[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Oyster Bay 8-28-2007 by L.L. No. 9-2007. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Board of the Town of Oyster Bay hereby finds that buildings and places used for illegal activities within the Town of Oyster Bay 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 value of their property. Therefore, the purpose of this chapter, which is being enacted pursuant to the authority of the Town under § 130(11) of the New York State Town Law, is to create a standardized procedure for securing legal and equitable remedies; to strengthen existing laws so as to effectively prevent buildings, residences, premises, and real estate within the Town of Oyster Bay 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:
- Any person having legal title to the premises; a mortgagee or vendee in possession; a trustee, lessee, occupant, agent, receiver, or any other person, firm or corporation having legal ownership, or is directly or indirectly in control of the premises.
- PREDICATE ARREST
- An arrest for a violation of a predicate offense.
- A. A violation of or a conviction of the following articles or sections of the New York State Penal Law:
- (1) Article 220: Controlled substances offenses;
- (2) Article 221: Offenses involving marijuana;
- (3) Article 230: Prostitution offenses;
- (4) Article 225: Gambling offenses;
- (5) Article 165: Other offenses relating to theft;
- (6) Article 270: Other offenses relating to public safety;
- (7) Article 260: Offenses relating to children.
- B. A violation that alleges any conduct either unlawful in itself or unreasonable under all the circumstances that creates or results in the maintenance of a condition which endangers the safety, health, or welfare of the public or that creates or results in the maintenance of any premises or place where persons gather for the purpose of engaging in unlawful conduct.
- C. A violation of any one of the following: §§ 65, 65-a, 65-b, 82, 123 and 126 of the New York Alcoholic Beverage Control Law and § 260.20 of the New York Penal Law, Prohibited Sales, Prohibited Participant, Unlawful Purchase, Sale of Consumption of Wine, Liquor or Beer.
- D. A search warrant having been executed at any premises.
- E. A seizure of evidence of a violation of the Penal Law has been seized at any premises.
- F. A violation of New York State Education Law § 6512.[Added 10-19-2010 by L.L. No. 5-2010]
- PUBLIC NUISANCE
- Any building or structure in the unincorporated areas of the Town of Oyster Bay wherein at least two predicate offenses have been alleged by the Nassau County police, or by any peace officer acting pursuant to his or her special duties, to have occurred, resulting in at least two predicate arrests for any thereof within any twelve-month period, but not including any case in which each of the predicate offenses has been alleged to have occurred during any single twenty-four-hour period.
It shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter for any person or legal entity to own, lease, occupy or otherwise be in control of a premises, structure, place or lot, developed or underdeveloped, which is a public nuisance as defined herein.
Upon the occurrence of any first predicate arrest and upon the occurrence of a second predicate arrest, it shall be the duty of the Department of Planning and Development to, within 30 days thereafter, provide a written notice as described hereinafter to the owner, lessee or other person or legal entity in control of the building or structure where the predicate offenses have been alleged to have occurred.
Upon the occurrence of a first predicate arrest, this notice shall have affixed to it a copy of this chapter, shall identify the date and underlying charge of the first predicate arrest, as well as the name and, if known, the address of the arrestee, and shall declare that if any second predicate arrest shall occur within 12 months after the first, resulting from a second predicate offense having been alleged by the Nassau County police, or any peace officer acting pursuant to his or her special duties, to have occurred at the said building or structure, then the Town and/or its various appropriate departments shall be empowered to proceed as provided below.
Upon the occurrence of a second predicate arrest, this notice shall have affixed to it a copy of this chapter, shall identify the date and underlying charge of the first and second predicate arrest, as well as the name and, if known, the address of the arrestee, and shall declare that the Town and/or its various appropriate departments shall be empowered to institute an action in any court of competent jurisdiction to enjoin further occupancy of the building or structure for a period of up to three years from the date of the second predicate arrest, to seek a temporary closing order, temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction and/or permanent injunction additionally, and the Town Board shall be empowered to declare said building or structure to be a public nuisance and to direct that said building or structure be physically boarded up and secured from further occupancy for a period of up to one year from the date of such declaration.
This notice shall be served by personal service upon the owner or person in control of the affected building, structure, or property, 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 Receiver of Taxes and by securely affixing a copy of such notice upon the door of the affected building or structure.
In the event that any building or structure shall be maintained as a public nuisance as defined herein, then in addition to any District Court prosecution available to it, the Town shall hereby be empowered to institute an action in any court of competent jurisdiction to enjoin further occupancy of the building or structure in question for a period of up to three years from the date of the second predicate arrest, and shall be further empowered to seek a temporary closing order, temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction and/or a permanent injunction to remove such occupancy and secure the premises therefrom at the earliest possible time.
Additionally, upon completion of notice and hearing as provided in Subsection C hereof, the Town Board shall be empowered to declare said building or structure as a public nuisance so as to be an immediate and substantial threat to the safety and well-being of the inhabitants of the building or structure in question, or of the residents or other occupants of the surrounding vicinity, and to direct that such building or structure be physically boarded up and secured from further occupancy for a period of up to one year from the date of such declaration and to direct that a sign be posted upon all exterior doors of such building or structure, declaring with bold lettering that occupancy thereof is prohibited until further order of the Commissioner of Planning and Development.
In the event that the Town Board shall take action pursuant to Subsection B above, then the notice and hearing shall be undertaken pursuant to the following requirements:
The notice shall be in writing and shall be provided not less than 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the hearing to the owner, lessee or other person or legal entity in control of the building or structure in question by personal delivery or by certified mail, return receipt requested, to such person(s) or legal entities at their last known address(es) and by physical delivery to the front door of the premises in question.
In the event that a court of competent jurisdiction or the Town Board authorizes action by Town Departments to effectuate its directives pursuant to Subsections A or B above, respectively, and in the event that such actions by Town departments are undertaken in accordance therewith, then the Town shall be entitled to assess the cost to the Town of the actions and to charge and file a tax lien for that amount against the tax lot(s) upon which said building or structure is situated, for the amount of such cost, to be collected in the same manner as provided for the collection of property taxes in the Town, generally.
Any violation of this section is punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 for each offense and/or imprisonment, for not more than 15 days, and for the purpose of prosecution, the violation of § 189-3 hereof shall be deemed to have been committed at the time of the second occurrence of prohibited conduct at that location.
It shall be a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 and/or imprisonment for not more than six months, for any person to enter upon any building or structure which has been posted and secured pursuant to the provisions of this chapter except upon written permission of the Commissioner of Buildings, and it shall be a violation punishable by a fine of not more than $250 and/or imprisonment for not more than 15 days for any person to remove or deface any notice posted pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
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 in 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.