Building construction and demolition; fire prevention — See Ch. 103.
Unsafe buildings — See Ch. 113.
Certificates of occupancy — See Ch. 129.
City property — See Ch. 133.
Enforcement — See Ch. 137.
Garbage, rubbish and refuse — See Ch. 216.
Handbills and other publications — See Ch. 232.
Housing standards — See Ch. 242.
Lodging houses — See Ch. 269.
Multiple housing — See Ch. 281.
Parks and other open spaces — See Ch. 309.
Snow removal — See Ch. 404.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 413.
Trees, shrubs and plants — See Ch. 467.
ARTICLE IRemoval of Weeds, Brush and Debris (§ 341-1 — § 341-4)
ARTICLE IIGeneral Standards (§ 341-5 — § 341-14)
§ 341-1Duty of owner or occupant; penalties for offenses.
§ 341-2Enforcing official; notification of noncompliance.
§ 341-3Performance of work by City.
§ 341-4Reports and assessments.
It shall be the duty of every owner, occupant or person having charge of lands within the City to cut down or cause to be cut down all overgrown weeds, grass, brush and other vegetation and to remove or cause to be removed all garbage and tree limbs or other debris on said land each and every year between May 1 and June 1 and so often thereafter as necessary to maintain such land in a sanitary and orderly condition.
Failure to comply with this section shall constitute a violation of this section and shall be punishable by a Class F fine in the amount of $150. This shall be in addition to any other penalty provided in the Code of the City of Buffalo or in any other law.
It shall be the duty of the Commissioner of Street Sanitation to see that the provisions of this article are enforced. Where violations of this article exist, the Commissioner of Street Sanitation shall notify the owner of such land of the violation. Such notice shall give the owner five days to comply with this article. Such notice may be mailed by first class mail to the owner pursuant to Buffalo Charter Sec. 160. In the alternative, the notice may be personally served upon the owner by delivering the notice to the owner or by delivering the notice to a person of suitable age and discretion at the owner's residence or place of business.
In the event that the owner of such land receives notification to correct the violation and does not comply therewith, the Commissioner of Street Sanitation shall engage the services of a private contractor to perform the necessary work. The Commissioner of Street Sanitation shall charge and bill the owner for the cost of such services. In his discretion, the Commissioner may assign City personnel to do the work, in which case a charge as provided in Chapter 175, Fees, shall be made.
The Commissioner of Street Sanitation shall keep an account of all such work done and shall report to the Common Council all parcels of land upon which such work has been performed and the names of the owners of said parcels who have not paid for the cost of the work performed, and the Common Council shall thereupon order assessments upon such lands for the unpaid sums so reported.
§ 341-5Compliance required.
§ 341-6Maintenance of open areas.
§ 341-7Maintenance of buildings and structures.
§ 341-8Infestation and screening.
§ 341-9Garbage and refuse.
§ 341-11.1Exceptions for chicken hens.
§ 341-11.2Chicken license application contents.
§ 341-11.3Chicken coop setbacks and limitations.
§ 341-11.4Review, expiration and renewal of chicken license.
§ 341-12Unoccupied hazards.
§ 341-13Sealing of unoccupied buildings.
§ 341-14Posting name of owner and/or agent of properties not in compliance
with housing and property codes.
Residential, commercial, storage and industrial buildings, whether occupied or vacant, and accessory structures shall be maintained in conformity with the provisions of this article so as to assure the desirable character of the property and its effect on surrounding areas.
Surface and subsurface water shall be appropriately drained to protect buildings and structures and to prevent the development of stagnant ponds.
All drainage water from roof surfaces of residential buildings shall be properly drained into a sewer, or by any alternate method approved by the Commissioner. No buildings or structures shall discharge roof drainage on sidewalk, stairs or neighboring property.
Fences and other minor construction shall be maintained in good repair and in a safe condition.
Steps, walks, driveways, parking spaces and similar paved areas shall be maintained so as to afford safe passage under normal use and weather conditions.
