[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Poughkeepsie 6-30-1982 by L.L. No. 5-1982. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Unsafe buildings pose a threat to life and property in the Town of Poughkeepsie. Buildings and structures may become unsafe by reason of damage by fire, the elements, age or general deterioration. Vacant buildings not properly secured at doorways and windows also serve as an attractive nuisance for young children who may be injured therein, as well as a point of congregation by vagrants and transients. A dilapidated building may also serve as a place of rodent infestation, thereby creating a health menace to the community. It is the purpose of this chapter to provide for the safety, health, protection and general welfare of persons and property in the Town of Poughkeepsie by requiring that such unsafe buildings be repaired or demolished and removed.
This chapter shall be known as the "Unsafe Buildings Law of the Town of Poughkeepsie."
[Added 1-18-1989 by L.L. No. 1-1989]
This chapter shall be enforced jointly or individually by the Building Inspector of the Town of Poughkeepsie and his or her designee or the Fire Inspector of the Town of Poughkeepsie and his or her designee.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any building, structure or portion thereof used for residential, business or industrial purpose.
- BUILDING INSPECTOR
- There is hereby designated in the Town a public official
to be known as the "Building Inspector," who shall be appointed by
the Town Board at a compensation to be fixed by it, and who shall
administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter and 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 Town. The "Building Inspector"
shall be the Code Enforcement Officer certified by the New York State
Department of State.[Amended 11-9-1994 by L.L. No. 21-1994]
When in his or her own opinion or upon receipt of information that a building is or may become dangerous or unsafe to the general public, is open at the doorways and windows making it accessible to and an object of attraction to minors under 18 years of age, as well as to vagrants and other trespassers, is or may become a place of rodent infestation, presents any other danger to the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the public or is unfit for the purposes for which it may lawfully be used, he or she shall cause or make an inspection thereof and report, in writing, to the Town Board his or her findings and recommendations in regard to its repair or demolition and removal.
The Town Board shall thereafter consider such report and by resolution determine, if in its opinion, the report so warrants that such building is unsafe and dangerous and order its repair, if the same can be safely repaired, or its demolition and removal and further order that a notice be served upon the persons and in the manner provided herein.
The notice shall contain the following:
A description of the premises.
A statement of the particulars in which the building is unsafe or dangerous.
An order outlining the manner in which the building is to be made safe and secure or demolished and removed.
A statement that the securing or removal of such building shall commence within 30 days of the service of the notice and shall be completed with 60 days thereafter, unless for good cause shown such time shall be extended.
A date, time and place for a hearing before the Town Board in relation to such dangerous or unsafe building, which hearing shall be scheduled not less than five business days from the date of service of the notice.
A statement that in the event of neglect or refusal to comply with the order to secure or demolish and remove the building, the Town Board is authorized to provide for its demolition and removal, to assess all expenses thereof against the land on which it is located and to institute a special proceeding to collect the costs of demolition, including legal expenses.
[Amended 7-20-1983 by L.L. No. 2-1983; 11-9-1994 by L.L. No. 21-1994; 3-27-1996 by L.L. No. 4-1996; 8-4-2010 by L.L. No. 18-2010]
Said notice shall be served upon the owner, executor, administrator, agent, lessee or other person having a vested or contingent interest in such unsafe buildings as shown by the records of the Receiver of Taxes or of the County Clerk by the Building Inspector or his or her designee or Fire Inspector or his or her designee. Service shall be either by personal service or by certified mail, return receipt requested, directed to the last known address of whomever is to be served as shown by the aforesaid records. If service is made by certified mail, a copy of the notice shall be posted on the premises.
A copy of the notice served as provided herein shall be filed in the office of the County Clerk of the County of Dutchess.
[Amended 6-3-2009 by L.L. No. 22-2009]
In the event of the refusal or neglect of the person so notified to comply with said order of the Town Board and after the hearing, the Town Board shall provide for the demolition and removal of such building or structure either by Town employees or by contract. Except in emergency as provided in § 71-12 hereof, any contract for demolition and removal of a building in excess of $5,000 shall be awarded through competitive bidding. Any contract for demolition and removal of a building in excess of $20,000 shall be awarded through competitive bid.
All expenses incurred by the Town in connection with the proceedings to repair and secure or demolish and remove the unsafe building, including the cost of actually removing such building, shall be assessed against the land on which such building is located and shall be levied and collected in the same manner as provided in Article 15 of the Town Law for the levy and collection of a special ad valorem levy.
[Amended 11-9-1994 by L.L. No. 21-1994]
Where it reasonably appears that there is present a clear and imminent danger to the life, safety or health of any person or property or surrounding persons or property and proper notice has been duly filed (§ 71-8), the Building Inspector or his or her designee, together with Ward Councilperson and Town Supervisor, may immediately cause the repair and/or secure the unsafe building. Should the emergency require immediate demolition, the Town Supervisor, in concert with the Ward Councilperson, may authorize the Building Inspector to take remedial action. The expense of such repair or demolition shall be a charge against the land on which it is located and shall be assessed, levied and collected as provided in § 71-11 herein.
Fences and screening shall be maintained in accordance with the Town Code and shall be safe and in substantial condition.
Heavy undergrowth and accumulations of plant growth which are noxious or detrimental to health shall be eliminated.
Yards, pavement, courts and other outside areas shall be kept clean and free of physical hazards and debris.
Grassed and landscaped areas shall be kept clean, trimmed and in a neat condition.
Grounds, building and structures shall be maintained free of insects, vermin and rodent harborage and infestation.
Local Law No. 5 of 1968 of the Town of Poughkeepsie, as adopted and thereafter amended, and as contained in the 1964 Code of Ordinances of the Town of Poughkeepsie, therein designated as Subpart 11, Dangerous Buildings and Structures, is hereby repealed in its entirety.