City of Troy, NY
Rensselaer County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 3-1-1973 as Art II of Ch. 10 of the 1973 Code]

§ 141-1 Applicability of Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.

§ 141-2 Composition of Code.

§ 141-3 Enforcement of article provisions.

§ 141-4 Building permit required.

§ 141-5 Application for building permit.

§ 141-6 Premises, water and sewage system to be certified as reasonably safe from flooding.

§ 141-7 Approval or disapproval of application for building permit.

§ 141-8 Building permit authorizes applicant to proceed with work.

§ 141-9 Building permit fees.

§ 141-10 Building cost.

§ 141-11 Permit fees for mechanical, electrical or other separate contracts.

§ 141-12 No charge for work done by or for City.

§ 141-13 Charge for demolition of buildings.

§ 141-14 Fee for signs and certification letters.

§ 141-15 Revocation of building permit.

§ 141-16 Appeal.

§ 141-17 Certificate of occupancy.

§ 141-18 Unsafe buildings.

§ 141-19 Criteria for determining vacant building.

§ 141-20 Vacant building plan and fees.

§ 141-21 Vacant building registration; maintenance.

§ 141-22 Fire limits established.

§ 141-23 Wood frame buildings prohibited.

§ 141-24 Temporary supports.

§ 141-25 Prevention of dust.

§ 141-26 Excavations.

§ 141-27 Underpinning.

§ 141-28 Demolition of buildings.

§ 141-29 Post-demolition plans.

§ 141-30 Erection of building walls of masonry.

§ 141-31 Certificate of compliance.

§ 141-32 Marquees and canopies.

§ 141-33 Storage of liquid fuels.

§ 141-34 Signs.

§ 141-35 Awnings.

§ 141-36 Sidewalk elevators and other hoisting apparatus.

§ 141-37 Siamese connections.

§ 141-38 Standpipes.

§ 141-39 New sidewalks.

§ 141-40 Driveways.

§ 141-41 Water supply and sewage disposal.

§ 141-42 Storage tanks for fuel oils.

§ 141-43 Underground tanks for storage of gasoline at automotive service stations.

§ 141-44 Roofs.

§ 141-45 Depth of footings.

§ 141-46 Tapping of water mains.

§ 141-47 Garbage grinders or disposal units permitted.

§ 141-48 Sewer connections.

§ 141-49 Electrical work.

§ 141-50 Exemptions from article.

§ 141-51 Penalties for offenses.

§ 141-52 Approved electric inspectors.

§ 141-1 Applicability of Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.

A. 
The City, as set forth in a resolution of the Common Council passed concurrently herewith, hereby accepts the applicability of the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code for the City and directs the accompanying articles of administration and enforcement thereof shall govern the construction, alteration, repair and demolition of all buildings and structures within the boundaries of the City, in order to protect the public safety, welfare and health in matters concerning all phases of construction and demolition.
B. 
The provisions of this code shall apply to all buildings and structures hereafter constructed, repaired, altered, demolished or moved, unless otherwise herein stated.
C. 
It is not the intent of the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code applicable to plumbing to limit or exclude the use of any material or system of plumbing installation which has been produced or developed under nationally recognized standards and certified by a recognized standards or testing agency, provided the use of such material or system complies with such standards and is in accord with acceptable health and safety criteria.

§ 141-2 Composition of Code.

The Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code consists of the following documents:
A. 
The Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
B. 
The Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code applicable to multiple dwellings.
C. 
The Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code applicable to one- and two-story buildings.
D. 
Plumbing standards of the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.

§ 141-3 Enforcement of article provisions.

A. 
The enforcement of all provisions of this article shall be the responsibility of the Director of Code Enforcement. He/She is hereby designated by the City to do all work in connection with the administration and enforcement of the building law together with the review of plans, issuing of permits, inspection of buildings and structures and to take the necessary action where violations of this article are noted. He/She shall issue appropriate notices of orders concerning illegal or unsafe conditions. He/She may require necessary safeguards in and around construction work and to insure compliance with the requirements of all laws and regulations in connection with this article. He/She has the right to require performance tests in the field by accredited testing personnel, or to require verified tests of building materials from an acceptable laboratory or testing service to satisfy himself/herself as to the safety of a building or structure or any part thereof, and to establish that such construction or materials are in accordance with the requirements of the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code. It is incumbent upon the Director of Code Enforcement to see that buildings and structures are built in accordance with approved plans and specifications filed in the office of the Director of Code Enforcement.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
The Director of Code Enforcement or members of his/her department shall have the right to examine existing buildings with regard to occupancy, safety, public health and welfare.
C. 
He/she shall keep permanent official records of all transactions and activities conducted by him/her and his/her office. These records shall include applications received, permits and certificates issued, fees charged and collected, inspection reports and notices and orders issued. All such records shall be public records available for inspection during regular office hours.
D. 
The Director of Code Enforcement may request and shall receive, so far as may be necessary in the discharge of his/her duties, the assistance and cooperation of the police and fire departments or other municipal officials exercising any jurisdiction over the construction, use and occupancy of buildings. He/She may also call upon the County Health Department in this regard.
E. 
In addition to the permanent official records required of the Director of Code Enforcement outlined in this section, he/she shall also keep one set of approved drawings, blueprints, and specifications of all buildings and structures for which permits have been issued.
F. 
He/She shall submit monthly as well as annually to the Mayor a written report and summary of all business conducted by his/her office, including permits, certificates issued, fees collected, orders and notices promulgated, inspections and tests made, complaints and appeals or litigations pending.

§ 141-4 Building permit required.

No individual, corporation or firm shall start the erection, construction, enlargement, alteration, removal, demolition, conversion or change in the nature of occupancy of any building or structure, or cause the same to be done, without first obtaining a building permit from the Director of Code Enforcement for each such building or structure; except that no building permit shall be required for the performance of painting or decorating or ordinary repairs which are not structural in nature.

§ 141-5 Application for building permit.

A. 
Application for a building permit required by this article shall be made to the Director of Code Enforcement on forms provided by his/her office. The applicant will be required to give the dimensions of the lot, the street and the ward location, statement of the use or occupancy anticipated, estimated duration of the construction, the valuation of the proposed work, the name and address of the owner or officers of the firm, a complete set of plans and specifications in duplicate and any other required information necessary to establish compliance of the proposed work with building laws and ordinances or rules established by the Director of Code Enforcement.
B. 
Application shall be made by the owner, lessee, architect, engineer or contractor employed in connection with the proposed work.
C. 
The plans and specifications shall include a plot plan drawn to scale showing the proposed work (location of such) and all utilities connected therewith. Distances from lot lines, indication of structures on adjoining properties, finished grades, location of streets, alleys, and sidewalks, etc., shall be included. Drawings shall include floor plans, elevations, sections and other details as may be required to show all information concerning the construction of the building, including general construction, mechanical equipment, plumbing and electrical work.
D. 
Plans and specifications shall bear the signature of the person responsible for the design and drawings.
E. 
Where the state Education Law requires the seal of a registered architect or licensed professional engineer, the Director of Code Enforcement shall require such seal on the drawings and specifications before they can be submitted for approval.
F. 
In general, a residence and other buildings which contain less than 1,500 square feet of habitable or fully developed space will not require such seal.
G. 
Where the applicant requests, approval of plans and specifications may be made if such is involving a factory, mercantile building or place of public assembly or other type of building structure which comes under the jurisdiction of the State Labor Department. These plans must first be filed and approved by the State Labor Department before they can be received for consideration by the Director of Code Enforcement.
H. 
Amendments or revisions to plans and specifications may be made if such amendments are filed and approved prior to the completion of the work, subject to the approval of the Director of Code Enforcement. The Director of Code Enforcement shall not approve the plans which fail to comply with Chapter 285, Zoning, of this Code.

§ 141-6 Premises, water and sewage system to be certified as reasonably safe from flooding.

[Amended 11-7-1974]
A. 
The Director of Code Enforcement of the City of Troy shall review all building permit applications for new construction or substantial improvements to determine whether proposed building sites will be reasonably safe from flooding. If a proposed building site is in a location that has a flood hazard, any proposed new construction or substantial improvement (including prefabricated and mobile homes) must:
(1) 
Be designed (or modified) and anchored to prevent flotation, collapse, or lateral movement of the structure;
(2) 
Use construction materials and utility equipment that are resistant to flood damage;
(3) 
Use construction methods and practices that will minimize flood damage.
B. 
The Director of Code Enforcement of the City of Troy shall review subdivision proposals and other proposed new developments to assure that:
(1) 
All such proposals are consistent with the need to minimize flood damage;
(2) 
All public utilities and facilities such as sewer, gas, electrical, and water systems are located, elevated, and constructed to minimize or eliminate flood damage;
(3) 
Adequate drainage is provided so as to reduce exposure to flood hazards.
C. 
The Director of Code Enforcement of the City of Troy shall require new or replacement water supply systems and/or sanitary sewage systems to be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into the systems and discharges from the systems into floodwaters, and require on-site waste disposal systems to be located so as to avoid impairment of them or contamination from them during flooding.

§ 141-7 Approval or disapproval of application for building permit.

