City of Rochester, NY
Monroe County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Enacted by § 2, L.L. No. 4-2009]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Article X, Department of Urban Renewal and Economic Development, enacted by L.L. No. 6-1962, as amended, was repealed by L.L. No. 3-1974; former Article X, Department of Community Development, enacted by L.L. No. 2-1974, as amended, was repealed by L.L. No. 8-1978 and former Article X, Department of Community Development, enacted by L.L. No. 8-1978, was repealed by § 1 of L.L. No. 2-1981. Subsequent Article X, Department of Community Development, enacted by § 1, L.L. No. 2-1981, as amended, was repealed by § 1, L.L. No. 4-2009.
A. 
The Department of Neighborhood and Business Development shall be responsible for the planning and development of physical programs for the neighborhoods. The Department's objectives shall be to bring together public and private resources to increase the supply of safe and sanitary housing for City residents, to encourage investment in the neighborhoods, to ensure the appropriate use and development of land within the City and to develop programs for the orderly provision of public improvements and facilities.
B. 
The Department of Neighborhood and Business Development shall be responsible for preparing and coordinating projects and programs for the economic development of the City and the creation and retention of job opportunities for City residents. Such projects and programs shall promote and encourage the location and development of new business and industry in the City, as well as the maintenance and expansion of existing business and industry. The Department shall have primary responsibility for downtown development. The Department may provide for land acquisition, construction of capital improvements or disposition of land to achieve these goals. Federal, state and private sector assistance shall be utilized to the fullest extent possible for such projects and programs.
C. 
The Department of Neighborhood and Business Development shall be responsible for developing and implementing programs aimed at arresting and correcting blight and deterioration in housing and other structures and property and shall inspect existing structures and property prior to the issuance of certificates of occupancy or letters of compliance, as may otherwise be directed by the Mayor.
D. 
There shall be in the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development a Bureau of Business and Housing Development, a Division of Planning, a Bureau of Neighborhood Preservation, a Bureau of Buildings and Zoning, and such other operating units as deemed necessary by the Commissioner and the Mayor for effective and efficient operation of the Department.
[§ 1, L.L. No. 2-2017]
A. 
The Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development shall be the head of the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development and shall be responsible to and report to the Mayor. The Commissioner shall appoint, with the approval of the Mayor, the heads of bureaus, divisions or other operating units that may be established. The Commissioner shall supervise and control the administration and provision of services by the several bureaus and operating units of the Department. The Commissioner shall also have such powers and duties as may be assigned by the Mayor or granted by law or ordinance.
B. 
The Commissioner shall be responsible for preparing and submitting grant applications and assuring that federal and state assistance is utilized to the fullest extent possible in performing the responsibilities of the Department.
C. 
The Commissioner shall be responsible for supervising and directing the enforcement of all the laws and ordinances governing the maintenance, construction, use and occupancy of buildings, structures and property.
D. 
The Commissioner shall have all the powers of the Commissioner of Environmental Services with respect to, and who, with the Commissioner of Environmental Services, shall be responsible for, supervising and directing the enforcement of the Refuse and Sanitation Codes, the Anti-Litter Ordinance, and the Streets Code.
E. 
The Commissioner shall establish and cause to be maintained a central index of violations issued by the Department. The Mayor may direct other departments to enter violations in this index.
F. 
The Commissioner shall supervise and administer the licensing of electricians, plumbers, stationary engineers and refrigeration operators and shall conduct such other licensing activities as may be assigned by the Mayor or be granted by law or ordinance.
A. 
There shall be a Bureau of Business and Housing Development, the head of which shall be the Director of Development Services. The Bureau shall be responsible for providing services necessary to the detailed planning and execution of business and housing development and redevelopment projects and programs undertaken by the Department. The Bureau shall promote and encourage the location and development of new business and industry in the City, as well as the maintenance and expansion of existing business and industry. The services of the Bureau shall include but shall not be limited to the provision of financial assistance to businesses, assisting in the relocation of businesses and families as may be required by property acquisition, managing City property not used for municipal purposes, conducting feasibility studies, providing real estate services and providing technical assistance necessary to maintain and increase the supply of safe and sanitary housing in the City for all income groups.
B. 
The Director of Development Services shall manage or cause to be managed all real property owned by the City which is not used for municipal purposes, shall appraise or cause to be appraised the value of all real property which the Council determines to acquire or sell and, on behalf of the Mayor or Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development, shall be responsible for all matters relating to the acquisition and sale of such real property. The Director of Development Services shall also manage or cause to be managed such other facilities as may be assigned by the Mayor or the Commissioner.[1]
[§ 1, L.L. No. 5-2016]
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection C, concerning provision for demolition of structures by the Director, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed by § 1, L.L. No. 2-2017, which local law also redesignated former Subsection D as Subsection C.
C. 
The Director of Development Services shall be responsible for the development of business and housing programs under the Community Development Block Grant and other federal and state programs and liaison with the Rochester Housing Authority and other housing corporations.
[§ 1, L.L. No. 2-2017]
A. 
There shall be a Division of Planning, the head of which shall be the Manager of Planning.
B. 
The Division of Planning shall conduct and coordinate the City's physical, environmental and transportation planning. The Manager of Planning shall undertake studies of the physical, economic and social factors relevant to the well-being of the City. The Manager shall be responsible for preparing and maintaining a Comprehensive Development Plan for the City; reviewing the conformity of municipal and private proposals to the City's development objectives; collecting, cataloging and analyzing data on demographic, economic and physical characteristics of the City; and coordinating the City's planning programs with those of the Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council, the Monroe County Department of Planning and the Genesee Transportation Council.