Yards, courts and vacant lots shall be kept clean and free of physical hazards, rodent harborage and infestation.
Definitions. For the purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any unauthorized inscription, word, figure, painting or other
defacement that is written, marked, etched, scratched, sprayed, drawn,
painted or engraved on or otherwise affixed to any surface of public
or private property by a device capable of leaving a visible mark.[Added 4-17-2001, effective 4-30-2001]
- Includes accessory structures.
- SUBSTANTIAL DETERIORATION
- A status of either general dilapidation or specific instances of disrepair, including but not limited to substantial conditions of peeling, chipping, cracking, splintering, fraying, warping, crumbling, rusting, corroding, rotting or perforation.
General maintenance. Exterior and interior surfaces, including but not limited to foundations, roofs, floors, walls, ceilings, doors, windows and fixtures of buildings and structures, shall be maintained:
Supplied items. In leased premises where appliances or furnishings are supplied by the lessor, in whole or in part, the provisions of Subsection B above shall apply to such items.
Periodic treatment. In addition, exterior surfaces of buildings and structures that are not inherently resistant to substantial deterioration shall be periodically treated with a protective coating of paint or other suitable preservative when necessary.
Conformity. Materials used for repair of exterior surfaces of buildings and structures, including, but not limited to, foundations, roofs, walls, windows, doors, stairs, columns, and chimneys, shall be of like nature, grade and quality as the existing surface, provided that in the replacement of an entire exterior surface, materials of a different nature may be used.
Owner's duty. It shall be the responsibility of the owner to restore any surface marred by graffiti to a clean state of maintenance and repair within a reasonable time. If the graffiti is not addressed for an extended period of time, the Commissioner may order the removal of the graffiti.
Noncompliance. It shall be the duty of the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services or his or her designee to see that the provisions of this section are enforced. Where violations of this section exist, the Commissioner shall notify the owner of such land of the violation. Such notice shall give the owner 10 days to comply with this article. Such notice may be mailed by first class mail to the owner's last known address. In the alternative, the notice may be personally served upon the owner by delivering the notice to the owner or by delivering the notice to a person of suitable age and discretion at the owner's residence or place of business.
After service of the notice, if the property shows no sign of restoration, the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services shall engage the services of a private contractor to perform the necessary work. The Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services shall charge and bill the owner for the cost of such services. In his or her discretion, the Commissioner may assign City personnel to do the work, in which case a charge as provided in Chapter 175, Fees, shall be made.
Grounds, buildings and structures shall be maintained free of insects, vermin and rodent harborage and infestation. Methods used for exterminating insects, vermin and rodents shall conform to generally accepted practice.
Where the potential for rodent or vermin infestation exists, windows and other openings in basements, crawl spaces and cellars used for ventilation shall be appropriately screened with wire mesh or other suitable materials.
All exterior openings that are used for ventilation in all occupied rented dwelling units, up to and including the third story, shall have installed therein screening of No. 15 mesh or finer from June 1 to October 1 in each year. In any dwelling where mechanical ventilation is supplied, screens shall only be required in areas using natural ventilation. No screens shall be required in upper stories of any dwellings which are free, due to height, of mosquitoes, flies and other insects. All screens shall be maintained in good condition.
Adequate sanitary facilities and methods shall be used for the collection, storage, handling and disposal of garbage and refuse in accordance with the provisions of the Code of the City of Buffalo and also the following:
In any dwelling containing two or more living units, it shall be prohibited to store or accumulate garbage or rubbish of any type in any public hall or stairway.
Every dwelling shall be provided with adequate covered containers of nondestructible and noncombustible material, and every occupant shall dispose of all garbage or rubbish in a clean and sanitary manner.
Every dwelling shall be provided with adequate garbage disposal facilities or covered containers of noncombustible and nondestructible material for garbage.
No person shall place ashes, garbage, rubbish, filth, urine or fecal matter in any place in any dwelling other than the place provided therefor nor keep any such matter in his apartment or upon his premises or in his dwelling area such length of time as to create a nuisance.
