Village of Orchard Park, NY
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Orchard Park 12-3-1979 by L.L. No. 13-1979 (Ch. 33 of the 1979 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building code administration and enforcement — See Ch. 92.
Electrical standards — See Ch. 105.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 169.
Zoning — See Ch. 225.
All buildings or structures which have any or all of the following defects shall be deemed "unsafe buildings":
A. 
Those whose interior walls or other vertical structural members list, lean or buckle to such an extent that a plumb line passing through the center of gravity falls outside of the middle third of its base.
B. 
Those which, exclusive of the foundation, show 33% or more of damage or deterioration of the supporting member or members, or 50% of damage or deterioration of the nonsupporting enclosing or outside walls or covering.
C. 
Those which have improperly distributed loads upon the floors or roofs or in which the same are overloaded, or which have insufficient strength to be reasonably safe for the purpose used.
D. 
Those which have been damaged by fire, wind or other causes so as to have become dangerous to life, safety, morals or the general health and welfare of the occupants or the people of the Village of Orchard Park.
E. 
Those which have become or are so dilapidated, decayed, unsafe, unsanitary or which so utterly fail to provide the amenities essential to decent living that they are unfit for human habitation, or are likely to cause sickness or disease, so as to work injury to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of those living therein.
F. 
Those having light, air and sanitation facilities which are inadequate to protect the health, morals, safety or general welfare of human beings who live or may live therein.
G. 
Those having inadequate facilities for egress in case of fire or panic or those having insufficient stairways, elevators, fire escapes or other means of escape.
H. 
Those which have parts thereof which are so attached that they may fall and injure members of the public or property.
I. 
Those which because of their condition are unsafe, unsanitary or dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the people of this Village.
J. 
Those buildings existing in violation of any provision of Chapter 225 entitled "Zoning" and any other provisions of this Code.
K. 
Any building or structure which remains vacant or without adequate sanitation, light, heat, or water facilities continuously for a period of three years so as to make the building or structure inadequate for human commercial occupancy or habitation.
[Amended 8-10-2015 by L.L. No. 3-2015]
The following standards shall be followed in substance by the Code Enforcement Official and the Board of Trustees in ordering repair, vacation or demolition:
A. 
If the unsafe building can reasonably be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this chapter, it shall be ordered repaired.
B. 
If the unsafe building is in such condition as to make it dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of its occupants, it shall be ordered to be vacated.
C. 
In any case where an unsafe building is so damaged or decayed, or deteriorated from its original value or structure so that it can not be economically restored, it shall be demolished, and in all cases where a building cannot be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this chapter, it shall be demolished. In all cases where an unsafe building is a fire hazard existing or erected in violation of the terms of this chapter or any other provisions of this Code or laws of the State of New York, it shall be demolished.
All unsafe buildings within the terms of § 96-1 of this chapter are hereby declared to be public nuisances and shall be repaired, vacated or demolished as hereinbefore and hereinafter provided.
The Code Enforcement Official shall:
A. 
Inspect any building, wall or structure about which complaints are filed by any person to the effect that a building, wall or structure is or may be existing in violation of this chapter, and report his findings at least annually to the Board of Trustees or more frequently as requested by the Board or the Mayor.
B. 
Inspect any building, wall or structure reported (as hereinafter provided for) by the Fire Company or Police Department serving this Village as probably existing in violation of the terms of this chapter.
C. 
Notify, personally or in writing, the owner or someone of the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or any other person having a vested or contingent interest in the property, by registered mail, addressed to the last known address, if any, of the owner or someone of the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or other person having a vested or contingent interest in the same, as shown by the records of the Assessor or in the office of the County Clerk, of any building found by him to be an unsafe building within the standards set forth in § 96-1 of this chapter:
(1) 
The owner must vacate, or repair, or demolish said building in accordance with the terms of the notice and this chapter.
(2) 
The occupant or lessee must vacate said building or may have it repaired in accordance with the notice and remain in possession.
