City of Geneva, NY
Ontario County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Geneva as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 4-1-1992 by Ord. No. 92-6]

§ 236-1 Legislative findings.

The City Council finds that public nuisances exist in the City of Geneva in the operation of certain establishments and the use of property in flagrant violation of the penal laws relating to controlled substances, dangerous drugs, all of which substantially and seriously interfere with the interest of the public in the quality of life and total community environment, commerce in the city, property values and the public health, safety and welfare. The City Council further finds that the continued occurrence of such activities and violations is detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the City of Geneva and of the business thereof and the visitors thereto. It is the purpose of this chapter to authorize and empower the Chief of Police to impose sanctions and penalties for such public nuisances, and such powers may be exercised either in conjunction with, or apart from, the powers contained in other laws without prejudice to the use of procedures and remedies available under such other laws. The Council further finds that the sanctions and penalties imposed by the Chief pursuant to this law constitute an additional and appropriate method of law enforcement in response to the proliferation of the above described public nuisances. The sanctions and penalties are reasonable and necessary in order to protect the health and safety of the people of the City and to promote the general welfare.

§ 236-2 Public nuisance defined.

For purposes of this section, a public nuisance is declared to exist where:
A. 
An arrest for a violation of any provision of Article 220 and 221 of the New York State Penal Law has been made within 60 days prior to the issuance of notice pursuant to this section, where said arrest has been predicated on events, circumstances or activities occurring on the premises;
B. 
A violation of Article 220 or 221 which has resulted in a criminal conviction to Article 220 or 221 within the twenty-four-month period of time prior to the arrest required in Subsection A above where said conviction has been predicated on events, circumstances or activities occurring on the premises;
C. 
Discovery by any law enforcement agency, or duly authorized agent thereof, of a quantity and quality of a drug or substance on the premises, the amount of which would subject an individual, if prosecuted, to a conviction of Article 220 or 221 of the Penal Law, which discovery has not lead to an arrest or conviction within the twenty-four-month period of time prior to the arrest required in Subsection A above;
[Amended 6-6-2012 by Ord. No. 6-2012]
D. 
Repetitive violations of Geneva Municipal Code, Chapter 236, Article II, Nuisance Party Ordinance, within a twelve-month period of time, following an initial notice of violation; and
[Added 6-6-2012 by Ord. No. 6-2012]
E. 
Repetitive violations of the New York State Property Maintenance codes within a twelve-month period, following an initial notice of violation.
[Added 6-6-2012 by Ord. No. 6-2012]

§ 236-3 Other definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicates:
CHIEF
The Chief of Police of the City of Geneva or his designee.
CONVICTION
Defined and applied in accordance with the provisions of § 1.20 of the Criminal Procedure Law.
COUNCIL
The City Council of the City Geneva.
MORTGAGEE
The person who is listed as the mortgagee on any unsatisfied or otherwise open mortgage recorded in the Ontario County Clerk's office.
OWNER
The person in whose name the real estate affected by the order is recorded in as the owner in the Office of the Ontario County Clerk.
PREMISES
The building, place, or property whereon the public nuisance is being conducted or exists.

§ 236-4 Remedies to abate nuisance.

In addition to the enforcement procedures established elsewhere, the Chief, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, shall be authorized:
A. 
To order the discontinuance of such activity at the premises where such public nuisance exists; and/or
B. 
To order the closing of the premises to the extent necessary to abate the nuisance.

§ 236-5 Service of notice.

A. 
Prior to the issuance of orders by the Chief, pursuant to this section, the Chief shall give notice and opportunity for a hearing to the owner, lessor, lessee, agent and all the persons in possession or having charge of the premises wherein the public nuisance is being conducted, maintained or permitted. Such notice and opportunity to be heard shall be given to a mortgagee of the premises. Such notice shall be served upon an owner pursuant to Section 735 of the Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law, and upon a mortgagee by means of certified mail, return receipt requested, sent to the mortgagee's last known address, provided that any service other than delivery to the person to be served shall be complete immediately upon delivery, mailing or posting without the necessity of filing proof of service with the clerk of any court before the hearing.
B. 
Such notice shall:
(1) 
Specify the activity creating the nuisance.
(2) 
Provide 30 days for elimination of the nuisance.
(3) 
Inform the person to whom it is directed of his/her right to apply within 10 days for a hearing, before the Chief.
(4) 
Inform the owner/landlord that upon the expiration of 30 days after service with no hearing, or upon noncompliance with any written agreement reached at the hearing before the Chief, the Chief shall act to obtain compliance as provided by this chapter.
(5) 
Inform the owner/landlord of his/her obligation to post a copy of the notice within five days, in a conspicuous place so that all premises occupants entering the premises shall have notice that the public nuisance is being conducted, maintained or permitted on the premises and that upon 30 days after service of the notice, the Chief shall act to obtain compliance as provided, including, but not limited to, the closing of the premises.

§ 236-6 Lack of knowledge not a defense.

The lack of knowledge of, acquiescence or participation in or responsibility for a public nuisance on the part of the owners, lessors, lessees, mortgagees and all those persons in possession or having charge of as agent or otherwise, or having any interest in the premises or personal property, used in conducting or maintaining the public nuisance, shall not be a defense by such owners, lessors and lessees, mortgagees and such other persons.

