Town of Aurora, NY
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Aurora as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Alarm systems — See Ch. 35.
Building permits — See Ch. 44.
Electrical inspections — See Ch. 59.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 68.
Sewers — See Ch. 93.
Site plan review — See Ch. 95.
Stormwater management — See Ch. 96.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 99.
Water — See Ch. 113.
Zoning — See Ch. 116.
[Adopted 4-12-1954; as amended through 1968]
There is hereby designated in the Town of Aurora a public official to be known as the "Superintendent of Buildings," who shall be appointed by the Town Board at a compensation to be fixed by it.
The Town Board may appoint one or more building inspectors, as the need may appear, to act under the supervision of the Superintendent of Buildings and to exercise any portion of his powers and duties. The compensation of such building inspectors shall be fixed by the Town Board.
In the absence of the Superintendent of Buildings or in the case of his inability to act for any reason, the Supervisor shall have the power, with the consent of the Town Board, to designate a person to act in his behalf and to exercise all of the powers conferred upon him by this article.
No officer or employee of the Building Department shall engage in any activity inconsistent with his duties or with the interests of the Building Department, nor shall he, during the term of his employment, be engaged, directly or indirectly, in any building business, in the furnishing of labor, materials or appliances for the construction, alteration or maintenance of a building or in the preparation of plans or specifications thereof within the Town of Aurora, excepting only that this provision shall not prohibit any employee from such activities in connection with the construction of a building or structure owned by him and not constructed for sale.
A. 
Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, ordinance or regulation or except as herein otherwise provided, the Superintendent of Buildings shall administer and enforce all of the provisions of laws, ordinances and regulations applicable to the construction, alteration, repair, removal and demolition of buildings and structures and the installation and use of materials and equipment therein and the location, use, occupancy and maintenance thereof.
B. 
He shall receive applications and issue permits for the erection, alteration, removal and demolition of buildings or structures or parts thereof and shall examine the premises for which such applications have been received or such permits have been issued for the purpose of ensuring compliance with laws, ordinances and regulations governing building construction.
C. 
He shall issue all appropriate notices or orders to remove illegal or unsafe conditions, to require the necessary safeguards during construction and to ensure compliance during the entire course of construction with the requirements of such laws, ordinances or regulations. He shall make all inspections which are necessary or proper for the carrying out of his duties, except that he may accept written reports of inspection from building inspectors or other employees of the Department of Buildings or from generally recognized and authoritative service and inspection bureaus, provided that the same are certified by a responsible official thereof.
D. 
Whenever the same may be necessary or appropriate to assure compliance with the provisions of applicable laws, ordinances or regulations covering building construction, he may require the performance of tests in the field by experienced, professional persons or by accredited and authoritative testing laboratories or service bureaus or agencies.
A. 
The Superintendent of Buildings shall keep permanent official records of all transactions and activities conducted by him, including all applications received, permits and certificates issued, fees charged and collected, inspection reports and notices and orders issued. All such records shall be public records open to public inspection during business hours.
B. 
The Superintendent of Buildings shall, monthly, submit to the Town Board a written report and summary of all business conducted by the Superintendent of Buildings, including permits and certificates issued, fees collected, orders and notices promulgated, inspections and tests made and appeals or litigation pending.
The Superintendent of Buildings may request and shall receive, so far as may be necessary in the discharge of his duties, the assistance and cooperation of the Police, Fire and Health Departments or officers and of all other municipal officials exercising any jurisdiction over the construction, use or occupancy of buildings or the installation of equipment therein.
A. 
No person, firm or corporation shall commence the erection, construction, enlargement, alteration, removal, improvement, conversion or change in the nature of the occupancy of any building or structure or cause the same to be done without first obtaining a separate building permit from the Superintendent of Buildings for each such building or structure, except that no building permit shall be required for the performance of ordinary repairs which are not structural in nature.
B. 
Application for permit.
(1) 
Application for a building permit shall be made to the Superintendent of Buildings on forms provided by him and shall contain the following information:
(a) 
A description of the land on which the proposed work is to be done.
(b) 
A statement of the use or occupancy of all parts of the land and of the building or structure.
(c) 
The valuation of the proposed work.
(d) 
The full name and address of the owner and of the applicant and the names and addresses of their responsible officers if any of them are corporations.
(e) 
A brief description of the nature of the proposed work.
(f) 
A duplicate set of plans and specifications as set forth in Subsection C of this section.
(g) 
Such other information as may reasonably be required by the Superintendent of Buildings to establish compliance of the proposed work with the requirements of the applicable building laws, ordinances and regulations.