(3) 
Any mortgagee, agent or other persons having an interest in said building may at his own risk repair, vacate or demolish said building or have such work or act done, provided that any person notified under this subsection to repair, vacate, or demolish any building shall be given such reasonable time, not exceeding 30 days, as may be necessary to do, or have done, the work or act required by the notice provided for herein.
D. 
Set forth in the notice provided for in Subsection C hereof a description of the building or structure deemed unsafe, a statement of the particulars which make the building or structure an unsafe building and an order requiring the same to be put in such condition as to comply with the terms of this chapter within such length of time, not exceeding 30 days, as is reasonable.
E. 
Report to the Board of Trustees any noncompliance with the notice provided for in Subsections C and D hereof.
F. 
Appear at all hearings conducted by the Board of Trustees and testify as to the condition of unsafe buildings.
G. 
Place a notice on all unsafe buildings reading as follows: "This building has been found to be an unsafe building by this Code Enforcement Official. This notice is to remain on this building until it is repaired, vacated or demolished in accordance with the notice which has been given the owner, or someone of the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or any other person having a vested or contingent interest in the property, by registered mail, addressed to the last known address, if any, of the owner or someone of the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or other person having vested or contingent interest in the same, as shown by the records of the Assessor or in the office of the Village Clerk-Treasurer, of any building found by me to be an unsafe building within the standards set forth in § 96-1 of Chapter 96 of the Village of Orchard Park Code. It is unlawful to remove this notice until such notice is complied with."
The Board of Trustees shall:
A. 
Written notice to owner or lessees. Upon receipt of a report of the Code Enforcement Official as provided for in § 96-4E hereof, give written notice to the owner, or someone of the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or any other person having a vested or contingent interest in the property, by registered mail, addressed to the last known address, if any, of the owner or someone of the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or other person having a vested or contingent interest in the same, as shown by the records of the Assessor or in the office of the Village Clerk-Treasurer, of any building found by him to be an unsafe building within the standards set forth in § 96-1 of this chapter, to appear before them on the date specified in the notice to show cause why the building or structure reported to be an unsafe building should not be repaired, vacated, or demolished in accordance with the statement of particulars set forth in the Code Enforcement Official's notice provided for herein in § 96-4C and D.
B. 
Hold hearings. Hold a hearing and hear such testimony as the Code Enforcement Official or the owner, or someone of the owner's executors, legal representatives agents, lessees or any other person having a vested or contingent interest in the property, as shown by the records of the Assessor or in the office of the Village Clerk-Treasurer, shall offer relative to the unsafe building.
C. 
Written findings of fact. Make written findings of fact from the testimony offered pursuant to Subsection B as to whether or not the building in question is an unsafe building within the terms of § 96-1 hereof.
D. 
Issue order based on findings of fact. Issue an order based upon findings of fact made pursuant to Subsection C commanding the owner, or someone of the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or any other person having a vested or contingent interest in the property, as shown by the records of the Assessor or in the office of the Village Clerk-Treasurer, to repair, vacate or demolish any building found to be an unsafe building within the terms of this chapter, and provided that any person so notified, except the owners, shall have the privilege of either vacating or repairing said unsafe building; or any person not the owner of said unsafe building but having an interest in said building may demolish said unsafe building at his own risk to prevent the acquiring of a lien against the land upon which the said unsafe building stands by the Village as provided in Subsection E hereof.
E. 
Cause building to be repaired. If such person fails to comply with the order provided for in Subsection D hereof, within 10 days, the Board of Trustees shall cause such building or structure to be repaired, vacated, or demolished as the facts may warrant, under the standards hereinbefore provided for in § 96-2 of this chapter and shall, with the assistance of the Village Attorney, cause the costs of such repair, vacation, or demolition to be charged against the land on which the building existed as a municipal lien, or cause such costs to be added to the tax rolls as an assessment, or to be levied as a special tax against the land upon which the building stands or did stand, or to be recovered in a suit at law against the owner, provided that in cases where such procedure is desirable and any delay thereby caused will not be dangerous to the health, morals, safety, or general welfare of the people of this Village, the Code Enforcement Official shall notify the Village Attorney to take legal action to force the owner to make all necessary repairs or demolish the building.
