Town of Clifton Park, NY
Saratoga County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Clifton Park 4-13-1981 by L.L. No. 4-1981. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction and fire prevention — See Ch. 73.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 114.

§ 77-1 Purpose.

[Amended 2-6-2012 by L.L. No. 2-2012]
Unsafe buildings and abandoned properties pose a threat to life and property in the Town of Clifton Park. 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 Clifton Park by requiring that such unsafe buildings be repaired or demolished and removed.

§ 77-2 Title.

This chapter shall be known as the "Unsafe Buildings Law of the Town of Clifton Park."

§ 77-3 Definitions.

[Amended 4-6-1998 by L.L. No. 2-1998]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BUILDING AND STORAGE
Any building, structure or portion thereof used for residential, business, storage or industrial purpose.
BUILDING INSPECTOR
The Director of Building/Zoning or his/her designee or any person appointed by the Town Board to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
VACANT OR ABANDONED, OR FORECLOSURE PROPERTY
Any real property containing a residential or commercial building that, independently or in the context of all facts and circumstances, would lead a reasonable enforcement official to conclude that a property is vacant, abandoned, is occupied by a person without legal right of occupancy, or is in the process of foreclosure. Such real property conditions include but are not limited to overgrown or dead vegetation exceeding 10 inches in height, accumulation of newspapers, flyers, circulars of junk mail, past-due utility notices or disconnected utilities, accumulation of junk, trash or debris, absence of window coverings such as curtains, blinds or shutters, the absence of furnishings or personal items consistent with habitation, as well as the statements of neighbors, delivery agents, and governmental employees indicating that the property is vacant, including evidence that such property is in the process of any foreclosure proceeding.
[Added 2-6-2012 by L.L. No. 2-2012]
YARD
A space unoccupied by structures on the same lot with a building or structure.
[Added 2-6-2012 by L.L. No. 2-2012]

§ 77-4 Investigation and report.

When in his 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, the Building Inspector and/or such other person(s) designated by the Town Board, including but not limited to surveyor(s), architect(s), structural engineer(s), safety engineer(s) and demolition contractor(s), shall cause or make an inspection thereof and report in writing to the Town Board of his (their) findings and recommendations in regard to the repair or demolition and removal of such a building.

§ 77-5 Town Board action upon consideration of report.

The Town Board shall thereafter consider such report and by resolution determine, if in its opinion the report so warrants, that much 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 in the manner provided herein.

§ 77-6 Contents of notice: unsafe buildings.

[Amended 2-6-2012 by L.L. No. 2-2012]
The notice shall contain the following:
A. 
A description of the premises.
B. 
A statement of the particulars in which the building is unsafe or dangerous.
C. 
An order outlining the manner in which the building is to be made safe and secure or demolished and removed.
D. 
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 within 60 days thereafter unless the Town Board, for good cause shown, and in its discretion, extends such time.
E. 
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.
F. 
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 repair or 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 but not limited to legal, surveying, engineering and architectural expenses.

§ 77-7 Abandoned, unoccupied or foreclosed property.

[Added 2-6-2012 by L.L. No. 2-2012[1]]
A. 
Abandoned, unoccupied or foreclosed buildings and residential housing units: In the case or abandoned, unoccupied buildings or residential housing units, or such property in any foreclosure proceeding, the Building Inspector or other person designated by the Town Board shall determine if any open and neglected swimming pools, or any accumulation of weeds, brambles, berry vines, or other vegetation in the yards of such property which is overgrowing any structure or which exceeds an average height of 10 inches, except that which is kept in a neat and orderly manner for human consumption, or any accumulation of dead organic matter, offal, rat harborages, stagnant water, combustible materials and similar materials, or conditions which would constitute a fire, health, or safety hazard. However, this does not apply to cultivated flowers or gardens.
B. 
Where the Building Inspector or other designated person determines that such condition exists, he shall order a notice posted at the premises. The notice shall be served upon the owner in the manner detailed by § 77-9, below.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also redesignated former § 77-7 as § 77-9.

§ 77-8 Contents of notice: external maintenance.