A. 
Upon completion of the appropriate application form and submittal of the necessary plans and specifications, the Director of Code Enforcement shall examine or cause to be examined all plans, specifications, permits, and other documents filed therewith. He/She shall approve or disapprove the application within a reasonable time. Upon approval of the application and receipt of the legal fees thereof, he/she shall issue a building permit to the applicant upon the form prescribed by the City and he/she shall affix his/her signature or cause his/her signature to be affixed thereto.
B. 
Upon approval of the application, both sets of plans and specifications shall be enforced with "Approved, Director of Code Enforcement, Troy, New York." One set of plans and specifications shall be retained in the files of the Director of Code Enforcement and the other set shall be returned to the applicant together with the building permit. These shall be kept at the building site open to inspection by the Director of Code Enforcement or his/her authorized representative at all reasonable times.
C. 
If the application together with the plans and specifications and other required documents filed does not conform to all requirements of the applicable building code, regulations and zoning requirements, the Director of Code Enforcement shall disapprove the same and shall return such plans and specifications to the applicant. Upon request of the applicant, the Director of Code Enforcement shall cause such refusal, together with the reasons for the same, to be transmitted to the applicant in writing.
D. 
Any building permits shall be valid to authorize the beginning of work, in accordance with the application and the approved plans and specifications on which it is based, for a period of four months after the date of its issuance. For good cause and special circumstances, the Director of Code Enforcement may make one three-month extension of this date.

§ 141-8 Building permit authorizes applicant to proceed with work.

The issuance of a building permit under this article constitutes authority to the applicant to proceed with the work but only in accordance with the approved plans and specifications and in accordance with all applicable building laws, codes, regulations and zoning ordinances and county health requirements. Any change to be made in the building shall first be approved by the Director of Code Enforcement.

§ 141-9 Building permit fees.

[Amended 8-3-1978; 4-20-1982; 12-4-1986; 12-7-1989; 5-2-1991; 11-3-1994; 2-7-2002; 11-3-2016 by Ord. No. 79]
An approved permit for construction shall not be issued to the applicant until a fee based on the following table has been paid to the Director of Code Enforcement:
A. 
Minimum charge of $100, up to $1,000 value of work;
(1) 
Plus $14 per $1,000, from $1,001 to $10,000 value of work;
(2) 
Plus $13 per $1,000, from $10,001 to $100,000 value of work;
(3) 
Plus $12 per $1,000, from $100,001 to $1,000,000 value of work;
(4) 
Plus $11 per $1,000, from $1,000,000 up value of work.
B. 
An approved permit for the construction of a fence shall not be issued to the applicant until a fee based upon the following table has been paid to the Director of Code Enforcement:
(1) 
Up to 100 linear feet: $50;
(2) 
For 101 linear feet and up: $100;
(3) 
For 201 plus linear feet: $150.
C. 
An approved permit for the performance of electrical work shall not be issued to the applicant until a fee based upon the following table has been paid to the Director of Code Enforcement:
(1) 
A minimum charge of $100, up to $1,000 value of work;
(2) 
Plus $14 per $1,000, from $1,001 to $10,000 value of work;
(3) 
Plus $13 per $1,000, from $10,001 to $100,000 value of work;
(4) 
Plus $12 per $1,000, from $100,001 to $1,000,000 value of work;
(5) 
Plus $11 per $1,000, from $1,000,000 up value of work.
D. 
An approved permit for the performance of plumbing work shall not be issued to the applicant until a fee based upon the following table has been paid to the Director of Code Enforcement:
(1) 
A minimum charge of $100, up to $1,000 value of work;
(2) 
Plus $14 per $1,000, from $1,001 to $10,000 value of work;
(3) 
Plus $13 per $1,000, from $10,001 to $100,000 value of work;
(4) 
Plus $12 per $1,000, from $100,001 to $1,000,000 value of work;
(5) 
Plus $11 per $1,000, from $1,000,000 up value of work.
E. 
An approved permit for the installation of a pool shall not be issued to the applicant until a fee based upon the following table has been paid to the Director of Code Enforcement:
(1) 
A minimum charge of $100, up to $1,000 value of work;
(2) 
Plus $14 per $1,000, from $1,001 to $10,000 value of work;
(3) 
Plus $13 per $1,000, from $10,001 to $100,000 value of work;
(4) 
Plus $12 per $1,000, from $100,001 to $1,000.000 value of work:
(5) 
Plus $11 per $1,000, from $1,000,000 up value of work.
F. 
Renewal permits. If a project has not been completed within one year from the issuance of a building permit, then the applicant may obtain a renewal permit that would allow all terms and approvals of the original permit to remain in effect for one additional year. Renewal permits shall be issued only once per property and charged as follows:
(1) 
Up to $50,000: $100;
(2) 
From $50,001 to $100,000: $150;
(3) 
From $100,001 to $200,000: $200;
(4) 
From $200,000 to $300,000: $250;
(5) 
From $300,001 and up: $300.
G. 
Miscellaneous permits. When it is determined by the Director of Code Enforcement that a permit is required for proposed work, and such work is deemed to be not included in the permit categories enumerated hereinbefore, then a fee of $100 will be charged for such permit. This fee will apply in instances when work is performed not in conjunction with the construction of a building and where a zoning permit is required for a use which does not entail construction.

§ 141-10 Building cost.

A. 
Permits will be required for all work under the jurisdiction of the Director of Code Enforcement. Cost of the construction of a building shall be secured from the architect, engineer or contractor in charge of the work. The applicant for the permit shall present bid sheets or proposal sheets or contract documents to substantiate the building cost.
B. 
If no bona fide certificate of cost by above methods is available, then the Director of Code Enforcement will establish the cost by using a square foot, cubic foot or by an acceptable estimate method, whichever will produce a fair price for the project. In case of a dispute, the Director of Code Enforcement is empowered to employ the services of an architect, engineer or contractor to make an estimate of the cost.
C. 
The cost of a building shall include the general construction, plumbing, mechanical equipment and electrical work, but shall not include the cost of land, landscaping, sidewalks, driveways, etc.

§ 141-11 Permit fees for mechanical, electrical or other separate contracts.

Permit fees for mechanical, electrical or other separate contracts, not included in the architect's or general contractor's estimate, shall be paid for by each of the various separate contractors doing work in accordance with the prices listed on the schedule of fees.

§ 141-12 No charge for work done by or for City.

No charge will be made for building permits in connection with work done by or for the City on municipally owned buildings, structures or other property.

§ 141-13 Charge for demolition of buildings.

[Amended 8-3-1978; 4-20-1982; 5-2-1991; 11-3-1994; 11-3-2016 by Ord. No. 79]
An approved permit for demolition shall not be issued to the applicant until a fee based on the following table has been paid to the Director of Code Enforcement for the demolition of each structure:
Square Feet of Gross
Floor Area at Ground Level
Fee
Up to 500 (minimum charge)
$125
501 - 1,000
$200
1,001 - 2,000
$350
2,001 - 3,000
$500
3,001 and up
$800

§ 141-14 Fee for signs and certification letters.

[Amended 5-4-1978; 8-3-1978; 5-2-1991; 12-3-1992; 11-3-1994; 2-7-2002]
A. 
A sign or similar display or advertising medium that is attached to or is supported by the building, which projects wholly or in part over the public right-of-way, shall be subject to a fee of $50 upon its erection. This $50 fee shall be due annually thereafter on January 1 of each succeeding year, and this fee is payable to the Director of Code Enforcement each year until said is removed.
B. 
A fee of $50 per property address shall be charged for all requested certification letters, including certifications with regard to flood zones and use and occupancy classifications.
[Amended 5-7-2015 by Ord. No. 45; 11-3-2016 by Ord. No. 79]

§ 141-15 Revocation of building permit.

The Director of Code Enforcement may revoke a building permit issued by his/her department in the following instances:
A. 
If he/she finds that the permit has been issued in error and is not in accordance with the applicable law.
B. 
If he/she finds a false statement or misrepresentation as to a material fact in the application, plans or specifications on which the building permit was based.
C. 
Where it is found that the work performed under the permit is not being prosecuted in accordance with the provisions of the application, plans or specifications or the building regulations and zoning laws.
D. 
Where the person to whom the building permit is issued fails or refuses to comply with a stop order issued by the Director of Code Enforcement.
E. 
Wherever the Director of Code Enforcement has reasonable grounds to believe that the work on any building or structure is being prosecuted in violation of the provisions of any of the applicable building laws, ordinances, or zoning regulations, or is not in conformity with the plans and specifications on which the permit was based, or the construction is being done in an unsafe and dangerous manner, he/she shall notify the owner of the property or building, or the owner's agent, or the contractor or the person performing the work to suspend all operations. All building activities shall cease until the stop order has been rescinded. Work shall not resume until the owner or his/her representative is notified in writing by the Director of Code Enforcement that the stop order has been rescinded.

§ 141-16 Appeal.

