Junkyards and Vehicle Graveyards
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of Henderson County. Amended 10-7-1985;
§ 43-1. Title.
This Chapter may be known and may be cited as the "Ordinance Regulating the Operation or Maintenance
of Automobile Graveyards and Junkyards in Henderson County."
§ 43-2. Purpose.
The purposes and objectives for which this Chapter is passed include the following:
To protect the citizens and residents of Henderson County from inherently dangerous
automobile graveyards and junkyards.
To preserve the dignity and aesthetic quality of the environment in Henderson County.
To preserve the physical integrity of land in close proximity to residential areas.
To protect the economic interests of the citizens and residents of Henderson County
which are dependent on tourism.
To achieve responsible economic growth in areas of Henderson County that is compatible
with growth and development in nearby areas.
§ 43-3. Word Usage and Definitions.
Words used in the present tense shall include the future; words used in the singular
number shall include the plural number, and the plural the singular; and the word "shall"
is mandatory and not directory.
The following terms are defined for purposes of this Chapter:
Automobile Graveyard - More than 3 wrecked, scrapped, ruined, dismantled
or inoperable motor vehicles or motorized equipment which is not being
restored to operation located on a land parcel used in conjunction with any
establishment or more than 3 wrecked, scrapped, ruined, dismantled or
inoperable motor vehicles or motorized equipment used in conjunction with said
establishment but located on another land parcel shall be subject to this Chapter.
Building - Any structure having a roof supported by columns or walls and
designed or intended for shelter, support, enclosure or protection of persons,
animals or chattels.
Establishment - Any real property on which or in which there is operated or
maintained any commercial, industrial or service business or activity for profit.
A singularly or jointly owned land parcel or contiguous parcels on which
agricultural operations are conducted as the substantial use, to include
cultivation of crops, the husbandry of livestock and forestry.
Fence - A continuous, opaque, non perforated barrier extending from the surface
of the ground to a uniform height of not less than 6 feet from the ground at all
points, constructed of wood, stone, steel or other metal or any substance of a
similar nature and strength.
Garage - An establishment which is maintained or operated for the primary
purpose of making mechanical and/or body repairs to motor vehicles and which
is not used to store more than 6 motor vehicles that are not capable of being
driven under their own power and are not being restored to operable condition,
regardless of the length of time that individual motor vehicles are stored or kept
at such property. There is no limit to the number of vehicles that may be stored
on site that are being restored to operable condition.
Gate - A door or other device attached to a fence which, when opened, provides
a means of ingress and egress of persons and things and which, when closed,
forms a continuous barrier as part of the fence to which it is attached.
Housing Unit - A house, an apartment, a group of homes or a single room
occupied or intended for occupancy as separate living quarters for 1 or more
Junk - Scrapped copper, brass, rope, rags, batteries, appliances, paper, rubber,
dismantled or wrecked automobiles, dismantled or wrecked motorized
equipment, or parts thereof, iron, steel and other scrap ferrous material.
Junkyard - Any land parcel which is maintained, operated or used for storing,
keeping, buying or selling junk in conjunction with any establishment located on
the same or another land parcel or any establishment which is maintained,
operated or used for storing, keeping, buying or selling junk regardless of the
length of time that junk is stored or kept, or for maintenance or operation of an
automobile graveyard. "Junkyard" shall not include the County-operated
Land Parcel - A single tract or contiguous tracts of land under single or joint
Motorized Equipment - Every device that is propelled or powered by nonhuman
or mechanical power sources which is designed to accomplish any work.
Motor Vehicle - Every device in, upon or by which any person or property is or
may be transported or drawn upon land, air or water which is propelled by
nonhuman or mechanical power sources and every device designed to run upon
land, air or water that is pulled or pushed by a device propelled by nonhuman or
Public Road - Any road or highway which is now or hereafter designated and
maintained by the North Carolina Department of Transportation as part of the
state highway system whether primary or secondary, hard-surfaced or other
Repair Shop, Motor Vehicle - An establishment which is maintained and
operated for the purpose of making mechanical and/or body repairs to motor
vehicles and which is not used to store more than 6 motor vehicles that are not
capable of being driven under their own power and are not being restored to
operable condition, regardless of the length of time that individual motor
vehicles are stored or kept at such property. There is no limit to the number of
vehicles that may be stored on site that are being restored to operable condition.
Repair Shop, Other - An establishment which is maintained and operated for the
purpose of making repairs to any appliances or equipment other than motor
vehicles, which uses not more than 600 square feet of the real property to store
such appliances or equipment that is not being restored to operable condition,
regardless of the length of time individual appliances or equipment items are
stored or kept at such property. There is no limit to the number of appliances or
equipment items that may be stored on site that are being restored to operable
Residential Area - 25
or more housing units within a geographical area
comprised of a 1/4 mile wide strip contiguous and parallel to the external
boundaries of the tract of real property on which an automobile graveyard or
junkyard is located.
