Town of Union, NY
Broome County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Union 12-30-1975 by L.L. No. 7-1975. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Nuisances — See Ch. 141.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 155.
Solid waste — See Ch. 174.

§ 83-1 Title.

[Amended 10-18-1989 by L.L. No. 13-1989]
This chapter shall be known as the "Control of Yard Waste and Objectionable Vegetation and the Establishment of Standards for the Removal of Such Yard Waste and Objectionable Vegetation Law."

§ 83-2 Purpose.

[Amended 4-21-1976 by L.L. No. 2-1976]
This chapter is enacted for the purpose of promoting the health, safety and general welfare of town residents by controlling the accumulation of weeds, tall grass and other objectionable vegetation and by controlling the dumping of garbage and rubbish on private and public property in the area of the Town of Union outside the incorporated Villages of Johnson City and Endicott.

§ 83-3 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following words, terms and phrases shall have the meanings herein ascribed to them:
OBJECTIONABLE VEGETATION
Such vegetation as poison ivy, jimson weed, ragweed or other poisonous or harmful plant or plants detrimental to the public health.
YARD WASTE
Vegetation such as brush, grass, leaves and weeds.
[Added 10-18-1989 by L.L. No. 13-1989[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed the definitions of "garbage" and "rubbish" that appeared in this section.

§ 83-4 Applicability.

[Amended 4-21-1976 by L.L. No. 2-1976]
This chapter is hereby deemed applicable to any lot or tract of land in the Town of Union outside the incorporated Villages of Johnson City and Endicott, except for such lots or tracts zoned as an agricultural district as shown on the Official Zoning Map of the Town of Union, or on large tracts of land of 10 or more acres, at the discretion of the Town Board, wherein the provisions of this chapter, as they relate to weeds, tall grass and other objectionable vegetation, shall not apply.

§ 83-5 Prohibited acts.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any owner, lessee or occupant, or any agent, servant, representative or employee of any such owner, lessee or occupant, having control of any occupied or unoccupied lot or tract or any part thereof in the Town of Union to permit or maintain on any such lot or tract any growth of weeds, tall grass or other objectionable vegetation to a greater height than 10 inches on the average, or any accumulation of dead weeds, grass or brush, or to permit or maintain on or along the sidewalk, street or alley adjacent to such lot or tract between the property line and the curb, or between the property line and the traveled portion of such street or alley where there is no curb, any growth of weeds, tall grass or other objectionable vegetation to a greater height than four inches on the average.
[Amended 8-5-2015 by L.L. No. 2-2015]
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any such person or persons to cause, suffer or allow poison ivy, jimson weed, ragweed or other poisonous or harmful plant or plants detrimental to health to grow on any such lot or tract in such manner that any part of such ivy, jimson weed, ragweed or other poisonous or harmful weed shall extend upon, overhang or border any public place, or allow the seeds, pollen or other poisonous particles or emanations therefrom to be carried through the air into any public places.

§ 83-6 Collection of yard waste.

[Amended 10-18-1989 by L.L. No. 13-1989]
A. 
Brush, grass, leaves or weeds which are to be removed by the Town of Union municipal collection shall be placed in containers with a capacity not to exceed 33 gallons without covers and which are constructed of rigid plastic or metal.
[Amended 4-16-2003 by L.L. No. 6-2003]
(1) 
Containers shall be placed at the curbline or on the property driveway, but under no circumstances shall the containers be placed on the road surface.
(2) 
Noncontainer leaves may be raked to the curbline for collection by Town of Union municipal collection.
(3) 
Brush which is too large or bulky to be placed in containers shall be bundled and tied securely in lengths not to exceed six feet.
B. 
Yard waste not prepared for collection as herein provided shall not be collected.
C. 
The use of plastic bags as containers for the collection and disposal of yard waste is specifically prohibited.

§ 83-7 Town action upon refusal to comply; assessment of costs.

