[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Board of the Village of Green Island 9-24-2001 by L.L. No. 3-2001. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Fire prevention and building construction — See Ch. 82.
The purpose of this chapter is to promote and preserve the health, safety and welfare of the public and residents and/or owners of property located within this Village by providing a method for the removal or repair of buildings that, from any cause, may now be or shall hereafter become dangerous or unsafe to the public and residents and/or owners of property within the Village. Unsafe buildings serve as an attractive nuisance for young children who may be injured therein; may be a point of congregation by vagrants and transients; may attract rodent or insects; and may also attract illegal drug activity.
The powers conferred upon the Village by this chapter shall be in addition to all other powers conferred upon the Village in relation to the same subject by state law.
As used in this chapter, the following terms will be defined as follows:
- Any structure or improvement on real property or portion thereof that attaches to the realty.
- DANGEROUS OR UNSAFE CONDITION
- Any condition that threatens the safety, health or well-being of the public or members of the public. Dangerous and unsafe conditions include but are not limited to:
- A. Buildings whose interior walls or exterior bearing walls or other vertical structural members list, lean or buckle to such an extent as to weaken the structural support they provide;
- B. Buildings which, exclusive of the foundation, show 33% or more of damage to or deterioration of the supporting member or members or 50% of damage to or deterioration of the nonsupporting, enclosing or outside walls or covering;
- C. Buildings which have improperly distributed loads upon the floors or roofs or in which the same are overloaded or which have insufficient strength to be reasonably safe for the purpose used;
- D. Buildings which have been damaged by fire, wind or other causes so as to have become dangerous to life, safety or the general health and welfare of the occupants or the people of this Village;
- E. Buildings which have become or are so dilapidated, decayed, unsafe or unsanitary or which so utterly fail to provide the amenities essential to decent living that they are unfit for human habitation or are likely to cause sickness or disease to those living therein or adjacent thereto;
- F. Buildings having light, air and sanitation facilities which are inadequate to protect the health, safety or general welfare of human beings who live or may live therein, with particular reference to the requirements of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code as a determinant;
- G. Buildings having inadequate facilities for egress in case of fire or panic or those having insufficient stairways, elevators, fire escapes or other means of communication, again referencing the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code as a determinant;
- H. Buildings which have parts thereof which are so attached that they may fall and injure members of the public or property;
- I. Those which consist of debris, rubble or parts of buildings left on the ground after demolition, reconstruction, fire or other casualty;
- J. Buildings which, because of their condition are unsafe, unsanitary or dangerous to the health, safety or general welfare of the people of this Village.
No person, firm, corporation or association or any other entity recognized by the State of New York owning, possessing or controlling a building in the Village shall permit, suffer or allow said building now or hereafter to become dangerous or unsafe.
When the Building Inspector has reason to believe that a building is or may become dangerous or unsafe s/he will inspect the building and report his or her findings to the Village Board as soon as possible.
Upon such notification, the Village Board may accept the findings of the Building Inspector or direct such further investigation as it deems necessary to ascertain the condition of the building.
Based upon the report of the Building Inspector and any other investigation directed by the Village Board, the Village Board will make a determination of whether a dangerous and unsafe condition exists and, if so, whether the removal or repair of the building is warranted. The Village Board will then issue an order incorporating the terms of its determination.
In the event that the Village Board issues an order, it will cause the order, together with a notice of hearing, to be served upon the owner of the real property where the building is located, the owner of the building, if different, an executor/trix or administrator/trix of the owner's estate, a legal representative of the owner or any other person having a vested or contingent interest in the property or the building, as shown by the assessment roll of the Village or of the County Clerk.
The notice will be served with the order and it will contain the following:
A description of the affected premises.
A statement of the particulars in which the Village Board determined that the building is dangerous or unsafe and reference to any report upon which the Board's determination is based.
The date, time and place of a hearing to be held before the Village Board and a statement that the purpose of the hearing is to accept evidence regarding whether the building is dangerous or unsafe and, if so, whether the relief set forth in the order should be implemented.
