Town of Clarkstown, NY
Rockland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Clarkstown 7-14-1987 by L.L. No. 7-1987 (Ch. 79 of the 1974 Code); amended in its entirety 8-26-2008 by L.L. No. 12-2008. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Unsafe buildings — See Ch. 111.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 143.
Garbage, rubbish and refuse — See Ch. 149.
Housing standards — See Ch. 157.
Littering and posting — See Ch. 173.

§ 216-1 Legislative intent.

[Amended 9-20-2011 by L.L. No. 6-2011]
The Town Board of the Town of Clarkstown hereby determines that it is necessary for the health, safety, appearance and general welfare of the residents of the Town of Clarkstown to provide a method whereby vacant lots, improved properties and public lands within the unincorporated portion of the Town are kept clean, properly maintained and kept free from vermin, nuisances, hazards, debris and litter. The Town Board further considers the existence of graffiti on buildings and similar defacements and results of vandalism to be a property maintenance nuisance. Although not created by the property owner, the expedited removal of graffiti is an important requirement that assists in the prevention of its reoccurrence and the general appearance of the Town.

§ 216-2 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the terms used herein are defined as follows:
DUMPSTER, CONTAINER or ENCLOSURE
An enclosed area or otherwise covered container for the temporary collection and storage of a nuisance, hazard, debris and litter as defined herein.
GRAFFITI
Any unauthorized word, drawing, figure, etching, inscription, painting, mark, message, slogan, symbol, object, sticker or any similar application placed, painted, drawn, etched, engraved or applied, or affixed in any manner, without the advance authorization of the owner, manager or occupant of a property, building, tree, rock, utility box or pole, waste receptacle or any other structure or surface, public or private.
[Added 9-20-2011 by L.L. No. 6-2011]
NUISANCE, HAZARD, DEBRIS and LITTER
Any waste material, including but not limited to garbage or other putrescible substance, refuse, rubbish, inoperable vehicles and parts, discarded furniture, appliances, water heaters, bottles, cans, building or construction materials or supplies when stored outside on a site where no active construction is taking place or discarded or strewn papers or material or other junk substances, tree stumps or any other matter attractive to vermin, likely to breed disease, present a fire hazard, create offensive odors or otherwise be prejudicial to good health or being so unsightly of appearance as to be offensive to surrounding properties. Graffiti and building defacement are determined to be nuisances.
[Amended 9-20-2011 by L.L. No. 6-2011]

§ 216-3 Maintenance of property; disposal of debris and litter; removal of graffiti and building defacements.

[Amended 9-20-2011 by L.L. No. 6-2011]
A. 
It shall be an offense for any person to abandon, leave, dump, store or keep any nuisance, hazard, litter, debris or matter attractive to vermin upon any public street, public place or upon any privately owned property within the unincorporated portion of the Town of Clarkstown except as permitted by Subsections B and C hereof. It shall be an offense for any person to fail to remove graffiti from any building, structure sign or any other surface after appropriate notice by a code enforcement official.
B. 
The owner, tenant or occupant of property being used for residential or commercial purposes located within the Town of Clarkstown is hereby required to maintain at all times one or more dumpsters, containers or enclosures of adequate size to temporarily store all nuisance, hazard, debris and litter until removed. The failure to comply with this subsection shall be deemed an offense.
C. 
A dumpster in an LO, PO, LS, CS, MRS, LIO, M or PED Zone shall be surrounded on all sides by an opaque fence or wall enclosure of durable construction no lower than one foot above the height of the dumpster. All nonconforming preexisting dumpsters shall be conformed to this requirement within six months of the adoption of this chapter. The failure to comply with this subsection shall be deemed an offense.
D. 
The Town Board is hereby authorized to establish one or more temporary or permanent locations where residents of the unincorporated portion of the Town of Clarkstown may bring items constituting a nuisance, hazard, debris or litter, except garbage, toxic materials or chemicals and yard wastes, for disposal in containers provided for such purpose. The use of such containers by residents for personal noncommercial disposal of bulky waste is deemed to be consistent with the purposes of this chapter and shall not constitute an offense. Any failure to abide by posted regulations for the use of the containers as provided by the Town Board or any use for commercial purposes or disposal by nonresidents shall be deemed an offense hereunder.

§ 216-4 Landscaping maintenance.

All owners, occupants, tenants, persons responsible for the management of the property or persons responsible for creating such an offense of any privately owned property within the unincorporated portion of the Town shall maintain grass or other ground cover, trees and shrubbery in a safe and attractive condition, free of noxious weeds and otherwise free of nuisance, hazard, debris, litter and unsightly materials. For the purposes of this provision, all grass or other ground cover shall be kept trimmed to a height of no greater than 10 inches. All dead or diseased trees or any portion thereof which present any hazard to life or property shall be removed. The failure to maintain property as required by this section shall be deemed an offense.

§ 216-5 Storage of vehicles.

The owner, tenant or occupant of any property located within the unincorporated portion of the Town of Clarkstown shall not park or permit or allow the exterior parking or storage of any vehicle within the front, side or rear yard of such property, unless such vehicle is parked upon a driveway or other paved or dust-free surface provided for such purposes. The failure of any owner, occupant or tenant to comply with the provision of this section shall be deemed an offense.

§ 216-6 Enforcement and compliance; notice of violation.

