[Adopted 10-21-1974 by L.L. No. 5-1974 (Ch. 73 of the 1975 Code); amended in its entirety 8-6-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
This article shall be known and cited as the "Property Maintenance Code of the Incorporated Village of Farmingdale."
It is the intent and purpose of this article to provide for, and ensure the proper use of, property and to prevent the unsafe, hazardous or dangerous conditions upon property within the Village of Farmingdale; to provide basic and uniform standards governing the maintenance, appearance and condition of all properties, whether improved or unimproved, residential, commercial or otherwise. The Village finds that the presence of blight upon properties, caused by factors including, but not limited to, foreclosures throughout the Village, is detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the Village. It is the intent, therefore, of the Village that blight be identified, abated and eliminated and that any and all conditions which pose a threat to the health, and safety of the public or to property within the Village of Farmingdale be eliminated. The Board of Trustees finds that upon the failure to eliminate such conditions, the Village may cause to have said conditions eliminated and assess the cost thereof against the owners, occupants or other persons as set forth in this article.
Surface and subsurface water shall be drained to prevent damage to buildings and structures and to prevent development of stagnant waters. Gutters, culverts, catch basins, drain inlets, stormwater sewers and sanitary sewers or other satisfactory drainage systems shall be provided and utilized. In no case shall the water from any rain leader be allowed to flow over the sidewalk of adjoining property.
All property shall be well maintained so that lawns, hedges, bushes, trees and weeds shall be trimmed so as to prevent overgrown and unsightly conditions. In no event shall any plant growth overhang or extend beyond the property line. No weeds or plant growth shall be permitted to exceed 10 inches in height.
All fences shall be maintained in a safe and attractive state and be maintained in good repair. Such maintenance shall include, but not be limited to, the replacement and/or repair of fences which may become in disrepair.
No shopping baskets, carts or wagons shall be left unattended or standing, and said baskets, carts or wagons shall be regularly collected and removed to the interior of the building or buildings from which they were taken by the person responsible for said building or buildings.
Buildings and structures.
All exterior exposed surfaces shall be repaired, coated, treated or sealed to protect them from deterioration or weathering.
Floors, walls, ceilings, stairs, furnishing and fixtures of buildings shall be maintained in a clean, safe and sanitary condition. Every floor, exterior wall, roof and porch, or appurtenance thereto, shall be maintained in a manner so as to prevent collapse of the same or injury to the occupants of the building or to the public.
Foundation walls of every building shall be maintained in good repair and be structurally sound.
Exterior walls (including doors and windows), roofs and the areas around doors, windows, chimneys and other parts of a building, shall be so maintained as to keep water from entering the building. Materials which have been damaged or show evidences of dry rot or other deterioration or damage shall be repaired or replaced and refinished in a good workmanlike manner. Exterior walls, roofs and other parts of the building shall be free from loose and unsecured objects and material. Such objects or materials shall be removed, repaired or replaced.
Each and every part of the property including, but not limited to, stairs, steps, walks, walkways, driveways, storefronts, parking areas and spaces and other paved surfaces shall be kept in good repair, free from blight and in a clean, sanitary and safe condition and free from any litter, debris, paper, dirt, garbage or junk. All stairs, steps, walks, walkways, driveways, parking areas and spaces and other paved surfaces and areas shall be maintained in a manner which permits safe passage. Any holes or other hazards that may exist shall be filled, or necessary repairs or replacement carried out. All driveways and parking spaces shall be covered with a dustless free surface, and such driveways and parking spaces shall be regularly cleaned to avoid accumulation of dirt, paper or any debris. Any and all sidewalks shall be kept free from snow and ice. In removing such snow or ice, no person shall put the same in the gutter or drain of the street or in any manner fill up or obstruct any such gutter or drain.
Vacant buildings shall be maintained in a condition that does not present a hazard to adjoining properties, buildings, structures or to the public.
All property, buildings and structures shall be maintained free of insects, vermin and rodent harborage and infestation. Insects, rodents or other pests shall be exterminated or caused to be exterminated and methods used for such extermination shall conform with generally accepted practices and comply with all applicable law.
No building or structure shall be permitted to exist with graffiti. Graffiti shall be removed and the building or structure restored. For purposes of this subsection, graffiti is defined as any writing, painting, drawing, staining, carving, etching or other marking, made by use of chalk, paint, ink, aerosol spray can, knife, pencil or any other marking device and/or material, of any word, name, lettering, inscription, figure, design, or other representation, made upon a portion of a building or structure without the consent of the owner, Signs with proper sign permits or approval are expressly not included in the definition of graffiti.
