[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Amsterdam 7-21-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-6. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Alarms — See Ch. 67.
Alcoholic beverages — See Ch. 70.
Animals — See Ch. 73.
Brush, grass and weeds — See Ch. 86.
Unsafe buildings — See Ch. 92.
Littering — See Ch. 150.
Noise — See Ch. 154.
Rodent control — See Ch. 184.
Solid waste — See Ch. 201.
Junked and abandoned vehicles — See Ch. 232.
The Common Council finds that the quality of life for many residents of the City of Amsterdam is threatened by the deterioration of some properties as well as by certain activities and patterns of behavior engaged in by individuals living in close proximity to their homes. The Council further finds that such activities, behavior and deteriorating properties constitute a public nuisance and finds that, while it is in the public interest for City officials to proactively work with property owners to resolve certain problems before such problems reach the level whereby they constitute a public nuisance, it is necessary and desirable to create and empower the City to take certain actions, either in conjunction with or apart from actions taken by other agencies or departments of the City of Amsterdam utilizing the powers contained in other laws, without prejudice to the use of procedures and remedies available to such other officials under such other laws, in order to reduce the incidence of public nuisances, enhance and protect the public health, safety and welfare and improve the overall quality of life within the City of Amsterdam.
Definitions and word usage. The following definitions shall apply in interpretation and enforcement of this chapter:
- Any structure having a roof for the shelter, housing or enclosure of persons, animals, chattels or property of any kind.
- A building designed or used as the living quarters for one or more families. The term "dwelling" shall be deemed to include an automobile court, rooming house or tourist home.
- ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- That person designated by a majority of the Common Council to carry out the duties of enforcement and administration specified in Chapter 161 of the Code of the City of Amsterdam.
- A plotted lot or part thereof or unplotted lot or parcel or plot of land, either occupied or unoccupied by any dwelling or nondwelling structure, including the dwelling or structure thereon.
- The combination of any materials, whether fixed or portable, forming a construction, including buildings.
For purposes of this section, a public nuisance shall be deemed to exist whenever, through violations of any of the following provisions resulting from separate incidents at a building, dwelling, premises, structure or place, 12 or more points are accumulated within a period of six months, or 18 or more points within a period of 12 months, in accordance with the following point system. Where more than one violation occurs during a single incident, the total points for the incident shall be the highest point value assigned to any single violation.
The following violations shall be assigned a point value of six points:
The following violations shall be assigned a point value of four points:
Suffering or permitting unduly loud music or other sources of noise in such a manner as to unduly annoy persons residing on or visiting adjacent properties.
Suffering or permitting the premises to become disorderly, including suffering or permitting fighting or lewdness.
For purposes of this section, a conviction for an offense in a court of competent jurisdiction or an administrative bureau shall not be required. Instead, the City shall prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the violations have occurred. Evidence of a violation may include but is not limited to police reports, investigative reports, execution of search warrants, results of police surveillance, arrest and/or conviction of local and state and federal laws, activities associated with trafficking of controlled substances, finding of weapons and/or controlled substances on or near the property, increased volume of traffic associated with the property, excessive police attention as a result of citizen complaints, as well as notices, citations and orders issued by the Code Enforcement Officer. However, a conviction, as defined and applied in accordance with the provisions of § 1.20 of the Criminal Procedure Law, in any court of competent jurisdiction shall constitute conclusive proof of a violation. Convictions of an attempt to commit a violation of any of the specified provisions shall be considered a conviction for a violation of the specified provision.
Upon the accumulation of any points pursuant to this section, the City shall give notice to the owner, lessee and mortgagee of a building, dwelling, and structure or place wherein the public nuisance is being conducted, maintained or permitted. Such notice shall be served upon an owner or mortgagee pursuant to Article 3 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules and upon a lessee pursuant to § 735 of the Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law, provided that any service other than delivery to the person to be served shall be complete immediately upon delivery, mailing or posting without the necessity of filing proof of service with the Clerk of the Court before the hearing. The person in whose name the real estate affected by the orders of the court is recorded in the office of the County Clerk shall be presumed to be the owner thereof.
Upon accumulation of points sufficient to constitute a public nuisance, the enforcement officer shall issue an appearance ticket, together with information specifying the basis for the alleged public nuisance, to the owner(s), lessee(s) and mortgagee(s) of any building, dwelling, premises, structure or place where a public nuisance is alleged to exist, served on such persons in accordance with this chapter and returnable in City Court of the City of Amsterdam.
The appearance ticket, together with the information, shall be served as follows: upon an owner pursuant to Article 3 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, upon a lessor or lessee pursuant to § 735 of the Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law and upon a mortgagee by means of certified mail, return receipt requested, sent to the mortgagee's last known address, provided that any service other than delivery to the person to be served shall be complete immediately upon delivery, mailing or posting. The person in whose name the real estate affected by the orders of the court is recorded in the office of the County Clerk shall be presumed to be the owner thereof. Proceedings shall be commenced in the manner in this chapter within 60 days after the occurrence of the most-recent violation cited in the information.
After notice and opportunity for a hearing with respect to the appearance ticket and information, the court shall be authorized to order any of the following:
The vacating of the building, dwelling, premises or place, or a portion thereof, where the nuisance is found to have occurred, to the extent necessary to abate such nuisance.
The closing of the building, dwelling, premises, structure or place, or a portion thereof, where the nuisance is found to have occurred, for up to a period of six months.
The suspension for a period not to exceed six months or revocation for a period of six months of any occupational license or permit issued by the City related to the conduct of a business or trade at the premises, which suspension or revocation shall also apply to any other locations operated by the holder for which the license or permit is required.
The imposition of a fine not to exceed $1,000 upon the owner, lessor or lessee of the building, dwelling, premises, structure or place where the nuisance is found to have occurred.
Any combination of the above.
Orders of the City Court issued pursuant to this section shall be posted at the building, structure or place where a public nuisance exists or is occurring in violation of law and shall be mailed to the owner of record thereof within one business day of the posting.
Five business days after the posting of an order issued pursuant to this section and upon written directive of the enforcement orders, officers of the Amsterdam Police Department are authorized to act upon and enforce such orders.
Where the building, dwelling, premises, structure or place is closed pursuant to this section, such closing shall be for such period as the court may direct, but in no event shall the closing be for a period of more than six months from the posting of the order pursuant to this section. If the owner, lessor or lessee shall file a bond in an amount determined by the court, but which may not exceed the value of the property ordered to be closed, and submit proof satisfactory to the court that the nuisance has been abated and will not be created, maintained or permitted for such a period of time as the building, structure or place has been directed to be closed by the order of the court, then the court may vacate the provisions of the order that direct the closing of the building, structure or place.
A closing directed by the court pursuant to this section shall not constitute an act of possession, ownership or control by the City of the closed premises.
It shall be a misdemeanor for any person to use or occupy or to permit any other person to use or occupy any building or structure, or portion thereof, ordered closed in accordance with this chapter. Mutilation or removal of a posted order of the court shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $250 or by imprisonment not exceeding 15 days, or both, provided that such order contains therein a notice of such penalty.
Intentional disobedience or resistance to any provision of the orders issued by the court pursuant to this section, in addition to any other punishment prescribed by law, shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment not to exceed six months, or both.
The enforcement officer may promulgate rules and regulations to carry out and give full effect to the provisions of this section.
If any provision of this section or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of this section and the application of such provision to other persons and circumstances shall not be rendered invalid thereby.