School - Any public or private institution for the teaching of children under 18
years of age which is recognized and approved by the North Carolina Board of
Service Station - Any establishment which is maintained and operated for the
primary purpose of making retail sales of fuels, lubricants, air, water and other
items for the operation and routine maintenance of motor vehicles, and/or for
making mechanical repairs, servicing and/or washing of motor vehicles, and
which is not used to store more than 6 motor vehicles that are not capable of
being driven under their own power and are not being restored to operable
condition, regardless of the length of time that individual motor vehicles are
stored or kept at such property. There is no limit to the number of vehicles that
may be stored on site that are being restored to operable condition.
Vector - An organism that carries pathogens from 1 host to another.
Vegetation - Evergreen trees, including, but not limited to, white pine and/or
hemlock, evergreen shrubs or plants, that can reach a height of 6 feet within a
period of 6 years from the date planted.
Wire Fence - A continuous, translucent, perforated barrier extending from the
surface of the ground to a uniform height of not less than 6 feet from the
ground at all points, constructed of wire, steel or nylon mesh, or any substance
of a similar nature and strength, but which perforations or openings are not
larger than 16 square inches.
§ 43-4. Location Restricted; Effect on Existing Uses.
Except as hereinafter provided, it shall be unlawful, after the effective date of this
Chapter, for any person, firm or corporation, or other legal entity, to begin operation,
operate or maintain in any unincorporated area of Henderson County a junkyard or
automobile graveyard within 300 feet of the center line of any public road or within 1/2
mile of any school or within any residential area.
Existing junkyards or automobile graveyards in operation prior to the effective date of
this Chapter and located more than 600 feet from the center line of any public road are
exempted from the requirements of § 43-5C(3), regarding fencing and vegetation.
§ 43-5. Exceptions.
This Chapter shall not apply to bona fide service stations, repair shops or garages.
This Chapter shall in no way regulate, restrict, prohibit or otherwise deter any bona fide
farm and its related uses.
All new and existing junkyards and/or automobile graveyards established in accordance
with § 43-4 may be operated and maintained subject to the following conditions:
The Henderson County Health Department shall inspect each junkyard and
automobile graveyard at least 2 times each year to determine compliance with
this chapter and that no vectors are present. Should vectors be identified, the
owner/operator/maintainer shall submit satisfactory evidence to the Health
Department that vectors have been eliminated.
The owner/operator shall dispose of all petroleum products and residue in a
manner that will not adversely affect the environment and will comply with state
and federal regulations.
The junkyard and/or automobile graveyard shall be entirely surrounded by a
fence and vegetation or by a wire fence and vegetation. Vegetation shall be
planted on either side of the wire fence or on the outbound side of a fence. The
vegetation shall be of a type that can reach a minimum height of 6 feet within
years from the date planted and shall be planted at intervals evenly spaced
and in close proximity to each other so that a continuous, unbroken hedgerow
(without gaps or open spaces) will exist to a height of at least 6 feet along the
length of the fence surrounding the junkyard or automobile graveyard. The
hedgerow shall be maintained as a continuous, unbroken hedgerow for the
period the property is used as a junkyard and/or automobile junkyard.
Each owner, operator or maintainer or a junkyard or automobile
graveyard to which this chapter applies shall utilize good husbandry
techniques, for example, pruning, mulching and proper fertilization, so
that the vegetation can reach a height of 6 feet within 6 years of the
date planted and will have a maximum density and foliage. Dead or
diseased vegetation shall be replaced at the next appropriate planting
The fence or wire fence shall have not more than 4 gates for the
purposes of ingress and egress of motor vehicles. The gates shall be
closed and securely locked at all times, except during business hours.
The Health Department and/or Zoning Administrator shall be available
to assist an owner, operator or maintainer of a junkyard or automobile
graveyard, upon request of the said owner, operator or maintainer, in
the formulation of plans for said fencing and/or vegetation. The fence
or wire fence shall be maintained in good order and shall not be
allowed to deteriorate.
All operations, equipment, junk and/or inoperable motor vehicles shall be kept
within the confines of said fence and vegetation or wire fence and vegetation at
all times unless in motion by transport to or from the site.
§ 43-6. Existing Nonconforming Uses.
All owner, operators or maintainers of automobile graveyards and junkyards existing at
the effective date of this Chapter shall register same with the Henderson County Health
Department within a period of 180 days beginning with the effective date of this Chapter.
All existing automobile graveyards or junkyards that have not been registered within 180
days shall be in violation of the provisions of this Chapter.
All existing automobile graveyards or junkyards at the effective date of this Chapter,
registered in accordance with Subsection A, shall be granted a grace period of 12 months
from the effective date of this Chapter to conform to the provisions of this Chapter;
thereafter the same shall be in violation of this Chapter.
§ 43-7. Registration of New
The owner, operator or maintainer of any new automobile graveyard or junkyard to be established in
accordance with this Chapter shall register with the Health Department and shall not begin operation until
the Health Department certifies that all applicable provisions of this chapter have been satisfied. Failure to
obtain the Health Department's certification shall constitute a violation of this Chapter.
§ 43-8. Violations and Penalties; Enforcement.
Violation of any of the provisions of this Chapter shall be subject to the penalties provided in Henderson
County Code, Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article II. The Henderson County Zoning Administrator shall
be responsible for enforcing the provisions of this Chapter.
§ 43-9.Through 43-25. (Reserved)