It shall be the duty of every owner of all multiple dwellings to provide proper, suitable and convenient receptacles or containers as outlined above, and it shall be the duty of all tenants of one- and two-family dwellings to provide the above-required receptacles or containers where suitable and proper garbage disposal systems are not available.
Garbage chutes other than those directly connected to an incinerator shall be prohibited. All existing garbage chutes that are not directly connected to incinerators shall either be removed or all openings to the same permanently sealed.
It shall be lawful for any person to keep, permit or allow any domesticated chicken hens in any residential district under the following terms and conditions and after having received a license to keep said chicken hens from the City Clerk as prescribed herein under the following terms and conditions:
No more than five chicken hens shall be allowed for each single-family dwelling or multifamily dwelling.
No chicken hens shall be allowed in multifamily complexes, including duplexes, without the expressed written consent of the owner of the building and all tenants residing in the building other than the applicant.
No chicken hens shall be allowed without the express written consent of all residents residing on property adjacent to that of the applicant.
No roosters shall be allowed.
Chicken hens are to be restricted to the rear or backyard of any lot in a residential zoning district or the rear or backyard of a residential use in all other zoning districts.
Chicken hens shall be kept as pets and for personal use only; no person shall sell eggs or meat or engage in chicken breeding or fertilizer production for commercial purposes.
Persons wishing to keep chicken hens within the City of Buffalo must obtain a license from the Office of the City Clerk after payment of an annual fee of $25, and after inspection and approval of the coop and cage that chicken hens are to be kept in by an Animal Control Officer, pursuant to § 341-11.4 hereof.
The application for such license shall include the following information:
The name, phone number and property address of the applicant;
The location of the subject property;
The size of the subject property;
The number of chicken hens the applicant seeks to keep on the property;
A description of any coops or cages that will house the chicken hens, together with a description of any fencing, barriers or enclosures surrounding the curtilage of the property;
A scaled drawing showing the precise location of cages, coops, enclosures, fences and barriers in relation to property lines and to structures on adjacent properties;
A description of the manner by which feces and other waste materials will be removed from the property or will be treated so as not to result in unsanitary conditions or in the attraction of rodents and insects;
A signed statement from the property owner, if the applicant is not the property owner, granting the applicant permission to engage in the keeping of chicken hens as described in the license application;
A signed statement from any and all tenants of the building that they consent to the applicant's keeping of chicken hens on the premises;
A signed statement from any resident residing on a property adjacent to the applicant's property consenting to the applicant's keeping of chicken hens on the premises;
The addresses of all properties within a fifty-foot radius of the subject property.
The coops or cages housing such chicken hens must be situated at least 20 feet from any door or window of a dwelling, school, church or other occupied structure other than the applicant's dwelling.
The coops or cages housing such chicken hens may not be located in front or side street yard areas and shall not be located within five feet of a side yard lot line nor within 18 inches of a rear yard lot line, except where the rear lot line forms the side lot or front lot line of an abutting property, in which case the setback from such rear lot line shall be five feet. No chicken hens shall be kept in front yard or side street yard areas.
Enclosures/coops and cages.
The chicken hens shall be kept within both a coop and a fenced outdoor enclosure.
The chicken hens must be kept in the coop and fenced outdoor enclosure at all times and shall not be allowed to run free in the fenced outdoor enclosure unless a responsible individual, over 18 years of age, is directly monitoring said activity and is able to immediately respond should said chickens need to be returned to their individual cages.
The chicken coop shall be a covered, predator resistant, well ventilated structure providing a minimum of two square feet per chicken hen.
The outdoor enclosure shall be adequately fenced to contain the chicken hens and to protect the chicken hens from predators.
The coop must be kept in a clean, dry and sanitary condition at all times.
The outdoor enclosure shall be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent the accumulation of animal waste.
The total area of all coops or cages on a lot shall not be greater than 32 square feet for up to five chicken hens. Coops and cages, singly or in combination, shall not exceed seven feet in height.
