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 4-14-1992 by L.L. No. 6-1992. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 149-1 Legislative intent.

The Town Board is desirous of establishing the prior responsibility for the administration and enforcement of all Town local laws and ordinances dealing with building and zoning under one department. The benefits will be more efficient, less costly administration and enforcement and a simplified process wherein any property owner in the Town may make application in one epartment for approval to conduct legal activities upon their land. It is in furtherance of these purposes that the Town Board does hereby adopted this chapter.

§ 149-2 Department of Code Administration and Enforcement established; effect on existing legislation.

A. 
There is hereby established in the Town of Cortlandt the Department of Code Administration and Enforcement. Said Department shall be deemed to be a separate department pursuant to the definitions and terms of the Suburban Town Law of the State of New York.
B. 
This chapter shall supersede the provisions for zoning permits and certificates of zoning compliance set forth in Chapter 307, Zoning, of the Code of the Town of Cortlandt.

§ 149-3 Director of Department.

The Town Board will, in accordance with the New York State Town Law, appoint a Director of the Department of Code Administration and Enforcement. Said Director shall be considered a department head pursuant to the provisions of the Town Law.

§ 149-4 Appointment of Department personnel.

The Town Board shall appoint such personnel to assist the Director of Code Administration and Enforcement in the performance of his duties as the Board shall, from time to time, deem necessary.

§ 149-5 Powers and duties of Department.

The powers and duties of the Department of Code Administration and Enforcement shall be as follows:
A. 
Make recommendations to the Town Board regarding the creation, modification or elimination of enforcement codes.
B. 
Issue building permits, certificates of occupancy, wetlands permits, steel slopes permits and any other permits, licenses or approvals except as otherwise specified in the Town Code.
C. 
Make periodic inspections to determine compliance of work being done pursuant to any permit, license or approval duly granted pursuant to the Town Code.
D. 
Enforce the Town Code indicated under other local laws and ordinances. As provided in this chapter, the members of this Department shall be enforcement officials. In addition to any other officers named in any other local laws or ordinances of the Town, they shall possess the enforcement authority to enforce all local laws, ordinances, rules or regulations duly adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Cortlandt. Additionally, they are authorized to enforce any parking provisions of the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the Town[1] and the State of New York.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 291, Vehicles and Traffic.
E. 
Provide professional, technical assistance to the Zoning Board of Appeals.
F. 
Provide administrative and clerical services to the Zoning Board of Appeals, including but not necessarily limited to processing of applications, the collection of fees and recordkeeping.
G. 
Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, ordinance rule or regulation or except as hereinafter otherwise provided, administer and enforce all of the provisions of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, (known as the "Uniform Code") and other laws, ordinances, rules and regulations applicable to plans, specifications or permits for the construction, alteration and repair of buildings and structures and the installation and use of materials and equipment therein and to the location, use and occupancy thereof.

§ 149-6 Building Inspector.

The Director of Code Administration and Enforcement shall serve as Building Inspector. The Building Inspector shall have all the duties prescribed by the New York State Town Law and the local laws and ordinances of the Town of Cortlandt. The Director, or his designee, shall issue building permits, certificates of occupancy in accordance with Town local laws and ordinances. No building permit shall be issued unless the Director, or his designee, has determined that the requested authorization is in compliance with the Zoning Ordinance;[1] Chapter 259, Steep Slopes; Chapter 179, Freshwater Wetlands, Water Bodies and Watercourses; and any other required permits, licenses or approvals as specified in the Town Code.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 307, Zoning.

§ 149-7 Zoning Inspector.

The Zoning Inspector shall be a member of this Department and shall serve as the Clerk of the Zoning Board of Appeals. This person shall assist the Director of Code Administration and Enforcement and his designees in determining compliance of any application with Chapter 307, Zoning, and such other duties as the Director may assign.

§ 149-8 Fire Inspector.

The duly appointed Fire Inspector of the Town of Cortlandt shall be a member of this Department. His duty shall include, but not be limited to, firesafety inspections of all areas of public assembly, all multiple dwellings and nonresidential occupancies in the Town in intervals consistent with local conditions. He shall also perform inspections in response to complaints regarding activities allegedly failing to comply with the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and the codes of the Town of Cortlandt.

§ 149-9 Rules and regulations.

The Town Board may, after public notice and publication, at least five days prior to the effective date thereof, in the official newspaper of the Town of Cortlandt, adopt such further procedural/administrative rules and regulations as the Board deems reasonable to carry out the provisions of this chapter. The Director may make recommendations to the Town Board to adopt, amend or appeal such rules and regulations as they may relate to efficient administration and enforcement of the provisions of the Uniform Code. Such rules and regulations shall not conflict with the Uniform Code, this chapter or any provisions of law.