[Added 2-6-2012 by L.L. No. 2-2012[1]]
The notice shall contain the following:
A. 
A description of the premises.
B. 
A statement of the particulars in which the accumulation of such material, or the neglect of a swimming pool, constitutes a fire, health, or safety hazard.
C. 
An order outlining the manner in which the building or premises is to be maintained as reasonably necessary to mitigate any health or safety hazard identified.
D. 
A statement that the accumulation of such material will be removed or maintained within 30 days of the service of the notice unless the Building Inspector, for good cause shown, and in his discretion, extends such time.
E. 
A date and time and place by which objections to the Inspector's determination shall be heard or received in relation to such notice.
F. 
A statement that, in the event of neglect or refusal to comply with the order to maintain the premises as reasonably necessary, the Building Inspector shall provide for the removal of such brambles, weeds, and any accumulation of such organic material as is reasonably necessary to mitigate the fire, health or safety hazard and shall assess all expenses thereof against the land on which it is located in the manner provided and to institute a special proceeding to collect the costs of the elimination of the health and safety hazard.
G. 
A statement providing that persons or mortgagees have an opportunity to object to the proposed action and shall be heard prior to action by the Town.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former § 77-8, Filing of notice.

§ 77-9 Service of notice.

[Amended 2-6-2012 by L.L. No. 2-2012[1]]
Said notice shall be served by personal service of a copy thereof upon the owner, executor, administrator, agent, lessee or any person having a vested or contingent interest in such unsafe building as shown by the records of the receiver of taxes (or tax collector) or of the County Clerk or, if no such person can be reasonably found, by mailing such owner by registered mail a copy of such notice directed to his last known address as shown by the above records; or by personal service of a copy of such notice upon any adult person residing in or occupying said premises if such person can be reasonably found; or by securely affixing a copy of such notice upon the unsafe building, or, in the case of a vacant, abandoned or foreclosed upon property, by affixing the notice upon any structure or residence upon the property, and by registered mail to the mortgagee at the address listed in public records..
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also redesignated former §§ 77-9 and 77-10 as §§ 77-10 and 77-11, respectively.

§ 77-10 Refusal to comply.

[Amended 2-6-2012 by L.L. No. 2-2012]
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 described in § 77-6E, the Town Board shall provide for the repair or demolition and removal of such building or structure either by Town employees or by contract. Except in emergency, as provided in § 77-13, the Town Board, prior to the commencement of the repair or the demolition of the building, shall cause to be served upon the persons and in the manner provided in § 77-9, a final notice that the Town Board intends to provide for the repair or demolition and removal of such building or structure either by Town employees or by contract. Except in an emergency, as provided in § 77-13, any contract for repair or demolition and removal of a building in excess of $5,000 shall be awarded through competitive bidding.

§ 77-11 Assessment of expenses: unsafe buildings.

[Amended 2-6-2012 by L.L. No. 2-2012[1]]
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 and all costs incidental thereto, 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.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also redesignated former § 77-11 as § 77-13.

§ 77-12 Assessment of expenses: abandoned or foreclosed property.

[Added 2-6-2012 by L.L. No. 2-2012]
Where the Building Inspector determines that neglected swimming pools or the accumulation of weeds or overgrown vegetation in abandoned, unoccupied buildings or residential housing units, or such property in any foreclosure proceeding, as described herein and that the condition has not been remediated as ordered by the notice described above, the Building Inspector or other person so designated shall refer the report to the Director of Building and Grounds, who may order or contract for such yard or pool maintenance or closure as is reasonably necessary to maintain public health and safety, and who shall record the time and material, and expense required for such maintenance on an annual basis. Records demonstrating costs and expenses incurred under this section for yard or pool maintenance or closure shall be reported annually to the Town Board no later than November 1 in any year. Upon authorization by the Town Board, expenses incidental to the maintenance authorized by this chapter 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.

§ 77-13 Emergency cases.

If the Town Board finds that there is present a clear and imminent danger to the life, safety or health of any person or property unless an unsafe building is immediately repaired and secured or demolished, the Town Board may, by resolution, authorize the Building Inspector to immediately cause the repair or demolition of such unsafe building. 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 § 77-10.