Village of Highland Falls, NY
Orange County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Highland Falls 9-21-1993 by L.L. No. 1-1993. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 70.
Excavations — See Ch. 85.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 170.
Solid waste — See Ch. 194.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 207.
The purpose of this chapter is to promote the public health, safety and general welfare by ensuring that the improper disposal of solid waste, including construction and demolition debris, within Village limits is prohibited and that the filling, grading and clearing of properties are safely conducted in a manner not detrimental to other properties.
A. 
Unless specifically defined below, words or phrases used in this chapter shall be interpreted so as to give them the meanings they have in common usage and to give this chapter its most reasonable application.
B. 
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CLEARING
The cutting or removal of more than three trees per tax lot or acre, whichever area is smaller, in any calendar year, which trees exceed a size of three inches in diameter measured four feet from the ground.
CONSTRUCTION AND DEMOLITION DEBRIS
Solid waste resulting from the construction, remodeling, repair and demolition of buildings, structures and/or roads and solid waste consisting of vegetation resulting from land clearing and grubbing. Such waste includes but is not limited to bricks, concrete and other masonry materials, soil, rock, wood, wall coverings, plaster, drywall, plumbing fixtures, insulation, roofing shingles, asphaltic pavement, glass, plastics, electrical wiring and components and metals that are incidental to any of the above.
FILLING
The placement of soil, rubble, spoils, rocks and/or other appropriate fill on any property for the purpose of raising or elevating any portion of a property.
GRADING
The changing or alteration of the surfaces or slopes of lawns or grounds on a site.
SOLID WASTE
Materials or substances discharged, discarded or rejected as being spent, useless, worthless or in excess by the owner at the time of such discard or rejection, except sewage and other highly diluted water-carried materials or substances and those in gaseous form. Such waste shall include but is not limited to garbage, trash, sludge, rubbish, ashes, incinerator residue, street cleanings, dead animals, offal, abandoned vehicles, agricultural waste, industrial waste, commercial waste and construction and demolition debris.
The Building Inspector and any other person or agency designated by the Board of Trustees shall be the enforcement officer, who shall administer, implement and enforce the provisions of this chapter.
No person, firm or corporation shall dump, dispose or deposit or cause, permit or allow to be dumped, disposed or deposited any solid waste within the limits of the Village of Highland Falls, New York, except for limited filling with certain construction and demolition debris pursuant to § 97-8.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 194, Solid Waste.
No person, firm or corporation shall dump, dispose or deposit or cause, permit or allow to be dumped, disposed or deposited any construction and demolition debris within the limits of the Village of Highland Falls, New York, except for certain limited activities pursuant to § 97-8.
No person shall conduct or cause to be conducted or permit or allow any filling, grading or clearing of any property without securing a permit from the enforcement officer, unless an exemption set forth in § 97-8 applies.
Owners of property upon which prohibited activities occur shall be jointly and severally liable with the active participants in the violation.
A. 
The following are exempt from the prohibition of the disposal of construction and demolition debris, provided that a permit is issued pursuant to this chapter, and provided that no fee or other form of consideration is required or given for the privilege of using the property for disposal purposes.
(1) 
A site at which only recognizable uncontaminated concrete, brick, soil or stone is placed.
(2) 
A site for the disposal of trees, stumps, wood chips and yard waste when generation and disposal of such material occur on the same property.
B. 
A permit to fill or grade property shall not be required for the planting of landscaping; minor grading of lawn areas; normal repairs to occupied property; correcting hazards presenting an imminent threat to life or property; or for land development pursuant to, but not prior to, issuance of a building permit or issuance of subdivision or site plan approval.
C. 
A permit to clear property shall not be required for the clearing of trees located on property already improved with a single- or two-family residence where no further development will occur; for removal of dead or dying trees; or for land development pursuant to, but not prior to, issuance of a building permit or issuance of subdivision or site plan approval.
The following information or exhibits are required to be submitted, in duplicate, in order to secure a permit:
A. 
Drawings showing the tax lot upon which the activity will be conducted. The enforcement officer in his discretion may require that such drawings be prepared by a professional engineer licensed in the State of New York.
B. 
A copy of the tax map showing the subject site and showing all properties located within 500 feet of the subject site.
C. 
A plan showing all existing and proposed contour lines, the amount of fill to be placed or displaced, the location of trees over six inches in diameter measured four feet from the ground, road access to the site and proposed screening.
D. 
An erosion control plan.
E. 
Preliminary copies of any contracts to perform such filling, grading and/or clearing, which contracts shall state that they are subject to this chapter, and a copy of this chapter shall be attached to and become a part of such contracts.
