City of Cortland, NY
Cortland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Cortland as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 4-2-2002 by L.L. No. 1-2002]

§ 1-1 Legislative intent.

In accordance with the Municipal Home Rule Law, the Charter, the 1969 Code of Ordinances, and the local laws, ordinances and certain resolutions of the City of Cortland, as codified by General Code Publishers Corp., and consisting of the Charter and Chapters 1 through 300, together with an Appendix, shall be known collectively as the "Code of the City of Cortland," hereafter termed the "Code." Wherever reference is made in any of the local laws, ordinances and resolutions contained in the "Code of the City of Cortland" to any other local law, ordinance or resolution appearing in said Code, such reference shall be changed to the appropriate chapter title, chapter number, article number or section number where such legislation appears in the Code, as if such local law, ordinance or resolution had been formally amended to so read.

§ 1-2 Continuation of existing provisions.

The provisions of the Charter and the Code, insofar as they are substantively the same as those of the Charter, the 1969 Code of Ordinances and the local laws, ordinances and resolutions in force immediately prior to the enactment of the Code by this local law, are intended as a continuation of such local laws, ordinances and resolutions and not as new enactments, and the effectiveness of such provisions shall date from the date of adoption of the prior local law, ordinance or resolution. All such provisions are hereby continued in full force and effect and are hereby reaffirmed as to their adoption by the Common Council of the City of Cortland, and it is the intention of said Common Council that each such provision contained within the Code is hereby reaffirmed as it appears in said Code. Only such provisions of the 1969 Code of Ordinances and former local laws and ordinances as are omitted from this Code shall be deemed repealed or abrogated by the provisions of § 1-3 below.

§ 1-3 Repeal of enactments not included in Code.

All provisions of the 1969 Code of Ordinances and of local laws and ordinances of a general and permanent nature of the City of Cortland in force on the date of the adoption of this local law and not contained in such Charter or Code or recognized and continued in force by reference therein are hereby repealed from and after the effective date of this local law.

§ 1-4 Enactments saved from repeal; matters not affected.

The repeal of local laws and ordinances provided for in § 1-3 of this local law shall not affect the following classes of local laws, ordinances, rights and obligations, which are hereby expressly saved from repeal:
A. 
Any right or liability established, accrued or incurred under any legislative provision of the City of Cortland prior to the effective date of this local law or any action or proceeding brought for the enforcement of such right or liability.
B. 
Any offense or act committed or done before the effective date of this local law in violation of any legislative provision of the City of Cortland or any penalty, punishment or forfeiture which may result therefrom.
C. 
Any prosecution, indictment, action, suit or other proceeding pending or any judgment rendered prior to the effective date of this local law brought pursuant to any legislative provision of the City of Cortland.
D. 
Any agreement entered into or any franchise, license, right, easement or privilege heretofore granted or conferred by the City of Cortland.
E. 
Any local law or ordinance of the City of Cortland providing for the laying out, opening, altering, widening, relocating, straightening, establishing grade, changing name, improvement, acceptance or vacation of any right-of-way, easement, street, road, highway, park or other public place within the City of Cortland or any portion thereof.
F. 
Any local law or ordinance of the City of Cortland appropriating money or transferring funds, promising or guaranteeing the payment of money or authorizing the issuance and delivery of any bond of the City of Cortland or other instruments or evidence of the City's indebtedness.
G. 
Local laws or ordinances authorizing the purchase, sale, lease or transfer of property or any lawful contract, agreement or obligation.
H. 
The levy or imposition of special assessments or charges.
I. 
The annexation or dedication of property.
J. 
Any local law or ordinance relating to salaries and compensation.
K. 
Any local law or ordinance amending the Zoning Map.
L. 
Any local law or ordinance relating to or establishing a pension plan or pension fund for City employees.
M. 
Any local law or ordinance or portion of a local law or ordinance establishing a specific fee amount for any license, permit or service obtained from the City.
N. 
Any local law or ordinance adopted subsequent to December 5, 2001.

§ 1-5 Severability.

If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section, article, chapter or part of this local law or of any local law, ordinance or resolution included in this Code or the Charter now or through supplementation shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section, article, chapter or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered.

§ 1-6 Copy of Code on file.

