[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of LeRoy 11-29-2005 by L.L. No. 5-2005. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as and may be cited as the "Unsafe Buildings Law" of the Town of LeRoy.
The purpose of this chapter is to promote and preserve the health, safety and welfare of the public and residents and/or owners of property located within this Town of LeRoy by providing a method for the removal or repair of buildings that, from any cause, may now be or shall hereafter become dangerous or unsafe to the public and residents and/or owners of property within the Town of LeRoy. Unsafe buildings serve as an attractive nuisance for young children who may be injured therein, may be a point of congregation by vagrants and transients, and may attract illegal drug activity. The powers conferred upon the Town of LeRoy by this chapter shall be in addition to all other powers conferred upon the Town of LeRoy in relation to the same subject by state law.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any building, structure or portion thereof used for residential, business, commercial or industrial purposes.
- CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The Code Enforcement Officer of the Town of LeRoy or such other person appointed by the Town Board to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
- UNSAFE BUILDING
- All buildings which have any or all of the following defects:
- A. Any building of which the interior walls or exterior bearing walls or other vertical structural members list, lean or buckle to such an extent as to weaken the structural support they provide.
- B. Buildings which, exclusive of the foundation, show 33% or more of damage to or deterioration of the supporting member of members or 50% of damage to or deterioration of the nonsupporting, enclosing or outside walls or covering.
- C. Those which have improperly distributed loads upon the floors or roofs or in which the same are overloaded or which have insufficient strength to be reasonably safe for the purpose used.
- D. Those which have been damaged by fire, wind, disrepair or other causes so as to have become dangerous to life, safety or the general health and welfare of the occupants or to the people of the Town of LeRoy or to other adjacent or nearby buildings.
- E. Those which have become or are so dilapidated, decayed, unsafe or unsanitary or which so fail to provide the amenities essential to normal living conditions that they are unfit for human habitation or are likely to cause sickness or disease to those living therein or adjacent thereto.
- F. Those having light, air and sanitation facilities which are inadequate to protect the health, safety or general welfare of human beings who live or may live therein, with particular reference to the requirements of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code as a determinant.
- G. Those having inadequate facilities for egress in case of fire or panic or those having insufficient stairways, elevators, fire escapes or other means of communication, again referencing the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code as a determinant.
- H. Those which have parts thereof which are so attached that they may fall and injure members of the public or property.
- I. Those which consist of debris, rubble or parts of buildings left on the ground after demolition, reconstruction, fire or other casualty.
- J. Those which, because of their condition, are unsafe, unsanitary or dangerous to the health, safety or general welfare of the people of this Town of LeRoy.
Editor's Note: See Ch. 41, Building Construction, Art. I, Administration and Enforcement of Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
No person, firm, corporation or association, possessing or controlling a building in the Town of LeRoy shall permit, suffer or allow said building now or hereafter to be or become unsafe to the public and/or residents from any cause whatsoever.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall make inspections of all unsafe buildings with the Town of LeRoy and report to the Town Board all unsafe buildings which from time to time may be found within the limits of the Town of LeRoy.
The Town Board shall consider the report of the Code Enforcement Officer and, if in their opinion the report so warrants, shall determine that the building is unsafe and order its repair, if the same can be safely repaired, or order its demolition, if it cannot be safety repaired, and further order that a notice shall be given to the owner, an owner or a representative of the owner, which is to contain the following:
A description of the premises.
A statement of the particulars in which the building is unsafe.
An order requiring the building to be repaired or demolished.
A statement that the repairing or demolition of the building shall commence within 30 days of the serving of the notice, as hereinafter provided, and shall be completed within 60 days thereafter, unless such time limited be extended by the Town Board for good cause shown.
A date, time and place for a hearing before the Town Board at which the owner of such building or other person responsible therefor, or his or her attorney, may contest the determination that said building is unsafe or may present evidence as to why the determination and/or order should be modified in any respect. Such hearing shall be scheduled not less than five business days from the day of service of the notice, unless the recipient of the notice and the Town Board agree otherwise.
