Town of Hempstead, NY
Nassau County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 6-27-1989 by Section 3 of L.L. No. 58-1989, effective 7-3-1989]
[Amended 6-19-2007 by L.L. No. 62-2007, effective 7-18-2007; 5-5-2009 by L.L. No. 43-2009, effective 5-15-2009]
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any owner, agent of such owner, and/or any person, firm or corporation in possession of any improved real property within the Town to permit:
(1) 
Lawns, weeds, grass or brush of any kind to obtain a height in excess of eight inches.
(2) 
Garbage, litter, refuse, rubbish or rubble to accumulate thereon.
(3) 
Planting, growing and/or maintaining of bamboo, whether originating on said property or encroaching thereon from any neighboring property. The term "bamboo" shall be defined as any tropical or semi-tropical grass of the genera Bambusa, Dendrocalamus or of any other related genera.
[Added 7-10-2012 by L.L. No. 55-2012, effective 7-25-2012]
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any owner, agent of such owner, and/or any person, firm or corporation in possession of any vacant unimproved real property within the Town to permit:
(1) 
Lawns, weeds, grass or brush of any kind to obtain a height in excess of eight inches.
(2) 
Garbage, litter, refuse, rubbish or rubble to accumulate thereon.
(3) 
Planting, growing and/or maintaining of bamboo in or upon the ground, whether originating on said property or encroaching thereon from any neighboring property. The term "bamboo" shall be defined as any tropical or semi-tropical grass of the genera Bambusa, Dendrocalamus or of any other related genera.
[Added 7-10-2012 by L.L. No. 55-2012, effective 7-25-2012]
[Added 5-24-2016 by L.L. No. 46-2016, effective 6-6-2016]
Legislative intent: When residential properties in the Town of Hempstead fall vacant and become the subject of foreclosure actions, they frequently become neglected and overgrown with grass, weeds and rubbish, creating an unsightly appearance in the surrounding residential area and detracting from the use, enjoyment and value of surrounding properties. The Town of Hempstead is committed to using all legal avenues to proactively address these adverse conditions, to alleviate the burden these vacant properties impose on neighboring residents. This new § 128-61.1 places the financial burden on any person, business, organization, bank or lender who commences a foreclosure action against any vacant residential property in the Town of Hempstead to deposit funds with the Town after the foreclosure action is commenced, for use in achieving prompt remediation, if or when it shall occur. This new section is clearly in the public interest. It will help deter violations by creating a financial disincentive against allowing the property to lie fallow and unmaintained. It will help to expedite remediation of overgrown grass, weeds and rubbish when they occur. It will also help avoid substantial outlays of public funds in accomplishing same.
A. 
Any person, business, organization, bank or lender who commences a foreclosure action against a residential property (improved with a single-family, two-family or multiple-family residence) that has become vacant shall provide to the Town of Hempstead an undertaking in the form of cash, a cash bond, or a letter of credit acceptable to the Town Attorney, in the sum of $25,000, to secure the continued maintenance of the property free of any violations of § 128-61.1 of this chapter, during the entire time that vacancy shall exist, as determined by the Commissioner of Sanitation. When the foreclosure action is finally discontinued, any unused funds shall be returned.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any such person, business, organization, bank or lender to fail to properly deposit such cash, a cash bond, or a letter of credit within 45 calendar days after the foreclosure action is commenced.
C. 
In the event that the Commissioner of Sanitation determines that any property referenced in Subsection A above is being maintained in violation of § 128-61.1 of this chapter, then, in addition to or in lieu of any other enforcement remedy at his disposal, the Commissioner may utilize the deposited funds to pay the full and actual cost of actions necessary to eliminate the violation.
D. 
In the event that any such funds are utilized as set forth above, such person, business, organization, bank or lender shall restore it to the full amount referenced in Subsection A above, within 15 calendar days after written demand by the Town of Hempstead, sent by regular mail and certified mail, return receipt requested to such person, business, organization, bank or lender at an address designated by them for service of notices, or else to their last known address. It shall be unlawful for such person business, organization, bank or lender to fail to timely restore funds as required herein.
E. 
In the event that the Commissioner of Sanitation determines that any property referenced in Subsection A above is being maintained in violation of § 128-61.1 of this chapter and no cash, cash bond, or letter of credit acceptable to the Town Attorney has been provided or replenished as required by Subsection A or D above, then, in addition to or in lieu of any other enforcement remedy at his disposal, the Commissioner may serve a written demand upon such person, business, organization, bank or lender to provide the required cash, cash bond, or letter of credit acceptable to the Town Attorney, within 10 days after the date of such written demand, subject to the following:
(1) 
The forty-five-day time allotment of Subsection B hereof is superseded;
(2) 
The written demand shall be served in any manner authorized to obtain personal service under Article 3 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules of the State of New York, or otherwise at applicable law; and
(3) 
In the event that no cash, cash bond, or letter of credit acceptable to the Town Attorney has been provided or replenished as required by Subsection A or D above, within 10 days after the date of such written demand, then such person, business, organization, bank or lender shall be subject to fines of up to triple the maximum amount set forth under § 128-65A of this chapter, with each calendar day of failure to timely provide same constituting a separate additional offense, as set forth under § 128-65B of this chapter.
