Village of Lancaster, NY
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Public Documents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Lancaster 5-28-1956 (Ch. 55 of the 1976 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Unsafe buildings — See Ch. 115.
Electrical standards — See Ch. 131.
Housing standards — See Ch. 189.
Plumbing — See Ch. 244.
Sewers — See Ch. 263.
Subdivision — See Ch. 301.
Zoning — See Ch. 350.

§ 104-1 Establishment of building department.

There is hereby established in the Village of Lancaster a department to be designated as the "Building Department" for the administration and enforcement of the provisions of all laws, ordinances, rules, regulations and orders applicable to the location, design, materials, construction, alteration, repair, equipment, maintenance, use, occupancy, removal and demolition of buildings and structures and their appurtenances located in the Village of Lancaster.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The Village accepted the applicability of the State Building Construction Code in a resolution adopted by the Board of Trustees on 5-23-1956.

§ 104-2 Designation of department head.

[Amended 5-26-1969]
The Department of Building shall be headed by the Building Inspector of the Village of Lancaster.

§ 104-3 Qualifications of Building Inspector.

[Amended 5-26-1969]
A. 
The Building Inspector of the Village of Lancaster shall be a qualified civil service employee of the Village whose compensation shall be paid as provided by law.
B. 
The Building Inspector shall possess all of the qualifications and experience required for that civil service position.

§ 104-4 Liability of Building Inspector.

The Building Inspector, while acting pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, shall not be personally liable for any damage that may accrue to persons or property as the result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his official duties, providing that such acts are performed in good faith without gross negligence.

§ 104-5 Powers and duties of Building Inspector.

A. 
Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, ordinance or regulation, or except as herein otherwise provided, the Building Inspector shall administer and enforce all of the provisions of laws, ordinances and regulations applicable to the construction, alteration, repair, removal and demolition of buildings and structures and the installation and use of materials and equipment therein and the location, use, occupancy and maintenance thereof.
B. 
He shall issue all appropriate notices or orders to remove illegal or unsafe conditions, to require the necessary safeguards during construction and to ensure compliance during the entire course of construction with requirements of such laws, ordinances or regulations.
C. 
He shall make all inspections which are necessary or proper for the carrying out of his duties.
D. 
Whenever the same may be necessary or appropriate to assure compliance with the provisions of applicable laws, ordinances or regulations covering building construction, he may require the performance of tests in the field by experienced, professional persons or by accredited and authoritative testing laboratories or service bureaus or agencies.
E. 
He shall have such other and further duties as may be, from time to time, designated or delegated by the Village Board.

§ 104-6 Floor area requirements.

A. 
The area of the ground floor shall not be less than 500 square feet, exclusive of garages, porches and other additions, where there are no bedrooms on the ground floor.
B. 
The area of the ground floor shall not be less than 660 square feet, exclusive of porches, garages and other additions, where bedrooms occur on the first floor. The bedrooms on this level shall be limited to two within this area, except that for each additional bedroom added to the first floor, at least 80 square feet of floor space shall be added to the area.

§ 104-7 Performance of work under permit.

A. 
Where no construction work on the superstructure of a building has been commenced, pursuant to the regulations designated in Chapter 350, Zoning, of the Code of the Village of Lancaster, within the period provided therein of the date of the issuance of the permit, the excavations and/or foundations shall be deemed abandoned, in which case the building permit issued for the building shall be cancelled, notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter or Chapter 350, Zoning, of the Code of the Village of Lancaster.
B. 
The owner and contractor shall be notified, in writing, to fill in the excavation and/or the foundation up to the original ground level with clean earth and to seal up any sewer connections that may exist on the property.
C. 
Said notice shall be served on the owner and contractor by registered mail at their last known place of residence.
D. 
In the further event that the owner or contractor fails to comply with the requirements of this section within 10 days after the date of mailing of said notice, then the Village of Lancaster shall place the fill and seal the sewer openings, if any, and the said owner of the premises shall reimburse the Village for any expenditures thereby involved; or the Village may elect to assess the cost of so doing on the tax roll of the property involved.

§ 104-8 Application for building permit.

