[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Glen Cove: Art. I, 8-25-1981 by L.L. No. 1-1981 as Ch. 33 of the 1981 Code; Art. II, 8-25-1981 by L.L. No. 1-1981 as Ch. 62 of the 1981 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Housing standards — See Ch. 168.
[Adopted 8-25-1981 by L.L. No. 1-1981 as Ch. 33 of the 1981 Code]
This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Unsafe Buildings Ordinance of the City of Glen Cove."
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- UNSAFE BUILDINGS
- 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 City of Glen Cove.
- 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 city.
- J. Those buildings existing in violation of any provision of this Code such as but not limited to the Fire Prevention Code, the Housing Code and the Zoning regulations.
- K. Any building or structure which remains vacant and unattended continuously for a period of five years.
The following standards shall be followed in substance by the Building Department Administrator in ordering repair, vacation or demolition:
If the unsafe building can reasonably be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this article it shall be ordered repaired.
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.
In any case where an unsafe building is so damaged or decayed or deteriorated from its original value or structure so that it cannot 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 article, 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 article 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 § 112-2 of this article are hereby declared to be public nuisances, and shall be repaired, vacated or demolished as hereinbefore and hereinafter provided.
The Building Department Administrator shall:
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 article and any other provisions of this Code.
Inspect any building, wall or structure reported (as hereinafter provided for) by the Fire or Police Departments of this city as probably existing in violation of the terms of this article.
Place a notice on all unsafe buildings reading as follows: "This building has been found to be an unsafe building by this Building Department Administrator. 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 County Clerk, of any building found by me to be an unsafe building within the standards set forth in § 112-2 of Chapter 112 of the Code of the City of Glen Cove. It is unlawful to remove this notice until such notice is complied with."
File a copy of such notice in the office of the County Clerk which notice shall be filed by such Clerk in the same manner as a notice of pendency pursuant to Article 65 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, and shall have the same effect as a notice of pendency as therein provided. A notice so filed shall be effective for a period of one year from the date of filing; provided, however, that it may be vacated upon the order of a judge or justice of a court of record or upon the consent of the City Attorney. The County Clerk shall mark such notice and any record or docket thereof as canceled of record upon the presentation and filing of such consent or a certified copy of such order.
The Building Department Administrator shall be authorized, in the performance of his or her duties, to conduct inspections of premises, or parts of premises, at such times and in such manner as the building official may find convenient or necessary, with the consent of the person in possession or occupancy.
If admission is refused or cannot be obtained from the person in possession or occupancy, the Building Department Administrator shall be authorized to obtain a warrant to make an inspection, provided that reasonable or probable cause is shown.
In case of an emergency, the Building Department Administrator may, without a warrant, enter any premises, or parts of premises, to inspect the same at any time without the permission of the person in possession or occupancy.
If the owner, occupant, mortgagee or lessee fails to comply with an order of the Building Department Administrator within 30 days, or fails to request an appeal of said order as hereinafter provided, the Building Department Administrator shall cause such building or structure to be repaired, vacated or demolished as the facts may warrant, under the standards hereinbefore provided for in § 112-3 of this article. The expenses thereby incurred shall be paid by the interested person, as hereinabove set forth, or by the persons who caused or maintained such nuisance or other matter. The Building Department Administrator shall file as a part of his or her records an affidavit stating with fairness and accuracy the items of expense, and that each said items was necessary, and the cost thereof does not exceed the current hourly rate of wages for the action and the date of execution of actions as authorized by this article. The Building Department Administrator may institute suit to recover such expenses or may cause such expenses together with a charge of 50% thereof to cover supervision and administration to be charged against the property as a lien. A notice of such lien shall be mailed to or served upon the interested person, as hereinabove set forth, claimed liable to pay the same, and a similar copy may be filed in the office of the Controller and the Assessor of the City of Glen Cove, and upon such filing shall be a lien on the real property to the same extent as city taxes and shall be included in the general city tax roll and enforced in the same manner as other city taxes.
In cases where it reasonably appears that there is immediate danger to life or safety of any person unless an unsafe building as defined herein is immediately repaired, vacated or demolished, the Building Department Administrator 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 § 112-7 of this article.
If a person upon whom an order is served requests a hearing within seven days in writing, the Building Department Administrator shall advise the City Council forthwith but not later than two weeks thereafter of such request.
The City Council shall appoint a hearing officer to conduct a public hearing on the matter. A city officer or other qualified person may be appointed as the hearing officer.
The hearing officer shall notify either personally or by registered mail the Building Department Administrator and the person or persons charged of the time, place and date of the hearing and may in his or her discretion cause a public notice to be published in the official newspaper at least five days before the date thereof advising the public of the purpose of the public hearing and the right of interested parties to be heard.
