[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Fort Edward 1-2-1979 by L.L. No. 1-1979 (Ch. 32 of the 1985 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter:
- DANGEROUS BUILDING
- Any building or structure or well excavation which has any of the following conditions:
- (1) Those where any interior wall or walls, or other structural load-bearing members, list, lean or buckle to such an extent that a plumb line passing from any overhead supporting member through the center of gravity falls outside the middle third of its base.
- (2) Those which, exclusive of the foundations, show 33 1/3% or more of deterioration of the supporting member or members, or 50% or more damage to or deterioration of the nonsupporting enclosing or exterior walls or covering.
- (3) Those which have improperly distributed loads upon the floors or roofs or in which the floors or roofs are overloaded or which have insufficient strength to be reasonably safe for the purpose used and which do not meet minimum standards prescribed by the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.[Amended 4-7-1986 by L.L. No. 1-1986]
- (4) Those having inadequate or insufficient facilities for ingress or egress in the event of fire, panic or other emergency or those having insufficient stairways, elevators, fire escapes, aisles, passageways, corridors or other means of access, and which do not meet minimum standards prescribed by the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.[Amended 4-7-1986 by L.L. No. 1-1986]
- (5) Those which have parts thereof which are so attached or connected in such a manner that they may fall, collapse or cause damage and injury to the occupants thereof or other persons or property.
- (6) In addition to the foregoing, those which, in whole or in part, used for residential, mercantile, industrial, storage, assembly, institutional or any other purpose, for want of repair, lack of sufficient fire escapes or exits or by reason of age or dilapidated condition or from any other cause, may now be or shall at any time hereafter become dangerous or unsafe structurally or a fire hazard or a nuisance to the general public.
- (7) A vacant building, or an unguarded building or one which is open at a door or window.
- (8) An abandoned or unprotected well, open basement or excavation or hole which was a basement or is intended to be a basement, which is unprotected, dangerous or a nuisance.
- Whatever is dangerous to human life or detrimental to health, and shall include but not be limited to:
- (1) A public nuisance.
- (2) A building, structure or part thereof which has an existing electrical wiring system which is defective or which fails to meet ventilation requirements as prescribed by applicable provisions of law or which has plumbing, sewage and drainage facilities that are not in conformity with applicable building and plumbing codes or which is overcrowded.
- Includes the record owner of any premises, and also for the purpose of serving a notice, either personally or by registered mail, upon anyone exercising the rights of ownership therein, his agents, successors or assigns as indicated by the records of the receiver of taxes or by the records of the County Clerk of Washington County.
- Includes a partnership, corporation, association or trustee.
- PERSONS, INTERESTED
- Includes the owner, as herein defined, and all other persons interested in the property to which such words refer.
- The fastening, mailing, tacking or substantially securing by any other means of any notice, survey, order, directive or official decision on a building or structure.
- PRESIDING SUPERVISOR
- The Presiding Supervisor of the Village of Fort Edward.
- Includes any alteration, structural change or the performance of any act necessary or requisite for the elimination of any hazardous, dangerous or unsafe condition of any dangerous building or structure within the purview of this chapter.
- SUPERINTENDENT OF BUILDINGS
- The official, duly appointed by the Village Board, who is the Building Inspector of the Village of Fort Edward.
- A written determination in a report, after an on-site inspection by a designated inspector of the Village of Fort Edward, in conjunction with a registered architect or licensed professional engineer, chosen or appointed by the Village Board, and a practical builder, engineer or architect appointed by the owner of the subject premises, to be made after refusal or neglect of the owner who has been served with a notice to make safe, repair or demolish and remove the dangerous building or structure.
- The Village of Fort Edward.
The words "or" and "and," as used herein, may be construed to be interchangeable where such meaning is necessary to effectuate the purpose of this chapter. Where necessary, the singular shall include the plural and the plural shall include the singular.
