[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Morrisville 9-3-2009 by L.L. No. 7-2009. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Amended 12-10-2009 by L.L. No. 10-2009]
The purpose of this chapter is to promote and preserve the health, welfare and property of residents of and owners of property located within this Village by providing a method for the removal or repair of buildings and structures within the limits of this Village that, from any cause, may now be or shall hereafter become dangerous or unsafe to the public. Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed or construed as a limitation or supercession of the provisions, obligations or remedies provided under the New York State Building Code, New York State Property Maintenance Code, New York State Fire Code, or other applicable code, statute or regulation.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A structure wholly or partly enclosed within exterior walls or within exterior or party walls and a roof, affording shelter to persons, animals or property.
- Any assembly of materials constructed or erected, the use of which requires location on the ground or attachment to something having location on the ground, including but not limited to fences, satellite dishes and swimming pools.
No person, firm, corporation or association owning, possessing or controlling a building or structure in this Village shall permit, suffer or allow the building or structure to continue or become dangerous or unsafe to the public from any cause whatsoever.
All buildings and structures which have any or all of the following defects shall be deemed unsafe or dangerous within the meaning of this chapter:
Those whose interior walls or other vertical structural members list, lean or buckle to such an extent that a plumb line passing through the center of gravity falls outside of the middle third of its base.
Those which, exclusive of the foundation, show 33% or more of damage or deterioration of the supporting member or members or 50% of damage or deterioration of the nonsupporting enclosing or outside walls or covering.
Those 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.
Those which have been damaged by fire, wind or other causes so as to have become dangerous to life, safety, morals or the general health and welfare of the occupants or the people of this village.
Those which have become or are so dilapidated, decayed, unsafe, 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 so as to work injury to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of those living therein.
Those having light, air and sanitation facilities which are inadequate to protect the health, morals, safety or general welfare of human beings who live or may live therein.
Those having inadequate facilities for egress in case of fire or panic or those having insufficient stairways, elevators, fire escapes or other means of communication.
Those which have parts thereof which are so attached that they may fall and injure members of the public or property.
Those which because of their condition are unsafe, unsanitary or dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the people of this Village.
Those which provide a substantial life-safety hazard to the occupants or general public because of noncompliance with the New York State Fire Code, Building Code and/or Property Maintenance Code.
The Code Enforcement Officer or his designee shall be the Enforcement Officer of this chapter and shall make inspections of all unsafe buildings and structures within the Village. Upon receiving information of the existence of an unsafe structure or building the Code Enforcement Officer shall inspect the same and shall determine, if in his opinion, the structure is unsafe and dangerous so as to warrant its removal or repair. In the event he shall so determine, the Code Enforcement Officer shall give notice to all interested persons or corporations and order the repair or removal of the building or structure. The Code Enforcement Officer shall then make a written report to the Mayor of the property inspected, the result of the inspection and all actions taken by the Code Enforcement Officer concerning the building or structure.
The notice and order to interested persons and/or corporations referred to in the preceding section shall contain the following information:
A description of the premises.
A statement of the particulars in which the building or structure is unsafe or dangerous.
An order requiring the same to be made safe and secure or removed.
That the securing or removal of said building or structure shall commence within a specified date subsequent to the serving of the notice, as hereinafter provided, and shall be completed within a specified number of days thereafter.
That in the event of the neglect or refusal of the persons or corporations served with the order to comply with the order, the Village reserves all legal rights to enforce compliance, including but not limited to commencing an action pursuant to this chapter for violation of an order of the Code Enforcement Officer, and/or commencing an action before the New York Supreme Court for an order of demolition and/or such other or further action that the Village may deem appropriate.
By personal service a copy thereof upon the owner or some one of the owners, executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or any other person having a vested or contingent interest in the premises as shown by the last preceding completed assessment roll of the Village, and filing of an affidavit of personal service upon the owner with the Village Clerk; or
In the event that the owner shall not be readily located or personally served, by mailing a copy of said notice to such owner as aforesaid, by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the last known address of the owner, and personally serving said notice upon an adult residing in the premises, if any, and by affixing a copy of said notice to the premises, such service to be complete after filing of the return receipt and the affidavit of posting with the Village Clerk.
In the event of neglect or refusal of the persons so notified to comply with said order of the Code Enforcement Officer, the Board of Trustees may direct an inspection and evaluation of the condition of said premises be made by the Village Engineer or such other engineer retained by the Village for such purpose, and a signed copy of such report shall be forwarded to the owner or posted on said structure. All costs of said engineer's report and inspection shall be charged to the owner and levied against the premises if not paid.
Upon receipt of the Engineer's report described in the preceding § 62-8, the Board of Trustees shall consider such report, along with the prior report of the Code Enforcement Officer, and shall determine by resolution whether the building(s) is unsafe or dangerous, and whether the repair and/or demolition and removal of the building(s) is warranted, and if so, that a hearing will be held before the Board of Trustees at which time the owner will be heard and allowed to present witnesses and evidence to rebut the findings of the Board of Trustees.
In the event a hearing is to be held pursuant to the provisions of the preceding § 62-9, a notice of such hearing shall be served upon the owner, in a manner authorized in § 62-7 above, at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of such hearing. Such notice shall contain the following:
A description of the premises;
A statement of the particulars in which the building(s) has been deemed unsafe or dangerous;
The manner in which the building(s) is to be made safe and/or secure;
The date, time and place for the hearing to be held before the Board of Trustees at which time the owner, and/or the owner's representative, may present witnesses and evidence refuting the Board of Trustees' finding that the building(s) is unsafe and or dangerous; and
That upon the conclusion of the hearing, or upon the owner's failure to appear at such hearing, the Board of Trustees shall have the authority to and may order the repair and/or demolition and removal of the building(s), and that all costs associated with such remedial action by the Village shall be the responsibility of the owner and assessed and levied against the owner's property in the same manner as general Village taxes.
