Town of Cortlandt, NY
Westchester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Cortlandt as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire prevention — See Ch. 44.
Dangerous buildings — See Ch. 135.
Numbering of buildings — See Ch. 139.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 175.
Plumbing — See Ch. 219.
Signs — See Ch. 245.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 265.
Zoning — See Ch. 307.
[Adopted 8-15-1989 by L.L. No. 9-1989]

§ 131-1 State standards.

The Town Board of the Town of Cortlandt recognizes the applicability of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code ("Building Code") to the Town of Cortlandt in accordance with the provisions of § 381 of the Executive Law, effective January 1, 1984. All references to the former New York State Building Construction Code (P.L. 1951, c. 800) contained elsewhere in the ordinances, rules and regulations of the Town of Cortlandt shall, from and after the effective date hereof, be deemed to refer to the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, or so much thereof as shall pertain within the Town of Cortlandt.

§ 131-2 Permits to conform to standards.

No board, agency, officer or employee of the Town shall issue, grant or approve a permit, license, certificate or other authorization, including special permits and variances by the Board of Appeals, for any construction, reconstruction, alteration, enlargement or moving of any building or for any use of any land or building that would not be in compliance with the provisions of the Building Code. Any such permit, license, certificate or other authorization issued, granted or approved in violation of the provisions of the Building Code shall be null and void and of no effect, without the necessity of any proceedings for revocation or nullification thereof, and such permit, license, certificate or other authorization shall be unlawful, and no action shall be taken by any board, agency, officer or employee of the Town purporting to validate any such violation.

§ 131-3 Building permits.

A. 
No building shall be erected, moved, altered, added to or enlarged and no excavation for any building shall be begun if the cost of labor and materials for the work proposed to be done is estimated at more than $1,500 unless and until a building permit for such work has been issued by the Director of Code Enforcement. Every application for a building permit shall be filed on a form provided by the Office of Code Enforcement. Each application shall fully set forth the purpose for which the building is proposed to be used, lot dimensions, lot and block numbers and subdivision name, if any, and shall be accompanied by duplicate copies of construction drawings and plans showing compliance with the Building Code and a copy of the zoning permit required by § 88-41.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See now Ch. 307, Zoning.
B. 
Every application for a building permit shall be accompanied by a fee in accordance with the fee schedule set by resolution of the Town Board, except that no fee shall be required for the issuance of a building permit to construct or erect a fallout shelter facility.
C. 
No building permit shall be issued or reissued for a building to be used for any purpose for which a special permit is required pursuant to the regulations set forth in the schedule constituting §§ 88-6 through 88-32 unless and until a special permit for such use has been issued by the Board of Appeals as provided in § 88-42.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See now Ch. 307, Zoning.
D. 
If the work for which a building permit has been issued is not commenced within six months after the date of such issuance or such longer period as the Director of Code Enforcement may authorize, in writing, because of the occurrence of conditions unforeseen at the time of issuance, such permit shall expire, and a new permit shall be obtained before such work is commenced. If the work for which a building permit has been issued is not completed within one year from and after the date of issuance of the permit or such longer period as the Director of Code Enforcement may authorize, in writing, for the completion of work under way, said building permit shall expire, and no further work shall be undertaken until a new building permit has been obtained.
E. 
Where a proposed use of land, buildings and other structures or a proposed building or other structure involves the installation, extension, relocation or reconstruction of a private sewage disposal or private water supply system, no building permit shall be issued and no application for a certificate of occupancy shall be approved until such systems have been approved by the Westchester County Department of Health.

§ 131-3.1 Limitations on building permits.

[Added 10-8-2002 by L.L. No. 9-2002; amended 4-11-2006 by L.L. No. 2-2006]
A. 
No official of the Town of Cortlandt shall issue any building permit for the construction of any residence with respect to major subdivisions hereafter filed in the office of the Clerk of the County of Westchester, Division of Land Records, unless the following schedule is adhered to:
[Amended 8-15-2006 by L.L. No. 5-2006]
Installation of
Improvement
Percentage of
Building Permits
Rough grading, placement of fill, and compaction
33 1/3%
Base asphalt course, catch basins, drainage pipes, water lines, and appurtenances
66 2/3%
All other drainage facilities; all other public facilities
All but last 3 or 10% of total permits, whichever is greater
Final asphalt course, curbs
100%
B. 
Exclusions. In calculating the aforementioned percentages, those lots which have frontage on existing public highways shall not be considered part of the subdivision for the purposes of the application of this section. A project can be divided into phases either by the Planning Board or by a plan approved by the Director of Technical Services, and the above percentages apply within those phases.

