[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Binghamton 9-7-1976 by L.L. No. 8-1976 as Ch. 8 of the 1969 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Board of the Town of Binghamton believes that it should provide by ordinance for the repair or destruction of buildings in the Town which are dangerous or unsafe to the public, in order to protect the health, safety and general welfare of the inhabitants of the Town. It therefore hereby enacts this chapter, pursuant to § 130, Subdivision 16, of the Town Law, to provide for the removal or repair of buildings that from any cause may now be or shall hereafter become dangerous or unsafe to the public.
At any time the Town Board, by resolution, may direct an appropriate Town employee or hire a competent person to inspect any structure in the Town and report to the Town Board whether the structure is dangerous or unsafe to the public. The words "dangerous or unsafe to the public" shall be broadly construed for the maximum protection of the inhabitants of the Town.
If the person directed or employed as set forth in § 106-2 reports that the structure is unsafe or dangerous to the public, the Town Board shall cause a notice to be served on the owner or some one of the owner's executors, legal representative, agents, lessees or any other person having a vested or contingent interest in same, either personally or by registered mail, addressed to the last known address, if any, of the owner or some one of the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or other person having a vested or contingent interest in same, as shown by the records of the Receiver of Taxes and/or in the office of the County Clerk or County Register, containing a description of the premises, a statement of the particulars in which the building or structure is unsafe or dangerous and an order outlining the manner in which it is to be made safe and secure or demolished and removed; a statement that the securing or removal of the building is to commence within 30 days of the service or mailing 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 the service of the notice; and 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 forced 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.
A copy of such notice shall be filed in the office of the County Clerk of the County of Broome, 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, except as otherwise hereinafter provided in this subsection. 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 Town Attorney. The Clerk of the county where such notice is filed shall mark such notice and any record or docket thereof as canceled of record upon the presentation of filing of such consent or the certified copy of such order.
The hearing set forth in the notice shall be held at a regular meeting of the Town Board, at which time the person served with the notice may present proof and/or witnesses in opposition to the claim that the buildings are unsafe or dangerous, and if after such hearing the Town Board still concludes that the buildings are unsafe and dangerous and such owner fails or refuses to comply with the order of the Town Board after said hearing, the Town Board shall provide for the demolition or repair of the offending building or buildings either by Town employees or by contract, and all costs and expenses incurred by the Town in connection with the proceeding to remove or secure, including the cost of actually removing the structure or structures, shall be assessed against the land upon which said structure or structures are located. Except in an emergency as hereinafter provided, any contract for the repair, demolition and removal of a building in excess of $5,000 shall be provided through competitive bidding.
In emergency cases where it reasonably appears that there is present clear and imminent danger to the life, safety or health of any person or property, unless an unsafe building is immediately repaired or secured or demolished, the Town Board may, by resolution, authorize the Building Inspector to immediately cause the repair or demolition of such unsafe building. The expense of such repair or demolition shall be charged against the land on which it is located and shall be assessed, levied and collected as hereinafter provided.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed original § 8-4, Survey of premises.
[Added 7-21-2020 by L.L. No. 1-2020]
In the event that the owner fails or refuses to secure, repair or remove such damaged or unsafe building(s) or structure(s) or debris within the time provided in the Town Board Order, the Town of Binghamton may enter upon such property and cause the same to be secured and/or removed.
[Added 2-3-1981; amended 11-16-2010 by L.L. No. 12-2015; 6-17-2014 by L.L. No. 29-2015; 7-21-2020 by L.L. No. 1-2020]
All expenses incurred by the Town in connection with the proceedings to repair, secure, demolish or remove the unsafe building, including the cost of actually removing the building and all related engineering, legal and other professional fees and expenses, shall be assessed against the owner(s) of the subject property and/or 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. For any assessment against the property owner(s), the Town may commence a civil action against such property owner(s) if the assessment is not paid within 30 days of presentment of the said assessment to the property owner(s) by certified mail or registered mail.
Furthermore, in accordance with General Municipal Law § 22, the Town of Binghamton as a taxing district is hereby authorized and empowered to claim against the proceeds of a policy of fire insurance insuring the interest of an owner and issued on real property located within the Town of Binghamton to the extent of any lien, claim or assessment by the Town of Binghamton pursuant to this Chapter 106 shall further constitute a lien against such insurance proceeds and which shall, as to such insurance proceeds, be prior to all other liens and claims except the claim of a mortgagee of record named in such insurance policy. Upon the adoption of a resolution by the Town Board providing therefor, the Town Supervisor shall cause a notice of intention to claim against insurance proceeds to be served upon the New York State Superintendent of Financial Services for entry in the index of tax districts maintained by upon the New York State Superintendent of Financial Services as provided in § 331 of the Insurance Law, wherein such amounts stated in such claim notice shall be a lien on the proceeds of the insurance policy of said owner until paid.
Editor's Note: Original § 8-6, Report of surveyors; removal or repair of structure by Town; costs, which immediately followed this section, was repealed 2-3-1981.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed original § 8-5, Compensation of surveyors.
[Added 7-21-2020 by L.L. No. 1-2020]
In addition to the Town of Binghamton rights set forth in § 106-6, all costs and expenses, including that of Town personnel, Town contractors and legal costs, incurred by the Town of Binghamton in connection with actions or proceedings to secure, repair or remove such building(s) or structure(s) or debris, including the cost of actually removing the same, shall be assessed against the owner individually, the applicable fire or other insurance, and against land on which such building(s) or structure(s) is located. Said assessment shall be and shall constitute a lien and claim against the owner individually, the applicable fire or other insurance, and upon the land so affected. The Town of Binghamton may bring and maintain an action at law against the owner individually, the applicable fire or other insurance carrier, and/or against the land for such claim, lien or assessment, and may foreclose such lien or liens.
In any case where a building is repaired and secured or taken down and removed pursuant to proceedings had under this chapter (where such work is being done by the owner of the property or by some third party at the direction of the owner or of the Town), the site of such work shall be left in a safe condition. There shall be removed from such site any and all broken glass, rubble, metal and any accumulation of combustible material. Furthermore, all open excavations shall be filled and/or graded in such a manner so that they are not actually or potentially hazardous to the health or safety of others.
Should any section or provision of this chapter be or be held invalid or unconstitutional, such invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not affect the validity of the chapter as a whole or any part thereof other than said invalid or unconstitutional part.
This chapter shall take effect immediately subject to provisions of the Town Law as to posting and publication.