[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Central Square 10-27-2014 by L.L. No. 3-2014. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Fire prevention — See Ch. 112.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 178.
Uniform Code enforcement — See Ch. 229.
Editor’s Note: This local law also repealed former Ch. 80, Buildings, Unsafe, adopted 3-7-1983 by L.L. No. 1-1983 as Ch. 33 of the 1983 Code.
This chapter shall be known as the "Unsafe Buildings Law of the Village of Central Square."
Unsafe buildings pose a threat to life and property in the Village of Central Square. Buildings and structures may become unsafe by reason of damage by fire, the elements, age or general deterioration. Vacant buildings not properly secure 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. Unsafe equipment within buildings can cause injury to the occupants of buildings and can also constitute a potential cause of fires within buildings. 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 Central Square by requiring that such unsafe buildings 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 or industrial purpose.
- CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The Code Enforcement Officer of the Village of Central Square appointed by the Board of Trustees to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
- UNSAFE BUILDING AND EQUIPMENT
- Structures or existing equipment that are or hereafter become unsafe, insanitary or deficient because of inadequate means of egress facilities, inadequate light and ventilation, or which constitute a fire hazard, or are otherwise dangerous to human life or the public welfare, or that involve illegal or improper occupancy or inadequate maintenance, shall be deemed an unsafe condition. A vacant structure that is not secured against entry shall be deemed unsafe.
- The Village of Central Square, New York.
When the Code Enforcement Officer, in his/her own opinion, or upon receipt of information that a building:
Is or may become dangerous or unsafe to the general public;
Is open at the doorways and windows, making it accessible to and an object of attraction to minors under 18 years of age, as well as to vagrants and other trespassers;
Is or may become a place of rodent infestation;
Presents any other danger to the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the public; or
Is unfit for the purposes for which it may lawfully be used.
He or she shall cause or make an inspection thereof and report in writing to the Board of Trustees of the Village his/her findings and recommendations in regard to its repair or demolition and removal.
The Board of Trustees shall thereafter consider such report and by resolution determine, if in its opinion the report so warrants, that such building is unsafe and dangerous and order its repair if the same can be safely repaired or its demolition and removal, and further order that a notice be served upon the persons and in the manner provided herein.
The notice shall contain the following:
A description of the premises;
A statement of the particulars in which the building is unsafe or dangerous;
An order outlining the manner in which the building is to be made safe and secure, or demolished and removed;
A statement that the securing or removal of such building shall commence within 15 days of the service of the notice and shall be completed within 60 days thereafter, unless, for good cause shown, such time shall be extended;
A date, time and place for a hearing before the Board of Trustees in relation to such dangerous or unsafe building, which hearing shall be scheduled not less than five business days from the date of service of the notice; and
A statement that in the event of neglect or refusal to comply with the order to secure or demolish and remove the building, the Board of Trustees is authorized to provide for its demolition and removal, to assess all expenses thereof against the land on which it is located, and to institute a special proceeding to collect the costs of demolition, including legal expenses.
The said notice shall be served:
By personal service of a copy thereof upon the owner, executor, administrator, agent, lessee, or any person having a vested or contingent interest in such unsafe building as shown by the records of the Village Tax Collector or of the County Clerk; or if no such person can reasonably be found, by mailing such owner by certified mail a copy of such notice directed to his/her last known address as shown by the above records; and
By personal service of a copy of such notice upon any adult person residing in or occupying said premises if such person can be reasonably found; and
By securely affixing a copy of such notice upon the unsafe building.
A copy of the notice served as provided herein shall be filed in the office of the County Clerk of the County of Oswego.
In the event of the refusal or neglect of the person so notified to comply with said order of the Board of Trustees and after the hearing, the Board of Trustees shall provide for the demolition and removal of such building or structure either by Village employees or by contract. Except in an emergency as provided in § 80-11 hereof, any contract for demolition and removal of a building in excess of $20,000 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, and all reasonable and necessary legal expenses incidental thereto, shall, at the option of the Board of Trustees, either:
Be assessed against the land on which such building is located and shall be levied and collected in the same manner as provided in the Village Law for the levy and collection of a special ad valorem levy; or
Be collected by commencement of a special proceeding against the owner of said unsafe or dangerous building or structure pursuant to General Municipal Law § 78-b.
Where it reasonably appears that there is present a clear and imminent danger to life, safety or health of any person or property, unless an unsafe building is immediately repaired and secured or demolished, the Board of Trustees may by resolution authorize the Code Enforcement Officer to immediately cause the repair or demolition of such unsafe building. 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 § 80-10 hereof.
No officer, agent, or employee of the Village shall render himself or herself personally liable for any damage that may accrue to persons or property as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his or her duties under this chapter. Any suit brought against any officer, agent or employee of the Village as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his or her duties under this chapter shall be defended by the Village Attorney until the final determination of the proceeding therein.
Violation of any of the provisions of this chapter is hereby declared to be a violation pursuant to the Penal Law, punishable by a fine of not more than $250 or imprisonment of not more than 15 days, or both such fine and imprisonment. Each week that such violation exists shall constitute a separate violation. The commencement of an action pursuant to § 80-10 shall be in addition to any penalties provided for in this section.