[§ 1, L.L. No. 4-2017]
C. 
The Division of Planning shall also be responsible for planning and coordinating projects and programs for the conservation and revitalization of the City's neighborhoods in accordance with the Comprehensive Development Plan.
[§ 1, L.L. No. 4-2016; § 1, L.L. No. 2-2017]
There shall be a Bureau of Neighborhood Preservation, the head of which shall be the Neighborhood Service Centers Director. The Bureau shall be responsible for the operation and management of the Neighborhood Service Centers. The Bureau shall facilitate resolution of neighborhood complaints, reduce nuisance activities, provide technical assistance in community organizing, plan and implement special projects, monitor City-owned vacant structures, issue Business Permits, issue parking permits for handicapped residents in accordance with Article 32 of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, enforce the provisions of the Property Conservation Code, Zoning Code, Refuse and Sanitation Codes, the Anti-Litter Ordinance and the Streets Code, and promote crime prevention activities.
[§ 1, L.L. No. 2-2017]
A. 
There shall be a Bureau of Buildings and Zoning, the head of which shall be the Director of Buildings and Zoning. The Director shall issue certificates of occupancy and certificates of compliance for new and existing structures and property.
B. 
The Bureau shall enforce or cause to be enforced all laws and ordinances relating to new construction and alterations and the maintenance, construction, use and occupancy of buildings, structures and property, as directed by the Commissioner or the Mayor or by law or ordinance.
C. 
The Bureau, together with the Commissioner of Environmental Services, shall enforce or cause to be enforced the Refuse and Sanitation Codes, the Anti-Litter Ordinance, and the Streets Code.
D. 
The Bureau shall conduct inspections for new construction and alterations for conformance with plans and shall perform property maintenance inspections of existing buildings and property.
E. 
The Director of Buildings and Zoning shall have all powers necessary to administer the issuance of certificates of occupancy, certificates of compliance and any and all enforcement associated with the laws and ordinances enforced by the Bureau and shall, consistent with the expressed standards and purposes and intent of the applicable codes, promulgate, adopt and issue procedural rules and forms as are necessary and shall from time to time recommend revisions and modifications to the Building Code, Property Conservation Code, Plumbing Code, Electrical Code, and the Elevator Code.
F. 
The Director of Buildings and Zoning shall provide for the demolition of structures when necessary, so that such structures are no longer threats to the health, welfare and safety of the residents of the City.
G. 
The Bureau of Buildings and Zoning shall be responsible for the administration of the Zoning Code. The Bureau shall provide staff services to the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Planning Commission, the Preservation Board, the Rochester Environmental Commission, the Project Review Committee and such other boards as may be established. The Director of Buildings and Zoning shall have all powers necessary to the administration of the Zoning Code and shall, consistent with the expressed standards, purposes and intent of the Zoning Code, promulgate, adopt and issue such procedural rules, regulations and forms as are necessary and shall from time to time recommend revisions and modifications to the Zoning Code. In addition, the Director of Buildings and Zoning may, upon written request, for good cause shown and without any notice or hearing, extend any time limit imposed on an applicant or permitee by the Zoning Code of the City of Rochester or, unless the resolution shall expressly provide otherwise, by any resolution of any body acting pursuant to said ordinance for a period not to exceed the length of the original period. The Director may delegate the responsibilities necessary to the administration of the Zoning Code, including those responsibilities set forth in this subsection and in Subsections H, I, J, K, L, and M and in exercising responsibilities assigned to the Director under any provision of the Municipal Code that entails making any evaluation, determination, certification, notification, or certification regarding compliance with or violation of the Zoning Code, to the Manager of Zoning, or said responsibilities may be assigned to the Manager of Zoning in the Zoning Code.
H. 
The Bureau of Buildings and Zoning shall assist the Planning Commission by conducting studies, performing reviews and making recommendations on matters before the Commission and shall provide such other general assistance as the Planning Commission may require in the discharge of its duties.
I. 
The Director of Buildings and Zoning shall have authority to permit minor adjustments or modifications to final plans for planned developments and cluster developments, and subject to the procedures, standards and limitations of the Zoning Code, the Director shall have the authority to issue administrative adjustments for variation of not more than 10% of any numerical standard set forth in the Zoning Code, for five or fewer spaces for an alternative parking plan and for a minor parking area.
J. 
The Director of Buildings and Zoning shall have the authority to review and approve, approve with conditions or deny applications for site plan review, subject to the right of appeal of such decision to the City Planning Commission.
K. 
The Director of Buildings and Zoning shall have the authority to issue certificates of nonconformity, subject to the right of appeal of such decision to the Zoning Board of Appeals.
L. 
The Director of Buildings and Zoning shall have the authority to issue certificates of appropriateness for applications that conform to the preservation guidelines adopted by the Preservation Board.
M. 
The Bureau of Buildings and Zoning shall be responsible for reviewing plans and issuing permits pursuant to the Building Code for new construction, alterations and demolitions.
The Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development shall have the power, either personally or through a duly authorized member of his or her staff, to enter and inspect all buildings, structures and property within the City in order to ensure compliance with the various laws and ordinances enforced by the Department and to seek warrants where such are constitutionally required.