[Amended 8-5-2009 by L.L. No. 9-2009; 9-18-2013 by L.L. No. 2-2013; 6-17-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015]
Upon failure of the person, owner, lessee, firm, corporation, occupant or any other person having charge of any lot or tract of land within the Town of Union to cut, trim or remove weeds, tall grass or other objectionable vegetation and to remove any such garbage or rubbish there from within three days from the time such person has been served with notice to cut, trim or remove such weeds, tall grass or other objectionable vegetation or to remove said garbage or rubbish, the Town of Union may cause such weeds, tall grass or other objectionable vegetation to be cut, trimmed or removed and such garbage or rubbish to be removed, and the total cost thereof, including but not limited to moneys actually paid out by the Town, time and expenses of the Town officials and employees involved in the service of the notice, and the actual cutting, trimming or removal of the weeds, tall grass or other objectionable vegetation and the removal of such garbage or rubbish in connection with the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter, shall be assessed upon the real property on which such weeds, tall grass or other objectionable vegetation, garbage or rubbish is found, and 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. In addition, the total cost to the Town of attorneys fees, engineering fees, consultant fees and/or court or litigation costs to enforce the provisions of this chapter shall be an expense and obligation of the owner of the property, including its individual officers, managers, partners, members, and shareholders, and alternatively or in conjunction herewith, shall be assessed and levied upon the real property as a lien and charge until paid or otherwise satisfied or discharged and shall be collected as otherwise provided in the Town law in the same manner and at the same time as other Town charges.

§ 83-7.1 Trimming trees, bushes, and hedges.

[Added 8-8-2012 by L.L. No. 8-2012]
A. 
Duty. It shall be the duty of the owner or occupant of premises upon which trees, bushes and/or hedges shall stand to trim such trees, bushes and/or hedges as provided in this section.
B. 
Clearance. All ornamental shade trees, bushes and/or hedges standing within or whose branches or any part thereof extend over any public street, avenue or sidewalk in the Town outside the incorporated villages shall be trimmed so that the lowest branches shall not be less than 10 feet from the ground and/or that no part of the bushes and/or hedges shall extend into the Town's right-of-way.
C. 
Effect of failure to trim. In the event of failure on the part of any person to trim any tree, bushes and/or hedges as herein provided after having been requested to do so by the Commissioner of Public Works or Code Enforcement Officer, said Commissioner of Public Works or Code Enforcement Officer shall cause such tree, bushes and/or hedges to be trimmed and the cost thereof shall be assessed in the same manner as real property taxes are assessed.

§ 83-8 Notice of violation.

[Amended 9-1-2004 by L.L. No. 7-2004; 6-17-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015
Any notice to so cut, trim or remove such weeds, tall grass or other objectionable vegetation or such garbage or rubbish, from any lot or tract of land in the Town of Union, required pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, shall be served either personally upon the owner, lessee, firm, corporation, occupant or the manager designated by §155-10 or responsible person or by posting the violation notice in a conspicuous place upon the premises affected. If a notice of violation is served by posting it upon the premises, a copy thereof shall be mailed to the person to whom it is directed at his or her last known address. Service of the notice is deemed to be complete upon personal delivery, in case of personal service, and upon mailing, in case of service by posting.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original § 37-7, Littering, which immediately followed this section, was repealed 10-18-1989 by L.L. No. 13-1989.

§ 83-9 Penalties for offenses.

[Amended 1-16-2002 by L.L. No. 1-2002]
A violation of any provision of this chapter is hereby deemed to be an offense, punishable by a fine not to exceed $250 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both. Each week's violation shall constitute a separate offense punishable by like penalty.

§ 83-10 Inspection fees for repeat offenders.

[Added 8-8-2012 by L.L. No. 8-2012]
A. 
This section applies to any person, firm or corporation receiving multiple notices of violation or orders to remedy in a twelve-month period for a violation of this chapter.
B. 
Any person, firm or corporation receiving multiple notices of violation or orders to remedy within a twelve-month period shall be subject to an inspection fee as set forth in the fee schedule below:
(1) 
First notice of violation or order to remedy received: no charge.
(2) 
Second notice of violation or order to remedy received: inspection fee of $100.
(3) 
Third notice of violation or order to remedy received: inspection fee of $150.
(4) 
Fourth notice of violation or order to remedy received: inspection fee of $200.
(5) 
Fifth notice of violation or order to remedy received: inspection fee of $500.
C. 
The inspection fees prescribed above shall be billed directly to the tenant or owner, as the case may be, and a copy mailed to the owner and/or contact person/agent of the property. Inspection fees shall be increased 25% when not paid within 30 days after initial billing, to cover administrative costs. This subsection shall not be considered the exclusive method of collecting inspection fees and shall not preclude collection by other lawful methods. If unpaid after 30 days, the costs may be added to and collected in the same manner as real property taxes.
D. 
Every notice of violation or order to remedy shall contain a clear and conspicuous explanation of the policy in this section requiring fees for inspections or a copy of this section.
E. 
The Code Enforcement Official or Town Comptroller may waive an inspection fee in case of error, mistake, injustice or other good cause.