(2) 
Applications shall be made by the owner or lessee, or the agent of either, or by the architect, engineer or builder employed in connection with the proposed work. Where such application is made by a person other than the owner, it shall be accompanied by an affidavit of the owner or applicant that the proposed work is authorized by the owner and that the applicant is authorized to make such application.
C. 
Plans and specifications.
(1) 
Each application for a building permit shall be accompanied by duplicate copies of plans and specifications, including a plot plan, drawn to scale, showing the location and size of all proposed new construction and all existing structures on the site, the nature and character of the work to be performed and the materials to be incorporated, distance from lot lines, the relationship of structures on adjoining property, widths and grades of adjoining streets, walks and alleys and, where required by the Superintendent of Buildings, details of structural, mechanical and electrical work, including computations, stress diagrams and other essential technical data. Before a final building permit is issued, all applicants, where appropriate, must comply with the provisions of § 65-9E of this Chapter 65.
[Amended 2-12-1996]
(2) 
Plans and specifications shall bear the signature of the person responsible for the design and drawings.
(3) 
The Superintendent of Buildings may waive the requirement for filing plans.
D. 
Amendments to the application or to the plans and specifications accompanying the same may be filed at any time prior to the completion of the work, subject to the approval of the Superintendent of Buildings.
A. 
The Superintendent of Buildings shall examine or cause to be examined all applications for permits and the plans, specifications and documents filed therewith. He shall approve or disapprove the application within a reasonable time.
B. 
Upon approval of the application and upon receipt of the legal fees therefor, he shall issue a building permit to the applicant upon the form prescribed by him and shall affix his signature or cause his signature to be affixed thereto.
C. 
Upon approval of the application, both sets of plans and specifications shall be endorsed with the word "approved." One set of such approved plans and specifications shall be retained in the files of the Superintendent of Buildings, and the other set shall be returned to the applicant, together with the building permit, and shall be kept at the building site and open to inspection by the Superintendent of Buildings or his authorized representative at all reasonable times.
D. 
If the application, together with plans, specifications and other documents filed therewith, describes proposed work which does not conform to all of the requirements of the applicable building regulations, the building official shall disapprove the same and shall return the plans and specifications to the applicant. Upon the request of the applicant, the Superintendent of Buildings shall cause such refusal, together with the reasons therefor, to be transmitted to the applicant in writing.
E. 
Notwithstanding any other provision contained in this § 65-9 of the Aurora Town Code to the contrary, any building permit to be issued, pursuant to this Chapter 65, for the construction of a new facility or a facility requiring a new foundation or footers will be initially issued as a temporary building permit, which would limit or restrict the improvements which can be completed by the applicant to the initial construction of any required footer or footers, after which the applicant shall be required to submit to the Superintendent of Buildings a currently dated survey showing the location of the footer or footers in question so that the Superintendent of Buildings can determine that the improvements proposed by the applicant will be consistent with all Town of Aurora codes and regulations. Thereafter, upon presentment of said survey, the Superintendent of Buildings will issue a final building permit to the applicant, which will facilitate the construction of the improvements contemplated by the application initially submitted to the Superintendent of Buildings pursuant to § 65-8 of this Chapter 65. Until such a final building permit is issued, no additional improvements, including the construction of basement or foundation walls, shall be undertaken by the applicant.
[Added 2-12-1996]
A. 
Except as otherwise provided in § 116-58 of Chapter 116 of the Aurora Town Code, a building permit shall be effective to authorize the commencing of work in accordance with the application, plans and specifications on which it is based for a period of six months after the date of its issuance. For good cause, the Superintendent of Buildings may allow a maximum of two extensions for periods not exceeding three months each.
[Amended 10-27-1997]
B. 
The issuance of a building permit shall constitute authority to the applicant to proceed with the work in accordance with the approved plans and specifications and in accordance with the applicable building laws, ordinances or regulations. All work shall conform to the approved applications plans and specifications.
[Amended 2-9-1976]
A. 
Upon filing an application for a building permit, a fee shall be paid in accordance with a fee schedule adopted by resolution of the Town Board.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The current fee schedule is on file in the office of the Town Clerk.
B. 
No fee shall be required or payable upon the application for building permits for or in connection with buildings to be used for educational, religious, charitable, hospital or sanitarium purposes, but not, however, including privately owned nursing homes, hospitals, sanitariums or schools operated for profit.
C. 
In the event that an application for a building permit is not approved, the applicant shall be entitled to a refund of 50% of the fee paid, provided that no construction has been commenced. If construction work has been started and the application is not approved, the fees paid shall not be refunded.