A. 
No person, firm or corporation shall commence the erection, construction, enlargement, alteration, removal, improvement, demolition, conversion or change in the nature of the occupancy of any building or structure, or cause the same to be done, without first obtaining for each such building or structure a separate building permit from the Building Inspector or such other person as the Board of Trustees may from time to time indicate.
[Amended 6-29-1976 by L.L. No. 4-1976]
B. 
No work of any kind shall be commenced without a permit, upon said application having been first issued by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Lancaster or other official authorized by the Board of Trustees to issue such permits.
C. 
Applications shall be made by the owner or lessee or agent of either, or by the architect, engineer or builder employed in connection with the proposed work. Where such application is made by a person other than the owner, it shall be accompanied by an affidavit of the owner or applicant that the proposed work is authorized by the owner and that the applicant is authorized to make such application.
D. 
Application for a building permit shall contain the following information:
[Amended 7-28-1969]
(1) 
A description of the land on which the proposed work is to be done.
(2) 
A statement of the use or occupancy of all parts of the land and of the building or structure.
(3) 
A statement that all lot and block grading will conform to the standards contained in § 104-9 of this chapter.
(4) 
The evaluation of the proposed work.
(5) 
The full name and address of the owner and of the applicant, and the names and addresses of their responsible officers if any of them are corporations.
(6) 
A brief description of the nature of the proposed work.
(7) 
A duplicate set of plans and specifications, including a plot plan, drawn to scale, showing the location and size of all proposed new construction and all existing structures on the site, the nature and character of the work to be performed and the materials to be incorporated, the distance from lot lines and the relationship of structures on adjoining property. Plans and specifications shall bear the signature of the person responsible for the design and drawings. The Board of Trustees may waive the requirements for filing plans.
(8) 
Such other information as may reasonably be required by the Village Board of Trustees to establish compliance of the proposed work.

§ 104-9 Grading standards.

[Added 7-28-1969]
For the purposes of this chapter, grading standards will be divided into either lot or block categories.
A. 
Block grading shall be divided into four basic classifications as follows:
(1) 
Type I, ridge along rear lot line.
(2) 
Type II, gentle cross slope.
(3) 
Type III, steep cross slope.
(4) 
Type IV, valley along rear lot line.
B. 
Lot grading shall be divided into three basic classifications as follows:
(1) 
Type I, all drainage to street.
(2) 
Type II, drainage to both street and rear lot line.
(3) 
Type III, drainage to rear lot line.
C. 
Variations using combinations of lot and block grading standards shall be permitted, provided they meet the standards as set forth in the tables referred to in Subsection D and are approved by the Superintendent of Public Works, Building Inspector or Village Engineer.
[Amended 6-29-1976 by L.L. No. 4-1976]
D. 
The tables for lot and block grading standards which shall be followed in all grading cases arising subsequent to the date of the adoption of this chapter are on file in the office of the Building Inspector.
[Amended 6-29-1976 by L.L. No. 4-1976]

§ 104-10 Fees.

[Amended 6-29-1976 by L.L. No. 11-1976; 12-21-1976 by L.L. No. 23-1976]
Upon the filing of an application for a building permit, the applicant shall pay the fees as provided in Chapter 144, Fees, of the Code of the Village of Lancaster.

§ 104-11 Posting of premises.

It shall be the duty of the Building Inspector, after the issuance of a building permit, to post upon the premises described in the building permit, a sign or placard to indicate the issuance of a building permit for said premises.

§ 104-12 Stop orders.

A. 
Whenever the Building Inspector has reasonable grounds to believe that work on any building or structure is being prosecuted in violation of the provisions of the applicable building laws, ordinances or regulations or not in conformity with the provisions of an application, plans or specifications on the basis of which a building permit was issued or in an unsafe and dangerous manner, he shall notify the owner of the property or the owner's agent or the person performing the work to suspend all work, and any such persons shall forthwith stop such work and suspend all building activities until the stop order has been rescinded.
B. 
Such order and notice shall be in writing, shall state the conditions under which the work may be resumed and may be served upon a person to whom it is directed either by delivering it personally to him or by posting the same upon a conspicuous portion of the building under construction and sending a copy of the same by registered mail to the address set forth on the application.

§ 104-13 Revocation of building permit.

