[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Fonda 12-9-2013 by L.L. No. 1-2013. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Building code administration and enforcement — See Ch. 23.
Property maintenance — See Ch.
The provisions of this chapter shall be in addition to, and in furtherance of, the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, including, but not limited to, Sections 107 and 108 of the Property Maintenance Code of New York State.
All buildings or structures which have any or all of the following defects shall be deemed "dangerous buildings":
Those whose interior wall or other vertical structural members list, lean or buckle to such an extent that a plumb line passing through the center of gravity falls outside of the middle third of its base.
Those which, exclusive of the foundation, show 25% or more of damage or deterioration of the supporting member or members, or 50% of damage or deterioration of the nonsupporting enclosing or outside walls or covering.
Those which have improperly distributed loads upon the floors or roofs or in which the same are overloads, or which have insufficient strength to be reasonably safe for the purpose used.
Those which have been damaged by fire, wind or other causes so as to have become dangerous to life, safety, morals or the general health and welfare of the occupants, neighboring property or the people of the Village of Fonda.
Those which have become or are so dilapidated, decayed, unsafe, insanitary or which so utterly fail to provide the amenities essential to decent living that they are unfit for human habitation, or are likely to cause sickness or disease, so as to work injury to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of those living therein.
Those having light, air and sanitation facilities which are inadequate to protect the health, morals, safety or general welfare of human beings who live or may live therein.
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.
Those which have parts thereof which are so attached that they may fall and injure members of the public or property.
Those which, because of their condition, are unsafe, insanitary or dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the people of this Village.
Those buildings existing in violation of any provision of any ordinance or resolution of the Village of Fonda or in violation of any law of the State of New York.
The following standards shall be followed in substance by the Code Enforcement Officer and the Engineer in ordering repair, vacation or demolition:
If the dangerous building can reasonably be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this chapter, it shall be ordered repaired.
If the dangerous building is in such condition as to make it dangerous to the health, safety or general welfare of its occupants, it shall be ordered to be vacated.
In any case where a dangerous building is 50% or more damaged or decayed or deteriorated from its original value or structure, it shall be demolished; and in all cases where a building cannot be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this chapter, it shall be demolished. In all cases where a dangerous building is a fire hazard existing or erected in violation of the terms of this chapter or any ordinance of this Village or statute of the State of New York, it shall be demolished.
All dangerous buildings within the terms of § 33-2 hereof are hereby declared to be public nuisances and shall be repaired, vacated or demolished as hereinbefore and hereinafter provided.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall:
Inspect all public buildings, schools, halls, churches, theaters, hotels, tenements and commercial, manufacturing or loft buildings and may inspect all other buildings and structures, including residences, for the purpose of determining whether any conditions exist which render such places dangerous buildings within the terms of § 33-2 of this chapter.
Inspect any building, wall or structure about which complaints are filed by any person to the effect that a building, wall or structure is or may be existing in violation of this chapter.
Inspect any building, wall or structure reported (as hereafter provided for) by the Fire or Police Departments of this Village as probably existing in violation of the terms of this chapter.
Notify, in writing, the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee, agent and all other persons having an interest in said building, as shown by the records of the Clerk of the County of Montgomery, of any building found by him to be a dangerous building within the standards set forth in § 33-2 herein, that:
The owner must vacate, repair or demolish said building in accordance with the terms of the notice and this chapter.
The occupant or lessee must vacate said building or may have it repaired in accordance with the notice and remain in possession.
The mortgagee, agent or other persons having an interest in said building as shown by the records of the Clerk of the County of Montgomery may, at his own risk, repair, vacate or demolish said building or have such work or act done, provided that any person notified under this subsection to repair, vacate or demolish any building shall be given such reasonable time, not exceeding 30 days, as may be necessary to do or have done the work or act required by the notice provided for herein.
Set forth, in the notice provided for in Subsection D hereof, a description of the building or structure deemed unsafe, a statement of the particulars which make the building or structure a dangerous building and an order requiring the same to be put in such condition as to comply with the terms of this chapter within such length of time, not exceeding 30 days, as is reasonable.
Appear at all hearings conducted by the Engineer and testify as to the condition of the dangerous buildings.
Place a notice on all dangerous buildings, reading as follows:
"This building has been found to be a dangerous building by the Code Enforcement Officer. This notice is to remain on this building until it is repaired, vacated or demolished in accordance with the notice which has been given the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee or agent of this building and all other persons having an interest in said building as shown by the records of the Clerk of the County of Montgomery. It is unlawful to remove this notice until such notice is complied with."
The Engineer shall:
Upon receipt of a report of the Code Enforcement Officer as provided for in § 33-5F hereof, give written notice to the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee, agent and all other persons having an interest in said building, as shown by the records of the Clerk of the County of Montgomery, to appear before him on the date specified in the notice, such date to be not less than 10 days after service of such notice, to show cause why the building or structure reported to be a dangerous building should not be repaired, vacated or demolished in accordance with the statement of particulars set forth in the Code Enforcement Officer's notice provided for herein in § 33-5E.
