[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Kent 11-15-2010 by L.L. No. 9-2010. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Property Maintenance Code of the Town of Kent" and may be referred to herein as "this chapter" or as "this ordinance."
The purposes of this chapter shall be to:
Provide for the public health, safety and welfare.
Avoid, prevent and eliminate the maintenance or creation of hazards to the public health or safety.
Avoid, prevent and eliminate conditions which, if permitted to exist or continue, will depreciate or tend to depreciate the value of adjacent or surrounding properties.
Prevent the creation, continuation, extension or aggravation of blight.
Preserve property values in the Town.
Prevent the physical deterioration or progressive downgrading of the quality of buildings in the Town.
Maintain the value and economic health of the commercial properties and businesses that serve and help to support the Town and its citizens.
Establish minimum standards governing the maintenance and condition of land, buildings, structures and premises in the Town.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall be defined as follows:
- EXTERIOR OF PREMISES
- Those portions of a building or structure which are exposed to public view or are visible from adjoining or adjacent lots, including all outside surfaces and appurtenances thereto; and the open land space of any premises outside of any building or structure erected thereon.
- A. Any public or private condition that would constitute a nuisance according to the statutes, laws and regulations of the State of New York, its governmental agencies or the ordinances of the Town.
- B. Any physical condition existing in or on the exterior of any premises which is potentially dangerous, detrimental or hazardous to the life, health or safety of persons on, near or passing within the proximity of the premises where such condition exists.
- Any person having actual possession, use or occupancy of a dwelling premises or rooming unit, or any person or entity in possession of or using any premises or part thereof, whether or not the owner thereof and regardless of the duration of time of such possession, use or occupancy.
- Any person, persons or entity, not the owner, who has charge, care or control of a dwelling or premises, or a part thereof, with or without the knowledge, consent or authority of the owner.
- Any person, persons or entity who shall have legal or equitable title in any form whatsoever to any premises or part thereof, with or without accompanying actual possession thereof, or who shall have charge, care or control of any lot, premises, building or structure or part thereof, as owner or agent of the owner, or as a fiduciary, trustee receiver, guardian, lessee or mortgagee in possession, regardless of how such possession was obtained.
- A lot, plot or parcel of land, right-of-way or multiples thereof, including the buildings or structures thereon.
- REFUSE or RUBBISH
- All discarded, useless, unusable, unused or worthless solid waste matter or materials, combustible or noncombustible, including but not limited to garbage, trash, ashes, paper, paper goods and products, wrappings, cans, bottles, containers, yard clippings, garden waste, debris, junk, glass, boxes, crockery, wood, mineral matter, plastic, rubber, leather, furniture, household goods, appliances, bedding, scrap lumber, scrap metal, construction material, inoperable machinery or parts thereof, garden or farming implements and supplies, dead or rotting vegetation, tires, abandoned, inoperative or unusable automobiles and vehicles and solid commercial or industrial waste.
Every residential and nonresidential building or structure and the premises or part of the premises on which it is situated, including vacant lots, shall be in compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
In any case where the provisions of this chapter impose a higher or stricter standard than set forth in any other ordinance, law or regulation of the Town, or under the laws or regulations of the State of New York or any of its agencies, then the standards as set forth herein shall prevail, but if the provisions of this chapter impose a lower or lesser standard than any other ordinance, law or regulation of the Town or of the laws and regulations of the State of New York or any of its agencies, then the higher standard contained in any such other ordinance, law or regulation shall prevail.
Compliance with this chapter shall not constitute a defense against any violation of any other ordinance or law of the Town applicable to any structure or premises, nor shall any one act of compliance constitute a defense against any subsequent or other violation of this chapter.
Owners, operators and occupants shall have all the duties, obligations and responsibilities prescribed in this chapter, and no such person or entity shall be relieved of any such duty, obligation or responsibility hereunder, nor be entitled to assert as a defense against any charge made against him or them for violation of this chapter the fact that another owner, operator or occupant or any other third person or entity is also responsible therefor and in violation thereof.
Any alterations to buildings, structures or appurtenances thereto which may be used directly or indirectly by the enforcement of this chapter shall be done in accordance with all applicable sections of the Town of Kent Building Code and the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
Nothing contained in this chapter or any requirement of compliance herewith shall be deemed to alter, impair or affect the application of the Zoning Ordinance of the Town of Kent.
Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to abolish or impair existing remedies of the Town of Kent or its officers or agencies relating to the removal or demolition of any buildings or structures which are deemed to be dangerous, unsafe or unsanitary.