[§ 1, L.L. No. 2-2011; § 1, L.L. No. 2-2017; § 1, L.L. No. 4-2017]
State-certified Code Enforcement Officers in the Bureau of Buildings and Zoning or the Neighborhood Service Centers may issue appearance tickets returnable in the Municipal Code Violations Bureau for violations of the Anti-Litter and Snow Ordinances, Streets Code, Refuse and Sanitation Codes, Property Conservation Code, Zoning Code, Fire Prevention Code, Building Code, Electrical Code, Elevator Code, and Plumbing Code and any other laws and ordinances enforced by the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development over which the Municipal Code Violations Bureau has jurisdiction, including violations of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code. Code Enforcement Inspectors in the Bureau of Buildings and Zoning or the Neighborhood Service Centers may issue appearance tickets returnable in the Municipal Code Violations Bureau for violations of the Anti-Litter and Snow Ordinances, Refuse and Sanitation Codes, and Property Conservation Code. Neighborhood Service Centers Administrators are further authorized to issue appearance tickets for violations of the Noise Code.
[§ 1, L.L. No. 6-2009]
In addition to any other remedies provided by law or ordinance, any person who, having been served with a notice or order to correct or remove any violation of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, Property Conservation Code, Building Code, Electrical Code, Elevator Code, Refuse and Sanitation Codes, Plumbing Code, Fire Prevention Code, Zoning Code and Anti-Litter Ordinance of the City of Rochester, or any other code enforced by the Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development, or any nuisance, fails to comply therewith within the time fixed by the Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development or the Fire Marshal shall be subject to a penalty not to exceed $250 per violation to be assessed by the Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development after the person has been given an opportunity to appear at a hearing on such violations. Every day of each violation beyond the time fixed to correct or remove the violation may be held to constitute a separate violation. Notice of the hearing shall be served personally or shall be sent to the person by first-class mail with delivery confirmation to the address filed by said person with the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development or the City Treasurer's office, and if such address is not so filed in the Department or the City Treasurer's office, then the notice shall be sent by first-class mail with delivery confirmation to the person's last known address or place of residence. The person shall be permitted to be represented by counsel at the hearing, to submit evidence and witnesses on his or her or their behalf, to examine opposing evidence and to cross-examine opposing witnesses. The Commissioner may appoint a hearing officer to conduct the hearing and make recommendations concerning said violations. The burden of proving the violations shall be upon the Department. Compliance with the technical rules of evidence shall not be required. The procedures set forth in this section shall be applicable to properties with life-or safety-threatening violations, as reasonably determined by the Commissioner, as well as two or more properties having at least one common owner, principal or partner, provided that each property has violations and at least one such property has violations that may pose a threat to life or safety as reasonably determined by the Commissioner. The Commissioner shall notify a person of any penalties imposed after a hearing and the reasons therefor, which notice shall be served upon the person or sent in the same manner as required above for a notice of hearing. If the penalties imposed are not paid within 60 days of the date of the notice of penalty, they shall be considered delinquent, shall create a debt and personal obligation in favor of the City and against the person, shall constitute a lien against the subject property, shall be subject to the late payment charges set forth in § 6-93 of the City Charter and may be rebilled periodically until paid or added to taxes. Such delinquent penalties may be added to the tax bill for the subject property in accordance with § 6-94 of the City Charter.
Business Improvement Districts may be established or extended in the City pursuant to the provisions of Article 19-A of the General Municipal Law.
[§§ 1, 2, 3, L.L. No. 8-2009]
A. 
Findings and purpose. By Resolution No. 93-19, the City Council adopted a comprehensive housing policy for the City of Rochester, which included, among other things, the promotion and facilitation of affordable housing for individuals and families of low and moderate income. The Council hereby finds that there is a deficiency of such affordable housing, which deficiency is a serious detriment to the economic and social health, safety and well-being of the residents and neighborhoods of the City. The Council, therefore, hereby declares the development of such affordable housing to be a municipal and public purpose which shall be undertaken within the policy established by Resolution No. 93-19, as such policy has been subsequently updated by Ordinance No. 2008-91 and Local Law No. 5 of 2018.
[§ 1, L.L. No. 5-2018]
B. 
Authorization. The City, acting through the Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development, with the approval of the Mayor, is hereby authorized to develop and implement affordable housing programs by, among other things:
(1) 
Making grants to owners or purchasers of blighted houses who are persons or families of low or moderate income in order to rehabilitate such houses for purposes of occupancy by such owner or purchaser as his or her or their principal residence and making below-market-rate loans to owners or purchasers of blighted houses in order to rehabilitate such houses, with the use of any such grant or loan limited to bringing a house into compliance with all applicable laws and regulations or to reconstruction in order to improve habitability of a blighted house or to prolong the useful life of a blighted house.
(2) 
Permitting the acquisition of blighted houses and their rehabilitation by one or more public or quasi-public authorities or entities for resale to a person or family of low or moderate income for use as such person's or family's principal residence.
(3) 
Demolishing blighted houses, acquiring the resulting vacant lots and constructing houses for sale to a person or family of low or moderate income for use as such person's or family's principal residence.
(4) 
Making grants for down payments and closing costs and below-market-rate mortgage loans to a person or family of low or moderate income to purchase a house to be used as such person's or family's principal residence.
(5) 
Promoting and facilitating decent rental housing for those who do not desire to or cannot afford to purchase a home.
(6) 
Making grants and below-market-rate loans to support the development of housing to be sold or rented to a person or family of low or moderate income for use as such person's or family's principal residence.
C. 
