[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Guilderland 6-11-1974 as Ch. 6, Art. II, Div. 1, of the 1974 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Whenever the Chief Building Inspector and Zoning Coordinator has reasonable grounds to believe that work on any building or structure is being prosecuted in violation of the provisions of the applicable provisions of this chapter or other 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, 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and any such persons shall forthwith stop such work and suspend all building activities until the stop order has been rescinded. The 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 order and notice upon a conspicuous portion of the building under construction and sending a copy thereof by registered mail.
Any employee of the Department of Buildings or any member of a fire department or fire company specially authorized by the Chief Building Inspector and Zoning Coordinator to do so, 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.
Whenever there are reasonable grounds to believe that any material, construction, equipment or assembly does not conform with the requirements of the applicable provisions of this chapter and other building laws, ordinances or regulations, the Chief Building Inspector and Zoning Coordinator may require the same to be subjected to tests in order to furnish proof of such compliance.
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 unsafe buildings are hereby declared to be illegal and shall be abated by repair and rehabilitation or by demolition in accordance with the procedure of this section.
The Chief Building Inspector and Zoning Coordinator shall examine or cause to be examined every building reported as unsafe or damaged, and shall make a written record of such examination.
Whenever the Chief Building Inspector and Zoning Coordinator shall find any building or structure, or portion thereof, to be an unsafe building, he shall, in the manner as provided for the service of stop orders in this chapter, give to the owner, agent or person in control of the building or structure written notice stating the defects thereof, which notice shall thereafter be mailed, by registered mail, to the owner or one of the owners of said building and shall be posted on the premises. The notice shall require the owner within a stated time either to complete specified repairs or improvement, or to demolish and remove the building or structure, or portion thereof. The notice shall further state that upon failure of the owner, agent or person in control of the building to repair or demolish the building within the time specified, a hearing will be held before the Town Board at a time and place specified in the notice. The notice shall further contain a statement to the effect that in the event that the building is not so repaired or demolished within such time as the Town Board upon such hearing may determine, the town may then cause such building or structure to be removed. The notice prescribed in this Subsection C may be filed in the office of the Albany County Clerk in the manner and with the effect as provided in Subdivision 16 of § 130 of the Town Law of the State of New York, as amended.
If the Chief Building Inspector and Zoning Coordinator finds that there is actual and immediate danger of failure or collapse so as to endanger life, the notice given pursuant to Subsection C shall also require the building, structure or portion thereof to be vacated forthwith and not reoccupied until the specified repairs and improvements are completed, inspected and approved by the Chief Building Inspector and Zoning Coordinator. The Chief Building Inspector and Zoning Coordinator shall cause to be posted at each entrance to such building a notice, as follows: "THIS BUILDING IS UNSAFE AND ITS USE OR OCCUPANCY HAS BEEN PROHIBITED BY THE BUILDING DEPARTMENT." The notice shall remain posted until the required repairs are made or demolition is completed. It shall be unlawful for any person or his agents or servants to remove such notice without written permission of the Chief Building Inspector and Zoning Coordinator, or for any person to enter the building except for the purpose of making the required repairs or demolishing it.
In cases of an emergency which, in the opinion of the Chief Building Inspector and Zoning Coordinator, involve imminent danger to human life or health, he shall promptly cause a dangerous building, structure or portion thereof to be made safe or removed. For this purpose, he may at once enter the structure or land on which it stands, or abutting land or structure, with such assistance and at such cost as may be necessary; he may vacate adjacent structures and protect the public by appropriate barricades or such other means as may be necessary and, for this purpose, may close a public or private way.
Costs and expenses incurred by the Chief Building Inspector and Zoning Coordinator under Subsections C and E of this section, including the cost of demolishing and removing any building or structure pursuant to this section, shall be a town charge and shall be assessed against the land on which such building or structure is located.
[Amended 5-11-1976; 11-11-1980]
It shall be unlawful for any person to construct, alter, repair, move, remove, demolish, equip, use, occupy or maintain any building or structure, or portion thereof, in violation of any provision of this chapter or to fail in any manner to comply with a notice, directive or order of the Chief Building Inspector and Zoning Coordinator, or to construct, alter or use and occupy any building or structure, or part thereof, in any manner not permitted by an approved building permit or certificate of occupancy. It shall be unlawful for any person to install or cause to be installed or to alter any electrical wiring for light, heat or power in any structure until an application for inspection has been filed with the New York Board of Fire Underwriters or other qualified inspection agency approved by the town. It shall be unlawful for any person to connect or cause to be connected any electrical wiring in any structure for light, heat or power to any source of electrical energy supply prior to the issuance of a temporary certificate or a certificate of compliance by the New York Board of Fire Underwriters or other qualified inspection agency approved by the town.
Any person who shall fail to comply with a written order of the Building Department 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 chapter, or any lawful order, notice, directive, permit or certificate of the Building Department made thereunder, shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $500 or 30 days in jail, or both. Each day that a violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense.
Except as provided otherwise by law, a violation of this chapter 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.
This section shall not apply to violations of the provisions of the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code punishable under § 382 of the Executive Law of the state, nor to violations of the provisions of the Multiple Residence Law punishable under § 304 of the Multiple Residence Law of the state.
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 those remedies shall be in addition to the penalties for a violation prescribed in this chapter.