Whenever the Director of Code Enforcement rejects any plans or specifications for the erection or alteration of any building or structure, or where he/she claims that the plans violate part or parts of the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code or the zoning ordinances or any other building regulations, or where he/she disallows a permit because in his/her interpretation of this article a violation will result, then the owner or applicant may appeal as follows:
A. 
An appeal involving a question under the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code shall be taken pursuant to applicable state law. A copy of the notice of appeal shall be filed with the Director of Code Enforcement.
[Amended 10-2-2003 by L.L. No. 4-2003]
B. 
An appeal involving a question which pertains to the zoning or local building regulations of the City shall be taken within six days from the date of the decision of the Director of Code Enforcement to the Zoning Board of Appeals of the City. A copy of the notice of appeal should be filed with the Director of Code Enforcement.
C. 
Notice of the time of the hearing of such appeal shall be made known to the appellant within six days of the receipt of the appeal and shall be sent by mail to the appellant. The appellant shall have the right to be present and be heard by counsel or in person at this hearing and to give any evidence in support of his/her contention.
D. 
The decision of the appeal, together with the plans and specifications and other documents used in the appeal, shall be filed with the Director of Code Enforcement for a permanent record. If the decision of the reviewing board is favorable to the appellant, then the Director of Code Enforcement will issue a building permit in accordance therewith.

§ 141-17 Certificate of occupancy.

[Amended 3-2-1995]
A. 
No building hereinafter erected shall be occupied or used in whole or in part until completed in accordance with the plans and specifications filed with the building permit application and until a certificate of occupancy has been issued by the Director of Code Enforcement.
B. 
No building hereinafter altered, extended, enlarged or worked upon, requiring the issuance of a building permit, where the alterations, extension, enlargement or work shall be of such a nature as to constitute, before its completion, a hazardous condition which shall endanger the lives of persons or the occupants, shall be used or occupied until the Director of Code Enforcement has issued a certificate of occupancy.
C. 
It is the duty of the Director of Code Enforcement to make or direct to have made by his/her representative an examination and inspection of the building in question during its construction work and, at its completion, to satisfy himself/herself that the work has been done in a safe manner and in conformity with the plans and specifications filed when the building permit was issued, and in accordance with this article.
D. 
When the final inspection has been made, and he/she is satisfied that the work has been completed in accordance with the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and all applicable ordinances, then he/she shall issue a certificate of occupancy within 10 days of such application. This certificate shall be dated, give the name of the project and certify that the work has been done in conformity with applicable building laws and regulations. The certificate shall indicate the address of the building and the use or uses for which the structure was made.
E. 
Where the Director of Code Enforcement has reasonable doubt as to the safety of the structure or any part thereof, then he/she may require that the same be subjected to reasonable tests or investigation to make sure of the structural safety or compliance with the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code. He/She may require documentary proof of strength or certain materials or require the registered architect or professional engineer in charge of the job to provide affidavits concerning the workmanship or materials or design of any or all parts of the building. No certificates shall be issued until all work is in conformity.
F. 
No person or persons shall occupy any vacated business space with any business until a certificate of occupancy is obtained from the Bureau of Code Enforcement.
G. 
Whenever a new business use is established within an existing building or a discontinued business is re-established, a work permit must be obtained and, at a minimum, an interior inspection must be made to ascertain if the business space in question is maintained in compliance with the requirements of Article II of this chapter, notwithstanding that the proposed business may not be receiving financial assistance from the City of Troy. This requirement shall not be construed to repeal, modify or constitute an alternative to any applicable legislation that contains more stringent requirements including, but not necessarily limited to, Chapter 285, Zoning, of this Code or the State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code. If alterations, repairs or other construction is proposed to be done, said work permit must include that scope of work also, if it would usually require a work permit. Then, upon determination by the Bureau of Code Enforcement that the business space is in compliance with Article II of this chapter and other applicable codes, if any, said certificate of occupancy will be issued, and the business may commence operations. The certificate of occupancy or a facsimile thereof shall be permanently displayed in a location that is readily visible from outside the primary entrance to the business.
H. 
The term "business," as used herein, is intended to "include any nonresidential use or occupancy."
I. 
Fee. A $50 fee for the certificate of occupancy will be collected at the time the building permit is issued.
[Added 11-3-2016 by Ord. No. 79]

§ 141-18 Unsafe buildings.

[Amended 5-3-2001 by Ord. No. 2-2001]
A. 
All buildings or structures which are structurally unsafe, unsanitary, or not provided with adequate egress, or which constitute a fire hazard, or are otherwise dangerous to human life, or which in relation to existing use constitute a hazard to safety or health by reason of inadequate maintenance, dilapidation, obsolescence or abandonment are, severally, for the purpose of this section, unsafe buildings. All such unsafe buildings are hereby declared to be illegal and shall be abated by repair and rehabilitation or by demolition in accordance with the procedure of this section.
B. 
Every vacant building is a potential fire hazard and, if not properly boarded and secured and if the exterior of the building and the grounds upon which it is located are not properly maintained, is a potential blight on the neighborhood. Therefore, a vacant building is a potentially unsafe building and, if not properly secured and maintained, could substantially reduce the property values of the adjacent properties and the surrounding neighborhood. Therefore, such buildings shall be registered and their potential hazard shall be abated in accordance with the provisions of this section.
C. 
Not later than 30 days after any building located within an area zoned for or located immediately adjacent to an area zoned for any residential use in the City becomes vacant the owner shall register the building with the Bureau of Code Enforcement, shall board and secure the building pursuant to § 141-21C(1) below, shall file a plan detailing how the owner will maintain the building pursuant to § 141-21C(2) and how the owner will proceed in an expeditious manner to remove the building from its vacant status pursuant to § 141-21C(3), below, and shall pay the annual vacant building registration fee. A plan is not deemed filed unless and until the Director of the Bureau of Code Enforcement or his/her designee reviews and approves such plan. Nonetheless, the Director of the Bureau of Code Enforcement or his/her designee may determine that a plan was timely filed if he/she determines that the owner made a reasonable effort to file a plan that would be approved. In addition to buildings that fall within the class of buildings that must be registered because they are located in an area zoned for, or abutting an area zoned for, residential or neighborhood commercial use in the City, the Bureau of Code Enforcement may identify vacant buildings through its routine inspection process as well as through notification by residents, neighborhood associations and other community groups that a building should be included on the registry. In any such case, the Director of the Bureau of Code Enforcement shall make a determination that the building should be included on the registry on the basis of facts that he/she articulates in writing. Once the Director makes such determination, he/she shall notify the owner in writing and offer the owner an opportunity to refute the facts upon which his/her determination was made. If the owner attempts to refute the Director's facts, the Director shall consider all the facts, including those presented by the owner, and shall make a final determination as to whether the building must be included on the registry. The owner shall then have a period of 30 days from the date the Director of the Bureau of Code Enforcement gives mail notice to the owner, at his/her address as listed in the City Treasurer's office as the owner's tax billing address, of the Director's final determination.

§ 141-19 Criteria for determining vacant building.

[Amended 5-3-2001 by Ord. No. 2-2001]
For purposes of this article, a building is "vacant" if it meets any of the following criteria:
A. 
The building is unoccupied and not secured or not boarded in compliance with the standards set forth in § 141-21C(1) below;
B. 
The building is unoccupied and not maintained in compliance with the standards set forth in § 141-21C(2) below;
C. 
The building is posted as "Unfit for Human Habitation" by the City of Troy Bureau of Code Enforcement;
D. 
The building is illegally occupied; or
E. 
The building is unoccupied for a period of time over three months.

§ 141-20 Vacant building plan and fees.

