[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Patchogue 6-30-2010 by L.L. No. 15-2010. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: This local law was originally adopted as Ch. 163 but was renumbered to maintain the organization of the Code.
The Board of Trustees of the Village of Patchogue hereby finds that buildings and places used for illegal activities within the Village of Patchogue have a devastating effect on the surrounding community and that these public nuisances exist in occupied and vacant buildings and on occupied and vacant developed and undeveloped real estate; and that these public nuisances present a substantial risk to the health and safety of the surrounding community while interfering with the community's interest in the quality of life as well as their interest in the value of their property. Therefore, the purpose of this chapter is to create a standardized procedure for securing legal and equitable remedies and to strengthen existing laws so as to effectively prevent buildings, residences, premises and real estate within the Village of Patchogue from being used in such a way as to constitute a public nuisance.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated.
- PROHIBITED CONDUCT
- Any conduct or occurrence that is in violation of the following articles of the New York State Penal Law:
- A. Article 220 (Controlled substances).
- B. Article 221 (Offenses involving marijuana).
- C. Article 230 (Prostitution offenses).
- D. Article 225 (Gambling offenses).
- E. Article 165 (other offenses relating to theft) as follows: §§ 165.09, 165.10, 165.40, 165.45, 165.50, 165.52 and 165.54.
- F. Article 270 (other offenses relating to public safety) as follows: § 270.00.
- PUBLIC NUISANCE
- For purposes of § 290-5 of this chapter, any building, residence, premises, structure or place where an owner or person in charge thereof has been given written notice that a search warrant has been executed, an arrest for prohibited conduct, as defined in this section, has taken place or evidence of a violation of the Penal Law has been seized at said location and within six months of that first arrest or seizure having taken place or warrant has been executed there is an additional arrest, seizure or warrant executed at that location for prohibited conduct as defined in this section which the owner or person in charge thereof is again notified of in writing.
Notice that prohibited conduct has occurred at a location shall be served by personal service upon the owner or person in charge of the affected building or structure; or if no such person can be reasonably found, by mailing said owner such notice by means of certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address as shown by the records of the Village Assessor; and by securely affixing a copy of such notice upon the door of the affected building or structure.
The notice must contain a statement of the date or dates upon which prohibited conduct took place on the property, the nature of the prohibited conduct, a copy of this chapter and a warning that if a second occurrence of prohibited conduct, as defined in § 290-2 of this chapter, has taken place within six months of the first arrest, seizure or warrant being executed, the Village may seek action pursuant to § 290-5 of this chapter.
Upon a first or second offense for prohibited conduct, the Suffolk County Police Department may issue a summons to the owner or person in charge of said premises as a violation of § 290-6 of this chapter.
Upon notification by the Suffolk County Police Department that a first offense for prohibited conduct has occurred, the Office of the Village Attorney may send the property owner a notice pursuant to the requirements of § 290-3 of this chapter. Upon a second offense for prohibited conduct occurring within six months of the first offense, a second notice as described in § 290-3 may be sent to the property owner which must also include a notification of the public hearing to be held pursuant to § 290-6 of this chapter.
The Office of the Village Attorney will then issue a report, in writing, which shall include but not be limited to:
Dates, times and general nature of the arrests and offenses which occurred at the property; and
Copies of the first and second notices sent to the property owner as defined in this chapter.
Any relevant information as to the history of this property pertaining to the sale and/or consumption of narcotics, etc.
The Village Board, at said public hearing or an emergency public hearing as authorized by the Village Law of the State of New York, shall consider such report of prohibited conduct as well as any other information it deems relevant in determining if the location is to be deemed a public nuisance as defined in § 290-2 of this chapter.
If the Village Board decides said location is in fact a public nuisance, it may immediately authorize the Commissioner of the Department of Planning and Development to board up said location and assess such costs as a special assessment to the property owner after the premises have been made vacant by the Suffolk County Police Department. The Village Attorney may, at the direction of the Village Board, also bring and maintain a civil action or special proceeding in the name of the Village in court of competent jurisdiction for equitable and legal relief, including but not limited to a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction, a permanent injunction, and other equitable remedies as well as civil penalties (fines), including the recovery of the costs of the action, litigation expenses, board-up and site cleanup, and reasonable attorneys' fees.
It shall be unlawful for anyone to own or lease any building, residence, premises, structure or place which is being used as a public nuisance as defined in this chapter.
Any violation of this section is punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 for each offense and/or up to 30 days' imprisonment.
The provisions of this chapter are severable. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section, word or part of this chapter shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section, word or part thereof directly involved in the controversy for which such judgment shall have been rendered. The invalidity of any word, clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part of this chapter shall not affect the validity of any other part of this chapter which can be given effect without such invalid part or parts.
If any portion of this chapter is found to be in conflict with any other provision of any other local law or ordinance of the Code of the Village of Patchogue, the provision which establishes the higher standard shall prevail.