F. 
If any provision of this § 128-66.1 is declared unenforceable for any reason by a court of competent jurisdiction, such declaration shall affect only that provision, and shall not affect the remainder of this section, which shall remain in full force and effect.
G. 
This § 128-61.1 shall apply to all foreclosures commencing after the effective date of this section. It is to be considered remedial legislation and shall be liberally construed so that substantial justice is done.
[Added 6-21-2016 by L.L. No. 55-2016, effective 6-28-2016]
Legislative intent: When all nonresidential properties in the Town of Hempstead fall vacant and become the subject of foreclosure actions, they frequently become neglected and overgrown with grass, weeds and rubbish, creating an unsightly appearance in the surrounding area and detract from the use, enjoyment and value of surrounding properties and impair the ability for people to, among other things, shop, conduct commerce, attend meetings or go to school in a safe, clear, and aesthetic environment. The Town of Hempstead is committed to using all legal avenues to proactively address these adverse conditions, to alleviate the burden these vacant properties impose on a neighborhood. This new § 128-61.2 places the financial burden on any person, business, organization, bank or lender who commences a foreclosure action against any vacant property in the Town of Hempstead not subject to the provisions of § 128-61.1 of this chapter to deposit funds with the Town after the foreclosure action is commenced, for use in achieving prompt remediation, if or when it shall occur. This new section is clearly in the public interest. It will help deter violations by creating a financial disincentive against allowing the property to lie fallow and unmaintained. It will help to expedite remediation of overgrown grass, weeds and rubbish, when they occur. It will also help avoid substantial outlays of public funds in accomplishing same.
A. 
Any person, business, organization, bank or lender who commences a foreclosure action against a property not subject to the requirements of § 128-61.1 of this chapter (including, among other property, commercial properties) that has become vacant, or subsequent parties of such an action, shall provide to the Town of Hempstead an undertaking in the form of cash, a cash bond, or a letter of credit acceptable to the Town Attorney, in the sum of $35,000, to secure the continued maintenance of the property free of any violations of § 128-61 of this chapter, during the entire time that vacancy shall exist, as determined by the Commissioner of Sanitation. When the foreclosure action is finally discontinued, any unused funds shall be returned.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any such person, business, organization, bank or lender to fail to properly deposit such cash, a cash bond, or a letter of credit within 45 calendar days after the foreclosure action is commenced.
C. 
In the event that the Commissioner of Sanitation determines that any property referenced in Subsection A above is being maintained in violation of § 128-61 of this chapter, then, in addition to or in lieu of any other enforcement remedy at his disposal, the Commissioner may utilize the deposited funds to pay the full and actual cost of actions necessary to eliminate the violation.
D. 
In the event that any such funds are utilized as set forth above, such person, business, organization, bank or lender shall restore it to the full amount referenced in Subsection A above, within 15 calendar days after written demand by the Town of Hempstead, sent by regular mail and certified mail, return receipt requested to such person, business, organization, bank or lender at an address designated by them for service of notices, or else to their last known address. It shall be unlawful for such person, business, organization, bank or lender to fail to timely restore funds as required herein.
E. 
In the event that the Commissioner of Sanitation determines that any property referenced in Subsection A above is being maintained in violation of § 128-61 of this chapter and no cash, cash bond, or letter of credit acceptable to the Town Attorney has been provided or replenished as required by Subsection A or D above, then in addition to or in lieu of any other enforcement remedy at his disposal, the Commissioner may serve a written demand upon such person, business, organization, bank or lender to provide the required cash, cash bond, or letter of credit acceptable to the Town Attorney, within 10 days after the date of such written demand, subject to the following:
(1) 
The forty-five-day time allotment of Subsection B hereof is superseded;
(2) 
The written demand shall be served in any manner authorized to obtain personal service under Article 3 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules of the State of New York, or otherwise at applicable law; and
(3) 
In the event that no cash, cash bond, or letter of credit acceptable to the Town Attorney has been provided or replenished as required by Subsection A or D above, within 10 days after the date of such written demand, then such person, business, organization, bank or lender shall be subject to fines of up to triple the maximum amount set forth under § 128-65A of this chapter and a minimum fine of $500 for each day of the noncompliance until such time as that person or entity complies with the provisions of this section, or by imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment, with each calendar day of failure to timely provide same constituting a separate additional offense, as set forth under § 128-65B of this chapter.
F. 
If any provision of this section is declared unenforceable for any reason by a court of competent jurisdiction, such declaration shall affect only that provision, and shall not affect the remainder of this section, which shall remain in full force and effect.
G. 