The Superintendent of Buildings may revoke a building permit theretofore issued and approved in the following instances:
A. 
Where he finds that there has been any false statement or misrepresentation as to a material fact in the application, plans or specifications on which the building permit was based.
B. 
Where he finds that the building permit was issued in error and should not have been issued in accordance with the applicable law.
C. 
Where he finds that the work performed under the permit is not being prosecuted in accordance with the provisions of the applications, plans or specifications.
D. 
Where the person to whom a building permit has been issued fails or refuses to comply with a stop order issued by the Superintendent of Buildings.
E. 
Where he finds that water has accumulated in excavations and/or cellars for buildings to a maximum depth of two feet and has notified the owner and contractor, if any, in writing, either personally or by registered mail sent to their last known addresses, either to fill up such excavations or cellars or to drain out the water within five days from the date of the receipt of such notice and that, if such excavation or cellar is not filled up or drained by the owner within such time, the Town of Aurora will do such filling or draining, and the owner of the premises shall reimburse the Town for any expenditures thereby involved or the cost thereof may be assessed, at the option of the Town, against the lands and property of the owner and added to the next succeeding Town tax on such property. The provisions of this subsection shall apply to all excavations and/or cellars for buildings in which water has accumulated at the time of the effective date of this article. Where there are practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships in the way of carrying out the provisions of this Subsection E, the Town Board shall have the power to vary or modify the application thereof so that the spirit of the same shall be observed and public welfare and safety secured and substantial justice done.
Whenever the Superintendent of Buildings has reasonable grounds to believe that the work on any building or structure is being prosecuted in violation of the provisions of the applicable building laws, ordinances or regulations or not in conformity with the provisions of an application, plans or specifications on the basis of which a building permit was issued or in an unsafe and dangerous manner, he shall notify the owner of the property or the owner's agent or the person performing the work to suspend all work, and any such persons shall forthwith stop such work and suspend all building activities until the stop order has been rescinded. Such order and notice shall be in writing, shall state the conditions under which the work may be resumed and may be served upon a person to whom it is directed either by delivering it personally to him or by posting the same upon a conspicuous portion of the building under construction and sending a copy of the same by registered mail.
Any building official, upon the showing of proper credentials and in the discharge of his duties, may enter upon any building, structure or premises at any reasonable hour, and no person shall interfere with or prevent such entry.
A. 
No building hereafter erected shall be used or occupied, in whole or in part, until a certificate of occupancy shall have been issued by the Superintendent of Buildings.
B. 
No building hereafter enlarged, extended or altered or upon which work has been performed which required the issuance of a building permit shall continue to be occupied or used for more than 30 days after the completion of the alteration or work unless a certificate of occupancy shall have been issued by the Superintendent of Buildings.
C. 
No change shall be made in the use or type of occupancy of an existing building unless a certificate of occupancy authorizing such change shall have been issued by the Superintendent of Buildings.
D. 
The owner or his agent shall make application for a certificate of occupancy. Accompanying this application and before the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, there shall be filed with the Superintendent of Buildings an affidavit of the registered architect or licensed professional engineer who filed the original plans or of the registered architect or licensed professional engineer who supervised the construction of the work or of the superintendent of construction who supervised the work and who, by reason of his experience, is qualified to superintend the work for which the certificate of occupancy is sought. This affidavit shall state that the deponent has examined the approved plans of the structure for which a certificate of occupancy is sought and that the structure has been erected in accordance with approved plans and, as erected, complies with the law governing building construction, except insofar as variations therefrom have been legally authorized. Such variations shall be specified in the affidavit.
A. 
Before issuing a certificate of occupancy, the Superintendent of Buildings shall examine or cause to be examined all buildings, structures and sites for which an application has been filed for a building permit to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, remove or change the use or occupancy, and he may conduct such inspections as he deems appropriate, from time to time, during and upon completion of the work for which a building permit has been issued.
B. 
There shall be maintained in the Building Department a record of all such examinations and inspections, together with a record of findings of violations of the law.
A. 
When, after final inspection, it is found that the proposed work has been completed in accordance with the applicable building laws, ordinances and regulations and also in accordance with the application, plans and specifications filed in connection with the issuance of the building permit, the Superintendent of Buildings shall issue a certificate of occupancy upon the form provided by him. If it is found that the proposed work has not been properly completed, the Superintendent of Buildings shall refuse to 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.
B. 
A certificate of occupancy shall be issued, where appropriate, within 10 days after application therefor is made. Failure to act upon such application within 30 days shall constitute approval of such application, and the building or portion thereof may thereafter be occupied as though a certificate of occupancy had been issued.
C. 