A copy of the Code, in loose-leaf form, has been filed in the office of the City Clerk of the City of Cortland and shall remain there for use and examination by the public until final action is taken on this local law; and, if this local law shall be adopted, such copy shall be certified to by the City Clerk of the City of Cortland by impressing thereon the Seal of the City of Cortland, and such certified copy shall remain on file in the office of said City Clerk to be made available to persons desiring to examine the same during all times while the said Code is in effect. The enactment and publication of this local law, coupled with the availability of a copy of the Code for inspection by the public, shall be deemed, held and considered to be due and legal publication of all provisions of the Code for all purposes.

§ 1-7 Amendments to Code.

Any and all additions, deletions, amendments or supplements to any of the local laws, ordinances and resolutions known collectively as the "Code of the City of Cortland" or any new local laws, ordinances or resolutions, when enacted or adopted in such form as to indicate the intention of the Common Council to be a part thereof, shall be deemed to be incorporated into such Code so that reference to the Code shall be understood and intended to include such additions, deletions, amendments or supplements. Whenever such additions, deletions, amendments or supplements to the Code shall be enacted or adopted, they shall thereafter be printed and, as provided hereunder, inserted in the loose-leaf book containing said Code as amendments and supplements thereto. Nothing contained in this local law shall affect the status of any local law, ordinance or resolution contained herein, and such local laws, ordinances or resolutions may be amended, deleted or changed from time to time as the Common Council deems desirable.

§ 1-8 Code book to be kept up-to-date.

It shall be the duty of the City Clerk to keep up-to-date the certified copy of the book containing the Code of the City of Cortland required to be filed in the office of the City Clerk for use by the public. All changes in said Code and all local laws, ordinances and resolutions adopted by the Common Council subsequent to the enactment of this local law in such form as to indicate the intention of said Common Council to be a part of said Code shall, when finally enacted or adopted, be included therein by temporary attachment of copies of such changes, local laws, ordinances or resolutions until such changes, local laws, ordinances or resolutions are printed as supplements to said Code book, at which time such supplements shall be inserted therein.

§ 1-9 Sale of Code book; supplementation.

Copies of the Code, or any chapter or portion of it, may be purchased from the City Clerk, or an authorized agent of the Clerk, upon the payment of a fee to be set by resolution of the Common Council. The Clerk may also arrange for procedures for the periodic supplementation of the Code.

§ 1-10 Penalties for tampering with Code.

Any person who, without authorization from the City Clerk, changes or amends, by additions or deletions, any part or portion of the Code of the City of Cortland or who alters or tampers with such Code in any manner whatsoever which will cause the legislation of the City of Cortland to be misrepresented thereby or who violates any other provision of this local law shall be guilty of an offense and shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine of not more than $250 or imprisonment for a term of not more than 15 days, or both.

§ 1-11 Changes in previously adopted legislation; new provisions.

A. 
In compiling and preparing the Charter, the 1969 Code of Ordinances and the local laws, ordinances and resolutions for publication as the Code of the City of Cortland, no changes in the meaning or intent of such local laws, ordinances and resolutions have been made, except as provided for in Subsection B hereof. In addition, certain grammatical changes and other minor nonsubstantive changes were made in one or more of said pieces of legislation. It is the intention of the Common Council that all such changes be adopted as part of the Code as if the Charter, the 1969 Code of Ordinances and the local laws, ordinances and resolutions had been previously formally amended to read as such.
B. 
In addition, the amendments and/or additions to local laws included in the Code as set forth in Schedule A attached hereto and made a part hereof are made herewith, to become effective upon the effective date of this local law. (Chapter and section number references are to the local laws as they have been renumbered and appear in the Code.)[1] . Amendments and additions made during the course of codification to ordinances and resolutions included in the Code shall be adopted by the Common Council in like legislative form.[2]
[1]
Editor's Note: In accordance with § 1-11B, the following Code chapters were amended by this local law: the Charter; and Chs. 5, 100, 138, 241 and 289. The particular sections amended are indicated throughout the Code by a footnote referring to Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article I. During routine supplementation, the footnotes indicating amendments, additions or deletions will be replaced with the following history: "Amended (added, deleted) 4-2-2002 by L.L. No. 1-2002." Schedule A, which contains a complete description of all changes, is on file in the City offices.
[2]
Editor's Note: The following Code chapters were amended by resolution during the course of codification: Ch. 1, Art. II; and Chs. 11, 74, 81, 87, 95, 104, 113, 127, 208, 220, 226, 250 and 300. The particular sections amended are indicated throughout the Code by a footnote referring to Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article I. During routine supplementation, the footnotes indicating amendments, additions or deletions will be replaced with the following history: "Amended (added, deleted) 4-2-2002." Said resolution, which contains a complete description of all changes, is on file in the City offices.
C. 
Throughout the Charter and the Code, references to "Director of Finance and Administration" are revised to read "Director of Administration and Finance"; and references to "Department of Finance and Administration" are revised to read "Department of Administration and Finance."

