[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Wawayanda 5-9-1996 by L.L. No. 3-1996. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Building construction — See Ch. 54.
Numbering of buildings — See Ch. 58.
Electrical standards and inspections — See Ch. 82.
Heating equipment — See Ch. 100.
Editor's Note: This local law repealed former Ch. 60, Buildings, Unsafe, adopted 6-18-1969.
Unsafe buildings pose a threat to life and property in the Town of Wawayanda. 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. Vacant parcels or the property on which improvements may exist may constitute a serious and growing menace and may be injurious or detrimental to the public safety, health and welfare. It is the purpose of this chapter to provide for the safety, health, protection and general welfare of the persons and property in the Town of Wawayanda by requiring that such unsafe buildings and dangerous properties be repaired, secured, for safety purposes or demolished and removed.
Declaration as public nuisances. All dangerous properties, within the terms of this chapter, are hereby declared to be public nuisances and shall be repaired, cured, cleared, cleaned, vacated or demolished as hereinafter provided.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any building, structure or portion thereof used for residential, business, agriculture or industrial purposes whether vacant or occupied.
- BUILDING INSPECTOR
- The Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer/Fire Inspector of the Town of Wawayanda or such other person appointed by the Town Board to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
- DANGEROUS PROPERTY
- Properties which have become or are so dilapidated, decayed, unsafe or unsanitary or a fire hazard or likely to cause injury, sickness or disease and, therefore, are deemed to be a danger to the health, safety or general welfare of those residing in or upon the property or adjacent to same or to the citizens of the Town of Wawayanda at large. "Dangerous properties" are further defined as properties which, because of their condition, are unsafe, unsanitary or dangerous to the health, safety or general welfare of the people of the Town of Wawayanda. Dangerous property shall also be those properties which are in violation of any provision of the Building Code of the Town of Wawayanda or the State of New York or any provision of the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code or other appropriate laws of the Town of Wawayanda or State of New York. Dangerous properties may include the whole or a portion of any real property described in a deed recorded in the office of the Clerk of Orange County, New York, or on the tax rolls and Tax Map of the Town of Wawayanda, Orange County, New York. Dangerous properties may be improved or unimproved real property containing buildings and/or vacant land.
- The Town of Wawayanda.
- TOWN BOARD
- The Town Board of the Town of Wawayanda.
Building Inspector. The Building Inspector shall make a report, in writing, to the Town Board upon his or her observation of all properties which are, may be or are suspected to be dangerous properties within the terms of this chapter. Such reports must be delivered to the Town Supervisor within 72 hours upon such request or observation.
Investigation and report by the Building Inspector. When in his or her 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 or windows or otherwise, 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 or 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 being repaired, secured for safety purposes or its demolition and removal.
The Town Board shall thereafter consider such report and, by resolution, determine, if in its opinion, the report so warrants, that such building is unsafe and dangerous and order its repair if the same can be safely repaired, its securing for safety purposes or its demolition and removal and further order that a notice be served upon the persons designated in § 60-6 of this chapter and in the manner provided therein.
This notice shall contain the following:
A description of the premise, including the section, block and lot number.
A statement of the particulars in which the building or property is unsafe or dangerous.
A statement outlining the manner in which the building or property is to be made safe and secure or demolished and removed.
An order that the securing or removal of the such building or condition (nuisance) 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 or demolish and remove or correct such condition (nuisance), the Town Board is authorized to provide for its repair, securing or its demolition and removal as the case may be; to assess all expenses thereof against the land on which it is located; and to institute a special proceeding to collect the cost of demolition or repair, including legal and engineering expenses.
The notice required under this chapter shall be served by personal service or a copy thereof upon the owner, executor, administrator, agent, lessee or any person having a vested or contingent interest in such unsafe building or property as shown on the records of the Assessor of the Town or of the County Clerk. If no such person can be reasonably found, service shall be made by mailing to such owner, by certified mail, return receipt requested, a copy of such notice directed to his or her last known address as shown on the assessment rolls of the Town of Wawayanda and by personal service of a copy of such notice upon any person residing in or occupying said premises if such person can reasonably be found and by securely affixing a copy of such notice upon the unsafe building or property. Affidavits of service of the notice shall be filed with the Town Clerk of the Town of Wawayanda at the hearing.
A copy of the notice served as provided herein shall be filed in the office of the Clerk of the County of Orange and with the Town Clerk of the Town of Wawayanda.
In the event of the 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 repair, securing or demolition and removal, as the case may be, of such building or property either by Town employees or by contract. Except in emergency cases as provided for herein, any contract for repair, securing or demolition and removal, as the case may be, shall be awarded in accordance with the provisions of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York.
All expenses incurred by the Town in connection with the proceedings to repair and secure or demolish and remove the unsafe building or property, including the cost of actually removing such building or correcting such condition or nuisance or repairing the same, shall be assessed against the land on which such building or condition or nuisance is located and shall be levied and collected in the same manner as provided for in 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 the life, safety or health of any person or property, unless an unsafe building or condition or nuisance is immediately repaired and secured or demolished, the Town Board may, by resolution, authorize the Building Inspector to immediately cause the repair, securing or demolition of such unsafe building or correction of such condition (nuisance). The expenses of such repair, securing or demolition or correction of such condition (nuisance) shall be a charge against the land on which it is located and shall be assessed, levied and collected as provided for under the Town Law for levy and collection of a special ad valorem levy.
No officer, agent or employee of the Town 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 or her duties under this chapter. Any suit brought against any officer, agent or employee of the Town as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this chapter shall be defended by the Town Attorney or other designated counsel until the final determination of the proceedings therein.