[Amended 4-7-1986 by L.L. No. 1-1986]
The fact that a building or structure exists in violation of the applicable provisions of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code or of an earlier Village building code or the New York State Standard Building Code for Places of Public Assembly or the statewide Multiple Residence Law, as the case may be, or of any local law of the Village of Fort Edward, when found as other violations in addition to conditions deemed to be in violation of this chapter, may be considered in determining whether a building or structure is hazardous, dangerous or unsafe.
Under this chapter, the Superintendent of Buildings shall have jurisdiction for the purpose of demolishing, taking down or removing any hazardous, dangerous or unsafe building or structure or, alternately, for taking remedial action toward making any of said building or structure safe and secure.
Upon the receipt of information that a building or structure may be dangerous, the Superintendent of Buildings shall cause an investigation of the premises to be made and an inspection report submitted and filed in the Village Clerk's office.
After the report is filed in the Village Clerk's office, and if the report shall confirm the existence of a dangerous building or structure, the Superintendent of Buildings shall cause a notice to be served upon the owner, executor, administrator, agent, lessee or any person or persons having a vested or contingent interest in the subject unsafe building, as shown by the records of the receiver of taxes of the Village of Fort Edward or of the County of Washington, either personally or by registered mail, containing specifications as set forth.
The notice shall contain a description of the dangerous building or structure with particulars which set forth the manner in which the building or structure is dangerous, and the notice shall also outline the manner in which the building or structure is to be made safe and secure or demolished and removed. The notice shall contain an order requiring the dangerous building or structure to be made safe and secure or demolished and removed, and if the service of the notice is made by registered mail, a copy of the notice shall be posted on the premises.
Within 10 days of the receipt of the notice set forth above, the person who receives the notice may certify his written acceptance or rejection of the particulars and order contained in the notice by either personal service or by registered mail upon the Superintendent of Buildings or a person designated by him to accept service in his behalf. Any failure on the part of the person receiving the notice to respond, as herein prescribed, shall constitute a rejection of the notice.
If the person served with the notice shall immediately certify his assent to the securing or demolition and removal of the dangerous building or structure in question, he shall be permitted 72 hours within which to commence the abatement of the dangerous conditions affecting the building or structure and shall employ sufficient labor and assistance to secure or demolish and remove such building or structure within a reasonable period of time thereafter. The person served shall notify the Board of his compliance with the aforesaid order and the Board shall thereafter issue a certificate of compliance.
Any person affected by the notice described in § 136-5 of this chapter may request and shall be granted a hearing on the matter before the Superintendent of Buildings, or Building Inspector designated by him, provided that such person shall file a verified petition with the office of the Superintendent of Buildings within 10 days after the day the notice was served upon the petitioner requesting the hearing, and setting forth a brief statement of the grounds therefor. Upon receipt of said petition, the Superintendent of Buildings shall set a time and place for a hearing and shall give the petitioner 10 days' written notice thereof. At the hearing, the petitioner shall be given an opportunity to be heard and to give reasons why the proceedings for the securing or removal of the dangerous building or structure shall be modified or withdrawn. The hearing shall be commenced not later than 20 days after the day on which the petition was filed, provided that upon application of any interested party, the Superintendent of Buildings may postpone the date of the hearing for any reasonable time beyond the twenty-day period if, in his judgment, the interested party has submitted a good and sufficient reason for the postponement, but in no event shall the hearing be postponed longer than 60 days. In any case, if no such written petition shall be so filed within the ten-day period as aforesaid, or if the notice shall be rejected, the Village Attorney is authorized to make application to the Supreme Court, at special term, as hereinafter provided.
Upon refusal, neglect or failure of the person or persons served with a notice and order to comply with requirements and specifications therein or upon his or their rejection of such notice, a notice of survey shall be served upon him by the Superintendent of Buildings, either in person or by registered mail, giving notice that a survey of the premises described in the notice will be made at a time and place therein specified.
The notice of survey shall state the date, time and place where the survey will be made and that, in the event that the report of such survey indicates that such building or structure is dangerous, an application will be made at a special term of the Supreme Court, Washington County, for an order determining the building or structure to be a public nuisance and directing that it shall be repaired and secured or demolished, taken down and removed and for the assessing of the expenses and costs thereof.