General.
(1) 
The Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development shall establish rules and regulations to implement affordable housing programs with the aim of ensuring the use of available funds for affordable housing program purposes and not for private gain.
(2) 
The City may incur indebtedness and appropriate general funds to accomplish the purposes of the City's affordable housing programs.
(3) 
In order to target affordable housing resources on the households most in need, including but not limited to those families who spend more than 50% of their total income on housing, the City may limit the eligibility for any of its affordable housing programs to one or more of the lower income categories of the four categories of low and moderate income households defined herein.
[§ 1, L.L. No. 5-2018]
D. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
[§ 1, L.L. No. 5-2018]
AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROGRAMS
Programs designed to make ownership or rental of a home or dwelling unit, and assistance for improvements to homes, available to persons of low or moderate income.
BLIGHTED
One or more of the following conditions of a house: boarded, fire damaged, vandalized, structurally damaged, major systems substantially impaired, numerous substantial building and property code violations, obsolescent or any similar condition, the effect of which is to adversely affect the aesthetic or economic environment of the immediate neighborhood.
HOUSE, HOUSING OR HOME
Any building containing one or more dwelling units, including a condominium.
LOW AND MODERATE INCOME
Gross annual income less than 120% of median income for household size in the Rochester Metropolitan Statistical Area ("Area Median Income" or "AMI"). The four categories of low and moderate income households shall be classified as:
(1) 
Extremely low, which is less than or equal to 30% AMI;
(2) 
Very low, which is more than 30% and less than or equal to 50% AMI;
(3) 
Low, which is more than 50% and less than or equal to 80% AMI; and
(4) 
Moderate, which is more than 80% and less than or equal to 120% AMI.
[§ 2, L.L. No. 4-2018]
A. 
Declaration of legislative findings. The Council finds that public nuisances exist in the City of Rochester in the operation of certain establishments and the use of property in flagrant violation of certain Penal Law and Municipal Code provisions, which nuisances substantially and seriously interfere with the interest of the public in the quality of life and total community environment, commerce in the City, property values and the public health, safety and welfare. The Council further finds that the continued occurrence of such activities and violations is detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the people of the City of Rochester and of the businesses thereof and the visitors thereto. It is the purpose of the Council to establish a means to remedy these public nuisances, which shall be in addition to the use of procedures and remedies available under other laws. The Council further finds that the remedies that may be implemented pursuant to this law are reasonable and necessary in order to protect the health and safety of the people of the City and to promote the general welfare. The Council finds that it is the public policy of the City of Rochester to ensure that, in an emergency, all crime victims, including victims of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual abuse, are able to contact police or emergency assistance without penalty under this ordinance. The Council further finds that this law is not intended to sanction, penalize or displace victims of triggering enumerated crimes or violations that are deemed public nuisances pursuant to this City Charter section; accordingly points, sanctions and penalties assessed hereunder shall not be applied against the premises where an owner, lessor, lessee, mortgagee or any other person in possession or having charge of as agent or otherwise, or having any interest in the property, real or personal was a victim of the enumerated crime or violation triggering the public nuisance incident.
B. 
Public nuisances defined. For purposes of this section, a public nuisance shall be deemed to exist whenever through violations of any of the following provisions resulting from separate incidents at a building, erection or place, or immediately adjacent to the building, erection or place as a result of the operation of the business, 12 or more points are accumulated within a period of six months, or 18 or more points within a period of 12 months, in accordance with the following point system. Where more than one violation occurs during a single incident, the total points for the incident shall be the highest point value assigned to any single violation. Such violations shall be proven by a preponderance of evidence, as set forth in Subsection F below, before the imposition of any remedy to abate the nuisance.
(1) 
The following violations shall be assigned a point value of 10 points:
(a) 
Article 265 of the Penal Law — Firearms and Other Dangerous Weapons.
(b) 
Section 47-5 of the Code of the City of Rochester — Firearms, shotguns, rifles and other dangerous weapons.
(c) 
Sections and subsections 220.06(1), 220.16(1), 220.16(2), 220.16(3), 220.16(4), 220.16(5), 220.16(6), 220.16(7), 220.28, 220.31, 220.34, 220.39, 220.41, 220.43, 220.44 and 220.65 of the Penal Law — Offenses Involving the Sale or Intent to Sell Controlled Substances.
(d) 
Sections 221.35, 221.40, 221.45, 221.50 and 221.55 of the Penal Law — Offenses Involving the Sale of Marihuana.
(2) 
The following violations shall be assigned a point value of six points:
(a) 
Sections and subsections 220.03, 220.06(2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), and (8), 220.09, 220.16(8), (9), (10), (11), (12), and (13), 220.18, 220.21, 220.25, 220.45, 220.46, 220.50, 220.55, 220.60, 220.70, 220.71, 220.72, 220.73, 220.74, 220.75 and 220.76 of the Penal Law — Controlled Substance Offenses Not Involving the Sale or Intent to Sell.
(b) 
Sections 221.20, 221.25 and 221.30 of the Penal Law — Marihuana Offenses Not Involving Sale.
(c) 
Article 225 of the Penal Law — Gambling Offenses.
(d) 
Article 230 of the Penal Law — Prostitution Offenses.
(e) 
Sections and subsections 165.15(4), (6), (7), and (8), 165.40, 165.45, 165.50, 165.52, 165.54, 165.71, 165.72, and 165.73 of the Penal Law — Criminal Possession of Stolen Property.