Hold a hearing and hear such testimony as the Code Enforcement Officer, the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee or any other person having an interest in said building as shown by the records of the Clerk of the County of Montgomery, and any other person or persons called as a witness by any of the foregoing, shall offer relative to the dangerous building.
Issue an order based upon findings of fact made pursuant to Subsection C commanding the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee, agent and all other persons having an interest in said building, as shown by the records of the Clerk of the County of Montgomery, to repair, vacate or demolish any building found to be a dangerous building within the terms of this chapter, and providing that any person notified, except the owners, shall have the privilege of either vacating or repairing said dangerous building, but anyone having an interest in said building as shown by the records of the Clerk of the County of Montgomery may demolish said dangerous building at his own risk to prevent the acquiring of a lien by the Village against the land upon which said dangerous building stands, as provided in § 33-7 hereof.
If the owner, occupant, mortgagee or lessee fails to comply with the order provided for in § 33-6D within 10 days, the Engineer shall report such fact to the Village Board, in writing, and transmit to the Village Board at such time a copy of his written findings of fact and of the order provided for in § 33-6C and D. The Village Board by resolution or ordinance shall cause the repair or removal of the unsafe building. The Village, in its discretion, may undertake to do the authorized work with its own personnel or hire a private contractor to complete said work. After the work has been completed, the Engineer shall file with the Village Board a verified statement of all the direct costs of the same, together with a charge of $1,500 in addition thereto, as compensation to the Village for administering, supervising and handling said work. Said administrative surcharge of $1,500 shall be added to the direct cost, whether Village personnel or a private contractor was used to do the subject work.
Upon receipt of the verified statement, the Village Board shall direct that the amount thereof, including the charges added thereto, shall constitute a lien against the premises and direct that the same shall be added to the next assessment roll of general Village taxes and shall be collected and enforced in the same manner, by the same proceedings, at the same time and under the same penalties as the general Village tax and as a part thereof. In addition thereto, interest shall run thereon from the date of filing the verified statement to the date of actual payment at 7 1/2% per annum.
Notwithstanding any provision herein to the contrary, the Village may, at its election, institute suit against the owner of the premises for the direct costs, together with a charge of $1,500 in addition thereto as compensation to the Village for administering, supervising and handling said work, and any judgment thereon against the owner personally of any fine or penalty hereinafter prescribed shall not bar the right of the Village to collect the costs of the removal or repair of any unsafe building or structure as herein prescribed.
In cases where it reasonably appears that there is immediate danger to the life or safety of any person unless a dangerous building as defined herein is immediately repaired, vacated or demolished, the Code Enforcement Officer shall report such facts to the Engineer, and the Engineer shall cause the immediate repair, vacation or demolition of such dangerous building. The costs of such emergency repair, vacation or demolition of such dangerous building shall be collected in the same manner as provided in § 33-7 hereof.
In all cases where notice or orders provided for herein are required to be served, such service shall be made upon the necessary persons, either by registered or certified mail return receipt requested, directed to such persons at their last known address, or by personal service of such notice or order upon such persons, and a copy of such notice or order shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the dangerous building to which it relates. Such mailing or personal service and posting shall be deemed adequate service.
No officer, agent or employee of the Village of Fonda shall render himself personally liable for any damage that may accrue to persons or property as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this chapter. Any suit brought against any officer, agent or employee of the Village of Fonda as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this chapter shall be defended by the Village Attorney until the final determination of the proceedings therein, and any judgment against any such person shall be paid by the Village of Fonda.
All members of the Fire and Police Departments shall make a report, in writing, to the Code Enforcement Officer of any buildings or structures which are, may be or are suspected to be dangerous buildings within the terms of this chapter.
The failure of the owner to complete the repairs or to remove the unsafe building or structure as specified in the final notice of the Engineer shall subject the owner to the same procedure and penalties as herein set forth.
The transfer of title by the owner of premises upon which an unsafe building or structure is located shall be no defense to any proceedings under this chapter.
In the event that the building or other structure shall be reported unsafe or dangerous under such report, the Engineer may request the Village Attorney to make an application to the Supreme Court for an order determining the building or other structure to be a public nuisance and directing that it shall be repaired and secured or taken down and removed.
Any person, upon whom a notice as provided in this chapter has been served, who fails, neglects or refuses to place such unsafe building or structure in a safe condition as designated in such notice or who shall commit an offense against any of the provisions of this chapter or orders given pursuant thereto or who shall resist or obstruct the Engineer in carrying out the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a violation pursuant to the Penal Law of the State of New York, punishable by a fine of not more than $250 or by imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Each day in which such offense continues shall constitute a separate violation.