F. 
Documentation regarding permit status with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation prior to the issuance of a permit. Any required New York State Department of Environmental Conservation permit must be in effect prior to the issuance of a permit pursuant to this chapter.
G. 
Proof of insurance, including workers' compensation, adequate to cover the intended work pursuant to the terms of the permit. The Village shall be named as an additional insured on the applicant's policies.
H. 
The completion date and any other information which the enforcement officer deems reasonable in reviewing the application.
I. 
Submission of an application fee. Said fee or fee schedule shall be established and may be revised from time to time by resolution of the Board of Trustees.
A. 
The enforcement officer may refer the application and supporting documentation to the Planning Board for its review and recommendation. The enforcement officer and/or Planning Board may engage the services of an independent consultant to review the application and supporting documentation, the fees for which shall be paid by the applicant. The Board of Trustees on behalf of the enforcement officer and/or the Planning Board on its own behalf may require the applicant to deposit funds in advance in a reasonable amount to pay for such services, and any surplus shall be returned.
B. 
Where an application is referred to the Planning Board, the Board, prior to making its recommendation, may hold a public hearing on 10 days' notice. Notice of the hearing shall be mailed by the applicant at least 10 days prior thereto to all abutting property owners and all other owners of property within 500 feet of the subject parcel. Proof of such notice shall be given by certified mail, return receipt requested, and at the time of the public hearing, the applicant shall file proof of mailing of the notice of public hearing.
A. 
Operations shall be conducted only during the hours from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. No operations shall be conducted on Sundays or holidays.
B. 
Filling, grading and clearing shall be done in such a manner as to not result in an increase of surface water runoff onto any other properties; not result in any conditions which increase erosion or result in any unstable conditions upon the site or adjacent properties; and not degrade downstream water quality.
C. 
The Board of Trustees or its designee may contract for appropriate surveillance of the site on a twenty-four-hour, seven-day-week basis until the activity is completed. The applicant shall be required, as a condition of the permit, to authorize the Village or its employees or agents to enter onto the applicant's property to conduct the appropriate surveillance. Any and all costs for this service will be estimated by the enforcement officer prior to the issuance of a permit, and the applicant will then be required to post a certified check to cover such costs.
D. 
The enforcement officer may require the applicant to retain a professional engineer licensed to practice in the State of New York, who shall certify as to the contours of the site at regularly scheduled times established by the enforcement officer.
E. 
Any monitoring and/or testing of fill material which is required during the course of operations will be performed by a licensed professional engineer and/or testing lab approved by the Village. All costs for this testing shall be paid for by the applicant.
F. 
The enforcement officer may impose any other reasonable conditions on the permit, such as but not limited to screening, access controls, dust controls, noise controls and site security, which the officer or Planning Board believes are necessary in order to adequately maintain the site.
G. 
The duration of any permit issued pursuant to this chapter may be limited to 60 days or such other period deemed reasonable by the enforcement officer.
The applicant shall be required to post cash or letter of credit in the amount of $250, or in any other amount if recommended by the enforcement officer or Planning Board and approved by the Board of Trustees. Said bond shall be posted with the Village Clerk to guarantee the satisfactory restoration and reclamation of the site and repair of any Village roads or other public property which might be damaged as a result of the activities of the applicant. In the event that the applicant fails or refuses to make the necessary repairs, the Board of Trustees, after notice and hearing pursuant to § 97-16, may declare the applicant in default, perform the repairs and apply the proceeds of the performance bond in order to cover the expense in making such repairs. The applicant shall be responsible for the full expense to the Village, including administrative engineering and legal expenses, even if the bond amount is insufficient to cover the Village's expense.
A. 
Permit revocation. Violation of a permit condition shall constitute grounds for abatement by the Village and for revocation of such permit.
B. 
Civil liability. A person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter or terms of any permit issued hereunder or who fails to perform any duty imposed by this chapter shall be liable to a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 per day of such violation, and, in addition, such person may be ordered to abate such violation.
C. 
Criminal liability. Any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter or terms of any permit issued hereunder or who fails to perform any duty imposed by this chapter shall be guilty of an unclassified misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $2,500 nor more than $10,000 per day of violation or by imprisonment for a term of not more than 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. If the conviction is for an offense committed after a first conviction of such person under this subsection, punishment shall be by a fine of not more than $20,000 per day of violation or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or by both.
D. 
Any violation of this chapter shall be deemed a public nuisance.
