address of the owner.
(b) Type of business, i.e. sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation. If it is a partnership, all partners and the names and addresses of each shall be included.
(c) Specific location.
(d) Past record of compliance or noncompliance.
(e) Number of times contacted by the Department's representative.
(f) Date of each contact and results.
(g) Recommendation as to what would be required to obtain compliance.
(h) Type of material stored at junkyard and quantity.
(i) Copy of letter sent to the owner in accordance with subsection (a) above.
(3) The State Traffic and Safety Engineer shall review the above information, and, if further action is deemed necessary, the information will be forwarded to the Commissioner along with recommendations.
(4) The Commissioner after reviewing the submitted information will determine if legal action should be taken to make the owner comply with Ga. Laws 1973, pp. 947, 1069-1070 and the provisions of these rules pertaining thereto, and if legal action is warranted, the information shall be submitted to the Attorney General with the request that necessary action be instituted.

Rule 672-8-.08 Screening Criteria

(1) Plan for Screening of Junkyards Established after April 6, 1967.
(a) The screening shall be located on the owner's land and not on any part of the highway right-of-way.
(b) The screen shall be in place prior to the time the junk is deposited.
(c) At no time after the screen is established shall the junk be stacked high enough to be visible above the screen. No junk shall be placed outside of the screened areas.
(d) Fences must be located in such a manner as to not be hazardous to the traveling public.
(e) The construction of fences shall be uniform and no patchwork type of construction shall be permitted.
(f) When fences are painted, the paint used shall be of a color so as to blend into the environs of the highway right-of-way.
(2) Acceptable Fencing Materials. Acceptable fencing hall include fences of steel or other metals, durable woods such as heart cypress, redwood, or other wood treated with a preservative, or walls of masonry. Some of the types acceptable are:
(a) Chain link type with aluminum, steel, plastic, or wooden slat inserts.
(b) Wooden types of basket weave, palisade, louver, or other suitable design.
(c) Walls of masonry including plain or ornamental concrete block, block, brick, stone, or other suitable masonry material.
(d) An earth wall, if properly designed, grassed, and landscaped.

Note: The above types of fencing and walls appearing in subparagraphs (2) (a), (b), (c), and (d) above are given for examples only. Any other design of fencing constructed of other materials may be submitted to the Department for consideration.

(3) Plant Material.*
(a) All plant material shall be predominantly evergreen and approved by the Commissioner.
(b) The minimum size of plant material at the time of planting shall be as follows:
1. Large trees deciduous: 1" - 1½" caliper (Maples, Sycamore, Sweetgum)
2. Small trees: 4' - 5' in height (Hawthorn, crepe myrtle, etc.)
3. Evergreen trees: 4' - 5' in height (Pinus, Magnolia, etc.)
4. Evergreen shrubs: 2½' - 3' in height (including Elaeaqnus, Abelia, etc.)
(4) Maintenance. The owner or owners of any junkyard shall maintain the screening established initially, doing such painting and repairs to keep any fences, walls or other structural material in good appearance. Plant material shall be watered, cultivated, or mulched, and given any required maintenance including spraying for insect control, to keep the planting in a good healthy condition. Dead or destroyed plant material will be removed immediately and shall be replaced during the next spring or fall planting season. The replacement plants shall be at least as large as the initial planting.

* Note: All plant materials shall be grown in a certified nursery and shall meet the requirements of the American Standard for Nursery Stock.

(5) Junkyards Screened by the Department. The owner or owners of any junkyard lawfully in existence on April 6, 1967, and which has been screened from view of the highway by the Department may not extend the deposit of junk beyond such screening so as to be visible from the main traveled way of the highway. Any such extension shall be screened by the owner at his own expense and such screening shall be subject to these rules and regulations. Piling of junk above planned height of screening established by the Department is prohibited.

Rule 672-8-.09 Junkyards Adjacent to Future Interstate and Primary Highways

Junkyard sites along highways determined in the future to be Interstate or Primary highways, and not now so designated, will be within the control requirements of these rules. Such junkyard sites will be considered for screening, removal or relocation by the Department if they meet all the requirements as set forth in these rules and regulations.