[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Greene at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Dangerous/unsafe buildings pose a threat to life, health and property in the Village of Greene. Buildings and structures may become unsafe by reason of damage of fire, the elements, age or general deterioration. Vacant buildings not properly secured at doorways, windows and other openings also serve as an invitation to trespass and possible injury to children and other trespassers. A dilapidated building may also serve as a place of rodent infestation, thereby creating a health menace to the community. It is the purpose of this chapter to provide for the health, safety, protection and general welfare of persons and property in the Village of Greene by requiring that unsafe buildings be repaired or demolished and removed.
This chapter shall be known as the "Dangerous/Unsafe Buildings Law of the Village of Greene."
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated, unless the context otherwise requires:
- Any structure or portion thereof located in residential, commercial, business or industrial areas of the Village of Greene.
- BUILDING INSPECTOR
- The Code Enforcement Officer of the Village of Greene or such other person appointed by the Village Board to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
Dangerous/unsafe buildings shall mean any building or structure which has any or all of the following conditions:
Those where any interior wall or walls or other structural load-bearing members list, lean or buckle to such an extent that a plumb line, passing from any overhead supporting member through the center of gravity, falls outside the middle third of its base.
Those which have improperly distributed loads upon the floors or roofs, or in which the floors or roofs are overloaded or which have insufficient strength to be reasonably safe for the purpose used and which do not meet the minimum standards prescribed by the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
Those having inadequate or insufficient facilities for ingress or egress in the event of fire, panic or other emergency, or those having insufficient stairways, elevators, fire escapes, aisles, passageways, corridors or other means of access and which do not meet minimum standards prescribed by the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
Those which have parts thereof which are so attached or connected in such a manner that they may fall, collapse or cause damage and injury to the occupant thereof or other persons or property.
Those which, in whole or in part, are used for residential, mercantile, industrial, storage, assembly, institutional or any other purpose, which for want of repair, lack of sufficient fire escapes or exits or by reason of age, fire or dilapidated condition or from any other cause may now be or shall at any time hereafter become unsafe or dangerous structurally or a fire hazard or a nuisance to the general public.
A vacant building, unguarded or open at a door or window.
Those which have been damaged by fire, wind, act of vandalism or other causes so as to have become dangerous to life, safety or the general health and welfare of the occupants or the people of the Village of Greene.
Those which have become or are so dilapidated, decayed, unsafe or unsanitary or which so utterly fail to provide the amenities essential to decent living that they are unfit for human habitation, as are likely to cause sickness or disease so as to work injury to the health, safety or general welfare of those living therein.
Those having sanitation facilities which are inadequate to protect the health, safety or general welfare of human beings who live or may live therein.
Those buildings or structures in which there exist violations of any provision of any code, ordinance or law of the Village of Greene or any governmental agency having jurisdiction so as to have become dangerous to life, safety or the general health and welfare of the occupants or the people of the Village of Greene.
Those which, in whole or in part, have an existing electrical wiring system which is defective or which fails to meet ventilation requirements as prescribed by applicable provisions of law or which have plumbing, sewage or drainage facilities that are not in conformity with applicable building and plumbing codes or which is overcrowded.
All dangerous buildings within the terms of § 51-4 of this chapter are hereby declared to be public nuisances and shall be vacated and/or repaired, secured, demolished and removed as hereinafter provided.
When in his or 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, windows or other openings making it accessible to children or other trespassers, is or may become a place of rodent infestation, presents any other danger to the health, safety and general welfare of the public or is unfit for the purposes for which it may lawfully be used, the Building Inspector shall cause to be made or shall make an inspection thereof and shall report, in writing, to the Village Board his or her findings and recommendations in regard to the repair or demolition and removal of such building.
The Village 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 shall further order that a notice, in writing, be served upon the persons and in the manner provided herein.
The notice to be served in accordance with § 51-7 above shall contain the following information:
A description of the premises.
A statement particularizing the manner 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 30 days thereafter, unless for good cause shown such time shall be extended by resolution of the Village Board.
A date, time and place for a hearing before the Village Board in relation to such dangerous or unsafe building, which hearing shall be scheduled not fewer than five 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, the Village Board is authorized to provide for its demolition and removal, to assess all expenses thereof against the land upon which it is located and to institute a special proceeding to collect the costs of demolition and removal, including legal expenses, from the owner of the building.
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 Receiver of Taxes or Assessor or of the Chenango County Clerk or, if no such person can be reasonably found;
By delivering the notice to a person of suitable age and discretion at the actual place of business, dwelling place or usual place of abode of the person to be served and by either mailing the notice to the person to be served at his or her last known residence or by mailing the notice to his or her actual place of business; or
By delivering to the agent for service of the person to be served; or
By publishing a copy of said notice once in the official newspaper of the Village at least five business days prior to the hearing.
A copy of the notice served as provided herein shall be filed in the office of the Clerk of the County of Chenango as a one-year notice of pendancy.
At the hearing conducted pursuant to the notice served, the Building Inspector and the owner or any other person having a vested or contingent interest in the building shall have an opportunity to be heard and to present evidence. Following the hearing, the Village Board shall make a finding confirming, modifying or rescinding its order for the repair or demolition and removal of the building. Any person appearing at the hearing in opposition to the Village Board order made pursuant to § 51-7 above shall provide the Village Board, in writing, with a mailing address. In the event that the Village Board makes a resolution confirming or modifying the order made pursuant to § 51-7, a copy of said resolution shall immediately be forwarded by ordinary mail to such person or persons at the address or addresses so provided.
In the event of the refusal or neglect of any person notified to comply with the order of the Village Board, as confirmed or modified after the hearing, the Village Board shall provide for the demolition and removal of the building either by Village employees or by contract. Except in an emergency as provided in § 51-14 hereof, any contract for demolition and removal in excess of $10,000 shall be awarded through competitive bidding pursuant to the provisions of the General Municipal Law.
The owner of the building shall be liable to the Village for all expenses incurred by the Village in connection with the proceedings to repair and secure or demolish and remove the unsafe building, including but not limited to legal expense and the costs of actually demolishing and removing such building. To the extent not collected from said owner, such expenses shall be assessed against the land upon which such building is located and shall be levied and collected in the same manner as provided in the Village Law.
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 is immediately repaired and secured or demolished and removed, the Village Board may, by resolution, authorize to immediately cause the repair and securing or demolition and removal of such unsafe building. The expenses of such repair and demolition shall be a charge against the land upon which it is located and shall be assessed, levied and collected as provided in § 51-13.
It shall be unlawful for any person, whether or not interested in the property affected by this chapter, to interfere with or hinder the Building Inspector or Village representative or any person acting in their behalf in performing the duties as set forth in this chapter.
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall be punished by a maximum fine of $250 or a term of imprisonment not to exceed 15 days in jail, or both.