Upon the conclusion of the hearing as contemplated in § 62-9, or upon the owner's failure to appear at such hearing, the Board of Trustees shall make a determination, by resolution and order, based upon the preponderance of evidence before it, whether to provide for and direct the repair and/or demolition and removal of the building(s) at issue, and in such event shall cause a certified copy of said resolution and order to be recorded as a miscellaneous record in the office of the Madison County Clerk, and also to be served upon the owner in a manner provided in § 62-7 above.
In the event that the building or other structure shall be reported unsafe or dangerous by the Village Engineer as provided in § 62-8 above, the Board of Trustees may, in lieu of the scheduling of a hearing before the Board of Trustees as provided in § 62-9 above, pass a resolution directing the Mayor to make an application to the Supreme Court for an order determining the building or other structure to be a public nuisance and directing that it shall be repaired and secured or taken down and removed.
All engineers, attorneys, professionals, workers and tradesmen rendering services to the Village shall be paid reasonable compensation for the service performed by them in making their inspections and in preparing the report thereof, in conducting the proceedings contemplated under this chapter, and in securing, repairing, demolishing or removing the building(s) at issue. Such compensation shall be assessed against the owner, person or corporation responsible for the structure.
All costs and expenses incurred by the Village in connection with the proceedings to remove or secure, including the cost of actually removing said buildings or structures, shall be assessed against the land on which said buildings or structures are located and collected in the same manner as Village taxes.
In case there shall be, in the opinion of the Code Enforcement Officer, actual and immediate danger of the falling of a building or structure 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 or structure, he may cause the necessary work to be done to render such building or structure temporarily safe, whether the procedure described in this chapter for unsafe or dangerous buildings or structures has been instituted or not.
When emergency work is to be performed under this section, the Code Enforcement Officer shall cause the owner thereof to be served personally or by registered mail, return receipt requested, and, if served by registered mail, shall post on the premises a notice to comply containing a description of the premises, a statement of the facts in which the structure is unsafe or dangerous and orders and directions to correct said conditions which constitute an emergency within a specified period not to exceed three days from actual or constructive receipt of the notice.
In the event that the emergency does not permit any delay in correction, the notice shall state that the Village may correct or has corrected the emergency condition.
In both cases, the notice shall state that the corrective costs of the emergency will be assessed against the owner, and levied against the premises pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
In any case where the Code Enforcement Officer finds a building or conditions within a building wherein there is an imminent hazard to life safety, the Code Enforcement Officer shall immediately close the building or dwelling and order the occupants to vacate the building until the conditions are corrected and inspected for compliance with all applicable codes, rules and regulations. Signs reading "No Admittance" shall be posted at all entrances to such building. Only persons permitted by the Code Enforcement Officer to enter the building shall be allowed in the building and only to secure the building or perform necessary corrections. As soon as practically possible, the Code Enforcement Officer shall notify the Mayor, in writing, of the action that was taken under this subsection and the reasons therefor.
Upon correction of the hazards and upon inspection and verification by the Code Enforcement Officer, the Code Enforcement Officer shall permit the signs to be removed and the building to be occupied. The Code Enforcement Officer shall then notify the Mayor of the disposition of conditions of the building.
[Amended 12-10-2009 by L.L. No. 10-2009]
Upon notification that the owner of the unsafe building or structure has failed or refused to repair the unsafe building or structure within the time specified any order of the Board of Trustees and/or Supreme Court, the Code Enforcement Officer shall report the same to the Village Board of Trustees. The Village Board of Trustees may thereupon direct that the Village shall cause the repair or removal of the unsafe building. After such work has been completed, the Code Enforcement Officer shall file with the Village Board of Trustees a verified statement of all expenses incurred in the removal or repair of the unsafe or dangerous building or structure, which will be assessed and levied against the land and collected in the same manner as Village taxes in order to reimburse the Village for its expenses.
Upon receipt of the verified statement by the Code Enforcement Officer regarding the costs of the proceedings to repair or remove, the Village Board of Trustees shall direct that the amount thereof, including the charges added thereto, shall constitute a lien against said premises and direct that the same shall be added to the next assessment roll of general Village taxes and shall be collected and enforced in the same manner, by the same proceedings, at the same time and under the same penalties as the general Village tax and as a part thereof. In addition thereto, interest shall run thereon from the date of filing the verified statement to the date of actual payment at 9% per annum.
Notwithstanding any provision herein to the contrary, the Village 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 Village 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 Village to collect the costs of the removal or repair of any unsafe building or structure as herein prescribed.
[Amended 12-10-2009 by L.L. No. 10-2009]
The failure of the owner to complete the repairs or to remove the unsafe building or structure as specified in the final notice of the Code Enforcement Officer shall subject the owner to all the obligations and penalties set forth in this chapter.
Any person or corporation who allows or causes an unsafe building or structure to exist within the Village shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine not exceeding $250 per day, imprisonment for a term not to exceed 15 days, or both. Each day that the violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
Violation of an order. Any person who shall fail to comply with an order of the Village of Morrisville Code Enforcement Officer within the time fixed for compliance therewith, and any owner, builder, architect, tenant, contractor, subcontractor or his agent or any other person taking part or assisting in the use or construction of any building who shall violate any order, notice or directive of the Village of Morrisville Code Enforcement Officer shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding $250 per day, imprisonment for a term not to exceed 15 days, or both. Each day in violation continuing beyond the date fixed in the order of the Code Enforcement Officer shall be deemed a separate offense.