[Amended 5-3-2001 by Ord. No. 2-2001]
A. 
The owner of a vacant building shall file a plan explaining how he/she will comply with § 141-21C(2) and (3) below and shall pay an initial fee of $250. The fee shall be reasonably related to the administrative costs for registering and processing the vacant building owner registration form and for the costs of the City in monitoring the vacant building site.
[Amended 4-3-2008 by Ord. No. 5; 11-5-2009 by Ord. No. 4; 6-3-2010 by Ord. No. 5; 9-6-2012 by Ord. No. 3]
B. 
The plan shall be filed and the registration fee shall be paid no later than 30 days after the building becomes vacant, as defined above. Thereafter, an annual fee shall be due and payable on January 1 of each year that the building remains vacant.
[Amended 5-3-2012 by Ord. No. 5; 9-6-2012 by Ord. No. 3]
C. 
The fee shall be paid in full prior to the issuance of any building permits, with the exception of a demolition permit.
D. 
The Bureau of Code Enforcement shall maintain a separate file for each vacant building and shall include in the file any property-specific written statements from community organizations, other interested parties or citizens, regarding the history, problems, status or blighting influence of a vacant building.
E. 
Any person violating any provision of the Vacant Building Registry or providing false information to the Bureau of Code Enforcement shall be guilty of a violation and, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of $250 or imprisonment of up to 15 days, or both such fine and imprisonment.
F. 
Any person who fails to file a plan within the time required by this article or any person who, having filed a plan, fails to follow such plan, will cause the City to spend greater resources to administer the Vacant Building Registry and to monitor the vacant building site. Consequently, the Director of the Bureau of Code Enforcement, in addition to the authority to prosecute the offense of a criminal violation as set forth in Subsection E above, may determine that an additional registration fee should be assessed against the owner of a vacant building. Such additional fee shall cover the increased costs to the City of administering the Vacant Building Registry and of monitoring the vacant building site caused by persons failing to timely file a plan or failing to follow their filed plan, but in no event may such additional fee be set at more than $1,000. Prior to the imposition of an additional fee, the Director of the Bureau of Code Enforcement or his/her designee shall give the building owner notice of alleged failure and of his/her intent to assess an increased fee and shall accord the building owner an opportunity to be heard at an administrative hearing held in accordance with due process of law. Actual notice is not required, but notice shall be given in a way determined to be reasonably calculated to give the owner actual notice.
G. 
[1]Annual fees.
[Added 11-5-2009 by Ord. No. 4; amended 6-3-2010 by Ord. No. 5; 5-3-2012 by Ord. No. 5]
(1) 
If the building remains vacant, each January 1 following the initial registration the owner shall pay an annual fee as follows:
[Amended 9-6-2012 by Ord. No. 3; 11-3-2016 by Ord. No. 79]
(a) 
The fee for the first year shall be $1,000 and paid pursuant to § 141-20B.
(b) 
The fee for the second year shall be $1,500 and paid pursuant to § 141-20B.
(c) 
The fee for the third year shall be $2,500 and paid pursuant to § 141-20B.
(d) 
The fee for the fourth year shall be $3,500 and paid pursuant to § 141-20B.
(e) 
The fee for the fifth and each succeeding year shall be $5,000 and shall be paid pursuant to § 141-20B.
(2) 
Vacant building fees for buildings of 5,000 square feet or greater shall be doubled.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection G, regarding repair of a vacant building by the owner, was repealed 9-6-2012 by Ord. No. 3. This ordinance also redesignated former Subsections H, I, and J as Subsections G, H, and I, respectively.
H. 
Waiver of fees.
[Added 5-3-2012 by Ord. No. 5; amended 9-6-2012 by Ord. No. 3]
(1) 
The owner of a vacant property may apply for a waiver of the fee imposed under paragraph G above, through the Bureau of Code Enforcement, upon demonstrating compliance with the following conditions:
(a) 
Said property owner is in compliance with § 141-21C(5) of the City Code and the completed and signed Vacant Building Checklist is on file with the Bureau of Code Enforcement;
(b) 
Said property owner, if owning other properties in the City of Troy, is in full compliance with all applicable codes at those locations and is current in all taxes collectible by the City;
(c) 
Said property owner shall add the City of Troy as an additional named insured and alternate payee for property insurance; and
(d) 
Said property owner must submit to the City of Troy a written plan detailing any and all work to be done during the duration of the applied-for waiver, including a scope of work, photographic documentation of proposed work area(s), project schedule and cost estimate of work to be undertaken. Said work plan shall be reviewed by the Bureau of Code Enforcement for approval and issuance of a building permit. As the goal of this waiver is to encourage investment in vacant properties, the owner must obtain a certificate of occupancy or certificate of compliance on or before the termination date of the waiver. It is also the owner’s responsibility to submit to the Bureau of Code Enforcement a quarterly reporting form, due within 10 days of the close of each calendar quarter, detailing the work accomplished in the preceding three-month period, including photographic documentation and receipts for labor and materials. The reporting form will be compared to the previously submitted work plan for compliance with the request for the waiver. Should it be determined that the submitted report does not meet the criteria set forth in the owner-submitted work plan, and the Bureau of Code Enforcement revokes the waiver, the owner may appeal the decision to the Deputy Mayor and City Engineer. Code enforcement reserves the right to conduct a visual inspection of the property to verify completed work. Failure to comply with any of these provisions will result in the revocation of the waiver and the assessment of all unpaid vacancy fees; or
(e) 
If the said property is being listed for sale, the owner shall provide proof to the Bureau of Code Enforcement each month during the waiver period that the vacant property is listed for sale with a licensed real estate broker (copy of MLS listing is suitable proof), and that a realty sign is installed and visible and the property is being advertised in a minimum of five Internet placements. Additionally the property must be listed for a reasonable price (not to exceed 135% of the full value assessment). Failure to comply with any of these provisions will result in the revocation of the waiver and the assessment of all unpaid vacancy fees.
(2) 
The granting of the waiver does not relieve said property owner from any other property maintenance and code compliance responsibilities. Should the property for which the waiver was granted be found in violation of other code requirements during the waiver period, the property is subject to being cited under the City Code.
(3) 
Such waiver application shall be submitted by October 1 of the year prior to the waiver’s effective date and be in effect for a length not to exceed one year. Notwithstanding the issuance of said waiver, the scheduled fee increases as set forth in Subsection G above shall remain in place.
I. 
All unpaid fees imposed on or after the effective date of this subsection shall be added to the annual City tax levy for each affected property.
[Added 5-3-2012 by Ord. No. 5]

§ 141-21 Vacant building registration; maintenance.