The survey shall be made by three competent persons, of whom one shall be the Superintendent of Buildings or a Building Inspector designated by him, another shall be a registered architect or a licensed professional engineer appointed by the Village Board and the third shall be a practical builder, registered architect or a licensed professional engineer appointed by the person served with the notice.
Within 10 days after the survey is completed, the determination thereof shall be made by such persons in writing and filed in the office of the Village Clerk, and a copy thereof shall be posted on the subject building or structure.
All notices posted pursuant to any provision of this chapter are to remain on the building or structure until it is repaired, demolished or removed, or made to comply with the directions which have been given the owner.
In the event that the person or persons served with the notice of survey, as described in § 136-5 hereof, shall fail, neglect or refuse to appoint a competent person to assist in the survey, the other two persons designated pursuant to the provisions of this section shall make the survey, and should they disagree, they shall appoint a third person, whose decision shall be final, to take part in the survey, who shall be a practical builder, licensed professional engineer or registered architect, either one having at least 10 years' practice in his respective profession.
The Building Inspector shall notify the assessors of the time the demolition is completed.
The architect or engineer appointed by the Village Board as hereinbefore provided, who may act on any survey required by this chapter, or the third surveyor who may be called in the event of a disagreement, as provided in § 136-10 hereof, shall be entitled to a fee to be determined and fixed by the Village Board, which is to be paid upon the voucher of the Superintendent of Buildings. A cause of action is hereby created for the benefit of the Village against the owner of the dangerous building or structure surveyed, and of the lot or parcel of land on which the dangerous building or structure is located, for the amount disbursed by the Village for such survey with interest.
Whenever such survey shall determine that the building or structure surveyed is dangerous, the Village Attorney shall apply to the Supreme Court, Washington County, at special term for an order determining the building or structure to be a public nuisance and directing either that it shall be repaired and secured or that it shall be taken down or removed, and reimbursement of expenses of the proceeding and repair or demolition of the building.
Upon receipt of the order of the Supreme Court, the Superintendent of Buildings shall immediately proceed to execute the provisions therein contained and may employ and furnish whatever labor, assistance and materials may be necessary for that purpose.
It shall be unlawful for any person, whether interested or not in the property affected by this chapter, to interfere, obstruct or hinder the Superintendent of Buildings or his representative, or any person acting in his behalf, in performing the work directed by the determination of the Supreme Court as herein provided, or ordered by the Superintendent of Buildings under the terms and provisions of such determination as hereinabove described.
[Amended 4-7-1986 by L.L. No. 1-1986]
The Village shall be reimbursed for the cost of the work performed or service rendered, as hereinabove provided, by assessment against and collection from the lots or parcels of land where such work was performed or services rendered for so much of the actual and complete costs as incurred upon and from each lot or lots in the manner provided for the assessment of the cost of public improvements by Article 22 of the Village Law.
Any provisions of this chapter to the contrary notwithstanding, where it reasonably appears that there is imminent danger to the life or safety of any person, unless a "dangerous building" or structure as defined herein, is immediately repaired, vacated or demolished, the Building Inspector, on order of the Village Board, shall cause the immediate repair, vacating or demolition of such dangerous building or structure. For this purpose, he may at once enter such structure or land on which it stands, or abutting land or structure with such assistance and at such cost as may be necessary. He may vacate adjacent structures and protect the public by appropriate barricades or such other means as may be necessary, and for this purpose may close a public or private way. The cost of such emergency repair, vacating or demolition of such dangerous building or structure shall be collected in the same manner as provided in § 136-15 hereof.
[Amended 4-7-1986 by L.L. No. 1-1986]
Any person removing the notice provided for in § 136-5 hereof, or any other notice prescribed by this chapter, shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine of not more than $250 or imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both, for each offense.
This chapter shall be known as Local Law No. 1 of 1979, entitled "Dangerous Buildings and Structures," and shall go into effect pursuant to the provisions of the Village Law on the second day of January 1979.