§ 149-10 Restrictions on Department employees.

No employee of the Department shall engage in any activity inconsistent with his duties or with the interests of the Department of Code Administration and Enforcement, nor shall he, during the term of his employment, be engaged directly or indirectly in any building business; in the furnishing of labor, materials, supplies or appliances for or the supervision of construction, alteration, demolition or maintenance of a building; or the preparation of plans or specifications therefor, within the Town of Cortlandt, except that this provision shall not prohibit any employee from engaging in such activities in connection with the construction of a building or structure owned by him for his own personal use and occupancy or for the use and occupancy of members of his immediate family and not constructed for sale.

§ 149-11 Applications for variances.

A. 
Where practical difficulties or unnecessary hardship may result from the enforcement of the strict letter of any provision of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, applications for variances consistent with the spirit of the code may be made to the Regional Board of Review in accordance with Part 440 of the New York Code of Rules and Regulations, entitled "Uniform Code: Board of Review," as promulgated by the New York Department of State. The Code Administration and Enforcement Department shall maintain a copy of such rules and regulations for public inspection, and it shall maintain a copy of all decisions rendered by the Board of Review pertaining to matters effecting the Town of Cortlandt.
B. 
Where practical difficulties or unnecessary hardship may result from the enforcement of this strict letter of any provision of this chapter or any rule or regulation hereunder, which provision is not also required by the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, applications for variances consistent with the spirit of such law, rule or regulation may be made to the Town Zoning Board of Appeals.

§ 149-12 Building permit required; exceptions.

No person, firm or corporation shall commence the erection, construction, enlargement, alteration or improvement of any building or structure, install solid fuel heating equipment or cause the same to be done without first obtaining a separate building permit from the Director of Code Administration and Enforcement or his designee, for each such building or structure; except that no building permit shall be required for:
A. 
Necessary repairs which do not materially affect structural features.
B. 
Alterations to existing buildings, provided that they cost less than $10,000, unless site development plan approval is required, do not materially affect structural features; do not affect firesafety features, such as smoke detectors, sprinklers and required fire separations and exits; do not involve the installation or extension of electrical systems; and do not include the installation of solid-fuel-burning heating appliances and associated chimneys or flues.
C. 
Accessory residential structures not greater than 100 square feet in area and not intended for use as quarters for living, sleeping, eating or cooking (for example a small storage building).
D. 
Aboveground swimming pools.

§ 149-13 Duties of Department Director; issuance and display of building permit.

The Director of the Department of Code Administration and Enforcement shall receive applications, approve plans and specifications and issue permits for the erection and alteration of buildings and structures or parts thereof and shall examine the premises for which such applications have been received, plans approved or such permits have been issued for the purpose of ensuring compliance with laws, ordinances, rules and regulations governing building construction or alterations. A building permit shall be issued when the Director of Code Administration and Enforcement determines that the application is complete, the proposed work conforms with the provisions of the Uniform Code, the proposed work is in compliance with the Zoning Ordinance,[1] and all other applicable local laws and ordinances of the Town. The permit shall be prominently displayed on the property or premises to which it pertains during construction so as to be readily seen from adjacent thoroughfares if possible.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 307, Zoning.

§ 149-14 Building permit application.

