[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Walworth 11-16-1978 by L.L. No. 12-1978; amended in its entirety 5-7-1981 by L.L. No. 2-1981. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Unsafe buildings pose a threat to life and property in the Town of Walworth. Buildings and structures may become unsafe by reason of damage by fire, the elements, age or general deterioration. Vacant buildings or structures 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 or structure 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 safety, health protection and general welfare of persons and property in the Town of Walworth by requiring such unsafe building be repaired or demolished and removed.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any building, structure or portion thereof used for residential, business or industrial purpose.
- BUILDING INSPECTOR
- The Building Inspector of the Town of Walworth or such other person appointed by the Town Board to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
- STRUCTURAL ENGINEER OR ARCHITECT
- A person skilled in design and construction based on education,
practical experience and training, and who is licensed by the State
of New York, who may be appointed by the Town Board to review the
recommendations of the Building Inspector.[Added 5-3-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
- Anything erected, constructed or standing which requires temporary or permanent location on or support from the soil.
- A person skilled in construction based on practical experience or formal training who may be appointed by the Town Board to review the recommendations of the Building Inspector.
[Amended 5-3-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
When in the opinion of the Building Inspector, Structural Engineer or Architect appointed by the Town Board or upon receipt of information that a building 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 under 18 years of age, as well as to vagrants and 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 any use, including the purposes for which it may lawfully be used, he/she shall cause or make an inspection thereof and report, in writing, to the Town Board his or her 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 or removal, and further order that a notice be served upon the person or 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 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 30 days of the service of the notice and shall be completed within 60 days thereafter, 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, which hearing shall be scheduled not less 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 Town Board is authorized to provide for its demolition and removal, to assess all expenses thereof against the land on which it is located and to institute a special proceeding to collect the costs of demolition, including legal expenses.
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 Tax Collector) or of the County Clerk; or if no such person can be reasonably found, by mailing such owner, by registered mail, a copy of such notice directed to his or her last known address as shown by the above records;
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.
A copy of the notice served as provided herein shall be filed in the office of the County Clerk of the County of Wayne.
In the event of the refusal or neglect of the person so notified to comply with said order of the Town Board and after the hearing, the Town Board shall provide for the demolition and removal of such building or structure, either by Town employees or by contract. Except in emergency as provided in § 67-10 hereof, any contract for demolition and removal of a building in excess of $5,000 shall be awarded through competitive bidding.
All costs and expenses incurred by the Town in connection with the proceedings to repair and secure or demolish and remove the unsafe building, including the cost of actually removing or repairing such building, shall be assessed against the land on which such building is located and shall be levied and collected in the same manner as provided in Article 15 of the Town Law for the levy and collection of a special ad valorem levy.
[Amended 2-3-2005 by L.L. No. 2-2005]
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, the Supervisor may authorize the Building Inspector or Code Enforcement Officer to immediately cause the repair or demolition of such unsafe building. The expenses of such repair or demolition shall be charged against the land on which it is located and shall be assessed, levied and collected as provided in § 67-9 hereof.
[Amended 5-3-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
The Structural Engineer or Architect appointed as provided herein shall be paid reasonable compensation as shall be fixed by the Town Board.
[Added 9-1-1994 by L.L. No. 1-1994; amended 10-7-1999 by L.L. No. 5-1999]
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $250 or by imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.