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Town mulls salvage yard regulations

PUTNEY—The Putney Selectboard has an opportunity to create its own regulations on salvage yards outside of the Agency of Natural Resources’ (ANR) licensing procedures, Planning Commission Chair Philip Bannister recently told the board.

The state statutes on salvage yards are in Title 24, Chapter 61, Subchapter 10. “It covers the storage of junk,” Bannister said, “and four or more [junked] autos.”

At the Dec. 2 regular board meeting, Bannister referred members to the Vermont League of Cities and Towns’ (VLCT) Municipal Assistance Center’s July 2015 memorandum on the “Junk Ordinance” model.

The center created the model to help Vermont municipalities draft laws to “regulate and enforce the storage and display of junk and junk automobiles on lands within its jurisdiction,” according to the memorandum.

Should the board create an ordinance, Bannister said, it could be part of the salvage yard’s licensing process with the ANR.

The VLCT’s ordinance model establishes two possible paths for adjudicating infractions: the Judicial Bureau and Superior Court.

He suggested the board “take a look at this and we can have a conversation later.”

Although the laws, and the VLCT’s ordinance model, deal with junk and four or more junked automobiles, Bannister suggests the board also engage the public in a discussion about “what to do with one, two, or three junk cars, and do we, as a community, care?"

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Originally published in The Commons issue #336 (Wednesday, December 16, 2015). This story appeared on page D1.

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