Fire prevention and building construction — See Ch. 60.
§ 48-4Investigation and report.
§ 48-4.1Unsafe or dangerous defects.
§ 48-5Order to secure or remove.
§ 48-8Failure to comply.
§ 48-9Assessment of expenses.
§ 48-10Emergency situations.
§ 48-11Application for court order.
§ 48-12Special proceeding for costs.
Unsafe buildings pose a threat to life and property in the Village of Woodridge. 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. Debris, rubble or parts of buildings left on the ground and not removed constitute a dangerous, unhealthy and unsightly condition. It is the purpose of this chapter to provide for the safety, health, protection and general welfare of persons and property in the Village of Woodridge by requiring such unsafe buildings to be repaired or demolished and removed.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any building, structure or portion thereof used for residential, business, industrial, recreational or other purpose.
- BUILDING INSPECTOR
- The Building Inspector of the Village of Woodridge or such other person appointed by the Board of Trustees to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
- PORTION OF BUILDING OR STRUCTURE
- Any building or structure or portion thereof which:
Because of its structural condition, is or may become dangerous or unsafe to the public.
Is open at the doorways or windows or walls, making it accessible to and an object of attraction to minors under eighteen (18) years of age, as well as to vagrants and other trespassers.
Is or may become a place of rodent infestation.
Consists of debris, rubble or parts of buildings left on the ground after demolition, reconstruction, fire or other casualty.
Presents any other danger to the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the public.
It shall be unlawful for any owner, tenant or occupant of any building or structure or portion of any building or structure in the Village of Woodridge to maintain such building or structure or portion of such building or structure in any condition or manner which shall be unsafe as defined in § 48-2 of this chapter.
When, in the opinion of the Building Inspector, any building or structure located in the Village of Woodridge shall be deemed to be dangerous or unsafe to the public, as defined in § 48-2, the Building Inspector shall make a formal inspection thereof and report, in writing, to the Board of Trustees his/her findings and recommendations in regard to the building's or structure's removal or repair.
Any structure or building which has any of the following defects or conditions shall be deemed unsafe and dangerous within the meaning of this chapter:
Those whose interior walls or other vertical structural members list, lean or buckle to such an extent that a plumb line passing through the center of gravity falls outside of the middle third of its space.
Those which, exclusive of the foundation, show thirty-three percent (33%) or more damage or deterioration of the supporting member or members or fifty percent (50%) damage or deterioration of the nonsupporting enclosings or outside walls or covering.
Those which have improperly distributed loads upon the floors or roofs or in which the same are overloaded or have insufficient strength to be reasonably safe for the purpose used.
Those which have been damaged by fire, wind or other causes so as to have become dangerous to life, safety, morals or the general health and welfare of the occupants or the people of the Village of Woodridge.
Those which have become or are so dilapidated, decayed, unsafe, unsanitary or which so utterly fail to provide the amenities essential to decent living that they are unfit for human habitation or are likely to cause sickness or disease so as to work injury to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of those living therein.
Those having light, air and sanitation facilities which are inadequate to protect the health, morals, safety or general welfare of human beings who live or may live therein.
Those having inadequate facilities for egress in case of fire or panic or those having insufficient stairways, elevators, fire escapes or other means of communication.
Those which have parts thereof which are so attached that they may fall and injure members of the public or property.
Those which because of their condition are unsafe, unsanitary or dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the people of this village.
The Village Board of Trustees shall consider the report and, if in its opinion the report so warrants, shall by resolution determine that the structure or building in question is unsafe or dangerous and shall order the same to be made safe and secure or removed; provided, however, that a notice thereof shall be given as provided in § 48-6 hereof.
A copy of said notice shall be personally served upon the owner or some one (1) of the owners, executors, legal representatives, agents or lessees or other person having a vested interest in the premises as shown on the village tax records or in the records in the Sullivan County Clerk's office.
If no such person can be reasonably found for personal service, then a copy of said notice shall be mailed to such person, by registered or certified mail, addressed to his last known address as shown on said records or by personally serving a copy of said notice upon any adult person residing in or occupying said premises or by securely affixing a copy of said notice upon said building or structure.
The Board of Trustees shall conduct the public hearing at the time and place specified in the notice to repair or demolish. It may adjourn the hearing from time to time until all interested parties are heard and until the hearing is completed. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board of Trustees shall determine by resolution to revoke the order to repair or remove, modify said order or continue and affirm said order and direct the owner or other persons to complete the work within the time specified in the order or such other time as shall be determined by the Board of Trustees.
In the event of the refusal, failure or neglect of the owner or person so notified to comply with said order of the Board of Trustees within the time specified in said order and after the public hearing, the Board of Trustees shall provide that such building or structure be made safe and secure or removed and demolished by village employees or by independent contractors. Except in emergency cases as herein provided, any contract for repair or demolishing and removal of a building or structure in excess of five thousand dollars ($5,000.) shall be awarded through competitive bidding.
All expenses incurred by the village in connection with the proceedings to repair and secure or demolish and remove the unsafe building, including the cost of actually removing such building, 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 5 of the Village Law for the levy and collection of real property taxes.
Where it reasonably appears that there is present a clear and imminent danger to the life, safety or health of any person or to property unless an unsafe building or structure is immediately repaired and secured or demolished, the Board of Trustees may, by resolution, authorize the Building Inspector to immediately cause the repair or demolition of such unsafe building or structure. The expenses 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 § 48-9 hereof.
The Board of Trustees, in its discretion, may elect to apply to the Supreme Court of the State of New York for an order directing that the building be repaired and secured or demolished and removed.
The Board of Trustees may commence a special proceeding pursuant to § 78-b of the General Municipal Law to collect the costs of demolition, including reasonable and necessary legal expenses.