§ 1-12 Incorporation of provisions into Code.

The provisions of this local law are hereby made Article I of Chapter 1 of the Code of the City of Cortland, such local law to be entitled "General Provisions, Article I, Adoption of Code," and the sections of this local law shall be numbered §§ 1-1 to 1-13, inclusive.

§ 1-13 When effective.

This local law shall take effect immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State of the State of New York.
[Adopted 8-5-1969 as Ch. 1 of the 1969 Code of Ordinances[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: The following sections of Ch. 1 of the 1969 Code of Ordinances were deleted 4-2-2002 as superseded by the 2002 Code Adoption Local Law (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I): Sec. 1-1, Designation and citation of Code; Sec. 1-3, Purpose and intent of provisions; Sec. 1-4, Effective date of Code; Sec. 1-5, Effect of repeal of ordinances; Sec. 1-6, Repeal of prior ordinances; Sec. 1-7, Preservation of prior ordinances; Sec. 1-8, Preservation of existing offices; Sec. 1-9, Preservation of existing licenses, permits, certificates, notices and approvals; Sec. 1-11, Severability of provisions; Sec. 1-13, Incorporation of additions, amendments, revisions; and Sec. 1-19, Altering Code.

§ 1-14 Rules of construction; definitions.

In the construction of this Code, and of all ordinances, the following rules shall be observed, unless such construction would be inconsistent with the manifest intent of the Common Council:
ALDERMAN
Any person elected to that office in the City.
CITY; CORPORATION
Whenever the words "the City", "this City", "the corporation" or "this corporation" are used they shall be construed as if the words "of Cortland, New York" followed them.
CODES APPEAL BOARD
Until a separate codes appeal board is established by the Common Council, said term shall mean and refer to the Common Council sitting as such Board.
CODE
The word "Code" shall mean and refer to the Code of Ordinances, City of Cortland, New York.
COMMON COUNCIL
Whenever the words "Common Council" are used, it shall be construed to mean the Common Council of the City of Cortland.
COMPUTATION OF TIME
Whenever a notice is required to be given or an act to be done, a certain length of time before any proceeding shall be had, the day on which such notice is given, or such act is done, shall be counted in computing the time, but the day on which such proceeding is to be had shall not be counted.
CORPORATE LIMITS; CORPORATION LIMITS
Whenever the words "corporate limits", "corporation limits" or "City limits" are used they shall mean the legal boundary of the City of Cortland.
COUNTY
The words "the county" or "this county" shall mean the County of Cortland in the State of New York.
DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY
Whenever a provision appears requiring the head of a department of the City to do some act or make certain inspections it is to be construed to authorize the head of the department to designate, delegate and authorize subordinates to perform the required act or make the required inspection unless the terms of the provision or section designate otherwise.
GENDER
A word importing the masculine gender only shall extend and be applied to females and to firms, partnerships and corporations as well as to males.
INTERPRETATION
In the interpretation and application of any provision of this Code, it shall be held to be the minimum requirements adopted for the promotion of the public health, safety, comfort, convenience and general welfare. Where any provision of the Code imposes greater restrictions upon the subject matter than the general provision imposed by the Code, the provision imposing the greater restriction or regulation shall be deemed to be controlling.
JOINT AUTHORITY
All words giving a joint authority to three or more persons or officers shall be construed as giving such authority to a majority of such persons or officers.
KEEPER AND PROPRIETOR
The words "keeper" and "proprietor" shall mean and include persons, firms, associations, corporations, clubs and partnerships, whether acting by themselves or a servant, agent or employee.
MAYOR
Whenever the word "Mayor" is used it shall mean the Mayor of the City of Cortland.
MONTH
The word "month" shall mean a calendar month.
NAME OF OFFICER
Whenever the name of an officer is given it shall be construed as though the words "of the City of Cortland" were added.
NONTECHNICAL AND TECHNICAL WORDS
Words and phrases shall be construed according to the common and approved usage of the language; but technical words and phrases and such others as may have acquired a peculiar and appropriate meaning in law shall be construed and understood according to such meaning.
NUISANCE