The chicken feed or other food used to feed the chicken hens shall be stored in a rat-proof, fastened container stored within a structure, which shall only be unfastened for the retrieval of food and immediately re-fastened thereafter.
The chicken hens shall be fed only from an approved trough. Scattering of food on the ground is prohibited.
Sanitation and nuisances.
Chicken hens shall be kept only in conditions that limit odors and noise and the attraction of insects and rodents so as not to cause a nuisance to occupants of nearby buildings or properties and to comply with applicable provisions of both the New York State and Erie County sanitary codes.
Chicken hens shall not be kept in a manner that is injurious or unhealthful to any animals being kept on the property.
Slaughtering. There shall be no outdoor slaughtering of chicken hens.
Upon receipt of a chicken license application and the requisite license fee, the City Clerk shall immediately notify the Office of Animal Control of said application, including the number of chicken hens sought to be licensed and the location of the proposed chicken coop or cages.
The City Clerk shall immediately notify those property owners who own the properties within 50 feet of the applicant's property and provide them with an opportunity to provide written comments as to their support or opposition to the proposed chicken coop.
The Common Council of the City of Buffalo and the Office of the Mayor shall also immediately be notified of the chicken license application.
If the City Clerk receives no written comments evidencing opposition to or concern regarding the proposed chicken coop within 20 days of receipt of the application, he or she shall issue a license for up to five chicken hens to the applicant that shall be nontransferable and valid for one year from the date of a satisfactory inspection of an Animal Control Officer, which shall be subject to the renewal provisions set forth below.
If the City Clerk receives written comments evidencing opposition to the proposed chicken coop and cage within 20 days of receipt of the application, he or she shall file with the Common Council the complete chicken license application and all comments received regarding the application for its consideration thereof.
The Common Council shall determine, in its discretion, and taking into account the entire record before it, whether or not a chicken license shall be issued to the applicant. The Common Council shall be empowered to impose further conditions on the license that it deems to be necessary to preserve the public health, safety and/or welfare.
Upon the approval of a majority of the Common Council, the Mayor shall take action on the license application in accordance with City Charter § 3-19.
After completion of the inspection by an Animal Control Officer and confirmation that the coop conforms to the specifications provided in the application approved by the City Clerk, the licensee shall be allowed to keep the number of chicken hens specified in the license on the premises.
A license issued to an applicant shall include the licensee's proper name, the property address for which the license is valid, the number of chicken hens allowed at the property address, a unique license number, the date the license was issued, an expiration date exactly one year from the date of issuance and any conditions imposed by the Common Council.
Only one chicken license shall be issued per applicant and per property. No licensee shall be eligible to obtain a chicken license for multiple properties, nor shall more than one license be issued to one property address.
On the first day of May of every year, the City Clerk shall file with and notify the Common Council, the Office of the Mayor and the Department of Permits and Inspection Services of all chicken hen licenses issued in the prior year, including the names of the licensees, their property addresses, the number of chicken hens licensed at said property and the issuance and expiration dates of said licenses.
On or before June 1 of every year, the Common Council, the Office of the Mayor or any other interested party shall file complaints received regarding licensed chicken hens.
Any complaints received regarding any particular chicken license issued shall be considered at a meeting of the Committee on Legislation, at which the licensee and any other interested party shall have the right to be heard concerning said license.
The Common Council may, in its discretion, not renew any chicken license for any reason after the licensee and any other interested party has been given an opportunity to be heard.
If, at any time, the Common Council is made aware of any complaints regarding a properly licensed chicken coop, it may proceed to hear the complaints of any interested party and the defense of the licensee at a meeting of its Legislation Committee and may revoke the license issued for any reason pursuant to § 341-11.4A(7) hereof.
If a license is renewed pursuant to the provisions hereof, the applicant may continue to keep chicken hens pursuant to the terms and conditions set forth herein and imposed in the initial license, provided that he or she pays the annual fee of $25 on or before the expiration date of the license.