(1) 
In addition to or in lieu of the above penalties, the Village may enter upon the premises and correct the conditions caused by the violation of any provision of this chapter or permit issued hereunder and abate said nuisance. In such event, the property owner shall reimburse to the Village an amount equal to 125% of the actual costs incurred in correcting said conditions, which amount includes but is not limited to administrative, legal and engineering costs incurred as a result of said violation.
(2) 
The Village may, in addition to the above, enforce the provisions of this chapter pursuant to any other lawful means. All remedies and penalties herein are cumulative.
A. 
Wherever the Enforcement Officer determines that a violation of the provisions of this chapter exists, a notice of violation shall be issued.
B. 
Contents of notice. The notice shall contain the following information:
(1) 
The name of the owner of the premises or person in possession of the premises as appears from the tax and deed records, together with the name, if known, of the person or persons participating in the activity.
(2) 
A brief description of the premises and its location.
(3) 
A description of the provisions of this chapter or permit condition violated.
(4) 
An order requiring the same to be remedied, abated, cured or removed.
(5) 
That the abatement, remedy, curing or removal of said violation shall commence within a specified number of days of the service of the notice and shall be completed within a specified number of days thereafter. However, nothing herein shall limit the ability of the enforcement officer to order an immediate stop to active violations. The failure to commence and/or complete the necessary abatement, cure, remedy or removal of said violation within the time specified in the notice will constitute a violation of the law, subjecting the violators to the penalties of this chapter.
(6) 
Notice that the notice of violation may be appealed to the Board of Trustees.
C. 
Service of notice.
(1) 
A copy of said notice shall be personally served upon the person committing the violation and upon the owner or one of the owners, executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or other persons having a vested interest in the premises as shown on the Village tax records or in the records in the Orange County Clerk's office.
(2) 
If no such person can be reasonably found for personal service, then a copy of said notice shall be mailed to such person by certified mail, addressed to his last known address as shown on said records, and by personally serving a copy of said notice upon any adult person residing in or occupying said premises or by securely posting a copy of said notice at said premises.
(3) 
A copy of said notice may be filed in the Orange County Clerk's office, which notice shall be filed 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. It may be vacated upon an order of a judge or justice of a court of record or upon the written consent of the Village Attorney. The Orange 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 of a certified copy of such order.
A. 
Any person who is charged with a violation shall have the right to make an appeal to the Village Board of Trustees. All appeals shall be made within five days of service of a notice of violation and shall be simultaneously submitted to the enforcement officer and the Village Board of Trustees. The filing of an appeal shall not stay an order to abate contained in the notice of violation.
B. 
The Village Board of Trustees shall set a date and time for a public hearing on any appeal.
C. 
Upon such appeal, the Village Board of Trustees may affirm, modify or vacate the enforcement officer's notice of violation.
A. 
The Village Board of Trustees is authorized to conduct hearings and impose civil penalties for violations of this chapter.
B. 
The Village Board of Trustees shall set a date and time for a hearing.
C. 
A notice of hearing shall be made by mailing a copy of such order by certified mail to the addresses of the permit holder and of the owner or one of the owners, executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or other persons having a vested interest in the premises as shown on the Village tax records or the records of the Orange County Clerk and by posting a copy of such order on said premises. The failure to provide a notice to each such person shall not invalidate subsequent proceedings pursuant to this chapter. The hearing shall be set for a date not less than 15 days after the notice of hearing is mailed.
D. 
The Village Board of Trustees shall conduct the hearing at the time and place specified in the notice of hearing. The hearing may be adjourned from time to time and shall continue until all interested persons are heard. No formal rules of evidence need apply, nor shall a stenographic transcript be required.
E. 
The violator shall have the right to appear with or without an attorney and to present evidence and examine witnesses to show why penalties should not be assessed and/or why an order to abate should be suspended.
F. 
The Village Board of Trustees shall make findings and make a determination. Such determination shall indicate the basis and rationale of the decision, shall state the dollar amount of penalties and shall be supported by substantial evidence.
G. 
Any penalties imposed and the costs to the Village of the proceeding in such event shall be immediately due and payable and shall be paid within 15 days of their imposition. All civil monetary penalties and costs imposed, if unpaid, shall be a lien on the real property and shall be assessed against such property, together with 9% interest per annum, and shall be levied and collected in the same manner as real property taxes.
H. 
The determination of the Village Board of Trustees may be reviewed in a proceeding pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, provided that such proceeding is commenced within 30 days of such determination. Judicial review shall not stay any order to abate or stay payment of any penalty imposed.