[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Pompey 5-9-1983 by L.L. No. 1-1983. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Unsafe buildings and structures pose a threat to life and property in the Town of Pompey. Buildings and structures may become unsafe by reason of damage by fire, the elements, age or general deterioration. Vacant buildings 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 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 Pompey by requiring such unsafe buildings to be repaired or demolished and removed.
This chapter shall be known as the "Unsafe Building Law of the Town of Pompey."
This chapter shall be interpreted in such a way, wherever possible, so that the meaning of the words and phrases and sections herein shall make them valid and legal in their effect.
Whenever the requirements of this chapter are at variance with the requirements of other lawfully adopted rules, regulations or ordinances or this chapter itself, the most restrictive provisions or those imposing the highest standards shall govern.
[Amended 12-4-1995 by L.L. No. 5-1995]
The word "shall" is always mandatory; the word "may" is always permissive.
The following words or phrases, as used in this chapter, are defined as follows:
- Any structure or part thereof which has or had a roof and is or was intended for the shelter, housing or enclosure of persons, animals or chattels.
- BUILDING INSPECTOR
- The Building Inspector of the Town of Pompey or such other person appointed by the Town Board to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
- A lot, plot or parcel of land, including the buildings or structures thereon.
- To restore or correct in order to make safe.
- A building or anything constructed, erected or placed above or below ground, other than a walk, driveway and plant life, which requires temporary or permanent location on or the support of the soil or which is attached to any structure, including mobile homes.
When in the Building Inspector's opinion 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 and general welfare of the public; or is unfit for the purposes for which it may lawfully be used, the Building Inspector shall cause or make an inspection thereof and report, in writing, to the Town Board his findings and recommendations in regard to its securing, repair or demolition and removal.
The Town Board shall thereafter consider such report and may by resolution determine, if in its opinion the report so warrants, that such building is unsafe and dangerous and order its securing and repair if the same can be safely repaired or its demolition and removal and further order that a notice be served upon the persons and in the manner as hereinafter provided. The Town Board may, at its discretion, appoint a licensed architect, builder or a professional engineer to assist it in its determination. Such person or persons shall be paid reasonable compensation as shall be fixed by the Town Board.
The notice shall contain the following:
A description of the premises, including the street number and tax account number.
A statement of the particulars in which the building is unsafe or dangerous.
An order requiring the same 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, repair 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 of the County Clerk or, if no such person can be reasonably found, by mailing to such owner, by registered mail, a copy of such notice directed to his last known address as shown by the above records; or by personal service of a copy of such notice upon any adult person residing in or occupying said 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 Onondaga County Clerk.
In the event of 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 securing or the demolition and removal of such building or structure either by Town employees or by contract. Except in an emergency as provided in § 69-12 of this chapter, any contract for demolition and removal of a building in excess of $5,000 shall be awarded through competitive bidding.
[Amended 9-5-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
All expenses incurred by the Town in connection with the proceedings to repair and secure or demolish and remove the unsafe building, including the costs incurred by the Building Inspector and/or the Town Board for consultation fees with engineers, attorneys or other professionals or costs incurred in enforcement of compliance with this chapter and the cost of actually removing 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.
Where it reasonably appears that there is present a clear and imminent danger to life, safety or health of any person or property unless an unsafe building is immediately repaired and 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 expenses of such repair or demolition shall be a charge against the land on which it is located and shall be assessed, levied and collected as provided in § 69-11 herein.
[Added 9-5-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
Notwithstanding any provision herein to the contrary, the Town may, at its election, institute suit against the owner of said premises for all expenses incurred in the work and which will be assessed against the land as compensation to the Town for said work performed and enter a 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 Town to collect the costs of the removal or repair of any unsafe building or structure as herein prescribed.
[Added 9-5-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
Any person, firm, corporation or other entity who violates this chapter shall be guilty of an offense and shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine of not more than $250 per day or imprisonment for a term of not more than 15 days, or both. Each day that the violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.