The hearing may be adjourned from time to time by the hearing officer until all relevant evidence is submitted by all concerned parties. All interested persons shall have the right to present evidence, to cross-examine witnesses and to be represented by counsel.
The hearing officer shall be responsible for safeguarding the constitutional rights of all parties involved and may issue such orders and directives necessary to effectuate such purposes, including but not limited to the right to have specific charges served, a reasonable time to prepare a defense and the right to an impartial hearing.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer shall make a determination in writing and a copy of same shall be served either personally or by registered mail on all parties who appeared therein.
The determination shall state whether the original order is sustained, modified or reversed. If reversed, no further proceeding shall be had.
If the original order is sustained, in whole or in part, the hearing officer shall also include an order directing the owner to proceed in accordance therewith and shall further specify that unless the work is commenced within 10 days after service and completed within a reasonable time thereafter, which the hearing officer shall designate, the penalties hereinafter provided shall be invoked.
If the owner of the unsafe building or structure fails or refuses to repair or remove the unsafe building or structure within the time specified in the final order of the hearing officer, the Building Department Administrator shall report the same to the City Council. The City Council may direct that the city shall cause the repair or removal of the unsafe building. After the work has been completed, the Building Department Administrator shall file with the Controller the affidavit and notice of lien as provided in § 112-7 or take such other action as provided in § 112-7.
Notwithstanding any provision herein to the contrary, the Building Department Administrator may institute suit against the owner of said premises for the direct costs, together with a charge of 50% in addition thereto as compensation to the city for administering, supervising and handling said work, and enter judgment thereon against the owner personally for the aforesaid amount. The imposition and collection of any fine or penalty hereinafter prescribed shall not bar the right of the city to collect the cost of the removal or repair of any unsafe building or structure as herein prescribed.
The transfer of title by the owner of premises upon which an unsafe building or structure is located shall be no defense to any proceedings under this article.
In case there shall be, in the opinion of the Building Department Administrator, actual and immediate danger of the falling of a building or structure so as to endanger public safety, life or property, or actual or immediate menace to health or public welfare as a result of the conditions present in or about a building or structure, he or she shall cause the necessary work to be done or render such building or structure temporarily safe, whether the procedure prescribed in this article for unsafe or dangerous buildings or structures has been instituted or not.
When emergency work is to be performed under this section, the Building Department Administrator shall cause the owner thereof to be served personally or by registered mail, return receipt requested, and if served by registered mail shall post on the premises a notice to comply containing a description of the premises, a statement of the facts in which the structure is unsafe or dangerous and orders and directions to correct said conditions which constitute an emergency within a specified period not to exceed three days from actual or constructive receipt of the notice.
In the event that the emergency does not permit any delay in correction, the notice shall state that the city has corrected the emergency condition.
In both cases, the notice shall state that the corrective costs of the emergency will be assessed against the owner pursuant to the provisions of this article.
The owner of any unsafe building who shall fail to comply with any final notice or order to repair, vacate or demolish the building or structure given by the Building Department Administrator of this article shall be guilty of an offense and upon conviction thereof shall be fined not less than $1,000 nor more than $2,000, or imprisoned for not more than 15 days, or both such fine and imprisonment, for each and every day such failure to comply continues beyond the date fixed for compliance.
The occupant or lessee in possession who fails to comply with any notice to vacate and who fails to repair the building or structure in accordance with any notice given as provided for in this article shall be guilty of an offense and upon conviction thereof shall be fined not less than $1,000 nor more than $2,000, or imprisoned for not more than 15 days, or both such fine and imprisonment, for each and every day such failure to comply continues beyond the date fixed for compliance.
Any person removing the notice provided for in Subsection E of § 112-5 hereof shall be fined not less than $1,000 nor more than $2,000, or imprisoned for 15 days, or both such fine and imprisonment.
Editor's Note: Former Subsection D, regarding notices of violation, added 12-22-1997, which immediately followed, was repealed 4-25-2000.
[Adopted 8-25-1981 by L.L. No. 1-1981 as Ch. 62 of the 1981 Code]
Authority of Director of Public Works. Whenever in the opinion of the Director of Public Works any property, land, unimproved parcels or any part thereof in the city, other than unsafe buildings as defined in Article I of this chapter, is in such an unsafe condition as to endanger life or property, he or she shall have authority to order any owner, agent or person in possession, charge or control of such property, land, unimproved parcels or a part thereof to put the same in safe condition by construction of retaining walls, fences, drainage, etc., within such reasonable time as may be determined by the order. Notice that such order has been served upon the owner shall be given by the Director of Public Works to all tenants occupying the property, land, unimproved parcels or a part thereof.