The certificate of occupancy shall certify that the work has been completed and that the proposed use and occupancy is in conformity with the provisions of the applicable building laws, ordinances and regulations and shall specify the use or uses and the extent thereof to which the building or structure or its several parts may be put.
Upon request, the Superintendent of Buildings 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 portion or portions as have been completed may be occupied safely without endangering life or the public welfare.
Whenever there are reasonable grounds to believe that any material, construction, equipment or assembly does not conform to the requirements of the applicable building laws, ordinances or regulations, the Superintendent of Buildings may require the same to be subjected to tests in order to furnish proof of such compliance.
[Amended 9-23-1996]
A. 
All buildings or structures which are structurally unsafe, unsanitary or not provided with adequate egress or which constitute a fire hazard or are otherwise dangerous to human life or which, in relation to existing use, constitute a hazard to safety or health by reason of inadequate maintenance, dilapidation, obsolescence or abandonment are, severally, for the purpose of this section, unsafe buildings. All such unsafe buildings are hereby declared to be illegal and shall be abated by repair and rehabilitation or by demolition in accordance with the procedures of this section.
B. 
The Superintendent of Buildings and/or building inspector shall examine or cause to be examined every building reported as unsafe and shall make a written record of such examination.
C. 
Whenever the Superintendent of Buildings and/or building inspector shall find any building or structure or portion thereof to be an unsafe building as defined in this section, he shall, in the same manner as provided for the service of stop orders in § 65-13 of this article, give to the owner, agent or person in control of such building or structure written notice as described herein. Said notice shall require the owner, within a stated time, either to complete specified repairs or improvements or to demolish and remove the building or structure or portion thereof. Said notice shall, if mailed, be addressed to the last known address, if any, of the owner, agent or other person having a vested or contingent interest in the premises, as shown by the records of the receiver of taxes and/or in the office of the County Clerk or county register, and contain a description of the premises; a statement of the particulars in which the building or structure is unsafe or dangerous; an order requiring the same to be made safe and secure or removed; and the time, date and place of a public hearing to be held before the Town Board at or during which the Town Board shall take testimony and consider evidence on whether and to what extent the buildings or structures in question should be secured, repaired and/or demolished, provided that said hearing must be held within 30 days of date of service or mailing of the notice in question and that the Town Board must issue written findings relative to said hearing within 10 days of any such a hearing date.
D. 
A copy of the notice described in Subsection C of this § 65-20 shall be filed within 10 days of service or mailing in the office of the Clerk of the County of Erie.
E. 
The person or persons served with or mailed the notice described in Subsection C hereof shall commence to secure, repair, remove and/or demolish the buildings or structures described therein within the later of 20 days after the delivery or mailing date of said notice or the Town Board issuing written findings requiring any such an action following the hearing described in Subsection C hereof and shall complete any required actions within 30 days of the commencement date described herein.
F. 
Notwithstanding any other provision contained herein, if the Superintendent of Buildings and/or building inspector finds that there is actual and immediate danger of failure or collapse of any buildings or structures which have been determined to be unsafe so as to endanger life, such notice shall also require the building, structure or portion thereof to be vacated forthwith before any required public hearing, if necessary, and not reoccupied until the specified repairs and improvements are completed, inspected and approved by one or both of them. In said event, the Superintendent of Buildings and/or building inspector shall cause to be posted at each entrance to such building or structure a notice: "THIS BUILDING IS UNSAFE, AND ITS USE OR OCCUPANCY HAS BEEN PROHIBITED BY THE BUILDING DEPARTMENT OF THE TOWN OF AURORA." Such notice shall remain posted until the required repairs are made or demolition is completed. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation or their agents or other servants to remove such notice without written permission of the Superintendent of Buildings and/or building inspector or for any person to enter the building except for the purpose of making the required repairs or of demolishing the same.
G. 
In case the owner, agent or person in control of any unsafe building or structure cannot be found or if such owner, agent or person in control shall fail, neglect or refuse to comply with the notice to repair, rehabilitate or to demolish and remove said building or structure or portion thereof, the Town may proceed to secure, repair and/or remove, in its sole discretion, the unsafe buildings or structures involved in a manner consistent with this section and other appropriate laws.
H. 
Notwithstanding any other provision contained herein to the contrary, in cases of emergency which, in the opinion of the Superintendent of Buildings and/or building inspector, involve imminent danger to human life or health, the Superintendent of Buildings and/or building inspector shall promptly cause such building, structure or portion thereof to be made secure and safe before any required public hearing. For this purpose, the Superintendent of Buildings and/or building inspector may at once enter such buildings or structures or the land on which they stand, or abutting lands, buildings or structures, and secure such buildings or structures with such assistance and at such costs as may be necessary. He may vacate adjacent structures and protect the public by appropriate barricades, fences or such other means as may be necessary and, for this purpose, may close public or private streets or rights-of-way until any such danger has subsided.