[Amended 5-3-2001 by Ord. No. 2-2001]
A. 
The registration shall be submitted on forms provided by the Bureau of Code Enforcement and shall include the following information supplied by the owner:
(1) 
A description of the premises.
(2) 
The names and addresses of all owners.
(3) 
If none of the owner(s) reside in Rensselaer County or any adjoining county, the name and address of any third party with whom the owner has entered into a contract or agreement for property management.
(4) 
The names and addresses of all known lienholders and all other parties with an ownership interest in the building.
(5) 
A telephone number where a responsible party can be reached at all times during business and nonbusiness hours.
(6) 
A statement whether the building is currently insured by a policy of fire insurance and, if so, the name, address and telephone number of the insurance company and the insurance agent and the amount of the coverage. If the building is not currently covered by fire insurance, the owner shall set forth the reason(s) why it is not so covered.
(7) 
A vacant building plan as described in § 141-20 above.
B. 
All applicable laws and codes shall be complied with by the owner. The owner shall notify the Bureau of Code Enforcement of any changes in information supplied as part of the vacant building registration within 30 days of the change. If the plan detailing how the owner will maintain the building in compliance with Subsection C(2), below, and how the owner will proceed in an expeditious manner to remove the building from its vacant status pursuant to Subsection C(3), below, including but not limited to the timetable listed in such plan, is revised in any way, the revisions must be in writing and must meet the approval of the Director of the Bureau of Code Enforcement or his/her designee.
C. 
All vacant buildings shall be kept secured or shall be kept boarded up, both as defined in Subsection C(1), and shall be maintained in accordance with Subsection C(2) of this section. Also, once a building has been vacant for a period of three months or more, its owner shall provide evidence, as described in Subsection C(3) of this section, that said owner is proceeding in an expeditious manner to remove the building from its vacant status.
(1) 
The term "secured," for the purposes of this section, shall mean that all means of ingress and egress, including but not limited to all doorways and windows, shall be in good state of repair, without any broken glass or other damage that might allow entry or create an eyesore, and shall be securely locked. Any building that is not so secured shall be promptly "boarded up," meaning that all means of ingress and egress at all floor levels shall be covered over, as specified hereinafter, so as to ensure the continued security of the building and to reduce the negative impact on the neighborhood. Boarding up shall be done by utilizing the following minimum materials and methods unless another equivalent system is proposed in writing and approved by the Director of Code Enforcement:
(a) 
Exterior-grade plywood or sheathing-grade particle board, at least 1/2 inch thick, shall be used for boarding material. It shall be cut to fit neatly into each opening so that it covers the entire window or door frame but does not overlap onto the adjacent wall surfaces.
(b) 
Openings in excess of three feet wide shall be braced by installing at least one two-inch-by-four-inch wood stud, or equal, at the midspan and for the full height of the opening.
(c) 
The boarding material shall be secured to the building by sixpenny (minimum size) coated nails spaced no more than six inches on center at the edges and 12 inches on center at any intermediate bracing, except that one doorway shall be secured in such a manner that it can provide access to the building by authorized persons. If such door contains any glass panels or wood panels less than one inch thick, it shall be entirely covered with boarding material.
(d) 
The door shall be secured with at least two keyed locks, and its hinges shall have concealed fastenings.
(e) 
All boarding material shall be finished on the exterior with one coat of primer and two coats of exterior-grade paint in color matching that of the adjacent walls.
(f) 
The secured building shall be provided with adequate ventilation to prevent the accumulation of moisture which might deteriorate the finishes and the structure. Adequate ventilation shall be deemed to be a minimum of two louvered and screened ventilation openings, each having an opening size of at least 144 square inches and placed in opposite walls of the building at the uppermost floor level. Interior doors at all floor levels shall be left in the open position in order to allow circulation of air. If circulation of air within and between all floors is not possible using only two vents, then additional vents shall be installed to achieve such circulation.
(2) 
In addition to securing or boarding up the building, the following minimum requirements shall be met for all vacant buildings:
(a) 
The roof shall be structurally sound and weathertight. Any damaged or missing rafters, decking or roofing materials shall be repaired or replaced with equivalent material but in no case less than two-by-six-inch wood rafters, one-half-inch thick exterior plywood and ninety-pound roll roofing, respectively, all installed in a workmanlike manner.
(b) 
All combustible trash and debris shall be removed from the building. Any portions of the exterior of the main building or accessory buildings, including but not limited to walls, porches, stairs, parapet walls and chimneys, that are deteriorated so as to be in danger of collapse or to otherwise constitute a hazard or allow penetration of water into the building shall be repaired or replaced or otherwise made safe and weathertight.
(c) 
The grounds surrounding the building shall be cleared and kept cleared of all litter, rubble, debris, trash and junk and of all grass or weeds in excess of six inches in height.
(3) 
When it is required by this article that a building be boarded up, it shall be the responsibility of the owner to have the electric and gas service, if any, temporarily shut off from the building by contacting Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation customer service. Service may not be reconnected until repair and rehabilitation work or occupancy actually commences.
(4) 
All plumbing and heating systems that contain water shall be completely drained and kept empty between October 15 and April 15, and an antifreeze solution shall be added to all plumbing traps in the building. This shall not apply if the building is adequately heated during that time period.
(5) 
The owner shall arrange to provide access to the interior of the building by representatives of the Bureau of Code Enforcement to inspect for compliance with the requirements above that pertain to the interior.
(6) 
The owners of buildings which for any reason remain vacant for a period of three months or more shall be subject to the procedures of this section. By the end of such three-month time period, the owner of the vacant building shall demonstrate to the Director of Code Enforcement that said owner has taken all positive action to abate the vacancy of the building in an expeditious manner. This action may include but is not limited to applying for and obtaining a work permit to repair and rehabilitate the building, or to demolish it, and proceeding with the work in a timely fashion; providing competent evidence that the building is listed for sale by a licensed realtor and is being periodically advertised for sale in a local newspaper or other journal; or providing a proposed schedule of action to undertake repair and rehabilitation of the building, including a detailed financial plan for its accomplishment.
D. 
The Director of Code Enforcement shall examine or cause to be examined every building reported as unsafe, damaged or vacant and shall make a written record of each such examination. The Director shall have all buildings that are vacant or abandoned inspected not less than two times annually or as frequently as necessary so as to ensure that they are properly secured or boarded up and maintained.
[Amended 5-3-2012 by Ord. No. 5; 9-6-2012 by Ord. No. 3]
E. 
Whenever the Director of Code Enforcement shall find a building or structure or a portion thereof to be an unsafe or vacant building, he/she shall give the owner, agent or person in control of such building or structure written notice stating the defects thereof. This notice shall require the owner within a stated time either to complete specified repairs or improvements, or to demolish and remove the building or structure or portion thereof.
F. 
If the Director of Code Enforcement finds that there is actual and immediate danger of failure or collapse so as to endanger life, such notice shall require the building, structure or portion thereof to be vacated forthwith and not reoccupied until the specified repairs and improvements are completed, inspected and approved by the building official. The Director of Code Enforcement shall cause to be posted at each entrance of such building a notice which includes the statement that, THIS BUILDING IS UNSAFE AND ITS USE OR OCCUPANCY HAS BEEN PROHIBITED BY THE DIRECTOR OF CODE ENFORCEMENT, CITY OF TROY. Such notice shall remain posted until the required repairs or demolition is completed. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation or their agents or other servants to remove such notice without written permission of the Director of Code Enforcement, or for any person to enter the building except for the purpose of making the required repairs or of demolishing the same.
G. 
In case the owner, agent or person in control cannot be found within the stated time limit, or if such owner, agent or person in control shall refuse, neglect or fail to comply with the notice to repair, rehabilitate or to demolish and remove such buildings or structure or portion thereof, the Corporation Counsel shall be advised of all the facts in the case and shall undertake an appropriate action in the courts to compel compliance.
H. 
In case of emergency which, in the opinion of the Director of Code Enforcement, involves imminent danger to human life or health, he/she shall promptly cause such building, structure or portion thereof to be made safe or removed. For this purpose, he/she may at once enter such structures or land on which it stands or abutting land or structure with such assistance and at such costs as may be necessary. He/She may vacate adjacent structures and protect the public by appropriate barricades or such other means as be necessary and for this purpose may close a public or private way. For this purpose, a vacant building or the grounds around it that is so poorly maintained that, in the opinion of the Director of the Bureau of Code Enforcement, the property constitutes a blighting influence on the neighborhood shall also constitute such an emergency empowering the City to take responsive action under this article.
I. 
Costs incurred under Subsections G and H of this section shall be paid out of the municipal treasury on certificate of the Director of Code Enforcement. Such costs shall be charged to the owner of the premises, and the amount thereof shall be levied in the same manner as a tax against the property or may be collected pursuant to the provisions of § 78(b) of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York made effective May 15, 1980, or as hereafter may be amended.

§ 141-22 Fire limits established.

[Amended 3-4-1971; 11-7-1985]
A. 
The business section of downtown Troy hereinafter described shall be known as the "fire limits."
B. 
The area of these fire limits are bounded and described as follows:
Beginning at a point on the east bank of the Hudson River 100 feet north of the north line of Douw Street and running easterly and parallel with Douw Street to the east boundary of the right-of-way of the Boston and Maine Railroad Tracks; thence southerly along said east boundary of the railroad tracks to a point 100 feet north of the north boundary of Hoosick Street; thence easterly parallel to Hoosick Street to a point 100' east of the east boundary of Tenth Street; thence southerly and parallel to Tenth Street to a point 100 feet south of the south line of Federal Street; thence westerly parallel with Federal Street to a point 100' east of the east line of Eighth Street; thence southerly and parallel with Eighth Street to a point 100 feet north of the north line of Congress Street; thence easterly and parallel to Congress Street to a point opposite the center line of the junction of Congress and Ferry Streets; thence southerly through this center line intersection approximately 300 feet to a point 100 feet south of the south boundary of Ferry Street; thence westerly and parallel with Ferry Street to a point 100 feet east of the east line of Seventh Avenue; thence southerly and parallel to Seventh Avenue to a point 100 feet south of the south line of Canal Avenue; thence westerly and parallel with Canal Avenue to a point 100 feet east of the east boundary of Fifth Avenue; thence southerly and parallel to Fifth Avenue to a point where it intersects the extension of the south boundary of Monroe Street; thence westerly and parallel along the south boundary of Monroe Street to a point 100 feet east of the east boundary of Fourth Street; thence southerly to a point 100 feet south of the south boundary of Trenton Street; thence westerly parallel with Trenton Street to a point where it intersects a line 100 feet south of the south line of Jackson Street; thence westerly and parallel with Jackson Street to the east bank of the Hudson River; thence northerly along the east bank of the Hudson River to a point 383 feet south of the Troy-Green Island Bridge; thence easterly approximately 35 feet to the west boundary of Third Street; thence northerly along the west boundary of Third Street to the south edge of the Troy-Green Island Bridge; thence westerly to the east bank of the Hudson River; thence northerly along the east bank of the Hudson River to the point of beginning.

§ 141-23 Wood frame buildings prohibited.

A. 
The construction of wood frame buildings will not be allowed within the fire limits heretofore described.
B. 
A wood frame building is one where the outside walls are built of wood studding or other lumber construction, whether the same is covered by masonry, veneer, sheet metal or other type covering.
C. 
Any existing wood frame building which is damaged by fire, decay, explosion or otherwise to an extent of more than 40% of its value (exclusive of foundation) shall not be repaired or rebuilt as a frame building.
D. 
No wood or asphalt shingles are permitted in the fire limits either for roofing or siding.
E. 
Temporary one-story wood structures not exceeding 500 square feet may be erected within the fire limits in connection with construction projects at the discretion of the City Engineer.
F. 
All exterior walls of buildings in the fire limits, regardless of height, shall have a minimum thickness of twelve-inch masonry or have a four-hour fire rating of other materials.

§ 141-24 Temporary supports.

Every temporary support, whether in demolition work, new construction or remodeling shall have and be of sufficient strength and with adequate safety factor to safely carry the load for which it is intended and all work shall be in conformance with the terms of the Industrial Code Rule No. 23, as amended, effective November 1, 1959, of the Labor Law of the State of New York.

§ 141-25 Prevention of dust.

Every builder or contractor or other person engaged in the erection or tearing down or removal of buildings or structures where debris has to be removed must do the same without causing a nuisance in the neighborhood. Such debris and waste materials shall be dampened with water so as to prevent dust.

§ 141-26 Excavations.

A. 
Excavations for all buildings shall be only of sufficient size so that workmen have enough space for the proper installation of footings and foundation walls, etc. Such excavation shall not endanger the adjoining properties, streets or alleyways. Where such danger exists, then the Director of Code Enforcement may require the installation of sheet piling or other methods to protect adjacent properties.
B. 
Such excavation shall be left open no longer than necessary and therefore the prompt construction of the building or structure will be required and completed as soon as possible so that backfilling can be finished as soon as permissible.
C. 
Adequate barricades, red lanterns and other devices to protect the public shall be maintained throughout the work.
D. 
Use of explosives shall only be done with the permission of the Director of Code Enforcement. Adherence to the state law in connection with the use of explosives near public utilities will be required. Checks shall be made with the telephone company, electric power company and gas company before using such explosives.

§ 141-27 Underpinning.