A statement that, in the event of neglect or refusal to comply with the order to repair or demolish the building, the Village Board is authorized to provide for its repair or demolition and to assess all costs and expenses to repair, demolish or secure the building, including legal expenses, against the land on which it is located.
The order and notice may be served:
By any means authorized by the Civil Practice Laws and Rules for the commencement of a civil action or proceeding or by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the last known address, if any, of the owner or one of other persons set forth below.
By registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, and posting of a copy of the order and notice on the affected building. Such service will be deemed complete 10 days after the filing of the return receipt.
In the event that the identities of the owner and all of the persons listed above are unknown, the Village Board will cause the notice and order:
To be sent to the address that appears in the assessment rolls of the Village or the County Clerk for the affected parcel;
To be affixed to the building; and
To be published in two newspapers of general circulation in the area.
The publication shall be on at least three occasions and shall occur over a period of not less than five nor more than 15 business days.
The newspaper notice shall include the following additional introductory statement:
ATTENTION ANY PERSON WITH AN INTEREST IN [STREET ADDRESS OF AFFECTED PROPERTY], TAX PARCEL #_____, VILLAGE OF GREEN ISLAND, ALBANY COUNTY, NEW YORK.
Service of the notice will be deemed complete on the date of the last newspaper publication.
A copy of the order and notice will be filed in the office of the County Clerk of Albany County, 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. 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 upon the consent of the Village Attorney.
The date of the hearing so noticed will be at least 15 business days after the date the order and notice is served.
Prior to the hearing, the owner or any other interested person, his or her agent, contractor or employee may take the action required by the order or its equivalent, as determined by the Village Board. Upon completing the action, the owner will cause proof of such action to be submitted to the Village Board. In the event the Village Board finds that the action taken is in compliance with the order, the Village Board will cancel the hearing and so notify the Albany County Clerk.
At the hearing, the owner or other interested party may provide evidence to the Village Board regarding whether the building is in a dangerous or unsafe condition and, if so, what remedy is appropriate. The Village Board may require the Building Inspector or any other person who conducted an inspection of the building to provide testimony. As a result of the hearing, the Village Board will confirm, withdraw or modify its order regarding the building in question.
After confirming or modifying the order, the Village Board may then take any action necessary to implement the order, including directing that the owner or other interested party comply with the order within a specified period of time or implementing the terms of the order itself.
In the event that the Village Board causes the building to be repaired or removed, all costs and expenses incurred by the Village in connection with the proceeding to repair or secure the building, including the cost of actually repairing and removing the building, and any related expenses will be assessed against the land on which the building is located.
In case there shall be, in the opinion of the Building Inspector, actual and immediate danger of the falling of a building so as to endanger public safety, life or property or actual or immediate menace to health or public welfare as a result of the conditions present in or about a building, and that following the procedure proscribed above in this chapter would be prejudicial to the public interest, he will so inform the Mayor immediately.
The Mayor may then issue an order directing that the necessary emergency work be done to render such a building temporarily safe as set forth below.
Except as set forth in Subsection D below, when emergency work is to be performed under this section, the Building Inspector shall cause the owner thereof to be served with the order personally or by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, and, if served by registered or certified mail, shall post on the premises a notice to comply containing a description of the premises, a statement of the facts in which the building is unsafe or dangerous and orders and directions to correct the conditions which constitute an emergency within a specified period not to exceed three days from the serving of the notice. The notice will also state that, in the event the owner does not comply with the order, any costs incurred by the Village may be assessed against the property.
In the event that the emergency does not permit any delay in correction, or in the event that the owner does not comply with the order, the Mayor may direct that the emergency work be done by the Village. In such an event, all costs incurred by the Village may be assessed against the affected property.
In addition to the remedies provided by this chapter, the Village Board may request the Village Attorney or such other attorney it designates to make an application to the Supreme Court for an order determining the building to be a public nuisance and directing that it shall be repaired and secured or demolished.
The Village may also commence a special proceeding pursuant to § 78-b of the General Municipal Law to collect the costs of demolition, including reasonable and necessary legal expenses.