[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of LeRay 8-22-1991 by L.L. No. 2-1991. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Fire prevention and building construction — See Ch. 86.
Unsafe buildings and structures pose a threat to life and property in the Town of LeRay. 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 heath menace to the community. It is the purpose of this chapter to provide for the safety, health, protection, and general welfare of persons and property in the Town of LeRay by requiring such unsafe buildings and structures be repaired or demolished and removed.
This law is enacted pursuant to Articles 2 and 3 of Municipal Home Rule Law and § 130, Subdivision 16, of the Town Law and General Municipal Law § 78-b.
This chapter shall be known as the "Unsafe Structure Law" of the Town of LeRay.
No person, firm, corporation, association or other entity owning, possessing or controlling a building or structure in the Town of LeRay shall permit or suffer to allow said building or structure now or hereafter to be or become dangerous or unsafe to the public and/or the occupants of said structure or building from any cause whatsoever.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any structure having a roof supported by column or walls and intended for the shelter or enclosure of persons, animals or property.
- BUILDING INSPECTOR
- The Building Inspector of the Town of LeRay or such other person appointed by the Town Board to enforce the provisions of this chapter or of the Building and Construction Code of the Town.
- Anything constructed or erected, the use of which requires location on the ground, or attachment to something located on the ground, except a wall or fence.
The Building Inspector, when in his own opinion or upon receipt of information that a building or structure 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 as well as to vagrants or 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, shall cause or make an inspection thereof and report in writing to the Town Board his findings and recommendations in regard to its repair or demolition and removal.
The Town Board 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 persons and in the same manner provided therein.
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 or secure, or demolished and removed;
A statement that the securing or removal of such building shall commence within 30 days of the service of the notice and shall be completed within 60 days of the commencement of repair or demolition, unless for good cause shown such time shall be extended;
A date, time, and place for a hearing before the Town Board in relation to such dangerous or unsafe building or structure, which hearing shall be scheduled not less than 10 business days from the date of service of the notice;
A statement that in the event of neglect or refusal to comply with the order to secure or demolish and remove the building or structure, the Town Board is authorized to provide for its demolition and removal, to assess all expenses thereof against the owner which could be accomplished by the institution of a special proceeding to collect the costs (including but not limited to actual legal, engineering and demolition costs incurred by the Town) or by assessing said costs against the land and/or improvements being taxed on the particular tax parcel on which the buildings or structures are located; and
Said notice shall be served:
By mailing by certified mail, return receipt, a copy thereof upon the owner, executor, administrator, agent, lessee, or any person having a vested interest or contingent interest in such unsafe building or structure as shown by the records of the Town Tax Collector or of the County Clerk to such address as shown by the above records. If the mailing is returned as undeliverable, then the notice shall be published once a week for two weeks in a newspaper of general circulation within Jefferson County;
By personal service of a copy of such notice upon any adult person residing in or occupying such premises if such person can be reasonably found; and
By securely affixing a copy of such notice upon the unsafe building or structure.
A copy of the notice served as provided herein shall be filed in the office of the Jefferson County Clerk and indexed in the same manner as Notices of Pendency.
In the event of the refusal or neglect of the person(s) or entities so notified to comply with said order of the Town Board after the hearing, the Town Board shall provide for the securing or the demolition and removal of such building or structure either by Town employees or by contract. Except in the emergency cases as hereinafter provided, any contract for the securing or the demolition and removal of a building or structure shall be awarded through competitive bidding if required by state law.
All costs incurred by the Town in enforcing this chapter shall be recoverable from the owner of the premises deemed unsafe or dangerous hereunder. Such costs hereunder shall include, but not be limited to the following:
Actual attorneys fees and disbursements for services rendered with or without the commencement of litigation;
Actual engineering fees and disbursements, including the costs of the Town's Building Inspector;
Actual costs of securing, demolishing, removing or repairing the building or structure deemed dangerous or unsafe;
Costs of serving and/or publishing notices; and
Costs of title and tax searches.
The costs incurred in enforcing this chapter shall be added to the next assessment roll for Town taxes against the tax parcel(s) which include the unsafe or dangerous building or structure involved and shall be collected and enforced in the same manner as other taxes for that parcel(s).
In addition to any other remedies herein, the Town may commence a special proceeding under Article 4 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules in a court of competent jurisdiction to collect the costs incurred by the Town in enforcing this chapter. Should the Town recover and be paid said costs through such a proceeding (and after costs have been added to the assessment rolls), the assessment roll and tax records shall be adjusted accordingly to properly credit amounts so paid and recovered.
Where it reasonably appears that there is present a clear and imminent danger to the life, safety or health of any person or property, unless an unsafe building or structure is immediately repaired and secured or demolished, the Town Board may by resolution authorize the Building Inspector or other Town agents to immediately cause the repair or demolition and removal of such unsafe building or structure. The expenses of such securing, repair or demolition and removal shall be recovered as provided herein.
The Building Inspector appointed as provided herein shall be paid compensation as shall be fixed by the Town Board.
Any person upon whom a notice as provided in this chapter has been served who fails, neglects or refuses to place such unsafe or dangerous building or structure in a safe or secure condition as designated in such notice, or who shall commit an offense against any of the provisions of this chapter or orders given pursuant thereto, or who shall resist or obstruct the Town or its agents in carrying out the provisions of this chapter, shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a violation pursuant to the Penal Law of the State of New York, punishable by a fine of $250 or by imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Each week in which such offense continues shall constitute a separate violation. Any fines imposed hereunder shall be in addition to any costs otherwise incurred by the Town in enforcing this chapter.