§ 131-4 Certificates of occupancy.

A. 
A certificate of occupancy shall be obtained from the Director of Code Enforcement for any of the following:
(1) 
Occupancy and use of a building hereafter erected, structurally altered or moved.
(2) 
Change in the use of an existing building, except to another use of the same type.
(3) 
Occupancy and use of vacant land, except for any use consisting primarily of tilling the soil.
(4) 
Change in the use of land, except to another use of the same type and except for any use consisting primarily of the tilling of the soil.
(5) 
Any change in use of a nonconforming use.
(6) 
Establishment of any use of a building or of land for which a special permit is required pursuant to the regulations set forth in the schedule constituting §§ 88-6 through 88-32.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See now Ch. 307, Zoning.
B. 
No such occupancy, use or change of use shall take place until a certificate of occupancy therefor has been issued by the Director of Code Enforcement, and no such certificate of occupancy shall be issued until a certificate of zoning compliance has been issued pursuant to § 88-41.[2] No excavation for any building shall be begun until application has been made for a certificate of occupancy of such building. No certificate of occupancy shall be issued or reissued for any use of a building or of land for which a special permit is required pursuant to the regulation set forth in the schedule constituting §§ 88-6 through 88-32 unless and until a special permit for such use has been issued by the Board of Appeals, as provided in § 88-42. Every certificate of occupancy for a use for which a special permit has been issued or in connection with which a variance has been granted in accordance with the provisions of § 88-42 shall contain a detailed statement of such special permit or variance and of any condition to which the same is subject.
[2]
Editor's Note: See now Ch. 307, Zoning.
C. 
Written application for a certificate of occupancy for a new building or for an existing building which has been altered shall be made at the same time as the application for the building permit for such building. Such certificate shall be issued within 10 days after a written request for the same has been made to the Director of Code Enforcement after the erection or alteration of such building or part thereof has been completed in conformity with the provisions of the Building Code and after the issuance of a certificate of zoning compliance pursuant to § 88-41.[3] Pending the issuance of such certificate of occupancy, a temporary certificate of occupancy may be issued by the Director of Code Enforcement for a period not exceeding 90 days during the completion of any alterations which are required under the provisions of any law or ordinance. Such temporary certificate shall not be construed as in any way as altering the respective rights, duties or obligations of the owner or the Town relating to the use or occupancy of the land or building or any other matter covered by the ordinance, and such temporary certificate shall not be issued except under such restrictions and provisions as will adequately assure the safety of the occupants of the building, land and adjacent buildings and land. The issuance of such temporary certificate of occupancy shall not be construed as in any way signifying compliance with the provisions of Chapter 88.[4]
[3]
Editor's Note: See now Ch. 307, Zoning.
[4]
Editor's Note: See now Ch. 307, Zoning.
D. 
Written application for a certificate of occupancy for the use of vacant land or for a change in the use of land or of a building for a change of use of a nonconforming use, as provided herein, shall be made to the Director of Code Enforcement after the issuance of a certificate of zoning compliance pursuant to § 88-41.[5] If the proposed use is in conformity with the provisions of this article and of all other applicable laws and ordinances, the certificate of occupancy therefor shall be issued within 10 days after the application for the same has been made.
[5]
Editor's Note: See now Ch. 307, Zoning.
E. 
Every certificate of occupancy shall state that the building or the proposed use of a building or land complies with all the provisions of law and of this article and of all other ordinances of the Town.
F. 
If the occupancy and use of a building or of land for which a certificate of occupancy has been issued is not commenced within six months after the date of such issuance or such longer period as the Director of Code Enforcement may authorize, in writing, because of the occurrence of conditions unforeseen at the time of issuance, such certificate of occupancy shall expire, and a new certificate of occupancy shall be obtained before such occupancy and use are commenced.
G. 
A certificate of occupancy shall be deemed to authorize and is required for both initial and continued occupancy and use of the building or land to which it applies and shall continue in effect so long as such building and the use thereof or the use of such land is in full conformity with the provisions of this article and any requirement made pursuant thereto. On the conviction of any violation of any of said provisions or requirements with respect to any building or the use thereof or of land as provided in § 131-4, the certificate of occupancy for such use shall thereupon, without further action, be null and void, and a new certificate of occupancy shall be required for any further use of such building or land.
H. 
Duplicate copies of every certificate of occupancy shall be filed with the Town Clerk and the Town Assessor. A record of all certificates of occupancy shall be kept in the office of the Director of Code Enforcement, and copies shall be furnished, on request, to the Planning Board or to any person having a proprietary or tenancy interest in the building or land affected.