(f) 
The Alcoholic Beverage Control Law.
(g) 
Sections 260.20 and 260.21 of the Penal Law — Unlawfully Dealing with a Child.
(h) 
Possession, use, sale or offer for sale of any alcoholic beverage in violation of Article 18 of the Tax Law, or of any cigarette or tobacco products in violation or Article 20 of the Tax Law.
(i) 
Article 178 of the Penal Law — Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medications and Prescriptions.
(j) 
Section 147 of the Social Services Law — Food stamp program fraud.
(k) 
Section 3383 of the Public Health Law — Imitation controlled substances.
(l) 
Operating a premises without the requisite business permit in violation of § 90-33 of the City's Municipal Code.
(m) 
Sections 240.36 and 240.37 of the Penal Law — Loitering in the First Degree and Loitering for the Purpose of Engaging in a Prostitution Offense.
(n) 
Section 2024 of Title 7 of the United States Code — Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
(o) 
Suffering or permitting the premises to become disorderly, including suffering or permitting fighting.
(p) 
Chapter 75 of the City's Municipal Code — Noise.
(q) 
Chapter 29 of the City's Municipal Code — Amusements.
(r) 
Chapter 66 of the City's Municipal Code — Junkyard Operators, Junk Dealers and Scrap Processors.
(s) 
Sections of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and Chapter 54 of the City's Municipal Code, as applied to places of assembly and other nonresidential structures and uses, concerning occupancy requirements, capacity of means of egress and fire protection systems.
(t) 
Chapter 569, Article 7 (Service Food Establishments) and Article 8 (Food and Food Establishments) of the Laws of the County of Monroe — Sanitary Code.
(3) 
It shall be the responsibility of the City department or bureau with primary enforcement responsibility for each of the above-listed violations, including but not limited to the Rochester Police Department, Rochester Fire Department, Bureau of Buildings and Zoning code enforcement officers employed in the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development, and code enforcement inspectors and Bureau of Operations supervisors employed in the Department of Environmental Services, to expeditiously notify the Administrator of the Neighborhood Service Center for that portion of the City in which the subject building, erection or place is located (hereinafter, the "NSC Administrator") of a nuisance point violation and to provide to the NSC Administrator all supporting documentation of the violation, including copies of tickets and/or arrest paperwork.
(4) 
With regard to a residential property, no points, sanctions and penalties assessed under this ordinance shall be applied against the premises where an owner, lessor, lessee, mortgagee or any other person in possession or having charge of as agent or otherwise, or having any interest in the property, real or personal was a victim of the enumerated crime or violation triggering the public nuisance incident, including a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual abuse.
C. 
Notice of nuisance points.
(1) 
Written notice of nuisance points.
(a) 
Any time one of the above-identified violations occurs, the NSC Administrator, or another City employee as may be designated by the Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development, shall, within fifteen business days from the date of the violation, send a notice of nuisance points to the owner of the building, erection or place. The notice shall be sent by first-class mail with delivery confirmation and shall identify the violation and the number of points assessed against the property.
i. 
In calculating business days, weekends shall not be counted, nor shall any of the following City holidays: New Year's Day; Martin Luther King Jr. Day; Presidents' Day; Good Friday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans' Day; Thanksgiving Day; Christmas Day.
(b) 
The NSC Director shall adopt a standard Notice of Nuisance Points letter to be used by every Neighborhood Service Center (NSC). The letter shall set forth the address where the nuisance activity took place, the specific violation, the date and time of the violation, and the number of points being assessed as a result of the violation. The letter will also set forth the total points accrued against the property during the preceding 12 months, inclusive of those that are the subject of the notice. The letter shall be signed by the NSC Administrator or, in the NSC Administrator's absence, by his or her designee.
(c) 
If, at the time the Notice of Nuisance Points letter is sent, the total number of nuisance points then accrued is less than that which would be deemed a public nuisance under this section, the notice letter shall include the following language: "If the conduct giving rise to this violation is not abated and recurs, your property is in jeopardy of being deemed a public nuisance pursuant to City Charter § 10-12B, which could result in the closure of your property. You are encouraged to contact the Neighborhood Service Center at [PHONE NUMBER] to arrange a meeting to discuss this violation and a means to prevent a nuisance from developing."
(2) 
Posting of nuisance points on certain residential properties.
(a) 
Where the building, erection or place that is the subject of the nuisance points is a residential property or contains any residential units, and is not solely owner-occupied, the NSC Administrator shall cause a Posting of Nuisance Points to be physically posted upon the building, erection or place within the same time period set forth in Subsection C(1)(a) for the sending of a notice of nuisance points to the owner of the building, erection or place.
(b) 
The NSC Director shall adopt a standard Posting of Nuisance Points form that shall prominently display the violation, date of incident giving rise to violation, number of points assigned for the violation and total number of points then pending against the property.
(3) 
Waiver of nuisance points.
(a) 
Eligibility:
i. 
To be eligible for a waiver of nuisance points, no nuisance points shall have been assessed against a property during the preceding 12 months.
ii. 
A property is eligible for the waiver of nuisance points no more than one time in any twelve-month period.
iii. 
Points resulting from the following violations are not eligible for waiver:
1. 
Article 265 of the Penal Law — Firearms and Other Dangerous Weapons.
2. 
Section 47-5 of the City's Municipal Code — Firearms, shotguns, rifles and other dangerous weapons.
3. 
Sections of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and Chapter 54 of the City's Municipal Code concerning occupancy requirements.