The Building Inspector may revoke a building permit theretofore issued and approved in the following instances:
A. 
Where he finds that there has been any false statement or misrepresentation as to a material fact in the application, plans or specifications on which the building permit was based.
B. 
Where he finds that the building permit was issued in error and should not have been issued in accordance with the applicable law.
C. 
Where he finds that the work performed under the permit is not being prosecuted in accordance with the provisions of the application, plans or specifications.
D. 
Where the person to whom a building permit has been issued fails or refuses to comply with a stop order issued by the Building Inspector.
E. 
Where substantial work is not commenced upon a building or structure within three months of the granting of a building permit for such building or structure; or where all exterior work, including fenced grading of such a building or structure, is not completed within 12 months from the issuance of a building permit authorizing the construction of such a building or structure.
[Added 1-14-1974]

§ 104-14 Right of entry.

Any Building Inspector, upon the showing of proper credentials and in the discharge of his duties, may enter upon any building, structure or premises at any reasonable hour, and no person shall interfere with or prevent such entry.

§ 104-15 Tests.

Whenever there are reasonable grounds to believe that any material, construction, equipment or assembly does not conform with the requirements of the applicable building laws, ordinances or regulations, the Building Inspector may require the same to be subjected to tests in order to furnish proof of such compliance.

§ 104-16 Certificate of occupancy.

A. 
No building hereafter erected shall be used or occupied in whole or in part until a certificate of occupancy shall have been issued by the Building Inspector.
B. 
No building hereafter enlarged, extended or altered or upon which work has been performed which required the issuance of a building permit shall continue to be occupied or used for more than 30 days after completion of the alteration or work unless a certificate of occupancy shall have been issued by the Building Inspector.
C. 
No change shall be made in the use or type of occupancy of an existing building unless a certificate of occupancy authorizing such change shall have been issued by the Building Inspector.
D. 
Before the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, there shall be filed with the Building Inspector a statement of an architect, engineer or individual charged with the construction stating that the deponent has examined the plans for which the certificate of occupancy is sought and that the structure has been erected in accordance with these approved plans and, as erected, complies with all applicable laws governing building construction except insofar as variations therefrom have been legally authorized, and such variations shall be specified in the statement.

§ 104-17 Inspection prior to issuance of certificate.

Before issuing a certificate of occupancy, the Building Inspector shall examine all buildings, structures and sites for which an application has been filed for a building permit and may conduct such inspections as he deems appropriate from time to time during and upon completion of the work for which a building permit has been issued.

§ 104-18 Issuance of certificate.

A. 
When, after final inspection, it is found that the proposed work has been completed in accordance with the applicable building laws, ordinances and regulations and also in accordance with the applications, plans and specifications filed in connection with the issuance of the building permit, the Building Inspector shall issue a certificate of occupancy upon the form provided by him.
B. 
If it is found that the proposed work has not been properly completed, the Building Inspector shall refuse to issue a certificate of occupancy and shall order the work completed in conformity with the building permit and in conformity with the applicable building regulations.
C. 
A certificate of occupancy shall certify that the work has been completed and that the proposed use and occupancy is in conformity with the provisions of the applicable building laws, ordinances and regulations and shall specify the use or uses and the extent thereof to which the building or structure or its several parts may be put.

§ 104-19 Penalties for offenses.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to construct, alter, repair, move, remove, equip, use, occupy or maintain any building or structure or portion thereof in violation of any provision of this chapter or to fail in any manner to comply with a notice, directive or order of the Building Inspector or to construct, alter, use and occupy any building or structure or part thereof in a manner not permitted by an approved building permit or certificate of occupancy.
B. 
Any person who shall fail to comply with a written order of the Building Inspector within the time fixed for compliance therewith, and any owner, builder, architect, tenant, contractor, subcontractor, construction superintendent or their agents, or any other person taking part or assisting in the construction or use of any building who shall knowingly violate any of the applicable provisions of this chapter or any lawful order, notice, directive, permit or certificate of the Building Inspector made thereunder shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $500 or 30 days in jail, or both. Each day that a violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense.
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 violations of the provisions of the State Building Construction Code punishable under § 385 of the Executive Law of the State of New York,[1] or to violations of the provisions of the Multiple Residence Law punishable under § 304 of the Multiple Residence Law of the State of New York.
[1]
Editor's Note: Executive Law § 385 was repealed by L. 1981, c. 707, § 12.

§ 104-20 Abatement of violations.

Appropriate actions and proceedings may be taken at law or in equity to prevent unlawful construction or to restrain, correct or abate a violation or to prevent illegal occupancy of a building, structure or premises or to prevent illegal acts, conduct or business in or about any premises; and these remedies shall be in addition to the penalties prescribed in the preceding section.