The Town Zoning Enforcement Officer shall administer and enforce all provisions of this chapter, except where otherwise specifically provided herein. Except where otherwise required by this chapter, whenever any permit is required, the same shall be applied for and shall be issued in the first instance from the office of the Zoning Enforcement Officer in accordance with the requirements of this chapter and applicable regulations governing building construction and the issuance of building permits.
The Zoning Enforcement Officer shall have the right, subject to applicable law, to enter upon, examine and inspect or cause to be entered upon, examined and inspected any building or property at any reasonable time for the purpose of carrying out his duties and to determine compliance with the provisions of this chapter. A written report of each such examination and inspection shall be prepared on an appropriate form and kept on file in the office of the Zoning Enforcement Officer.
In addition to all other authority conferred by law, the Zoning Enforcement Officer shall have the following powers and duties with respect to this chapter:
Issuance of building permits.
Except as provided in § 260-24D of this chapter as pertains to portable accessory structures, the following activities shall not be undertaken until the Zoning Enforcement Officer has issued a building permit stating that the proposed use and structure comply with all applicable provisions of this chapter:
Erection, structural alteration, reconstruction or enlargement of any building or structure, including antennas.
Excavation in preparation of building.
Construction of, substantial alteration of, or additions to sewage disposal systems, electrical systems or water supply systems, including plumbing or drainage facilities.
Construction of, substantial alteration of, or additions to driveways or parking lots.
Movement of a mobile home onto a lot or within a lot.
All building permit applications shall be accompanied by two copies of a plot plan or an approved site plan, if applicable, drawn to scale and accurately dimensioned, showing the location of all existing and proposed structures on the lot and such other information as may be required by the Zoning Enforcement Officer to determine compliance with this chapter and other applicable regulations. One copy of such plan, when approved by the Zoning Enforcement Officer, shall be returned to the applicant upon payment of the required building permit fee. Said fee shall be in accordance with the fee schedule established and reviewed annually by the Town Board.
Issuance of certificates of occupancy or use.
Except as provided in § 260-24D of this chapter, no use shall be established or land or structure occupied or otherwise used until the Zoning Enforcement Officer has issued a certificate of occupancy or use stating that the use, land and structure comply with all applicable provisions of this chapter.
Further, no certificate of occupancy or use shall be issued for any special use of a building or land requiring special permit or final site plan approval by the Planning Board unless and until such special use permit or final site plan approval has been granted by the Planning Board. Every certificate of occupancy or use for which special use permit or final site plan approval has been granted, or in connection with which a variance has been granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals, shall contain a detailed statement of any condition to which the same is subject and include, by attachment, a copy of such Board of Appeals or Planning Board decision.
Issuance of temporary certificates of occupancy. The Zoning Enforcement Officer shall issue a temporary certificate of occupancy for a period of 12 months, renewable for two additional twelve-month periods, when the following criteria have been met:
Issuance of notices of violation. Whenever, in the opinion of the Zoning Enforcement Officer, after proper examination and inspection, there exists a violation of any provision of this chapter, or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant hereto, he or she shall, on his or her own initiative, serve a written notice upon the appropriate person or persons responsible for such alleged violation. Such notice shall inform the recipient of the following:
Issuance of appearance tickets. The Zoning Enforcement Officer and his or her deputy or deputies are hereby empowered to issue appearance tickets to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
Issuance of stop orders. Whenever the Zoning Enforcement Officer has reasonable grounds to believe that work on any building or structure or any use of land is occurring in violation of the provisions of this chapter, not in conformity with any application made, permit granted or other approval issued hereunder, or in an unsafe or dangerous manner, the Zoning Enforcement Officer shall promptly notify the appropriate person or persons responsible to suspend work on any such building or structure or the use of any such land. Such person(s) shall forthwith suspend such activity until such time that the stop order has been rescinded by the Zoning Enforcement Officer. Such order and notice shall be in writing, shall state the conditions under which the work or use may be resumed and may be served upon the person to whom it is directed either by personal delivery or by posting the same upon a conspicuous portion of the building under construction or premises in use and by sending a copy of the same to the person or persons responsible by certified mail.
Taking of emergency action. If, in the opinion of the Zoning Enforcement Officer, a violation exists which requires immediate action to avoid a direct hazard or imminent danger to the health, safety or welfare of occupants of a building or to other persons, the Zoning Enforcement Officer may direct that such violation be immediately remedied or may take direct action on his or her own initiative to abate the hazard. Any costs incurred by such action shall be paid for by the owner, occupant, or person responsible for the violation. The Zoning Enforcement Officer shall keep on file an affidavit stating with fairness and accuracy the items of expense and date of execution of action taken and is furthermore authorized to institute a lawsuit, if necessary, against the person liable for such expenses, or place a lien against the property, in order to recover said costs.
Penalty. Violation of any provision or requirement of this chapter or violation of any statement, plan, application, permit, or certificate approved under the provisions of this chapter shall, in accordance with § 268 of the Town Law, hereby be declared to be an offense, punishable by a fine not exceeding $350 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both, for conviction of the first offense; for conviction of a second offense, both of which were committed within a period of 60 months, punishable by a fine of not less than $350 nor more than $700 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both; and, upon conviction of a third or subsequent offense, all of which were committed within a period of 60 months, punishable by a fine of not less than $700 nor more than $1,000 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both. However, for the purpose of conferring jurisdiction upon courts and judicial officers generally, violations of this chapter shall be deemed misdemeanors and, for such purposes only, all provisions of law relating to misdemeanors shall apply to such violations. The owner, general agent or contractor of a building premises, or part thereof, where such a violation has been committed or does exist, and any agent, contractor, builder, architect, corporation or other person who commits, takes part in or assists in such violation, shall be liable for all offenses. All such penalties shall be collectable by and in the name of the Town of Woodstock. Each and every week that any such violation continues after notification that such violation exists shall constitute a separate offense. Such notice shall be given in writing by the Zoning Enforcement Officer and shall be served by certified mail or personal service.
Court action. The imposition of penalties herein prescribed shall not preclude the Town from instituting any appropriate legal action or proceeding in a court of competent jurisdiction to prevent an unlawful erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, conversion, maintenance or use or to restrain by injunction, correct or abate a violation or prevent the illegal occupancy of a building, land or premises.
[Amended 7-3-2013 by L.L. No. 1-2013]
No building permit or certificate of occupancy or use required by this chapter shall be issued by the Zoning Enforcement Officer pertaining to any premises on which there exists a violation of this chapter or any related Town regulation which governs either building construction or the use of land and structures within the Town of Woodstock, unless the building permit or certificate of occupancy or use is necessary to allow for the removal or correction of the violation.