A "nuisance" shall mean and include any act, acts or omissions, dangerous to health or safety, or tending to endanger public comfort or repose.
NUMBER
A word importing the singular number only may extend and be applied to several persons and things as well as to one person and thing.
OATH
The word "oath" shall be construed to include an affirmation in all cases in which, by law, an affirmation may be substituted for an oath, and in such cases the words "swear" and "sworn" shall be equivalent to the words "affirm" and "affirmed."
OR; AND
"OR" may be read "and," and "and" may be read "or" if the sense requires it.
OWNER
The word "owner," applied to a building or land, shall include any part owner, joint owner, tenant in common, tenant in partnership, joint tenant or tenant by the entirety, of the whole or of a part of such building or land.
PERSON
The word "person" shall extend and be applied to any natural individual, firm, trust, partnership, association, or corporation, in his or its own capacity or as administrator, conservator, executor, trustee, receiver or other representative appointed by a court. Whenever the word "person" is used in any section of this Code prescribing a penalty or fine as applied to partnerships or associations, the word shall include the partners or members thereof; and such word as applied to corporations shall include the officers, agent or employees thereof who are responsible for any such violation.
PERSONAL PROPERTY
The term "personal property" includes every species of property except real property, as herein described.
PRECEDING; FOLLOWING
The words "preceding" and "following" mean next before and next after, respectively.
PREMISES
Whenever the word "premises" is used it shall mean place or places.
PROPERTY
The word "property" shall include real and personal property.
PUBLIC PLACE
The term "public place" shall mean any public street, avenue, alleyway, road, roadway, sidewalk, path, park, cemetery, school yard or open space adjacent thereto, and all waterways, or any other place maintained by the City for the general use and benefit of the public.
REAL PROPERTY
The term "real property" shall include lands, tenements and hereditaments.
RESIDENCE
The term "residence" shall be construed to mean the place adopted by a person as his place of habitation, and to which, whenever he is absent, he has the intention of returning. When a person eats at one place and sleeps at another, the place where such person sleeps shall be deemed his residence.
ROADWAY
The word "roadway" shall apply to that portion of a street improved, designated, intended or used for vehicular traffic, and extending between curb lines, if any.
SEAL
Whenever the word "Seal" is used it shall mean the City or Corporate Seal.
SIDEWALK
The word "sidewalk" shall mean any portion of a street between the curb line and the adjacent property line, intended for the use of pedestrians, excluding parkways.
SIGNATURE or SUBSCRIPTION
The "signature" or "subscription" of a person shall include a mark when the person cannot write.
STATE
The words "the state" shall be construed to mean the State of New York.
STREET
The word "street" shall be construed to embrace streets, avenues, boulevards, roads, alleys, lanes, viaducts and all other public highways in the City. Said word shall include the entire width thereof between property lines, open to the use of the public as a matter of right, for purposes of vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
TENANT, OCCUPANT
The words "tenant" or "occupant," applied to a building or land, shall include any person holding a written or oral lease or who occupies the whole or a part of such buildings or lands, either alone or with others.
TIME
Words used in the past or present tense include the future as well as the past and present.
WEEK
The word "week" shall be construed to mean seven days.
WRITTEN; IN WRITING
The words "written" or "in writing" shall be construed to include any representation of words, letters or figures, whether by printing or otherwise.
YEAR
The word "year" shall mean a calendar year.

§ 1-15 Effect of Code upon public property, services and facilities.

No provision of this Code shall be construed to forbid or prohibit emergency, fire, police, or public utility service, or authorized maintenance, repairs or replacement of public property, services or facilities.

§ 1-16 Catchlines of sections.

The catchlines of the several sections of this Code printed in boldface type are intended as mere catchwords to indicate the contents of the section and shall not be deemed or taken to be titles of such sections, nor as any part of the section, nor, unless expressly so provided, shall they be so deemed when any of such sections, including the catchlines, are amended or reenacted.

§ 1-17 Form of amendments to Code.