F. 
Report names not complying to Village Attorney. Report to the Village Attorney the names of all persons not complying with the order provided for in Subsection D of this section.
In cases where it reasonably appears that there is immediate danger to the life or safety of any person unless an unsafe building as defined herein is immediately repaired, vacated or demolished, the Code Enforcement Official shall report such facts to the Board of Trustees, and the Board of Trustees shall cause the immediate repair, vacation or demolition of such unsafe building. The costs of such emergency repair, vacation or demolition of such unsafe building shall be collected in the same manner as provided in § 96-5E. (NOTE: See § 96-7 for removal of dangerous buildings or structures as a result of fire or explosion.)
A. 
Public nuisance. A building or structure or part thereof, which is an imminent danger to life and safety of the public as a result of a fire or explosion, is hereby declared to be a public nuisance.
B. 
Emergencies. Whenever the Code Enforcement Official finds a building or structure or part thereof to be an imminent danger to life and safety of the public as a result of a fire or explosion, the Code Enforcement Official may cause it to be demolished and removed or may cause work to be done in and about the building or structure as may be necessary to remove the danger.
C. 
Vacating premises.
(1) 
The Code Enforcement Official may require the occupants of any such building or structure or part thereof to vacate the premises forthwith. No person shall use or occupy such building or structure or part thereof until it is made safe.
(2) 
Except for the owner, no person shall enter premises which have been ordered vacated unless authorized to perform inspections, repairs, or to demolish and remove such building or structure or part thereof.
D. 
Assessment of costs and expenses. All costs and expenses incurred by the Village of Orchard Park in connection with any work done to remove the danger or in connection with the demolition and removal of any such building or structure shall be assessed against the land on which such building or structure is located, and a bill for such expenses shall be presented to the owner of the property, or if the owner cannot be ascertained, then such bill shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises. Such assessment shall be and constitute a lien upon such land. If the owner shall fail to pay for such expenses within 10 days after the bill is presented or posted, a legal action may be brought to collect such assessment or to foreclose such lien. As an alternative to the maintenance of any such action, the Code Enforcement Official may file a certificate of the actual expenses incurred as aforesaid, together with a statement identifying the property in connection with which the expenses were incurred, and the owner thereof, with the Assessor, who shall, in the preparation of the next assessment roll, assess such amount upon such property. Such amount shall be included in the levy against such property, shall constitute a lien and shall be collected and enforced in the same manner, by the same proceedings, at the same time, and under the same penalties, as is provided by law for the collection and enforcement of real property taxes in the Village of Orchard Park.
[1]
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
In cases, except emergency cases, where the owner, occupant or lessee is absent from the Village, all notices or orders provided for herein shall be sent by registered mail to the party in interest as described in § 96-4C to the last known address of such party in interest, and a copy of such notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the unsafe building to which it relates. Such mailing and posting shall be deemed adequate service.
No officer, agent or employee of the Village of Orchard Park shall render himself personally liable for any damage that may accrue to persons or property as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this chapter. Any suit brought against any officer, agent or employee of the Village of Orchard Park as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this chapter shall be defended by the Village Attorney until the final determination of the proceeding therein.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 12, Defense and Indemnification.
Any volunteer fireman of the Fire Company serving the Village may make a report, in writing, to the Code Enforcement Official of any building or structures which are, may be, or are suspected to be unsafe buildings within the terms of this chapter.
All employees of the Police Department serving the Village or any other law enforcement official shall make a report, in writing, to the Code Enforcement Official of any buildings or structures which are or may be deemed to be unsafe buildings within the terms of this chapter. Such reports must be delivered to the Code Enforcement Official within 24 hours of the discovery of such building.
A. 
Violation of any of the provisions of this chapter is hereby declared to be a violation pursuant to the Penal Law.
B. 
For every violation of any provision of this chapter, the person violating the same shall be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment of not more than 15 days in jail, or both, as provided in the Penal Law.
[Amended 3-23-1992 by L.L. No. 4-1992]