In case of the erection of a new building of a greater depth than the adjacent building and where it is necessary to underpin the foundation of an adjoining building, the responsibility for the safety of the adjoining building or buildings and the cost of all such underpinning shall be borne by the party erecting the new building or wall. Such underpinning shall be made of masonry of a thickness at least the thickness of the wall which it is to support and designed to support the load for which it is intended.

§ 141-28 Demolition of buildings.

[Amended 6-1-2000 by Ord. No. 10; 12-1-2005 by Ord. No. 2[1]]
A. 
Prior to applying for a demolition permit, the party interested in having the demolition done shall make application to the City Planning Board for approval of such demolition and post-demolition plan. The Planning Board may approve such application or impose such modifications as the Board deems appropriate.
B. 
In the demolition of a structure, the person making application for a permit will obtain, prior to permit issuance, a letter of approval from the Rensselaer County Department of Health regarding extermination. The applicant will be issued a barricade permit. Then he/she will erect an approved system of barricades, have the water, sewer, electric, gas and telephone services disconnected by the appropriate agencies and plug the sewer lateral where it exists in the structure. All glass will be removed. Then an inspection will be made and. if the above has been completed in accordance with this Code, and the after-demolition plan, if required, has been approved pursuant to the procedure set forth in § 141-29 below, then a demolition permit will be issued. The contractor will obtain appropriate approval from the Department of Public Utilities for water use on site for dust control and have sufficient lengths of 1 1/2 or 2 1/2 hose for this purpose. The contractor will provide a flagman for traffic control when necessary and, should a street have to be closed, he/she will obtain permission from the City Engineer and notify the Chief of Police and the Fire Chief.
C. 
In all cases of demolition of buildings within the fire limits[2] where a building is in excess of 20 feet in height measured to its highest point, then a sidewalk bridge shall be erected in accordance with the terms of the Industrial Code Rule No. 23, as amended, November 1, 1959, of the Labor Law of the State of New York. These sidewalk bridges shall be roofed over with a solid deck and supported by members of adequate strength to support the load to which it is subjected and to protect the public.
[2]
Editor's Note: Defined in § 141-22.
D. 
In cases of the demolition of an existing building which has a common or party wall with either of the adjoining buildings, the owner of the building to be demolished shall be responsible for and bear all costs in relation to the safeguard of the adjacent wall.
E. 
Where beams, girders and joists are removed from party walls, these pockets shall be thoroughly cleaned out and filled with solid masonry. Necessary repairs shall be made to put the party wall in a safe condition. This work shall all be done by and at the expense of the property owner doing the demolition work, whether the wall is to be left exposed or a new building is to be erected.
F. 
Where such demolition work is to be made and no immediate new construction is intended at the site, then the adjacent wall, whether of the party type or otherwise, shall be left in an acceptable condition as far as appearance is concerned. In addition to the repair of all joists, pockets and similar openings, the owner of the demolished buildings will be required to move all old plaster, wallpaper and other decorative material in addition to any loose wood trim or other unrequired material, all subject to the approval of the Director of Code Enforcement. Such exposed walls shall be left with an acceptable appearance. In the case of the demolition of an existing building in which the removal of the building endangers the adjoining structure (and there is no party wall), it shall be the responsibility of the owner of the adjoining building to protect his/her property.
G. 
During the demolition work, debris must be systematically removed from the site and not allowed to pile up or cause any obstruction. Burning of debris on the site in the fire limits is prohibited. Burning of debris in other zones shall be in conformance with regulations of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Part 190 of the New York State Sanitary Code and § 301 of the New York State Conservation Law and with the approval of the Fire Chief.
H. 
When buildings to be demolished contain a cellar or basement, the contractor shall remove all debris and organic material from the cellar or basement and then breakup and/or perforate the cellar floor. The bearing or foundation wall shall be removed to a depth of 24 inches below the present grade or 24 inches below any future grade to be established. The material resulting from the cellar or foundation wall demolition may remain in the excavation, provided that material is crushed and compacted. Where there is no cellar or basement, the bearing or foundation wall shall be removed to a depth of 24 inches below the present grade or 24 inches below any future grade to be established.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance added a new Subsection A and redesignated former Subsections A through G as B through H, respectively.

§ 141-29 Post-demolition plans.

[Added 6-1-2000 by Ord. No. 10]
A. 
Demolishing structure(s) on a lot oftentimes substantially changes the character of the lot. In turn, the condition of the resultant lot could be such that it adversely affects the property of adjoining owners or the surrounding neighborhood. For example, the appearance of a vacant lot can be so unsightly that it significantly detracts from the appearance of other properties in the neighborhood or the removal of the principal building on the lot causes dust, erosion or drainage problems that didn't exist when the building stood on the lot. Additionally, vacant lots can easily become sites for illegal off-street parking and illegal dumping.
B. 
The intent of this section is to establish a procedure that will provide a measure of protection for the adjoining property owners and surrounding neighborhood without being either unduly burdensome or unfairly costly for the applicant. This procedure shall be followed in all cases where no site plan approval is required. The procedure outlined herein should also be followed when the City of Troy is the applicant for a demolition permit.
C. 
In addition to the requirements set forth in § 141-28 above, the applicant for a demolition permit, if not required to submit a site plan, shall submit a plan for the site as he/she expects it to appear after the structure(s) are demolished. The plan shall address such issues as controlling erosion and drainage from the lot, presenting a reasonable appearance for the lot, discouraging illegal dumping and parking on the lot, and the like. The Director of the Bureau of Code Enforcement shall determine the form of the plan in each instance. An acceptable plan may be a textual description, a rudimentary drawing or a professionally drawn site plan, as the circumstances may reasonably require. Every plan shall include a deadline date within which the demolition of the structure(s) and the after-demolition plan must be completed. The Director of Code Enforcement, for good cause shown, may extend the deadline date.
D. 
The proposed plan shall be filed with the Bureau of Code Enforcement. The Director of the Bureau of Code Enforcement or his/her designee shall review the site and the submitted plan to determine if the submitted plan identifies and mitigates any adverse effects the site, as it would exist after the demolition, would have on the adjoining property owners and surrounding neighborhood. In determining whether to require the applicant to modify the submitted plan, the Director of the Bureau of Code Enforcement or his/her designee must first take into account the cost to the applicant in relation to the value of the lot. The Director shall then weigh the expected benefit to the adjoining property owners and the neighborhood.
E. 
In the course of conducting his/her review, the Director of the Bureau of Code Enforcement or his/her designee shall give mail notice to the adjoining property owners and post notices on the site in the same manner as is required prior to the City Planning Commission's consideration of a proposed site plan. The mail notice is designed to give the adjoining property owners a fair opportunity to identify problems that they think will arise because the structure(s) will no longer exist on the lot. The notice required herein shall include a statement describing its purpose.
F. 
No demolition permit may be granted sooner than 15 days after the first posting and the mailing of the notices. Notices to the adjoining property owners should include a date by which the Bureau of Code Enforcement must receive the property owner's response to ensure that it will be considered.
G. 
If the applicant accepts the determination of the Director of the Bureau of Code Enforcement or his/her designee, then the applicant shall submit a final plan that shall be filed with the Bureau of Code Enforcement, and the Bureau will thereupon issue the permit. If the applicant does not accept the determination of the Director of the Bureau of Code Enforcement or his/her designee, then the applicant shall have the right to have his/her site plan reviewed by the City Planning Commission.
H. 
The request for Planning Commission review shall be filed and processed in the same manner as a site plan review application. However, no fee shall be charged for filing the appeal. The Planning Commission shall consider the information considered by and the determination made by the Director of Bureau of his/her designee, but it shall reach its own determination considering what facts it deems relevant, applying the same standard as applied in the initial review.
I. 
The Planning Commission's determination shall be the final determination of the City and may be reviewed in a proceeding brought pursuant to Article 78 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules.
J. 
Every person, firm or corporation who shall fail to follow a plan approved pursuant to this section shall be guilty of a violation.

§ 141-30 Erection of building walls of masonry.

In the erection of building walls of masonry, no such walls shall be carried up more than one story (or 15 feet) above another wall of the same building without being adequately braced to resist wind pressure. All such walls shall be given proper support and bracing to resist wind and weather.

§ 141-31 Certificate of compliance.

[Amended 10-3-1991]
A. 
Any owner of a residence as defined in Article II of Chapter 285, Zoning, of this Code, except for single-family detached residences, having been convicted within the previous two years of a violation of this Code arising out of his/her ownership or maintenance of any residence, shall obtain a certificate of compliance for each change of use as defined in Chapter 285, Zoning, and for each change in tenancy of ownership. No such owner shall permit a change of use or of tenancy or ownership without a certificate of compliance.
B. 
Such certificate of compliance shall be issued by the Bureau of Code Enforcement after inspection and shall certify that the residence and the proposed use thereof complies with the provisions of this Code and the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
C. 
All certificates of compliance shall be applied for with the Bureau of Code Enforcement, which shall charge an inspection fee of $75 for the first unit and $50 for each additional unit. Once the unit or units are in compliance a $50 fee will be charged for the certificate.
[Amended 11-3-2016 by Ord. No. 79]
D. 
The Bureau of Code Enforcement shall provide written notification of this section to every owner subject to the provisions by personal delivery or registered mail, return receipt requested. It shall maintain a record of such notification and of all certificates of compliance issued, and copies shall be furnished upon request to any person having a proprietary or tenancy interest in any residence affected.
E. 
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, every person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.
[Amended 10-2-2003 by L.L. No. 4-2003]

§ 141-32 Marquees and canopies.