4. 
Sections 260.20 and 260.21 of the Penal Law — Unlawfully Dealing with a Child.
(b) 
Waiver of nuisance points letter.
i. 
If a property to be assessed nuisance points is eligible for a waiver, then the NSC Administrator shall send, in the same mailing as the Notice of Nuisance Points Letter, a Waiver of Nuisance Points Letter.
ii. 
The NSC Director shall adopt a standard Waiver of Nuisance Points letter to be used by every NSC. The Waiver of Nuisance Points letter shall inform the owner that his/her property is eligible for waiver of nuisance points, and shall direct the owner to contact the NSC within 10 business days [as defined above in Subsection C(1)(a)(i)] of the date of the Waiver of Nuisance Points Letter to schedule a waiver meeting to discuss and implement an abatement plan.
(c) 
Abatement plan and waiver.
i. 
If the owner timely requests and attends the waiver meeting, the owner and NSC Administrator shall negotiate in good faith to develop an appropriate written plan to abate the nuisance. If their effort succeeds, the plan shall be dated, signed by the owner and by the NSC Administrator, and shall be kept on file at the NSC. A copy of the abatement plan shall be provided to the owner.
ii. 
If the owner abides by the abatement plan and no new nuisance activity occurs within the six months following the date of the abatement plan, the points that are subject to waiver shall be canceled as if they had never existed on the property.
(d) 
Records of abatement plans and waivers. Each NSC shall maintain records of abatement plans established and waivers issued for each property in accordance with City records retention policies and applicable law.
(4) 
Nuisance Points Advisory Board.
(a) 
Composition. There shall be a nine-member Nuisance Points Advisory Board ("Advisory Board") appointed by the Mayor, comprising one resident and one business owner each from the Northeast District, East District, South District and Northwest District as such districts are defined by City Charter § 5-3, and one resident from the Center City District as that district is defined by City Zoning Code § 120-166B.[1] The members shall not be City officers or employees at the time of their appointments. Board members shall serve a term of two years. Any member may be reappointed, and after the expiration of his or her term, each member shall hold over until a successor is appointed, if necessary. The Board may appoint a Chairperson from among its members.
[1]
Editor's Note: So in original.
(b) 
Advisory Board review.
i. 
Notice of potential nuisance.
1. 
Where a violation takes place at a building, erection or place such that assessment of points for that violation would result in the building, erection or place being deemed a public nuisance pursuant to this section, the NSC Administrator shall give notice of the violation to the owner, the impending assessment of points, and the fact that, upon assessment of the points, the building, erection or place will be deemed a public nuisance that is subject to the imposition of abatement actions pursuant to this section. This Notice of Potential Nuisance shall be sent to the owner within fifteen business days [as defined above in Subsection C(1)(a)(i)] of the violation in the same manner as a Notice of Nuisance Points.
2. 
The NSC Director shall adopt a standard Notice of Potential Nuisance letter to be used by every NSC. The Notice of Potential Nuisance shall inform the owner that he or she may, within 10 business days [as defined above in Subsection C(1)(a)(i)] of the date of the Notice, contact the NSC to request that the Advisory Board review the most recent violation and the points to be assessed therefor.
ii. 
Review by Advisory Board. If a review is requested by an owner, the NSC Administrator shall submit to the Advisory Board a package containing all relevant reports upon which the potential assessment of nuisance points is based. The Board shall review the package and any written submissions by the owner, and may allow the owner and any witnesses to offer oral statements, within a time limit to be set by the Board, which time shall not exceed 30 minutes, as to why the points should not be assessed. An Advisory Board member shall not participate in any review proceeding with regard to any place that is located within a radius of 500 feet from the member's residence or with regard to which the member possesses an operational or ownership interest. The Board shall review all submissions and explanations and submit a written recommendation to the NSC Administrator concerning issuance of the nuisance points. A copy of this written recommendation shall be sent by the Board to the owner by first-class mail with delivery confirmation. The Board's function shall be advisory, and its recommendations shall not be construed to be a final decision.
iii. 
Final determination by NSC Administrator. The NSC Administrator shall make a final determination as to the assessment of points within 10 business days [as defined above in Subsection C(1)(a)(i)] of the receipt of the recommendation of the Nuisance Points Advisory Board. The final determination shall be sent to the owner in the same manner as a Notice of Nuisance Points. A courtesy copy of the final determination shall be produced to the Advisory Board.
(c) 
Meetings. The Advisory Board shall meet at least once a month as long as matters are pending. A majority of the full Board, of which no fewer than two are residents and two are business owners, shall constitute a quorum and shall be necessary to make a recommendation on proposed nuisance points. The Board shall maintain an orderly set of records, including minutes of its meetings. The Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development shall provide staff support to the Board, and members of the Police Department and Law Department may also advise the Board and attend Board meetings.
(d) 
Bylaws. The Advisory Board shall prepare and adopt bylaws from time to time outlining meeting times and related procedures. The bylaws shall be submitted to the NSC Director for review and acceptance.
