[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Eden 3-12-1997 by L.L. No. 4-1997. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Fire prevention and building construction — See Ch. 110.
Unsafe buildings and structures pose a threat to life and property in the Town of Eden. Buildings and structures may become unsafe by reason of damage by fire, the elements, age, excessive accumulation of refuse or general deterioration. Vacant buildings not properly secured at doorways, windows and other entries also serve as an attractive nuisance for young children who may be injured therein, as well as a point of congregation for vagrants and transients. A dilapidated building may also serve as a place of rodent or vermin infestation, thereby creating a health menace to the community. It is the purpose and intent of this chapter to provide for the safety, health, protection and general welfare of persons and property in the Town of Eden by requiring such unsafe buildings and structures to be repaired or demolished and removed.
This chapter is enacted pursuant to Articles 2 and 3 of the Municipal Home Rule Law and Subdivision 16 of § 130 of the Town Law and General Municipal Law § 78-b.
This chapter shall be known as the "Unsafe Buildings and Structures Law of the Town of Eden."
No person, firm, corporation, association or other entity owning, possessing or controlling a building or structure in the Town of Eden shall permit or suffer 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 AND ZONING INSPECTOR
- The Building and Zoning Inspector of the Town of Eden or such other person or persons appointed by the Town Board to enforce the provisions of this chapter or of the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, as amended.
- Anything constructed or erected, the use of which requires location on the ground or attachment to something located on the ground.
The Building and Zoning Inspector, when in his or her own opinion or upon receipt of information that a building or structure is or may be dangerous or unsafe, as described below, shall make or cause to be made an inspection thereof and report, in writing, to the Town Board his or her findings and recommendations in regard to the repair or demolition and removal of said building or structure.
A building or structure, or part thereof, is unsafe or dangerous if it is one which:
Is or may become dangerous or unsafe to the general public or any inhabitants or users thereof by reason of bad conditions of walls, overloaded floors, defective construction, deterioration or lack of safeguards against fire or other causes;
Is open at the doorways, windows or other entries, 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 or vermin 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 be lawfully used.
The Town Board shall thereafter consider said report and, by resolution, determine if in its opinion the report so warrants that said structure or building is unsafe or dangerous and order its demolition and removal or repair if the same can be safely repaired, 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 or structure 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 and removal of such building shall commence within 20 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 by the Town Board;
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 five business days from the date of the service of the notice;
A statement that in the event of neglect or refusal to comply with said order to secure or demolish and remove the building or structure, the Town Board is authorized to provide for the securing of the building or structure or 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 on the owner, executor, administrator, legal representative, agent, lessee or any other person having a vested or contingent interest in such unsafe building or structure as shown by the records of the Receiver of Taxes of the Town of Eden or of the County Clerk. Said notice shall be served in one of the following manners: by personal service upon one of the persons specified above or by registered mail addressed to the last known address, if any, of the person to be served and by securely affixing a copy of such notice upon the unsafe building or structure. Service of notice shall be deemed complete upon the satisfaction of the requirements set forth above. If service of notice is unable to be completed in either of the manners specified above, the town may authorize the Town Attorney to apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for an order specifying the manner of service, and service of such notice shall be deemed completed upon the satisfaction of service in accordance with said order.
A copy of said notice shall be filed in the office of the Erie County Clerk and indexed in the same manner as a Notice of Pendency.
In the event of the refusal or failure of the person(s) or entity(ies) so notified to comply with said order of the Town Board after the hearing, if any, 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 emergency cases, as certified by the Town Board, any contract for the securing or 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 shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
Actual attorney's fees and disbursements for services rendered with or without the commencement of litigation;
Actual engineering fees and disbursements, including the costs of the Town Building and Zoning 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 tax and/or title searches.
The costs incurred in enforcing this chapter as levied 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 the 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.
[Amended 11-5-2010 by L.L. No. 2-2010]
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, secured or demolished and removed, the Town Board may, by resolution, authorize the Code Enforcement Officer or other Town agents to immediately cause the securing, repair or demolition and removal of such unsafe building or structure. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in an emergency situation requiring the immediate securing, repair, or demolition and removal of an unsafe building or structure and when it is not feasible to obtain such Town Board authorization, the Code Enforcement Officer or any Fire Chief is authorized to immediately cause the securing, 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 in this chapter.
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 of 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.