Posting notice; contents. Whenever the Director of Public Works shall be unable to find the owner of such land, property or unimproved parcel or part thereof, or an agent or person in possession, charge or control thereof, upon whom such notice may be served, he or she shall address, stamp and mail such notice to such person at his or her last known address, and in addition thereto, shall place, or cause to be placed, the notice herein provided for upon such property, land or unimproved parcels at or near its principal entrance, and shall also post or cause to be posted in a conspicuous place at each entrance to such property, land or unimproved parcels in large letters a notice as follows:
Such notice shall remain posted until the required changes have been made. It shall be unlawful for any person to remove, deface or destroy such notice without permission of the Director of Public Works.
If the owner, agent or person in possession, charge or control of property, land or unimproved parcels or part thereof when notified as provided in § 112-15 shall fail, neglect or refuse to place such property, land or unimproved parcels or part thereof in safe condition and to adopt such precautionary measures as shall have been ordered by the Director of Public Works within the time specified and as required in the notice of the Director of Public Works, such property, land or unimproved parcels or part thereof shall be forthwith vacated, and it shall be unlawful for any person to enter the same except for the purpose of making repairs or changes required by the Director of Public Works.
The owner of any property, land or unimproved parcels, agent or person in possession, charge or control who is ordered to put the same in a safe condition or to take down the same may, within 24 hours after the service of such order, appeal to the City Council from such order, setting forth his or her objections thereto, and the City Council shall review such order and file its decision thereon, and its determination shall be final.
Authority of Director of Public Works. If, at the expiration of the time specified in such notice or order as finally determined by the Director of Public Works, such order shall not have been complied with, the Director of Public Works is hereby authorized, with the consent of the City Council, to proceed forthwith to make or cause such repairs to be made or to take such action as may be necessary to put such land, property or unimproved parcels or any part thereof in a safe condition or to tear down or destroy the same or such part thereof as may be provided in the final order. The expense of making such repairs shall be charged to the owner of such property, land or unimproved parcels, together with a surcharge of 50% thereof to cover supervision and administration.
Costs; expenses; assessment; collection. The cost and expense of such labor performed and materials used in repairing such property, land or unimproved parcels or part thereof or demolishing the same, under and by direction of the Director of Public Works, shall when properly certified by the Director, be audited and paid for by the city in the same manner as other claims against the city are audited and paid. A bill for the expense incurred thereby, including the fifty-percent surcharge, shall be presented to the owner personally or by leaving the same at his or her residence, or if he or she be a nonresident, by mailing the same to him or her at his or her last known place of residence, or if the name of such owner or his or her place of residence cannot be ascertained after due diligence, by posting the same in a conspicuous place on the premises. If such owner shall fail to pay the same within 10 days thereafter, the Director of Public Works shall file, immediately preceding the time for making the annual assessment roll, a certificate of the actual cost of the work and materials furnished with a statement as to the property upon which the work was performed and for which the materials were furnished, the repairs made, the buildings or other obstructions removed and the fifty-percent surcharge for supervision and administration, as the case may be, with the Assessor of the city who shall in the preparation of the next assessment roll of general city taxes assess such amount upon such property; and the same shall be levied, collected and enforced in the same manner, by the same proceedings, at the same time, under the same penalties and having the same lien upon the property assessed as the general city tax and as a part thereof.
Scope of provisions. The imposition and collection of any fine or penalty prescribed herein shall not bar the right of the city to collect the cost of the removal or repair of any unsafe property, land or unimproved parcels, or part thereof, as herein prescribed.
In case of great emergency, where the delay of proceeding as hereinbefore provided would result in probable loss of life or property, the Mayor shall have the power to direct the Director of Public Works to proceed at once to take such action as is needed to guard the safety of persons and property. In such case the Director of Public Works shall have full power and authority to provide all necessary means therefor and all expenses therefor shall be paid and collected as provided in § 112-18.
[Amended 5-27-1997 by L.L. No. 2-1997; 6-27-2000]
Any person or corporation or officer thereof who shall violate any of the provisions of this article, or who fails to comply therewith or who shall fail to comply with any written notice of violation or order issued by the Building Department Administrator, shall be guilty of a violation within the meaning of the New York Penal Law and, upon conviction, shall be liable to a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $2,000 or to imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both; and, upon a second conviction for the same offense committed within five years of the date of the first offense, shall be liable to a fine of not less than $2,000 nor more than $3,500 or to imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both; and, upon a third conviction for the same offense committed within five years of the date of the second offense, shall be liable to a fine of not less than $3,500 nor more than $5,000 or to imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both. Each week that any such violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct violation. The owner or owners of any building or premises or part thereof where a violation of any of the provisions of this article shall exist or any lessee, tenant, builder, contractor, subcontractor, agent, person or corporation employed in connection therewith and any person who assisted in the commission of any such violation shall each be guilty of a separate offense and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punishable as herein provided.