Buildings and structures shall be maintained in such condition so that they shall not become an unoccupied hazard as defined in this chapter.
Any buildings in the condition of an unoccupied hazard, as defined in this chapter, shall be repaired, improved and maintained so as to eliminate the conditions creating an unoccupied hazard, as defined in this chapter, or demolished, and all refuse, rubbish and debris caused by such demolition shall be removed from the premises except acceptable fill which may be used in excavations. The area formerly covered by any building that has been removed or demolished shall be graded to the level of the lot.
Whenever the Department shall find an unoccupied or partly unoccupied building which has openings, including but not limited to doors, doorways, windows and window openings, through which children, trespassers or other unauthorized persons may make entry to the building, then this section shall apply.
Notice; sealing requirements.
Notice. The Department shall serve a notice in writing upon the owner by one of the methods provided for in Chapter 103, Article II, directing the owner to complete the work of enclosing the building as shall be specified in said notice within four days of service of such notice. Said notice shall also inform the owner of the date and place of a hearing, at which time the owner or his duly designated representative may present evidence and testimony on the question of the necessity of the City causing said premises to be boarded. Said notice shall further inform the owner that upon failure by the owner either to complete the enclosing of the building or to appear at the hearing, the City of Buffalo shall have the right to enclose the building and that all costs and expenses incurred by the City will be recovered by action or by local assessment, or both.
Permissible materials. Such openings as the Department shall specify in said notice for enclosure shall be enclosed with one-half-inch or thicker weatherproof plywood or other weatherproof material which will secure the building in an equivalent manner. All such plywood or other material must be painted.
Screen/storm windows. The owner may, in the alternative, enclose such openings with screen/storm window combinations, provided that said storm windows are made with unbreakable glass or plastic.
Fastening. Such enclosures shall be fastened to the building so as to secure them from removal by unauthorized persons.
Appearance. Such enclosures shall be properly fitted and be of such material and surface that they are neither unsightly nor will materially detract from the general appearance of the building and neighborhood.
Hearing. If the owner or his duly designated representative appears at the time and place specified in the aforementioned notice to contest the necessity of the City causing the subject premises to be boarded, a hearing on such question shall be held before the Commissioner or his representative. As a result of such hearing, the original notice directing the enclosing of the subject premises may be affirmed, modified or vacated, but if the notice is modified, the time in which to complete enclosure shall not be extended for more than three days. The owner shall be informed of the result of the hearing.
Abatement by City upon owner's failure to comply. If the owner shall fail to comply with a notice to enclose within the period specified in such notice or shall fail to comply with such a notice as modified as a result of a hearing having been had, the City shall perform or cause such work to be performed and may recover the expense either by action or by local assessment on the premises made, levied and collected as other local assessments or both. In such event, unless the City shall perform such work, the Department shall secure at least three bids on such work of enclosure; and whenever the work to be performed under contract entails an expenditure of more than $7,000, there shall be formal advertising for bids.
Statement of intention. In no event shall such building or structure remain unoccupied and closed in for a period in excess of two months from the date of the notice specified in Subsection A hereof unless the owner has first filed a statement of intention to either demolish or rehabilitate said building or structure with the Department of Inspections and Licenses and has been granted written approval for an extension of time to rehabilitate or to demolish the building or structure by said Department. The owner must obtain all required permits within four months from the date of filing a statement of intention as aforementioned. Such statement of intention shall expire and shall be of no further force or effect upon the passing of four months from the date of its filing with the Department. For purposes of this section, determination of the Department, relative to the condition of a building being practicable for rehabilitation, shall be determined on the basis of cost for rehabilitating the building and shall not exceed 50% of the worth of the building exclusive of value of land and foundation.
Alternative measures to remain available. The provisions of this section shall not be deemed to impair or affect the availability of any other enforcement measures or remedies afforded by law.
§ 341-14 Posting name of owner and/or agent of properties not in compliance with housing and property codes.