§ 131-5 Duties of Building Inspector.

The Building Inspector shall be appointed by the Town Board, who shall prescribe his qualifications and fix his compensation. It shall be his duty to enforce the provisions of the Building Code as directed by the Director of Code Enforcement. The Building Inspector and his duly authorized assistants shall have the right to enter any building or enter upon any land during the daytime in the course of their duties. Files of all applications for building permits and plans submitted therewith and for certificates of occupancy issued by the Director of Code Enforcement, which files and records shall be maintained under the supervision of the Director of Code Enforcement and shall be open to public inspection.

§ 131-6 Sprinkler systems required.

All classifications of buildings below, which buildings are constructed pursuant to a building permit issued after the effective date of this article, shall be required to have approved sprinkler systems as hereinafter defined. Such systems shall comply with the current edition of the National Fire Protection Standards for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, NFPA 13, in effect at the time of the issuance of the building permit for such construction. Residential structures shall comply with National Fire Protection Association Standards 13D or 13R, where applicable. Sprinkler systems designed for all structures shall be signed by a registered professional engineer (PE) or a member grade of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE).
A. 
New construction.
(1) 
Multiple dwellings of three (3) attached units or more, except enclosed closets fifty (50) square feet or less in area and bathrooms.
(2) 
Office buildings.
(3) 
Administrative buildings.
(4) 
Bank buildings.
(5) 
Professional buildings.
(6) 
Retail and personal service buildings (mercantile).
(7) 
Industrial buildings.
(8) 
Storage buildings.
(9) 
Amusement park buildings.
(10) 
Armories.
(11) 
Art galleries.
(12) 
Assembly halls.
(13) 
Auditoriums.
(14) 
Bathhouses.
(15) 
Bowling alleys.
(16) 
Clubrooms.
(17) 
Coliseums and stadiums.
(18) 
Courtrooms and buildings.
(19) 
Dance halls.
(20) 
Exhibition halls or buildings.
(21) 
Gymnasiums.
(22) 
Indoor tennis courts and other sport courts.
(23) 
Lecture halls.
(24) 
Libraries.
(25) 
Lodge halls or rooms.
(26) 
Hotels.
(27) 
Motels.
(28) 
Lodging and boarding houses.
(29) 
Motion-picture theaters.
(30) 
Museums.
(31) 
Nightclubs and banquet halls.
(32) 
Recreation centers.
(33) 
Restaurants.
(34) 
Skating rinks.
(35) 
Theaters.
(36) 
Churches, synagogues and similar places of worship.
(37) 
Schools, colleges and similar places of education.
(38) 
Outpatient clinics.
(39) 
Day-care centers.
(40) 
Child-caring institutions.
(41) 
Clinics.
(42) 
Hospitals.
(43) 
Infirmaries.
(44) 
Sanatoriums.
(45) 
Boathouses.
(46) 
Nursing homes.
(47) 
Nightclubs, as defined in the Town Cabaret Law.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 145, Cabarets.
(48) 
Group homes.
(49) 
Halfway houses.
B. 
Existing buildings and structures, as defined below which do not presently contain sprinkler systems, as defined herein, shall be required to comply with this section within 60 months from the effective date of this article. For the purposes of compliance, the owner or owners of buildings or structures of the classifications set forth below shall enter into a valid contract for the installation of an approved sprinkler system within 36 months from the effective date of this article and shall complete required sprinkler system installation within 60 months from the effective date of this article.
(1) 
Hotels and motels.
(2) 
Child-caring institutions, day-care centers and nurseries having 10 or more children.
(3) 
Hospitals, infirmaries and sanitariums.
(4) 
Nursing homes.
(5) 
Nightclubs, as defined in the Cabaret Law.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 145, Cabarets.
(6) 
Public restaurants having a seating capacity of 50 or more.
(7) 
Tourist homes and/or boarding- , lodging or rooming houses.
(8) 
Theaters.
(9) 
Group homes.
(10) 
Halfway houses.
C. 
No building permit shall be issued for the construction of any building or structure or alteration or restoration of any portion thereof or addition thereto unless the plans and specifications therefor comply with this article. For the purposes of this section, any alteration or restoration of an existing building or structure or addition thereto which:
(1) 
Increases the habitable square footage of such building or structure more than 50% shall require a sprinkler system for the entire structure; or
(2) 
Repairs damage caused by fire, storm or other act of God or natural deterioration to more than 50% of the habitable square footage of such building or structure shall require a sprinkler system for the entire building or structure.
D. 
No certificate of occupancy shall be issued for the occupancy or use of any building or structure or portion thereof required to have a sprinkler system in accordance with this article, unless such sprinkler system shall have been approved, installed, inspected and tested.
E. 
Sprinklers shall not be required to be installed in spaces where the discharge of water would be hazardous. In such places, other fire-extinguishing equipment, as approved by the Office of Code Enforcement, shall be provided.
F. 
All sprinkler systems operated from a dedicated fire-line tap shall be inspected at least once annually, and a certificate of proper operation thereof shall be filed with the Office of Code Enforcement before October 31 in each year.
G. 
Sprinkler systems required in areas where a dedicated water supply is not available shall provide water taps for private fire protection as specified in NFPA 22 or another approved system to provide adequate water supply for sprinklers.
H. 
Records shall be kept in the Office of Code Enforcement of every identifiable complaint of a violation of any of the provisions of the Building Code and the actions taken consequent to each such complaint, which records shall be public records. The Director of Code Enforcement shall report to the Town Board periodically, at intervals of not greater than three months, summarizing for the period since his last previous report all permits and certificates of occupancy issued by the Department and all complaints of violation and the action taken by him. A copy of each such report shall be filed with the Planning Board at the same time that it is filed with the Town Board.

