(1) All junk vehicles, motor vehicle wrecking facilities, and county motor vehicle graveyards are required to be shielded from public view. Public view is any point six feet above the surface of the center of any public road from which the wrecking facility and junk vehicles can be seen.

(2) Shielding refers to fencing or other manmade barriers to conceal a facility from public view. It also refers to natural barriers. Any shielding barrier must conform to all local zoning, planning, building, and protective covenant provisions and any other legal restrictions that may be in effect for each wrecking facility site.

(3) A person possessing a junk vehicle shall shield it in compliance with the following requirements:

(a) Fences must be constructed of sound building materials.

(b) Rough dimensional lumber or better is acceptable. Slabs are not considered rough dimensional lumber. Other types of fencing of equivalent performance, attractiveness, and shielding qualities are also acceptable. Plastics or other materials placed over junk vehicles are not acceptable, except that a reasonably attractive car cover specifically designed to attach tightly to and cover a motor vehicle is acceptable for shielding one junk vehicle at a single location.

(c) If a fence is used, the boards may be spaced or slanted to reduce wind load. The space which may be seen from a broad-side view may not be more than 1½ inches wide when viewed at any angle from 45º to 90º to the fence. The interval between spaces may not be less than 7½ inches. Notwithstanding the spacing and interval requirements contained herein, chainlink metal fences with standard fiberglass or similar inserts are acceptable. The spacing in the fence must be no greater than 45º from vertical.

(d) Screening with shrubs and trees, while not subject to precise measurements, must provide a similar degree of shielding at all times of the year. Trees and shrubs can best be used in conjunction with other shielding materials to improve the appearance of the wrecking facility. A berm may also be used, provided the slopes of the berm are covered and graded smooth, with not less than 3 inches of top soil, and seeded with an adequate seeding formula.

(e) Shielding must be of sufficient height to shield junk vehicles on the premises from public view. If a facility is situated in a manner making it impractical to construct a fence or other shielding high enough to shield the facility, a series of fences or other shielding should be used. This is not intended to require that permanent buildings, utility poles, cranes, derricks, or similar structures be shielded.

(4) A person may not use a fence for shielding if it is made of material other than wood consisting of rough dimensional lumber or better, as provided in (3) (b) , or chain link with inserts, as provided in (3) (c) , unless the person first submits a request in writing to the department and obtains the department's written approval. Unless otherwise specifically approved by the department, a person may not use more than one type of approved shielding material on any one side of the facility. Unless otherwise specifically approved by the department, shielding on any one side of the facility must be of a uniform color.

(5) A licensee of a motor vehicle wrecking facility existing prior to July 1, 1973, that cannot be successfully shielded from certain viewpoints (for example, a view from a public road located at a higher elevation than a facility) shall shield as determined appropriate by the department on a case-by-case basis.

(6) The shielding must be maintained in a neat and workmanlike manner and must be replaced or repaired when necessary. Damage by vandals or other causes is the risk of the operator and is not to be reason for not maintaining the shielding.

(7) Shielding must not be used as a billboard. A maximum of two signs not to exceed 32 square feet each, advertising the business conducted on the premises, may be painted on or attached flush to the shielding.

(8) The following materials are not acceptable for use as shielding, but may be used as structural support for shielding if they are concealed from public view:

(a) semitrailers;

(b) shipping containers (an exception allowing use as shielding may be approved on a case-by-case basis) ;

(c) mobile homes;

(d) trailer houses; or

(e) baled tires (except that they may be used as shielding when encased in a material that will maintain the integrity of the bale upon failure of the bale restraining devices, as provided in 75-10-250, MCA) .

History: 75-10-503, MCA; IMP, 75-10-503, MCA; NEW, EMERG, Eff. 11/4/73; AMD, Eff. 5/6/76; AMD, 1992 MAR p. 1370, Eff. 6/26/92; TRANS, from DHES, 1995 MAR p. 2253; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 758, Eff. 3/24/06.