In furtherance of the purposes of this chapter, it shall be the duty and responsibility of the owner, operator or occupant of premises to comply with all of the requirements and standards of this chapter, to keep the premises free of conditions which constitute violations hereof and to promptly remove, prevent or abate such conditions.
Maintenance of exterior.
The exterior of all premises shall be kept free of the following matter, materials or conditions:
Refuse or rubbish as hereinbefore defined.
Nuisances, as hereinbefore defined.
Dangerous loose and overhanging objects, including but not limited to dead trees or tree limbs, accumulations of ice or any object, natural or man-made, which would threaten the health and safety of persons if caused to fall, or other similar dangerously loose and overhanging objects which, by reason of their location above ground level, constitute an actual hazard to persons or vehicles in the vicinity thereof.
Structurally unsound, loose, dangerous, crumbling, missing, broken, rotted or unsafe exterior portion of buildings or structures, including but not limited to porches, landings, balconies, stairways, handrails, steps, walls, overhangs, roofs, fences, retaining walls, supporting members, timbers, abutments, fire escapes and signs and loose, crumbling or falling bricks, stones, mortar or plaster.
Wood or similar material boarded to the exterior of buildings or structures which is used in place of glass or doors and is dissimilar in color to the exterior of the building or structure.
Without limitation by the foregoing, it shall also be the duty and responsibility of owners, occupants or operators to keep the exterior of all premises structurally sound, in good general repair and sufficiently maintained, to an extent so as to prevent and avoid conditions that violate the purposes of this chapter.
[Amended 2-19-2019 by L.L. No. 1-2019]
This chapter shall be enforced by the Code Compliance Officer, Fire Inspector or Building Inspector of the Town of Kent.
Notice of violation.
A notice of violation issued by the Building Inspector relative to a premises shall be served either personally upon the person or entity or by mailing the same to the person or entity by certified mail at his last known address.
A notice of violation shall state that unless, within 10 days from service of the notice, a written request is made for a hearing before the Building Inspector, such notice shall, at the expiration of such ten-day period, be deemed an order to cease and desist from and to abate the described violation; such notice shall prescribe a reasonable time within which such person shall be required to cease and desist from and abate such violation. The notice may also contain an outline of remedial action which, if taken, will effect compliance with this chapter.
If a hearing is requested, it shall be commenced not later than 10 days after the request is made, provided that for good cause the Building Inspector may postpone such hearing for a reasonable time. If, after the hearing, the Building Inspector finds that no violation exists or that such unusual, extraordinary or undue hardship shall occur in order to effectuate compliance with this chapter, he shall withdraw the notice. If he finds that a violation does exist, he shall forthwith issue an order requiring the abatement of the same within a prescribed reasonable time. The proceedings at such hearing, which shall be informal in all respects, shall be summarized in a report reduced to writing and entered as a matter of public record in the office of the Building Department.
Any party aggrieved by the decision of the Building Inspector may, within five days of said decision, appeal the same to the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Kent by filing the appropriate form.
Action upon noncompliance.
Upon the failure, neglect or refusal of any owner, person or agent so notified to properly comply with this chapter within the time period prescribed in the order of the Building Inspector, or within 10 days from a decision by the Zoning Board of Appeals affirming said order, the Building Inspector is hereby authorized and empowered to correct or cause to be corrected such violation, subject to the approval of the Town Board of the Town of Kent.
When the Town has effected the correction of the violation or has paid for its removal, the actual cost thereof, plus the accrued legal rate of interest per annum from the date of the completion of the work, if not paid by such owner prior thereto, shall be charged to such owner by the Town and such charge shall become due and payable by said owner. Notice of such change shall be served either personally upon the person or entity or by mailing the same to the person or entity by certified mail at his last known address.
Where the full amount due the Town is not paid by such owner within 20 days after the correction of such violation as provided in Subsection B(1) and (2) above, then the Building Inspector maintained in the Building Department records and cause to be filed in the Office of the County Clerk a sworn statement showing the cost and expense incurred for the work, the date the work was completed and the location of the property by section, lot and block on which said work was done and the name of the reputed owner thereof. The filing of such sworn statement shall constitute a lien 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 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 legal 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 charge against the property designated and described in the statement and that the same is due and collectible as provided by law.
Any person or entity who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter or any order or decision promulgated hereunder shall be guilty of a violation and shall be punished as follows:
Each violation of any provision of this chapter and each week that each such violation shall continue shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense.
In addition to the above provided penalties and punishment, the Town may also maintain an action or proceeding in a court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with or to restrain by injunction any violation of this chapter.