Blighted property is prohibited. In determining whether a property shall be designated as blighted, the following factors shall be considered by the Building Inspector:
Boarded windows, doors, entryways or exits;
Broken or unsecured windows;
Excessive litter or debris;
Overgrown grass at least 10 inches or higher or other overgrown vegetation or shrubbery;
More than one unregistered motor vehicle;
Roofs, gutters, siding/shingles, chimney, shutters, and/or accessory structures including, but not limited to, decks, sheds, porches, pools, pool houses or cabanas, garages, carports, storage units, front and rear porches, outside statuary, and/or fish ponds which are broken, unsecured, or in disrepair;
Junk vehicles, salvage, or scrap property;
Damaged, unsightly, unsecured or unpermitted signage or awnings;
Fencing which is broken, unsecured or in disrepair;
Outdoor lighting fixtures which are broken, unsecured or in disrepair;
Electrical wires, electrical equipment or extension cords which are broken, exposed or hazardously utilized;
Unfinished or abandoned construction;
Damaged, dead or fallen trees or limbs;
Fire damage to property which has not been repaired or restored;
Peeling or deteriorated paint;
Open or unsecured wells, cesspools or cisterns;
Vermin, rodent harborage or infestation;
Presence within/upon an outdoor area or the improper storage of refrigerator, washing machine, sink, stove, heater, boiler, tank, other household appliances, boxes or indoor furniture for a period in excess of 72 consecutive hours, and/or lumber, construction materials, dirt, debris, trash, garbage or uncovered refuse cans, accumulated refuse or garbage in covered refuse cans which is not timely or properly disposed of; and
Any other factors deemed by the Building Inspector to pose significant threat to the safety, health and/or general welfare of the Village.
It shall be a violation of this article for any person, owner or occupant to create, cause, maintain or cause to, or permit to, continue or to fail to abate, correct or remove any condition that is prohibited by this article. For purposes of this article, "any person" shall include the owner, occupant, tenant, mortgagee or vendee in possession, mortgagee when the owner or occupant has caused or allowed the property to deteriorate or otherwise fall into a state of disrepair or blight, a mortgagee who has commenced the foreclosure process, the operator, assignee of rents, receiver, executor, trustee, lessee, agent or any other person, firm, or corporation directly or indirectly in control of property or part thereof.
Owners of property shall be responsible for compliance with the provisions of this article and shall remain responsible therefor regardless of the fact that this article may also place responsibilities on operators, occupants and others and regardless of any agreements between owners, operators, occupants or others as to which party shall assume such responsibility.
Whenever any person or persons shall be in actual possession of or have charge, care or control of any property within the Village of Farmingdale as executor, administrator, trustee, guardian, operator or agent, such person shall be deemed and taken to be the owner or owners of said property within the true intent and meaning of this article and shall be bound to comply with the provisions of this article to the same extent as the record owner, and notice to any such person or any order or decision of the Building Inspector shall be deemed and taken to be good and sufficient notice, as if such person or persons were actually the record owner or owners of such property. In instances where an occupant is responsible or shares responsibility with the owner for one or more violations of this article, said occupant shall be deemed and taken to be an owner within the true intent and meaning of this article.
The mortgage holder shall immediately notify the Village, in writing, of its notice to the owner of the owner's failure to maintain the property. Upon the commencement of foreclosure proceedings the mortgage holder shall also immediately notify the Village, in writing, of such action. "Commencement of a foreclosure proceeding" shall be defined in this article as the service of a notice of foreclosure upon a property owner.
Upon either of the contingencies set forth in § 419-15A, the mortgage holder shall also deposit with the Village a sum determined by the Building Inspector to be sufficient for the maintenance and repair of the property. The Building Inspector shall have the authority to reduce or waive the deposit.
The Building Inspector is hereby authorized and directed to make all inspections necessary to determine whether compliance with the provisions of this article exists. For the purpose of making such inspections, the Building Inspector is hereby authorized to enter, examine and survey at all reasonable times all dwellings, dwelling units and premises. The owner or occupants of every dwelling or dwelling unit, or the person in charge thereof, shall give the Building Inspector free access to such dwelling or dwelling unit and its premises at all reasonable times for the purpose of such inspection, examination and survey. Every occupant of a dwelling or dwelling unit shall give the owner thereof, or his agent or employee, access to any part of such dwelling or dwelling unit or its premises at all reasonable times for the purpose of making such repairs or alterations as are necessary to effect compliance with the provisions of this article or with any lawful rule or regulation adopted or any lawful order issued pursuant to the provisions of this article.
In the event that permission to enter any such dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming house, rooming unit or boarding house for the purpose of inspection is denied, the Building Inspector may apply to the appropriate authority for a search warrant.