A. 
The application for a building permit and its accompanying documents shall contain sufficient information to permit a determination that the intended work accords with the requirements of the Uniform Code, the Zoning Ordinance,[1] and all other applicable local laws and ordinances.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 307, Zoning.
B. 
The form of the permit and application therefor shall be prescribed by resolution of the Town Board. The application shall be signed by the owner or his authorized agent of the building and shall contain at least the following:
(1) 
The name and address of the owner.
(2) 
An identification and/or description of the land on which the work is to be done.
(3) 
A description of the use or occupancy of the land and existing or proposed building.
(4) 
A description of the proposed work.
(5) 
The estimated cost of the proposed work, to be determined in accordance with current fee schedule contained in the Town Board resolution.
(6) 
A statement that the work shall be performed in compliance with the Uniform Code, the Zoning Ordinance[2] and all other applicable local laws and ordinances.
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 307, Zoning.
(7) 
The required fee.
C. 
Such application shall be accompanied by such documents, drawings, plans (including a plot plan) and specifications as required by the Uniform Code, the Zoning Ordinance[3] and all other applicable local laws and ordinances and any additional information which the Director of Code Enforcement and Administration deems necessary. The applicant may confer with the Director of Code Administration and Enforcement in advance of submitting his application to discuss the requirements for the same.
[3]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 307, Zoning.
D. 
Any plans (including a survey) or specifications which comprise a portion of the application, whether or not submitted subsequently upon requirement of an enforcement official, shall be stamped with the seal of an architect or professional engineer or land surveyor, licensed in this state, and shall in all respects comply with § 7209 of the Education Law of the State of New York as same may be amended from time to time.
E. 
The applicant shall notify the Enforcement Officer of any changes in the information contained in the application during the period for which the permit is in effect. A permit will be issued when the application has been determined to be complete and when the proposed work is determined to conform to the requirements of the Uniform Code and all other applicable laws. The authority conferred by such permit may be limited by conditions, if any, contained therein.
F. 
A building permit issued pursuant to this chapter may be suspended or revoked if it determined that the work to which it pertains, is not proceeding in conformance with the Uniform Code or with any condition attached to such permit, or if there has been misrepresentation or falsification of a material fact in connection with the application for the permit.
G. 
A building permit issued pursuant to this chapter shall expire one year from the date of issuance or upon the issuance of a certificate of occupancy (other than a temporary certificate of occupancy) whichever first occurs. The permit may, upon written request, be renewed for successive one-year periods, provided that the permit has not been revoked or suspended at the time the application for renewal is made, the relevant information in the application is up to date, the renewal fee is paid and there have been not more than two renewals.
H. 
Fencing during construction.
[Added 6-14-2016 by L.L. No. 3-2016]
(1) 
Fencing shall be eight feet high and provided with privacy screening. One-foot-by-one-foot openings shall be provided in the privacy screening five feet from the bottom of the fence to not exceed thirty-foot spacing along the entire length of the fence.
(2) 
Fencing is required along all public ways and shall return onto the parcel a minimum of 30 feet at ends.
(3) 
This does not supersede more restrictive requirements of the New York Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code for safeguards during construction.
(4) 
Exceptions:
(a) 
One- and two-family dwellings and townhouses.
(b) 
Minor projects as determined by the Director of Technical Services or their designee.
(5) 
Temporary fencing may be required as determined by the Director of Technical Services or their designee.

§ 149-15 Certificates of occupancy.

A. 
No building hereafter erected or no enlargement, extension or alteration which requires the issuance of a building permit shall be used or occupied, in whole or in part, until a certificate of occupancy shall have been issued by the Department of Code Administration and Enforcement.
B. 
No change shall be made in the occupancy, as defined by the Uniform Code, or in the use, as defined by the Zoning Ordinance,[1] of an existing building unless a building permit and a certificate of occupancy authorizing such change shall have been issued.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 307, Zoning.
C. 
Upon request by the applicant, the Director of Code Administration and Enforcement may issue a temporary certificate of occupancy for a building or structure or part thereof before the entire work covered by the building permit shall have been completed, provided that such portions as have been completed may be occupied safely without endangering life or the public health and welfare. A temporary certificate of occupancy shall remain effective for a period not exceeding three months from its date of issuance. For good causes, the Director of Code Administration and Enforcement may allow a maximum of two extensions for periods not exceeding three months each.
D. 
In issuing a temporary certificate of occupancy, the Director may require that the applicant deposit with the Town Comptroller a sum of money equal to two times the value of the work to be completed which currently prevents the issuance of a permanent certificate of occupancy. The applicant shall sign an escrow agreement acknowledging that said money will be held until the work is completed and fixing a date certain by which the work must be completed. Should the work not be completed by the date certain, then the money deposited with the Town Comptroller shall be forfeited to the Town of Cortlandt as a civil penalty for failure to complete the work in a timely and proper manner. The Town, after forfeiture, shall then be free to enforce the provisions of this chapter pursuant to its normal process.
E. 
When, after final inspection, the Director of Code Administration and Enforcement determines that the proposed work has been completed in accordance with the Uniform Code, the Zoning Ordinance,[2] and all other applicable local laws and ordinances and also in accordance with the application, the Department of Code Administration and Enforcement shall issue a certificate of occupancy. If it is found that the proposed work has not been properly completed, the Department shall not issue a certificate of occupancy and shall order the work completed in conformity with the building permit and in conformity with the applicable building regulations.
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 307, Zoning.
F. 
A certificate of occupancy shall be issued, where appropriate, within 30 days after work is complete.
G. 
The certificate of occupancy shall acknowledge that the work has been completed and that the proposed use and occupancy is in conformity with the provisions of the Uniform Code, the Zoning Ordinance,[3] and all other local laws and ordinances and shall specify the use or uses and the extent therefor to which the building or structure or its several parts may be put to use.
[3]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 307, Zoning.