This section shall apply to all nonresidential foreclosures commencing after the effective date of this section. It is to be considered remedial legislation and shall be liberally construed so that substantial justice is done.
[Amended 6-19-2007 by L.L. No. 62-2007, effective 7-18-2007; 5-5-2009 by L.L. No. 43-2009, effective 5-15-2009; 8-4-2015 by L.L. No. 68-2015, effective 8-18-2015; 4-25-2017 by L.L. No. 35-2017, effective 5-2-2017]
The Sanitation Department of the Town of Hempstead is hereby authorized and empowered to notify the owner or agent, as indicated on the tax records maintained by the Town of Hempstead Receiver of Taxes, and/or person in control of any property found not to be in conformance with the provisions of § 128-61 of said violation. Service of a copy of the notice of violation shall be served upon such owner, agent of such owner and/or any person, firm or corporation lawfully occupying or controlling said property by personal service or by certified mail, postage paid, return receipt requested, and addressed to such person's last known address as indicated on the tax records maintained by the Town of Hempstead Receiver of Taxes; and, if by certified mail, a copy of the notice shall be posted on the premises. In addition to identification of the said violation, the notice shall state that it is the responsibility of the owner of the property and any listing real estate agent to notify any prospective purchaser of the pendency of the notice, prior to any sale of the property to such prospective purchaser, and also notify recipients of modified notice requirements specified herein for recurring violations. The modified notice requirements specified herein for recurring violations are as follows: Notwithstanding any other notice requirement of this section or § 128-63 to the contrary, any notice to be provided hereunder with respect to the recurrence of any violation(s) of § 128-61 of this chapter within 365 days of completion of any action upon noncompliance as set forth in § 128-63 of this chapter to remediate such violation(s) shall be complete and effective to authorize subsequent action upon noncompliance upon physical delivery of the notice to the premises and conspicuously affixing of such notice to the premises, and if a mailing address exists, by mailing of the notice to the premises addressed to "Owner or any Other Person in Control" by first-class mail. Service shall be complete for all purposes on the date of such physical delivery and, if applicable, mailing. The Department of Sanitation may commence action upon noncompliance not less than five days after the aforesaid physical delivery of the notice shall be effectuated, to remediate all violations of § 128-61 referenced therein. All costs incurred in connection therewith shall be charged to the property affected as taxes, and a filed statement shall constitute a lien, in the manner specified in § 128-63.
[Amended 6-19-2007 by L.L. No. 62-2007, effective 7-18-2007; 5-5-2009 by L.L. No. 43-2009, effective 5-15-2009]
The person served with a notice of violation shall be permitted five days from such service to eliminate the accumulation of garbage, litter, refuse, rubbish or rubble, and/or excessive height of lawns, weeds, grass or brush of any kind.
A. 
Action upon noncompliance. Upon the failure, neglect or refusal of any owner or agent so notified to properly cure the violation, which may be dangerous to the public health, safety or welfare, within five days after receipt of written notice provided for in § 128-62 above, or within two days after the date of such notice in the event the same is returned to the Sanitation Department because of its inability to make delivery thereof, provided the same was properly addressed to the last known address of such owner or agent, as indicated on the tax records maintained by the Town of Hempstead Receiver of Taxes, the Sanitation Department is hereby authorized and empowered to dispose of such garbage, litter, refuse, rubbish or rubble or to enter and cut and clear the excessive weeds, grass or brush and dispose of same.
B. 
Charge included in tax bill. When the Town has effected the cutting, trimming or removal of the offending grass, weeds or brush or has removed the garbage, litter, refuse, rubbish or rubble accumulated upon the property, the actual cost thereof, plus accrued interest at the rate of 6% per annum from the date of the completion of the work, if not paid by such owner prior thereto, shall be charged to the owner of such property on the next regular tax bill forwarded to such owner by the Town, and said charge shall be due and payable by said owner at the time of payment of such bill.
C. 
Filed statement constitutes lien. The Sanitation Department shall cause to be filed in the office of the Town Clerk a sworn statement showing the cost and expense incurred for the work, the date the work was done and the location of the property, by school district, 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 costs of court, if any, for collection, until final payment has been made. Thereafter, a notice shall be sent to the owner, as appears on the tax records maintained by the Town of Hempstead Receiver of Taxes, demanding payment within 20 days after receipt of notice. If payment is not received, then 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 of 6% in the event same is not paid in full on or before the date the tax bill upon which said 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 that the work has been done properly and satisfactorily, and shall be full notice to every person concerned that the amount of the statement, plus interest, constitutes a charge against the property designated or described in the statement, and that the same is due and collectible as provided by law.
The Commissioner of the Department of Sanitation and his duly appointed representatives shall be responsible for the enforcement of this article.
A. 
Any person committing an offense against any of the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine of not more than $500 or by imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
[Amended 5-10-2005 by L.L. No. 45-2005, effective 5-31-2005]
B. 
Each day's continued offense against this article shall constitute a separate additional offense.