A warrant shall not be required:
[Amended 7-11-2016 by L.L. No. 4-2016]
The Building Inspector or any other enforcement officer appointed by the Building Inspector of the Village of Farmingdale shall be charged with the duty of administering and enforcing this article.
It shall be the duty of the Building Inspector or any other duly appointed enforcement officer of the Village of Farmingdale to issue a notice of violation to order in writing the correction of all conditions found to exist in or on any premises which violate the provisions of this article. Alternatively, the Building Inspector may, in his sole discretion, issue an appearance ticket pursuant to Article 150 of the Criminal Procedure Law.
If a notice of violation is issued it shall be served either personally or by posting. If a notice of violation is served by posting it shall be posted in a conspicuous place upon the premises of the person(s) charged with the violation and a copy thereof shall be mailed, certified mail return receipt requested, to the person(s) charged. If the person so charged is not the owner, the notice shall also be mailed, certified mail return receipt requested, to the owner.
[Amended 7-11-2016 by L.L. No. 4-2016]
Notice of violation. The following requirements shall apply where the Building Inspector has issued a notice of violation:
Within 15 calendar days after service of a notice of violation (five calendar days for violations relating to grass, vegetation or shrubbery) the offending condition shall be abated, corrected or removed. If the violative condition is not abated, corrected or removed within 15 calendar days (five calendar days for violations relating to grass, vegetation or shrubbery) after service of the notice of violation, the Building Inspector is hereby authorized and empowered to abate, correct or remove the offending conditions or to pay for the abatement, correction or removal of the conditions in violation of this article.
In the event that the Village of Farmingdale has abated, corrected or removed the offending conditions or has paid for such abatement, correction or removal, the actual cost thereof, plus the accrued legal rate of interest per annum from the date of the completion of the work, shall be charged to the parties responsible, as set forth in § 419-13, and such charge shall become due and payable at the time of the presentment of such bill. A copy of the invoice shall be mailed to the persons charged with the violation by certified mail return receipt requested. The owner, or other parties responsible, may within 10 calendar days of receipt of the invoice request a hearing before the Building Inspector to challenge the reasonableness of the fees.
In the event no hearing is requested to challenge the reasonableness of the fees in § 419-18A(2), and the full amount due the Village of Farmingdale specified in § 419-18A(2) remains unpaid 20 calendar days following the mailing of the invoice for the cost associated with the abatement, correction or removal, then in that case, the Building Inspector shall cause to be filed in the office of the Village Clerk a sworn statement showing the cost and expense incurred for such abatement, correction or removal, the date such action was completed, the location of the property, by section, block and lot, on which such action was taken and the name of the owner thereof. Such sworn statement shall include, in addition to any other costs and fees, an administrative fee of $250. The filing of such sworn statement shall constitute a lien and privilege on the property and shall remain in full force and effect for the amount due in principal and interest, plus the cost of court, if any, for collection, until final payment has been made. Said costs and expenses, including the administrative fee of $250, shall be a lien on the property and shall be collected in the manner fixed by law for the collection of taxes, and, further, shall be subject to a delinquent penalty at the rate of interest in the event that the same is not paid in full on or before the date the tax bill upon which such charge appears becomes delinquent. Sworn statements filed in accordance with the provisions hereof shall be prima facie evidence that all legal formalities have been complied with and the work has been properly and successfully done and shall be full notice to every person concerned that the amount of the statement, plus interest, constitutes a statement that the same is due and collectible as provided by law.
Any party aggrieved by the decision or action of the Building Inspector may, within five calendar days of the Building Inspector's decision or action, appeal the decision to the Board of Zoning Appeals of the Village of Farmingdale. Such appeal shall be made in writing and filed with the Village Clerk within the time period specified in this subsection.
Appearance ticket. The Building Inspector is hereby authorized to issue appearance tickets in addition to notices of violation.
[Amended 7-11-2016 by L.L. No. 4-2016]
The Building Inspector is authorized to designate a property as blighted in accordance with this chapter. Where the Building Inspector designates that a property is blighted in accordance with § 419-12B(9), notice of such violative condition shall be served upon the parties responsible for such property, as set forth in § 419-13.
In the event that the property remains in a blighted condition after the time periods specified in § 419-18, the Village shall have the right, in addition to the remedies set forth in § 419-18, and penalties set forth in § 419-20, to place the blighted property on the Incorporated Village of Farmingdale Blighted Property Registry.