§ 236-7 Issuance of orders.

The Chief shall issue the orders provided for in § 236-4 of this chapter by positing said orders on premises wherein the public nuisance is occurring in violation of law and mailing a copy of said orders within one business day of the posting of said order on the premises.

§ 236-8 Enforcement of orders.

A. 
Five business days after the issuance of an order pursuant to § 236-4 and upon the directive of the Chief, officers of the Geneva Police Department are authorized to act upon and enforce such orders.
B. 
Where the Chief closes a premises pursuant to this section, such closing shall be for a period as the Chief may direct, but in no event shall the closing be for a period of more than one year from such issuance of the order pursuant to this section. If the owner, lessor, lessee shall file a bond in any amount determined by the Chief, but which may not exceed the value of the premises ordered to be closed and submit proof satisfactory to the Chief that the nuisance has been abated and will not be created, maintained or permitted to such period of time as the premises has been directed to be closed by the order of the Chief, then the Chief may vacate the provisions of the order that direct the closing of the premises.

§ 236-9 Closing not possession.

A closing directed by the Chief pursuant to this chapter shall not constitute an act of possession, ownership or control by the city of the closed premises.

§ 236-10 Disobedience of orders; penalty.

A. 
It shall be a misdemeanor for any person to use or occupy or to permit any other person to use or occupy any premise, or portion thereof, ordered closed by the Chief.
B. 
Mutilation or removal of a posted order of the Chief shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $250, or by imprisonment not exceeding 15 days, or both, provided that such order contains therein a notice of such penalty.
C. 
Intentional disobedience or resistance to any provision of the orders issued by the Chief pursuant to this section, in addition to any other punishment prescribed by law, shall be punishable by a fine or not more than $500, or by imprisonment not to exceed six months, or both.

§ 236-11 Promulgation of regulations.

The Chief may promulgate rules and regulations to carry out and give full effect to the provision of this chapter.

§ 236-12 Administrative liability.

No officers, agent or employee of the City of Geneva, New York, shall be personally liable for any damage resulting from any official determination, order or action required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this chapter.
[Adopted 9-3-2008 by Ord. No. 5-2008]

§ 236-13 Definitions.

For the purposes of this article, the following terms are defined as follows:
NUISANCE PARTY
A social gathering which is conducted on premises within the City of Geneva and which, by reason of the conduct of the persons in attendance, results in any one or more of the following conditions or events occurring at the site of the social gathering or on neighboring public or private property:
A. 
Disorderly conduct;
B. 
Unlawful possession of an open container;
C. 
Outdoor urination or defecation in a public place;
D. 
Unlawful sale, furnishing, dispensing or consumption of an alcoholic beverage;
E. 
Sale or furnishing of an alcoholic beverage to an underage person;
F. 
Possession or consumption of an alcoholic beverage by an underage person;
G. 
Unlawful possession, sale or use of a controlled substance;
H. 
Unlawful deposit of litter or refuse;
I. 
The damage or destruction of property without the consent of the property owner;
J. 
Unlawful pedestrian or vehicular traffic;
K. 
Standing or parking of vehicles that obstructs the free flow of traffic on the public streets and sidewalks or that impedes the ability to render emergency services;
L. 
Unlawful loud noise.
RESPONSIBLE PERSON
Any person who is an owner, occupant, tenant, or otherwise has rightful possession or possessory control, individually or jointly with others of any premises, who either sponsors, conducts, hosts, invites or permits a social gathering on said premises.

§ 236-14 Nuisance parties prohibited.

No responsible person shall sponsor, conduct, host, invite or permit a nuisance party.

§ 236-15 Notice.

The owner of any residence determined to be conducting a nuisance party shall be notified in writing by the City of Geneva Police Department and requested to take such appropriate steps to prevent any recurrence.

§ 236-16 Authority to order party ceased.

Any Police Officer or Peace Officer who observes a nuisance party occurring may order that the nuisance party be ceased and order all nonresidents on the premises where the nuisance party has occurred to leave the premises immediately.

§ 236-17 Remaining on premises prohibited.

No person shall remain on the premises where a nuisance party has been ordered to be ceased by an officer of the City of Geneva Police Department unless the person resides at the premises where the nuisance party has occurred.

§ 236-18 Penalties for offenses.

Any violation of the provisions of this article shall constitute an offense punishable by a fine not to exceed $500 in amount, or imprisonment for 15 days or both such fine or imprisonment together with a civil penalty to be recovered by the City of Geneva in a civil action or proceeding to recover cost of law enforcement, fire or other emergency response to a loud or unruly gathering. All responsible parties shall be jointly and severally liable for such costs.

§ 236-19 Review.

City Council shall undertake a review of this article no later than one year following adoption. At that time, the Chief of Police shall provide statistics relative to the number of complaints as they pertain to nuisance parties, as well as the number of citations issued under this article.

§ 236-20 Severability.

In the event that any section, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of this article is held invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, the invalid or unconstitutional portions of the article shall be deemed severable from the article and shall in no way affect the validity of the rest of the article.