§ 131-7 Penalties for offenses.

[Amended 8-17-1993 by L.L. No. 2-1993]
A. 
Any person or corporation, whether as owner, lessee, principal, agent, employee or otherwise, who or which violates any of the provisions of this article or permits any such violation or fails to comply with any of the requirements thereof or who erects, constructs, reconstructs, alters, enlarges, converts, moves or uses any building or uses any land in violation of any detailed statement or plans submitted by him and approved under the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a violation and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $250 or up to 15 days in jail. In lieu of any of the above penalties, the Department of Code Enforcement may elect to impose a civil penalty for the violation of any part of this article. The civil penalty sought shall not be less than $250 nor greater than $3,000 for each violation of this article. An action to recover a civil penalty may be commenced in any court of competent jurisdiction in the name of the Town of Cortlandt by the Director of Code Enforcement.
B. 
In case any building or structure is erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, converted or maintained or any building, structure or land is used in violation of this article, the proper local authorities of the Town, in addition to other remedies, may institute an appropriate action or proceedings to prevent such unlawful erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, conversion, maintenance or use, to restrain, correct or abate such violation, to prevent the occupancy of said building, structure or land or to prevent any illegal act or conduct, business or use in or about such building, structure or land.
C. 
Upon its becoming aware of any violation of the provisions of this article, the Department of Code Enforcement shall serve notice of such violation on the person or corporation committing or permitting the same, and if such violation has not ceased within such reasonable time as may be specified it shall institute such action as may be necessary to terminate the violation. Furthermore, a stop-work order may be posted and served by the Department of Code Enforcement directing that all work cease on a particular site until compliance has been had. Anyone who fails to obey or deliberately removes a stop-work order from where it is posted shall be guilty of a separate and distinct violation of this article.
[Adopted 4-20-2010 by L.L. No. 10-2010]

§ 131-8 Legislative intent.

When a property in the Town is purchased or sold, normally a departmental search is requested from the Department of Code Enforcement. That search often reveals that there may be an outstanding building permit that had been issued, with respect to the particular property, prior to 1980. Due to the age of these permits, it is often quite difficult to reconstruct whether or not the improvement was even made or, if made, whether an inspection was actually done and no certificate of occupancy issued for some reason. It is the desire of the Town Board to allow administrative flexibility with respect to closing out these permits, since they are more than 30 years old and in all events unlikely to be of issue. It is with this intent in mind that the Board adopts this article.

§ 131-9 Certificate of closeout.

Any building permit on the records of the Town that was issued with respect to any property in the Town prior to 1980 may be given an administrative certificate of closeout by the Director of Code Enforcement should it be determined that there are no records to indicate whether the construction was ever conducted or, if built, whether any future inspections were done. A certificate of closeout issued by this Department does not indicate that inspections were made. However, it does indicate that this building permit is not a violation of record and that the property is not subject to any enforcement because of this open permit.

§ 131-10 Procedure for issuing certificate of closeout.

The Director of Technical Services is hereby authorized to promulgate a written procedure to be followed by the Department with respect to investigating when a certificate of closeout can be issued by this Department. Said rules shall be posted in the Department and filed with the Town Clerk within 30 days following the adoption of this article.

§ 131-11 Life-safety issues.

Nothing in this article shall mandate that the Director of Technical Services issue any certificate or approval where any life-safety situation currently exists on the property at the time that a request for a departmental search is being made.