Upon the placement of blighted property upon the Incorporated Village of Farmingdale Blighted Property Registry, notice shall be served upon the owner and other responsible parties, as the case may be, that the property has been placed upon the registry and that a registration fee as set forth herein shall be assessed to the property within 15 days of the notice. The parties responsible may request in writing, within 15 days of the notice, a hearing before the Building Inspector to challenge the blighted property designation or the reasonableness of the registration fee. A registration fee shall be assessed as follows: $5,000 for each commercial blighted property; $2,500 for each residential blighted property. The registration fee specified in this subsection shall be renewed, and paid annually upon the expiration of each year following the initial blighted property designation (the blighted property designation anniversary date). No additional notices shall be sent to the responsible parties for such annual renewals. A hearing may be requested for each years' registration fee renewal if made in writing no later than five days before the expiration of the current registration years' term.
In the event no hearing is requested to challenge the reasonableness of the registration fee, and the full amount of the registration remains unpaid 20 calendar days following the mailing of the notice (or remains unpaid five days following any annual renewal assessment) as referenced in § 419-19C, the Building Inspector shall cause to be filed in the office of the Village Clerk a sworn statement showing the amount unpaid. Such sworn statement shall include, in addition to any other costs and fees, an administrative fee of $250. The filing of such sworn statement shall constitute a lien and privilege on the property and shall remain in full force and effect for the amount due in principal and interest, plus cost of court, if any, for collection, until final payment has been made. Said costs and expenses, including the administrative fee of $250, shall be a lien on the property and shall be collected in the manner fixed by law for the collection of taxes, and, further, shall be subject to a delinquent penalty at the rate of interest in the event that the same is not paid in full on or before the date the tax bill upon which such charge appears becomes delinquent. Sworn statements filed in accordance with the provisions hereof shall be prima facie evidence that all legal formalities have been complied with and shall be full notice to every person concerned that the amount of the statement, plus interest, constitutes a statement that the same is due and collectible as provided by law.
The Building Inspector is hereby authorized to reduce or waive the registration fee in accordance with the requirements of this section.
Restoration agreement required. A registration fee cannot be reduced or waived unless the responsible parties enter into a restoration agreement and the following conditions are satisfied:
The existence of a valid certificate of occupancy or application therefor;
There are no other outstanding violations; and
The restoration agreement must contain an acknowledgment from the parties responsible that the property is blighted and specify a detailed plan (with specific time periods) designed to abate, correct or remove all blighted conditions. The restoration agreement shall also require that the responsible parties agree to pay the registration fee upon notice from the Village, to the responsible parties, of noncompliance with the terms of the restoration agreement and that the responsible parties agree to a provision in the restoration agreement consenting to the automatic assessment of the registration fee as a lien on the property and waiving any right to notice of such assessment prior to such assessment, upon the expiration of the seven-day period following the Village's notice of the aforesaid noncompliance.
Any person or persons, association, firm or corporation who violates any provision of this article shall be guilty of a violation, punishable as follows:
For conviction of a first offense, by a fine of not less than $250 and not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment not exceeding five days, or by both.
For conviction of the second of two offenses, both of which were committed within a period of five years, by a fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $2,500 or by imprisonment not exceeding 10 days, or by both.
For conviction of a third or subsequent offense of a series of offenses, all of which were committed within a period of five years, by a fine of not less than $2,500 and not more than $10,000 or by imprisonment not exceeding 15 days, or by both.
Each week in which the violation continues shall constitute a separate and additional violation and shall be punishable as such pursuant to this section.
The Building Inspector is authorized and directed to institute any and all actions and proceedings necessary to enforce this article. The Village Attorney is also authorized to seek damages and any civil penalties in any civil action, and such penalties shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any criminal prosecution or other penalties.
In addition to the remedies set forth in this article, the Village of Farmingdale reserves the right to pursue any and all remedies available including, but not limited to, those set forth in Articles 13 and 19-A of the Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law and the Building Inspector is hereby authorized to take any and all action specified thereunder.
Whenever the Building Inspector determines that an emergency exists which requires immediate action to protect the public health, safety and welfare, he may issue an order, in writing, to the owner, agent or occupant reciting the existence of such an emergency and requiring that such action be taken as he deems necessary to meet the emergency. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this article, such order shall be effective immediately. Any party to whom such order is directed shall comply therewith immediately. If such party does not respond within a reasonable time to address the emergency, then the Building Inspector shall have the power to abate, correct or remove the emergency, and any expenses, including any legal expenses, incurred by the Village of Farmingdale shall be borne by the owner, occupant, or other parties responsible as defined in § 419-13 and shall be assessed in accordance with procedure set forth in § 419-18B and C.
The requirements and standards set forth in the Property Maintenance Code of the State of New York, 2012, and all revisions and amendments thereto shall be controlling in the Incorporated Village of Farmingdale. Where permitted by the Property Maintenance Code of the State of New York, it is the intent of the Board of Trustees to implement greater minimum standards within the Village of Farmingdale.
Issues pertaining to Severability or conflict of provisions shall be governed by § 600-131.