A. 
All ordinances passed subsequent to this Code, which amend, repeal or in any way affect this Code, may be numbered in accordance with the numbering system of this Code and printed for inclusion therein, or in the case of repealed chapters, sections and subsections or any part thereof, by subsequent ordinances, such repealed portions may be excluded from the Code by omission from reprinted pages affected thereby and the subsequent ordinances as numbered and printed or omitted, in the case of repeal, shall be prima facie evidence of such subsequent ordinances until such time as this Code and subsequent ordinances numbered or omitted are readopted as a new Code by the Common Council.
B. 
Amendments to any of the provisions of this Code should be made by amending such provisions by specific reference to the section of this Code in language substantially as follows: "That section _________ of the Code of the City of Cortland, New York, is hereby amended to read as follows: . . . ." The new provisions may then be set out in full as desired.
C. 
In the event a new section not heretofore existing in the Code is to be added, the following language may be used: "That the Code of the City of Cortland, New York, is hereby amended by adding a section (or article, chapter or other designation, as the case may be), to be numbered _______ which reads as follows: . . . ." The new provisions may then be set out in full as desired.
D. 
In lieu of the foregoing subsection, when the Common Council desires to enact an ordinance of a general and permanent nature embracing a subject not previously existing in the Code, which the Common Council desires to incorporate into the Code, a provision in substantially the following language may be made a part of the ordinance: "It is the intention of the Common Council, and it is hereby ordained that the provisions of this ordinance shall become and be made part of the Code of the City of Cortland, New York, and the sections of this ordinance may be renumbered to accomplish such intention."
E. 
All sections, articles, chapters or other provisions of this Code desired to be repealed should be specifically repealed by section number, article number, chapter or other number, as the case may be.

§ 1-18 Unauthorized renumbering of Code.

No officer or employee of the City shall issue any book or pamphlet containing any section or sections of this Code numbered differently than as numbered herein.

§ 1-19 Numbering of additions to Code.

Where no whole figure is available in its proper order for the addition of any chapter or section to this Code, either the decimal system or a similar system shall be used, and an appropriate character shall be given to such addition. This section shall be liberally construed for the purpose of avoiding confusion in the numbering of sections of this Code, and shall not be deemed a limitation upon the powers of the Common Council.

§ 1-20 Time standard applicable.

Whenever any act is required by or in pursuance of this Code to be performed at or within a prescribed time, it shall be performed according to the time standard then currently and officially in use in the City, whether such time standard is Eastern standard or Eastern daylight saving time.

§ 1-21 Inclusion of penalty by reference.

Reference to any section of this Code shall be understood also to refer to and include the penalty section relating thereto, if any, unless otherwise expressly provided.

§ 1-22 General penalties for offenses; continuing violations.

[Amended 4-2-2002; 5-4-2010 by L.L. No. 3-2010; 10-1-2013 by L.L. No. 4-2014]
A. 
Whenever in this Code or in any ordinance or resolution of the City any act is prohibited or is made or declared to be unlawful or an offense, or whenever in such Code, ordinance or resolution the doing of any act is required or the failure to do any act is declared to be unlawful, where no specific penalty is provided therefor, the violation of any such provision of this Code or any ordinance or resolution shall constitute a Code violation and shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100 nor exceeding $250 or by imprisonment for not exceeding 15 days, or both, for the first offense within a two-year period; a fine of not less than $175 nor exceeding $250 or by imprisonment for not exceeding 15 days, or both, for the second offense within a two-year period; a fine of $250 or by imprisonment for not exceeding 15 days, or both, for the third offense or any additional offenses within a two-year period. Each day any violation of any provision of this Code or of any such ordinance or resolution shall continue shall constitute a separate violation.
B. 
In addition to the penalty hereinabove provided, any condition caused or permitted to exist in violation of any of the provisions of this Code or any such ordinance or resolution shall be deemed a public nuisance and may be, by the City, abated as provided by law, and each day that such condition continues shall be regarded as a new and separate violation.

§ 1-23 Penalties applicable to amendments.

Penalties provided in this Code shall apply to all amendments and additions hereto, whether or not such penalties are specifically referred to or reenacted in the amending provision.

§ 1-24 Prosecution where different penalties exist for same offense.

In all cases where the same offense may be made punishable, or shall be created by different clauses or sections of the ordinances of the City, the prosecuting officer may elect under which to proceed; but not more than one recovery shall be had against the same person for the same offense.