A. 
Marquees or canopies may be erected over main entrances if they are properly suspended, braced and supported to the structure. Posts, columns or similar supports beyond the street property line will not be allowed. Roof drainage of such canopies shall not be discharged onto the sidewalk or allowed to drain from the edges. Such roof drainage shall be conducted by an inside leader directly to the sewer. The depth of overhang over a sidewalk shall be limited to one-half the width of the sidewalk but in no case shall it exceed 10 feet.
B. 
Construction of all marquees and canopies shall be of fireproof material and, when glass is used, not less than one-fourth-inch-thick wired glass will be allowed.
C. 
In no case shall the clear height under any marquee or canopy be measured less than 10 feet above the sidewalk.
D. 
The length of a marquee or canopy measured along the front of a building shall not exceed 1 1/2 times the width of the gross door opening or 10 feet.

§ 141-33 Storage of liquid fuels.

Storage of gasoline, fuel oil or other liquid fuels shall not be allowed under public sidewalks, streets or alleys. Tanks or other storage facilities shall be entirely within the property lines of the buildings they serve.

§ 141-34 Signs.

[Amended 4-2-1992]
A. 
The erection of signs on the front of buildings will be allowed if they are constructed of fireproof material, properly protected from the elements and firmly and permanently attached to the front of the building or structure. All signs, whether on the roof or the wall of the building shall be so constructed as to adequately resist wind pressure in accordance with the terms of the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
B. 
The overhang of any sign is limited to four feet over a public sidewalk or thoroughfare with a minimum clearance of at least 12 feet between the sidewalk level and the bottom of the sign. The designs of any sign or display board having an area on one face in excess of 50 square feet must be submitted to the Director of Code Enforcement or his/her designee for approval before construction will be permitted. Any sign planned for the City's historic districts must be reviewed by the Historic Review Committee and may be subject to review by the City's Planning Commission prior to approval.
[Amended 2-7-2013 by Ord. No. 9; 5-7-2015 by Ord. No. 52]
C. 
Note that there is an application and fee of $100 per sign.
[Amended 2-7-2013 by Ord. No. 9]
D. 
Subsections A, B and C shall not apply in the event that signs are constructed in the City of Troy incidental to the production of a commercial artistic or cinematographic enterprise that has obtained permission from the City to undertake said commercial artistic or cinematographic enterprise.
E. 
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Code to the contrary, no advertising sign, off-premises sign or billboard, as defined in § 285-93 of this Code, shall be newly constructed on or after the effective date of this subsection.
[Added 5-6-2004 by L.L. No. 3-2004]
F. 
Any sign, placard, banner, handbill, directional sign, or other notice or memorial/remembrance in any street right-of-way or on any other public property shall be allowed to stand for no more than 30 days after the event that the remembrance memorializes.
[Added 12-17-2015 by Ord. No. 113]
G. 
No such sign, placard, banner, handbill or other notice or memorial/remembrance shall be posted or erected on private property without the permission of the property owner.
[Added 12-17-2015 by Ord. No. 113]
H. 
Any handbill, placard, sign or memorial/remembrance or otherwise, affixed upon any public property posted beyond 30 days of the incident being memorialized shall be removed by the Police Department or the Department of Public Works. Notice of this removal shall be posted by the City at least five days prior to the memorial being removed, and this notice shall be posted near the memorial but not affixed to the memorial. Any sacraments removed will be temporarily transferred to a City of Troy Public Works storage site for an additional 30 days, where they may be retrieved by their owners prior to their permanent disposal.
[Added 12-17-2015 by Ord. No. 113]

§ 141-35 Awnings.

[Amended 4-2-1992]
The attachment of awnings and other folding sun protective devices will be allowed in the front of buildings to project into the public thoroughfare or sidewalk when in their open position, as long as the overhang is limited to eight feet and the clear distance from the sidewalk to the underside of any part of the awning or its frame is in excess of eight feet; except that this section shall not apply to the attachment of any awning, folding sun protective devices or any other property incidental to the production of a commercial artistic or cinematographic enterprise that has obtained permission from the City to undertake said commercial artistic or cinematographic enterprise.

§ 141-36 Sidewalk elevators and other hoisting apparatus.

Permits for the installation of sidewalk elevators and other hoisting apparatus must be obtained from the Director of Code Enforcement. The use of soft coal and other offensive fuel will be prohibited in connection with the operation of hoisting apparatus and other construction machinery.

§ 141-37 Siamese connections.

Where it is necessary to install a Siamese connection on the front of a building, where the wall is on the property line such Siamese connection shall be protected with a curved bumper bar to protect passersby.

§ 141-38 Standpipes.

The Chief of the Fire Department is hereby directed to see that arrangements concerning standpipes, water lines for fire protection sprinkler systems, etc., are installed in good order and in accordance with the requirements of this article.

§ 141-39 New sidewalks.

[Amended 12-1-2005 by Ord. No. 6]
Where new sidewalks have to be installed on a public street, they shall conform to this article and appurtenant regulations. They shall meet the existing grades of the sidewalks on adjacent properties and also the established curbline. The finished surface shall pitch toward the street, and curb boxes for gas and water shall be flush with the surface of the walk. Only slate and concrete sidewalks will be allowed in all areas of the City except the fire limits. Such sidewalks shall be of one course construction with a minimum thickness of 2 1/4 inches laid on approved crushed stone or gravel base four inches thick. All sidewalks shall conform to the requirements of the State Department of Public Works (New York state building codes) concerning both material and installation. Blacktop, asphalt or asphaltic concrete is prohibited for use on any sidewalk. The use of any material, other than concrete or slate, for sidewalks may only be approved and authorized for use by a variance issued from the City of Troy Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA).

§ 141-40 Driveways.

A. 
Where it is necessary to cut a curb for the installation of a driveway across the sidewalk, the cost of such cutting shall be borne by the property owner. This work shall be done in a neat manner by skilled workmen and as directed by the City Engineer. Damage to City-owned property shall be satisfactorily repaired by the property owner or contractor at their own expense.
B. 
Since it is undesirable to have driveways in the downtown business district, special application shall be submitted to the Planning Commission for any proposed driveways in the fire limits. This Commission has the right to reject such application if it considers it to be detrimental to the safety of the public, the movement of traffic and not in the best interests of the City.

§ 141-41 Water supply and sewage disposal.

A building permit shall not be issued unless public water supply and public sewers are available to the lot where the erection of a building is proposed. The Director of Code Enforcement shall contact the City Engineer and the County Health Department concerning the availability of these utilities, and the issuance of a permit shall be withheld until the Director of Code Enforcement is advised by higher authorities that satisfactory water supply and sewage disposal are available.

§ 141-42 Storage tanks for fuel oils.

A. 
Metal storage tanks for fuel oils will be allowed inside basements of buildings and structures with a maximum aggregate capacity of 900 gallons, provided capacity of an individual tank does not exceed 350 gallons and the tanks are valved so as to limit capacity connected to an oil burner at any one time to 550 gallons. Tanks shall be kept in good condition. They shall be underwriters-approved, with labels. The outside of all tanks shall be painted with a metal primer.
B. 
Fuel oil in excess of the above quantities shall be stored in underwriters-approved metal tanks and these tanks shall be enclosed in masonry walls at least eight inches in thickness, the top of the wall to be at least six inches above the top of the tank. The tank shall be capped with a four-inch concrete slab. In residential zones, fuel oil tanks outside the building shall be buried below the ground level with at least 18 inches of cover over the top of the tank. Tanks thus buried shall be first coated with a heavy coat of asphalt paint to prevent rusting and deterioration.
C. 
Volatile fuels and other inflammable liquids with a flash point of less than 110 shall not be stored within or under any building or structure. Where such volatile fuels are stored, tanks shall be at least 10 feet from adjacent property lines. All such tanks shall be encased in walls of 2,500 pound concrete, 12 inches thick on four sides as well as top and bottom slabs. Bottom slabs shall have a two-by-four keyway all around to receive the side walls. There shall be 12 inches of cover over the top of the slabs.
D. 
Where fuel oil filler pipes and vents protrude beyond the property line of a building into a public street, such protrusion shall be limited to four inches.

§ 141-43 Underground tanks for storage of gasoline at automotive service stations.