A. 
Any owner, tenant, occupant of any property, person responsible for the management of the property or person responsible for the creation of an offense in violation of this chapter located within the unincorporated portion of the Town of Clarkstown shall remove such offense when ordered to do so by a member of the Police Department, Fire Inspector or assistant, Building Inspector or assistant, Code Enforcement Officials, the Superintendent of Highways or Deputy within five days of the service of written notice as provided in Subsection C below.
B. 
Any person responsible for the creation of an offense under this chapter affecting a public street or other public property within the unincorporated portion of the Town of Clarkstown shall remove such offense when ordered to do so by a member of the Police Department, Fire Inspector or assistant, Building Inspector or subordinate, Code Enforcement Officials or the Superintendent of Highways or deputy within five days of the service of written notice as provided in Subsection C below.
C. 
All written notices under this section shall be served on the owner, tenant, occupant, person responsible for the management of the property or person responsible for the creation of such offense on any property located within the unincorporated portion of the Town of Clarkstown by posting a copy of such violation notice upon the front portion of the property or upon the main structure and by mailing a copy of such notice by first-class mail to the owner of the property as shown on the latest assessment rolls of the Town. In the case of any person responsible for the creation of an offense existing upon a public street or public property, notice may be personally served on such person or mailed by ordinary mail to such person at such person's last known address.
D. 
The Building Inspector, his subordinates and Code Enforcement Officials shall be responsible to direct the proper securing of dumpsters, containers or enclosures upon all properties, and such officer shall provide written notice of noncompliance to the owner, tenant, occupant or other party as provided in Subsection C, which shall require the removal within five days of any nuisance, hazard, debris or litter not properly secured within a dumpster, container or enclosure.

§ 216-7 Penalties for offenses.

A. 
Any person found guilty of a violation of any provision of this chapter shall be punished by a fine of up to $2,500. Any person found guilty of a second offense of any provision of this chapter within 18 months of the date of the first conviction shall be punished by a fine of not less than $2,500 and not more than $5,000. Any person found guilty of a third offense of any provision of this chapter within 18 months of the date of the second conviction shall be punished by a fine of not less than $7,500 and not more than $10,000. Any person found guilty of a fourth or subsequent offense of any provision of this chapter within 18 months of the date of the third conviction shall be punished by a fine of not less than $10,000 and not more than $15,000.
[Amended 4-9-2013 by L.L. No. 2-2013]
B. 
The continuation of an offense against the provisions of this chapter shall constitute, for each week the offense is continued, a separate and distinct offense hereunder.
C. 
Failure to comply with the direction of any official of the Town of Clarkstown when notice has been provided in accordance wan § 216-6 shall constitute a separate and distinct offense hereunder.

§ 216-8 Removal by Town; charges.

A. 
Upon the failure of an owner, tenant, occupant, person responsible for the management of the property or person responsible for the creation of such offense to comply with a notice to correct a condition as cited within the five days allotted, the Town Board may hold a public hearing. The public hearing shall be held upon notice posted conspicuously on the affected property and forwarded to the last known address of the property owner, as it appears on the current tax records of the Town, by certified mail, return receipt requested. Posting and service of such notice shall not be less than 15 days prior to the date of such hearing.
B. 
The Town Board, after a public hearing as provided in Subsection A, may cause any nuisance, hazard or litter as defined in this chapter or any vehicle parked or stored in violation of this chapter to be removed from any property within the unincorporated portion of the Town of Clarkstown upon the failure of such owner, tenant or occupant to comply with any order of the Town Board. Said removal may be performed by the Superintendent of Highways or other designee, including a private contractor. The Town Board shall ascertain the cost of the proceeding and the costs of removal, and such costs shall be charged and assessed against the owner of the property. The expense so assessed shall constitute a lien and charge on the real property on which it is levied until paid or otherwise satisfied or discharged and shall be collected in the same manner and at the same time as other Town charges.
C. 
The removal of any nuisance, hazard or litter by the Town of Clarkstown or its agents shall not operate to excuse such owner, tenant or occupant from properly maintaining any premises as required by this chapter, and such owner, tenant or occupant shall, notwithstanding such action, be subject to any other penalties for herein.

§ 216-9 Vacant or abandoned properties.

A. 
Upon failure to respond and comply with the requirements of the notices described in § 216-6C within 10 days from posting and mailing, the Building Inspector, Fire Inspector or Code Enforcement Official will perform an inspection of the premises and submit a detailed report to the Town Board describing the level of nuisance or hazard as defined in § 216-2. The Official will further investigate and detail the circumstances of the abandonment of the premises, as well as perform due diligence regarding the current status of the property. The report will also contain the scope of the work required to remove any imminent nuisance or hazard to the health, safety and welfare of the neighboring properties, residents and the public at large.
B. 
Upon receipt and review of the report, the Town Board may, by resolution, authorize the necessary work to be done and pay the cost thereof out of general Town funds appropriated by the Town Board for such purpose.
C. 
The Town shall seek reimbursement for the cost of the work performed or the services rendered through any means permitted by law and/or by assessment against the owner of the property. The expense so assessed shall constitute a lien and charge on the real property on which it is levied until paid or otherwise satisfied or discharged and shall be collected in the same manner as other Town charges in the manner provided for the assessment of the cost of public improvements pursuant to Article 4, § 64, 5-a., of the Town Law of the State of New York (general powers of town boards, Removal of fire and health hazards and weeds), as amended.

§ 216-10 Severability and partial invalidity.

If any section of this chapter shall be held unconstitutional, invalid or ineffective, in whole or in part, such determination shall not be deemed to affect, impair, or invalidate the remainder of this chapter.