(5) 
Notice of abatement meeting. Where a building, erection or place accrues points sufficient to be deemed a public nuisance pursuant to City Charter § 10-12B, the NSC Administrator shall schedule a meeting with the building owner or the owner's authorized representative (hereinafter collectively "owner") to devise a plan to abate the nuisance. The owner shall be notified by letter of the date, time and location of the meeting. The owner shall also be notified that if he or she fails to attend the meeting, the City may immediately proceed with an administrative abatement proceeding or civil action to abate the nuisance. The NSC Director shall adopt a standard Notice of Abatement Meeting letter to be used by every NSC, which shall be sent to the owner in the same fashion as a Notice of Nuisance Points. The owner shall be allowed to adjourn and reschedule the abatement meeting no more than one time and to a date no more than 14 business days [as defined above in Subsection C(1)(a)(i)] after the original scheduled date.
(6) 
Abatement plan. If the owner attends the Abatement Meeting, he or she shall negotiate in good faith with the NSC Administrator to devise an abatement plan intended to remedy the nuisance activity. If they succeed and the owner signs a commitment to perform the agreed-upon abatement plan, the City will not advance with an administrative proceeding or civil action to abate the nuisance for so long as the owner abides by the plan.
D. 
Concurrent adjudication by Municipal Code Violations Bureau.
(1) 
Where the NSC Administrator assesses nuisance points based upon a violation of the Rochester City Code for which a Municipal Code Violations Bureau ticket is issued, the Administrator shall request in writing that the Municipal Code Violations Bureau provide to the NSC Administrator notice of the ultimate ticket disposition.
(2) 
Where the Municipal Code Violations Bureau ticket disposition indicates a dismissal on the merits, the NSC Administrator shall cancel the nuisance points stemming from the underlying violation and shall notify the owner of the same.
E. 
Powers of the Commissioner with respect to public nuisances. In addition to the enforcement procedures established elsewhere, the Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development shall be authorized:
(1) 
To order the closing of the building, erection or place to the extent necessary to abate the nuisance but in no event for a period longer than one year; or
(2) 
To suspend for a period not to exceed six months or revoke for a period of one year a business permit issued for such premises, and to prevent the operator from obtaining a new business permit for another location for the period of suspension or revocation; or
(3) 
To suspend for a period not to exceed six months or revoke for a period of one year any occupational license or permit issued by the City related to the conduct of a business or trade at the premises, which suspension or revocation may also apply to any other locations operated by the holder for which the license or permit is required; or
(4) 
To suspend for a period not to exceed six months or revoke for a period of one year eligibility to secure grants or loans from the City of Rochester; or
(5) 
Any combination of the above; or
(6) 
Any other remedy rationally related to the nuisance to be abated and otherwise within the authority of the Commissioner.
F. 
Adjudication procedure. Where a public nuisance is deemed to exist pursuant to Subsection B of this section, and the owner of the property fails to attend the Abatement Meeting or fails to accept and abide by an abatement plan, the Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development, or his or her designee, shall notify the Corporation Counsel for the City of Rochester of the nuisance activity and recommend a remedy or remedies pursuant to Subsection E of this section to abate the nuisance. The Corporation Counsel shall decide whether to implement the remedy by means of either an administrative abatement proceeding as described below or through a civil action as authorized by City Charter § 9-21.
(1) 
Administrative abatement proceeding.
(a) 
Notice of abatement hearing. The Corporation Counsel shall establish a date for a hearing at which it will be determined whether a public nuisance exists and evidence will be presented as to the remedy appropriate to abate the public nuisance. A Notice of Hearing shall be provided to the owner, lessor, lessee and mortgagee of the building, erection or place wherein the public nuisance is being conducted, maintained or permitted. The Notice of Hearing shall contain the following:
i. 
The name of the owner.
ii. 
A description of the premises, including the street address.
iii. 
A statement of each and every incident during the relevant period giving rise to nuisance points, and a description of the remedy or remedies proposed to abate the public nuisance.
iv. 
The date, time and location of the hearing.
v. 
A statement that the failure to attend the hearing may constitute a default, which could result in the closure of the building, erection or place, the suspension or revocation of the owner's relevant business or occupational licenses, and/or the suspension or revocation of City grants or loans.
vi. 
A statement that no points shall be assessed against the building, erection or place for an enumerated crime or violation for which it is demonstrated that an owner, lessor, lessee, mortgagee or any other person in possession or having charge of as agent or otherwise, or having any interest in the property, real or personal was a victim, including a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual abuse.
(b) 
Service of notice. The Notice of Hearing, along with a copy of the text of this section, shall be served upon the owner, lessee and mortgagee at least 30 calendar days before the scheduled hearing, in the following manner:
i. 
Owner: The owner shall be served in accordance with Article 3 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules or by means of first-class mail with delivery confirmation sent to the owner's address as it is maintained on record with the City Treasurer pursuant to City Charter §§ 6-118 and 6-119. If served by mail, service shall be deemed to be complete upon mailing. In no event shall it be necessary to file proof of service with the clerk of any court before the hearing.
ii. 
Lessee: Each lessee shall be served in accordance with Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law § 735, except it shall not be necessary to file proof of service with the clerk of any court before the hearing.
iii. 
Mortgagee: A mortgagee shall be served by means of first-class mail with delivery confirmation sent to the mortgagee's last known address as shown in the property records. Service shall be complete upon mailing, and there shall be no requirement to file proof of service with the clerk of any court before the hearing.
(c) 
Posting of Notice of Hearing: A copy of the Notice of Hearing shall be posted on the premises at least 30 calendar days before the hearing. Mutilation or removal of the posted notice of hearing shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $250, provided that the posted notice contains therein a notice of such penalty.
(d) 
Hearing procedure.
i. 