A. 
Definitions. As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meaning indicated:
AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE STATION
That portion of a property where gasoline used as motor fuel is stored and dispensed from fixed equipment into the fuel tanks of motor vehicles.
UNDERGROUND TANK
An underground tank for the storage of gasoline at an automotive service station.
B. 
Underground tanks for the purpose of storage of gasoline at automotive service stations shall be designed and constructed in accordance with the specifications of nationally recognized standards and in other respects shall conform with the provisions of this article. Tanks labeled "Underground Storage Tanks" by Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc., shall be considered as meeting this requirement.
C. 
Location. Underground tanks shall be so located with respect to existing building foundations and supports that the loads carried by the latter cannot be transmitted to the tank. The distance from any part of a tank to the nearest wall of any basement, pit, or cellar shall be not less than one foot and from any property line that may be built upon, not less than three feet.
D. 
Depth and cover. Excavation for underground storage tanks shall be made with due care to avoid underpinning the foundations of existing structures. Underground tanks shall be set on firm foundation and surrounded with soft earth or sand well tamped in place. Tanks shall be covered with a minimum of two feet of earth on top of which shall be placed a slab of reinforced concrete not less than four inches thick. When underground tanks are or are likely to be subjected to traffic, they shall be protected against damage from vehicles passing over them by at least three feet of earth cover, or 18 inches of well-tamped earth, plus six inches of reinforced concrete or eight inches of asphaltic concrete. When asphaltic concrete or reinforced concrete paving is used as part of the protection, it shall extend at least one foot horizontally beyond the outside of the tank in all directions.
E. 
Fill openings. The fill pipe opening of underground tanks shall be located outside of any building and shall be not less than five feet from any door or building opening. The fill pipe opening shall be enclosed and liquid tight when not in use.
F. 
Vents.
(1) 
Each underground tank shall be vented through piping adequate in size to prevent blow-back of vapor or liquids at the fill opening while tank is being filled. Vent pipes shall not be less than 1 1/2 inches nominal inside diameter.
(2) 
Vent pipes from underground tanks shall be so located that the discharge point is outside of buildings, higher than the fill pipe opening, and not less than 12 feet above the adjacent ground level. Vent pipes shall discharge only upward or horizontally (not downward) in order to disperse vapors. Vent pipes two inches or less in nominal inside diameter shall not be obstructed by devices that will reduce their capacity and thus cause excessive back pressure. Vent pipe outlets shall be so located that flammable vapors will not enter building openings or be trapped under eaves or other obstructions.
G. 
Abandonment or removal of underground tanks.
(1) 
Underground tanks taken out of service may be safeguarded or disposed of by any one of the three following means:
(a) 
Place in a temporarily-out-of-service condition. Tanks shall be rendered temporarily out of service only when it is planned that they will be returned in active service at the location or pending removal within 10 days.
(b) 
Abandoned in place, with proper safeguarding.
(c) 
Removed.
(2) 
In cases where tanks are either rendered temporarily out of service or permanently abandoned, records shall be kept of tank size and location, date of abandonment, and method used for placing the abandoned tank in a safe condition.
(3) 
Procedures for carrying out each of the above methods of disposing of underground tanks are described in the following subsections. No cutting torch or other flame or spark-producing equipment shall be used until the tank has been completely purged or otherwise rendered safe. In each case, the numbered steps given shall be carried out successively.
(a) 
Rendering tanks temporarily out of service.
[1] 
Cap the fill line, gauge opening and pump suction; secure against tampering.
[2] 
Leave the vent line open.
(b) 
Abandoning underground tanks in place.
[1] 
Remove all flammable liquid from the tank and from all connecting lines.
[2] 
Disconnect the suction, inlet gauge and vent lines.
[3] 
Fill the tank and any remaining stubs completely with a nonshrinking inert solid material and cap all tank inlets and outlets.
(c) 
Removal of underground tanks.
[1] 
Remove all flammable liquids from tank and from connecting lines.
[2] 
Disconnect the suction, inlet gauge and vent lines; remove sections of connecting lines which are not to be used further and cap or plug inlets, outlets and leaks, if any. After removal, the tanks may be gas freed on the premises if it can be done safely at that location or may be transported to an area not accessible to the public and the gas freeing completed at that location.
(d) 
Disposal of tanks.
[1] 
If a tank is to be disposed of as junk, it should be retested for flammable vapors and, if necessary, rendered gas free. After junking and before releasing to the junk dealer, a sufficient number of holes or openings should be made in it to render it unfillable for further use. (Standard Procedures for Cleaning or Safeguarding Small Tanks and Containers, NFPA No. 327, provides information of safe procedures for such operations.)
(e) 
Reuse of underground tanks.
[1] 
Unused tanks which are to be reused for flammable liquid services shall meet all the requirements of the Flammable Liquids Code, NFPA No. 30, for the installation of underground tanks.
H. 
Retroactivity. This article shall not apply to any automotive service stations or equipment, building or installation herewith, for the storage, handling or use of flammable liquids constructed or established prior to June 15, 1961, except when, in the opinion of the Director of Code Enforcement, such automotive service station or installation constitutes a definite and distinct hazard to the safety and general welfare of the public or adjoining property.

§ 141-44 Roofs.

Flat roofs or roofs that are pitched less than 10° to the horizontal shall be designed to resist a snow load of 45 pounds per square foot. Steeper roofs shall be designed in accordance with requirements of the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code under the item "Snow Loads."

§ 141-45 Depth of footings.

To give adequate protection against frost, the bottom of all footings of a building and structures, including garages, shall be down a minimum of three feet six inches below finished grade.

§ 141-46 Tapping of water mains.

A. 
All tapping of water mains in the City shall be done by the Bureau of Water. It shall be the responsibility of this Bureau to supply and maintain service from the main to the shutoff at the curb. Excavation, backfill and road replacement from the main to the curb box shall be done by the Water Bureau. The costs of this work shall be paid for by the owner or the plumbing contractor signing for the same. Curb box and curb shutoff shall be supplied and paid for by the owner or plumbing contractor.
B. 
Water service mains shall be installed a minimum of five feet below grade.

§ 141-47 Garbage grinders or disposal units permitted.

Garbage grinders or disposal units are permitted in the City.

§ 141-48 Sewer connections.

Where it is necessary to connect a sewer main in the street, the Department of Public Works shall be contacted. All work in reference to building service connection to the sewer main, including excavation, backfilling, making the connection and laying pipe to the curbline shall be done by the Sewer Bureau. The cost of this work, including the repaving of the street in this area, shall be chargeable to the owner or the plumber requesting this work. The City will use vitrified tile pipe for all house laterals. No house sewer lateral shall be less than six inches in diameter. In general, sewer lines shall have a minimum depth of five feet but, in certain circumstances, as little as three feet of cover will be allowed as long as the pipe has a pitch of at least 1%. Sewer lines from the building to the curblines shall be vitrified tile with asphaltic or plastic joints or asbestos cement pipe with tight couplings. Extra heavy cast iron is also acceptable with lead joints.

§ 141-49 Electrical work.

[Amended 9-5-1974]
A. 
Before any electrical work can be started in connection with building work or remodeling or any new wiring work, application must be made to any inspection agency approved by the City Council. The application form shall state the owner's name, the electrical contractor (if any) and a description of the work. When a copy of this form, duly stamped by any inspection agency approved by the City Council, is presented at the office of the Director of Code Enforcement, then an electrical permit will be issued. There is no charge for this permit. No electrical work shall be done in connection with any project until this electrical permit has been issued.
B. 
At the termination of the electrical work, an inspection shall be made by a representative of any inspection agency approved by the City Council. When the electrical work has been accepted, and a certificate has been received by the owner, then, and not until then, will a certificate of occupancy be issued by the Director of Code Enforcement.
C. 
Electrical work shall only be done by electricians who are licensed by permit to do electrical work in the City.

§ 141-50 Exemptions from article.

No provision of this article, except § 141-49, relating to electrical installations, shall be construed to prohibit or limit the right of any owner-occupant from repairing, installing, renovating or reconstructing any portion of his/her residence subject, however, to the condition that all such work shall be completed in conformity with the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and further upon the condition that such owner-occupant shall first obtain a building permit for such reconstructing, renovating, installing or repairing where the same is herein required.

§ 141-51 Penalties for offenses.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to build, repair, alter, move, demolish, use, or occupy any building or structure or portion thereof in violation of any provisions of this article or to fail in any manner to comply with a notice or directive of the Director of Code Enforcement.
B. 
Any person who shall fail to comply with the written order of the Director of Code Enforcement within the fixed time for compliance therewith, and any owner, builder, contractor, architect, tenant, subcontractor or any person assisting in the construction or use of any building who shall knowingly violate any of the applicable provisions of this article or any directives of the Director of Code Enforcement shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000 or one year in jail, or both.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
C. 
Except as provided otherwise by law, such a violation shall not be a crime and the penalty or punishment imposed therefor shall not be deemed for any purpose a penal or criminal penalty or punishment and shall not impose any disability upon or affect or impair the credibility as a witness, or otherwise, of any person convicted thereof.
D. 
This section shall not apply to the violation of the provisions of the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code punishable under § 382 of the Executive Law of the state nor to violations of the provisions of the Multiple Residence Law of the State of New York.

§ 141-52 Approved electric inspectors.

[Amended 12-7-1989; 3-14-1996; 2-6-1997]
For the purposes of § 141-49, the following agencies are approved to inspect electrical work in the City of Troy:
A. 
New York Board of Fire Underwriters;
B. 
New York Atlantic-Inland, Inc.;
C. 
Middle Department Inspection Agency, Inc.;
D. 
Commonwealth Electrical Inspection Services, Inc.;
E. 
Allied Electrical Inspection Agency; and
F. 
The Inspector, LLC.
[Added 9-2-1999 by Ord. No. 2-1999]