When the Commissioner determines that the owner or agent of record for real property within the City has not complied with the standards of this chapter or other standards or laws for the construction, replacement or repair of buildings, the Commissioner shall immediately serve notice upon that owner or agent of record as provided below and may have erected a sign with the text stated below on the public right-of-way adjacent to the subject structure. The sign is in addition to any and all remedies available to the City in state law, City Charter or ordinance regarding property maintenance, building and fire codes and notwithstanding any fine or penalty imposed pursuant to provisions of this chapter or other law. The owner or agent of record determined to be in violation shall be personally liable for the cost of purchasing, erecting and dismantling the sign, as well as the costs of any repair, demolition or other related work performed by the City of Buffalo where it is necessary for the City to cause said work to be done.
Such notice shall contain a description of the premises; a statement of the particulars of the code violations; a statement that, if such owner or agent of record so served shall fail to commence code compliance within 10 days from service of said notice, the City of Buffalo shall have the right to post a sign as provided for in this section on the right-of-way immediately adjacent to that owner's property; a statement describing the text of sign as provided in Subsection G below; a statement that the sign once erected will be dismantled upon satisfactory compliance with the code by the owner or agent, the place and return date for a hearing on the violations; and a statement that the costs of enforcement, including, but not limited to, the costs of purchasing, erecting and dismantling the sign if erected, will be the personal liability of the owner or agent.
The notice aforementioned shall also contain the time and place at which a hearing will be granted before the Commissioner to the owner or agent of record described in the notice, at which time and place the owner or agent shall be afforded the opportunity to present testimony and evidence regarding the conditions of the property, with reference to those particulars contained in the aforementioned notice.
The aforementioned notice by the Commissioner shall be served in either of the following manners:
Personally upon the owner or agent of record; or
By registered mail, in a securely fastened, postpaid wrapper, addressed to the owner, at that owner's last known place of address as shown by the records of the Department of Assessment and Taxation, the Director of the Treasury or the Clerk of the County of Erie and by posting a copy of the notice on the premises involved.
After service of the aforementioned notice, a subsequent inspection shall be performed. If, after the third subsequent inspection is performed, the owner has not performed the required repairs, the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services then has the option to have erected a sign described in this section.
The time of said hearing shall be specified on a date no sooner than five days after service of the notice and no later than the 10th day after service thereof.
Further determination. If the owner or agent submits evidence at such hearing, the Commissioner shall thereafter make a further determination, which shall:
The Commissioner shall promptly provide notice of the further determination to the owner or agent of record.
The sign mentioned in Subsection A above shall be at least 18 inches in height by 24 inches in width, mounted on two standards of sufficient integrity to withstand normal wind loads. The sign shall be mounted on the standards at a height of no more than 42 inches from existing grade so as not to hamper the line of sight for pedestrians and motor vehicles. This sign shall have a white background with black lettering stating the following: "This property is contributing to the spread of slum and blight in the City of Buffalo.
|"This property is owned by _________ (name of owner or agent), who resides at _________ (address of record), in the City/Town/Village of _________, State of _______. If further information is needed, the owner of this structure may be contacted at ________ (owner's telephone number).|
|"This sign has been erected by the City of Buffalo as a public service in the war against slums and blight."|
The sign shall remain erected as long as the Commissioner deems appropriate. The Commissioner may have the sign dismantled once the Commissioner is satisfied that the violation leading to posting of the sign has been abated and that the owner or agent of record complies with relevant code provisions.
The owner or agent of record shall file with the Department of Assessment and Taxation a written statement showing his or her current name, address, and telephone number. The address given shall not be a post office box. Failure to provide such information shall subject the owner or agent of record to a fine as provided in § 137-7.
Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following terms or words shall have the meaning and effect as follows:
- The Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services or designee.
- OWNER OR AGENT OF RECORD
- Any owner of real property or premises within the City as indicated within the records of the Department of Assessment and Taxation obtained pursuant to City Charter Sections 28-4 and 28-5 or from other sources, the Director of the Treasury, other City records or the Clerk of the County of Erie or any other person who has agreed to be the owner's agent.