A statement that in the event of neglect or refusal to comply with the order to repair or demolish the building, the Town Board is authorized to provide for its repair or demolition, to assess all expenses thereof against the land on which it is located and to institute a special proceeding to collect the costs of demolition, including legal expenses.
Said notice shall be served in the following manner:
By personal service of a copy thereof upon the owner or one of the owners, executors, legal representative, agents, lessees or any other person having a vested or contingent interest in the premises as shown by the last preceding completed assessment roll of the Town of LeRoy, or of the records of the Genesee County Clerk, such service to be complete and the thirty-day time period recited in said notice to commence upon service.
By mailing a copy of said notice to such owner as aforesaid by registered mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the last known address of the owner and by affixing a copy of said notice to the premises, such service to be complete and the thirty-day time period recited in said notice to commence 10 days after the filing of the return receipt with the Town Clerk.
A copy of the notice shall also be filed in the office of the Genesee County Clerk, which notice shall be filed by such Clerk in the same manner as a notice of pendency pursuant to Article 65 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, and shall have the same effect as a notice of pendency as therein provided, except as otherwise hereinafter provided. A notice so filed shall be effective for a period of one year from the date of filing; provided, however, that it may be vacated upon the order of a judge of a court of competent jurisdiction or upon the consent of the Town Attorney.
The hearing shall be conducted before the Town Board. The Code Enforcement Officer shall present his or her report to the Town Board in writing, and orally if desired by the Board, and may call witnesses. The owner or her or his representative, if present, shall call such witnesses as he or she deems necessary. The Town Board shall make written findings of fact from the testimony offered as to whether or not the building in question is an unsafe building.
If such owner shall neglect, fail or refuse to comply and shall fail to appear at said hearing, then the Town Board shall direct the repair or demolition of the building forthwith under such terms and conditions, if any, as it may deem appropriate.
If such owner shall neglect, fail or refuse to comply, and after appearing at said hearing, the Town Board finds that the building is a public nuisance and directs its repair or demolition, the owner shall repair or demolish said building within the time prescribed by the Town Board.
If the owner fails or neglects within the time prescribed by the Town Board to repair or demolish said building as directed by said Town Board following the hearing, then the Town Board shall direct the repair or demolition of same forthwith under such terms and conditions, if any, as it may deem appropriate.
In the event of neglect or refusal of the persons so notified to comply with said order of the Town Board, the Town Board shall provide for the demolition and removal of such building either by the Town of LeRoy employees or by contract. Except in an emergency, any such contract shall be awarded in compliance with state competitive bidding laws.
In case there shall be, in the opinion of the Code Enforcement Officer, actual and immediate danger of the falling of a building or unsafe condition so as to endanger public safety, life or property or as to constitute an actual or immediate menace to health or public welfare as a result of the conditions present in or about a building, he or she, upon notifying the Town Supervisor, or if unavailable, Town Highway Superintendent, shall cause the necessary work to be done to render such a building temporarily safe, whether the procedure prescribed in this chapter for unsafe buildings has been instituted or not.
When emergency work is to be performed under this section, the Code Enforcement Officer shall cause the owner thereof to be served personally or by registered mail, return receipt required and, if served by registered mail, shall post on the premises a notice to comply containing a description of the premises, a statement of the facts in which the building is unsafe or dangerous and orders and directions to correct the conditions which constitute an emergency within a specified period not to exceed three days from actual or constructive receipt of the notice.
In the event that the emergency does not permit any delay in correction, the notice shall state the Town of LeRoy has corrected the emergency condition.
In both cases, the notice shall state that the corrective costs of the emergency shall be assessed against the owner pursuant to the provisions of this chapter or other state law.
In addition to the remedies provided by this chapter, the Town Board may request the Town Supervisor to make an application to the Supreme Court for an order determining the building to be a public nuisance and directing that it shall be repaired and secured or demolished.
All costs and expenses incurred by the Town of LeRoy in connection with the administratively and/or judicially substantiated proceedings to remove or secure, including the cost of actually removing said building, shall be assessed against the land on which said building is located.
The Town of LeRoy also may commence a special proceeding pursuant to the General Municipal Law for a civil judgment to collect the costs of demolition, including reasonable and necessary legal expenses.