§ 149-16 Inspections.

A. 
All dwelling units in a building or two-family or multifamily dwelling shall be inspected for the purpose of determining compliance with safety requirements of the Uniform Code at least once in every twelve-month period. The common areas of such buildings, such as halls, foyers, staircases, etc., shall also be inspected at least once in every 12 months.
B. 
Firesafety inspections of buildings or structures with areas of public assembly, as defined in Part 606 of Title 9 of the Official Compilation of Code, Rules and Regulations, shall be performed at least once in every 12 months.
C. 
All other building uses and occupancies (except one- and two-family dwellings) shall be inspected at least once in every 12 months.
D. 
An inspection of a building or dwelling unit shall be performed at any other time upon the request of the owner or authorized agent and payment of fee upon receipt of a written statement specifying the ground upon which the writer believes a violation of the Uniform Code exists or upon other reasonable and reliable information that such violation exists.
E. 
Such inspection shall be performed by the Department of Code Administration and Enforcement.

§ 149-17 Prior-to-zoning letters.

The Director shall fully accept any prior to zoning letter and/or certificate of occupancy issued previously by the Town.

§ 149-18 Records and reports.

A. 
The Code Administration and Enforcement Department shall keep permanent official records of all transactions and activities conducted by them, including all applications received, plans approved, permits and certificates issued, fees charged and collected, inspection reports, all rules and regulations promulgated by the municipality and notices and orders issued. All such reports shall be public information, open to public inspection during normal business hours.
B. 
The Director shall monthly submit to the Town Board a written report of all business conducted.

§ 149-19 Stop orders.

Whenever the Department has reasonable grounds to believe that work on any building or structure is being performed in violation of the provisions of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, the Zoning Ordinance[1] or other applicable laws, ordinances or regulations or that the work is not in conformity with the provisions of an application, plans or specifications on the basis of which a building permit was issued or is being performed in an unsafe and dangerous manner, the Director shall notify the owner of the property or the owner's agent to suspend all work. Such person shall immediately stop such work and suspend all building activities until the stop orders have been rescinded. All stop orders shall be in writing and shall state the conditions under which work may be resumed. A stop order shall be served upon the person to whom it is directed either by delivering it personally or by posting the same upon a conspicuous portion of the building where the work is being performed and sending a copy of the same to the person, firm or corporations by certified mail.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 307, Zoning.

§ 149-20 Penalties for offenses.

A. 
Upon the determination by the Director that a violation of the Uniform Code or this chapter exists, in or or about any building or premises, the Director shall order, in writing, the remedy of the condition. Such order shall state the specific provision of the Uniform Code which the particular condition violates and grant such time as may be reasonably necessary for achieving compliance before proceedings to compel compliance shall be instituted. Such order shall be served personally or by sending by first class mail.
B. 
Any person, firm or corporation who violates any provision of the Uniform Code or any rule or regulation of this chapter or the terms or conditions of any certificate of occupancy issued by the Director or his designee shall be liable to a civil penalty of not more than $250 for each day, or part thereof, during which such violation continues. The civil penalty provided in this subsection shall be recoverable in an action instituted in the name of the Town on the director's own initiative.
C. 
Alternatively and in addition to an action to recover the civil penalties provided by Subsection B, the Town may institute any appropriate action or proceeding to prevent restrain, enjoin and correct or abate any violation of or to enforce any provision of the Uniform Code or the terms and conditions of any certificate of occupancy issued by the Department.
D. 
Any person who shall willfully fail to comply with the written order of the Director or his designee within the time fixed for compliance herewith and any owner, builder, architect, tenant, contractor, subcontractor, construction superintendent or their agents or any other person taking part of assisting in the construction or use of any building who shall violate any applicable provisions of this chapter or any lawful order, notice, directive, permit or certificate of the Director, made thereunder, or, in addition to any other penalties provided for in this chapter, any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter, the Uniform Code, any rules or regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter or who shall violate or fail to comply with any order made thereunder or who shall build in violation of any detailed statement of specifications or plans submitted and approved thereunder shall severally be, for each and every violation, guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 and/or by imprisonment for not more than 30 days. The imposition of one penalty for any violation shall not excuse the violation nor permit it to continue. All such persons shall be required to correct or remedy such violation or defects within a reasonable time. When not otherwise specified, each day that the prohibitive condition(s) or violation(s) continues shall constitute a separate offense. The imposition of any such penalty shall not be held to prohibit the enforced removal of prohibitive conditions by any appropriate remedy including immediate application for an injunction.