The hearing shall be conducted by an independent hearing officer appointed by the Corporation Counsel. The owner and other interested parties may be represented at the hearing by counsel. The owner and other interested parties may present evidence and call witnesses on their behalf, and may cross-examine any witnesses that testify for the City. The rules of evidence prevailing in a court of record shall not be controlling in abatement hearings. The Mayor and/or the Corporation Counsel are authorized to develop and implement other rules and regulations concerning the procedures for the abatement hearing not inconsistent with the rules here stated. Any such other rules and regulations shall be reduced to writing and shall be served on all parties along with the Notice of Hearing.
ii. 
For purposes of this section, a conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction or an administrative bureau of the violation or crime that gives rise to the assessment of nuisance points shall not be required. Instead, to assess the points, the City shall be required to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that each element of the charged offense has occurred. However, a conviction as defined and applied in accordance with the provisions of § 1.20 of the Criminal Procedure Law, in any court of competent jurisdiction, or a conviction or plea of guilty in the Municipal Code Violations Bureau, shall constitute conclusive proof of a point-assessable crime or violation under this section.
iii. 
Defense of innocence. An innocent party's interest in property shall not be forfeited. The party claiming innocence shall have the burden of proving innocence by a preponderance of the evidence. Such innocence may be demonstrated by proof that the party (i) did not know of the conduct giving rise to nuisance; or (ii) upon learning of the conduct giving rise to the nuisance, did all that reasonably could be expected under the circumstances to terminate such use of the property. For the purposes of this subsection, ways in which a person may show that he or she did all that reasonably could be expected may include demonstrating that such person, to the extent permitted by law, (a) gave timely notice to an appropriate law enforcement agency of information that led the person to know that nuisance activity was occurring or would occur, and (b) in a timely fashion revoked or made a good faith attempt to revoke permission for those engaging in such nuisance activity to use the property. However, a person shall not be required by this subparagraph to take steps that the person reasonably believes would be likely to subject any person to physical danger. Even where a party with an interest in the property establishes his or her innocence in accordance with this subsection, still the City may impose any reasonable and legally permissible remedy to abate the nuisance so long as it does not infringe upon the innocent party's interest in the property.
iv. 
Defense of victims. In accordance with the public policy and findings calling for the protection of victims of crimes and violations in Subsection A of this section, a party shall be entitled to testify or present other evidence in support of a claim that nuisance points should not be assessed for a specified violation or crime wherein an owner, lessor, lessee, mortgagee or any other person in possession or having charge of as agent or otherwise, or having any interest in the property, real or personal was a victim of the enumerated violation or crime that triggered the assessment of nuisance points. The party claiming the victim defense shall have the burden of proving its factual elements by a preponderance of the evidence in order to be entitled to the removal of assessed nuisance points.
(e) 
Hearing officer report and recommendation. Within 14 business days [as defined above in Subsection C(1)(a)(i)] after the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer shall render a written report and recommendation to the Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development, which shall set forth factual findings based upon evidence in the record and shall state whether a public nuisance was proven by a preponderance of the evidence. In the event that a public nuisance is so proven, the hearing officer shall also render a written recommendation as to the remedy to be imposed to abate the public nuisance. The hearing officer's written recommendation shall be served upon all interested parties in the same manner as the original Notice of Hearing.
(f) 
Final determination. Within seven business days [as defined above in Subsection C(1)(a)(i)] days after receipt of the hearing officer's report and recommendation, the Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development shall issue a final determination either accepting, modifying, or rejecting the hearing officer's report and recommendation. If the Commissioner determines that there is a public nuisance, based on either the recommendation of the hearing officer or the Commissioner's own assessment of the hearing record, the final determination shall articulate the remedy to be imposed and set forth a reasonable manner in which the remedy elected is expected to abate the public nuisance. No remedy shall be imposed that goes beyond the remedy or remedies previously specified in the Notice of Hearing. The final determination shall be served on all interested parties in the same manner as the Notice of Hearing. A copy of the final determination shall also be posted at the building, erection or place where a public nuisance exists or is occurring in violation of law.
(g) 
Closure. Where the final determination orders the closure of a building, erection or place, the closure shall become effective 30 calendar days after the posting of the final determination upon the building, erection or place, and may after that time be enforced by the Rochester Police Department. The effective date shall be specified in the final determination.
i. 
In no event shall any closing ordered under this section be for a period of more than one year from the issuance of the Commissioner's final determination.
ii. 
A closing directed by the Commissioner pursuant to this section shall not be deemed to constitute an act of possession, ownership or control by the City of the closed premises.
iii. 
It shall be a violation of this section for any person to permit any other person to use or occupy any building, erection or place, or portion thereof, ordered closed by the Commissioner. Such a violation or mutilation or removal of a posted order of the Commissioner designee shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $250 or by imprisonment not exceeding 15 calendar days, or both, provided such posted order contains therein a notice of such penalty.
G. 
Additional provisions.
(1) 
The Mayor, Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development ("Commissioner") or NSC Director may promulgate rules, regulations, policies and procedures to carry out and give full effect to the provisions of this section. Any such rules, regulations, policies and procedures shall be filed with the City Clerk.
(2) 
The Commissioner or NSC Director shall implement a training program for NSC employees involved in the enforcement of this section and for other City employees as needed.
(3) 
If any provision of this section or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the remainder of this section and the application of such provisions to other persons and circumstances shall not be rendered invalid thereby.
(4) 
The Commissioner shall prepare quarterly reports to be submitted to City Council summarizing the actions taken under this section and indicating the results of such action.