I. 
Costs and expenses incurred by the Town under this section, including the cost of actually removing any unsafe buildings or structures, shall be paid out of the municipal treasury on certificate of the Superintendent of Buildings and/or building inspector. Such costs shall be charged to the owner of the premises involved and/or assessed against the land on which said buildings or structures are located and collected in the manner provided by law for the collection of real estate taxes and other amounts due to the Town. Additionally, the owner and/or other persons and entities responsible for the care and maintenance of any unsafe building or structure shall be subject to any and all other penalties or fines set forth in this chapter or in any other statute, ordinance or regulation applicable to such a building or structure.
[Amended 1-22-1990 by L.L. No. 1-1990]
From and after the effective date of this article, no building shall be erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, removed, improved, demolished, converted or changed as to the nature of use or occupancy in the Town of Aurora, outside the Village of East Aurora, except pursuant to and in compliance with this article and the State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code of the State of New York.
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to construct, alter, repair, move, remove, equip, use, occupy or maintain any building or structure or portion thereof in violation of any provision of this article or to fail in any manner to comply with a notice, directive or order of the Superintendent of Buildings or to construct, alter or use and occupy any building or structure or part thereof in a manner not permitted by an approved building permit or certificate of occupancy.
B. 
Any person who shall fail to comply with a written order of the Superintendent of Buildings within the time fixed for compliance therewith and any owner, builder, architect, tenant, contractor, subcontractor, construction superintendent or their agents or any other person taking part or assisting in the construction or use of any building who shall knowingly violate any of the applicable provisions of this article or any lawful order, notice, directive, permit or certificate of the Superintendent of Buildings made thereunder shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $250 or by imprisonment for a term not to exceed 15 days, or both. Each day that a violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense.
[Amended 1-22-1990 by L.L. No. 1-1990; 3-26-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
C. 
Except as provided otherwise by law, such a violation shall not be a crime, and the penalty or punishment imposed therefor shall not be deemed for any purpose a penal or criminal penalty or punishment and shall not impose any disability upon or affect or impair the credibility as a witness, or otherwise, of any person convicted thereof.
D. 
This section shall not apply to violations of the provisions of the State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code punishable under § 382 of the Executive Law of the State of New York nor to violations of the provisions of the Multiple Residence Law punishable under § 304 of the Multiple Residence Law of the State of New York.
[Amended 1-22-1990 by L.L. No. 1-1990]
Appropriate actions and proceedings may be taken at law or in equity to prevent unlawful construction or to restrain, correct or abate a violation or to prevent illegal occupancy of a building, structure or premises or to prevent illegal acts, conduct or business in or about any premises, and these remedies shall be in addition to the penalties prescribed in the preceding section.
[Adopted 12-8-1986 by L.L. No. 2-1986]
It is the intent of the Town of Aurora, as an exercise of its police power, to promote the general health, safety and welfare of the residents and inhabitants of the Town of Aurora by enacting this article for the adoption and enforcement of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention Code and Building Code.
For the purposes of this article, the following shall have the meanings ascribed to them. All other words shall have the meanings normally ascribed to them in regular usage.
NEW YORK STATE UNIFORM FIRE PREVENTION AND BUILDING CODE
The New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code Act as described and contained in Article 18 of the New York State Executive Law.
In addition to and not in limitation of any power otherwise granted by law, the Town of Aurora and its employees and authorized agents shall have the power to order, in writing, the remedying of any condition found to exist in, on or about any building in violation of the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and to issue appearance tickets for violations of the Uniform Code.
[Amended 3-28-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]
Any person having been served, either personally or by registered mail, with an order to remedy any condition found to exist in, on or about any building in violation of the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code who shall fail to comply with such order within the time fixed by the regulations promulgated by the Secretary pursuant to Subdivision 1 of § 381 of the Executive Law, such time period to be stated in the order, and any owner, builder, architect, tenant, contractor, subcontractor, construction superintendent or their agents or any other person taking part or assisting in the construction of any building who shall knowingly violate any of the applicable provisions of the Uniform Code or any lawful order of the Town of Aurora, its employees or authorized agents made thereunder regarding standards for construction, maintenance or fire-protection equipment and systems shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $250 per day in violation or imprisonment not exceeding 15 days for each offense, or by both such fine and imprisonment.