[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Livonia 5-27-1998 by L.L. No. 6-1998. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Unsafe buildings pose a threat to life and property in the Village of Livonia. Buildings and structures may become unsafe by reason of damage by fire, the elements, age or general deterioration. Vacant buildings not properly secured at doorways and windows also serve as attractive nuisances for young children who may be injured therein, as well as points of congregation for vagrants and transients. A dilapidated building may also serve as a place for rodent infestation, thereby creating a health menace to the community. It is the purpose of this chapter to provide for the safety, health protection and general welfare of persons and property in the Village of Livonia by requiring such unsafe buildings to be repaired or demolished and removed.
This chapter shall be known as "Unsafe Buildings Law" of the Village of Livonia.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any building, structure or portion thereof used for residential business or industrial purpose.
- CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The Code Enforcement Officer of the Village of Livonia or such other person appointed by the Board of Trustees to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
- A. Buildings or other structures which have any of the following defects:
- (1) Those whose interior walls 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.
- (2) Those which, exclusive of the foundation, show 33% or more of damage or deterioration of the supporting member or members or 50% of damage or deterioration of nonsupporting member or members enclosing or outside walls or covering.
- (3) 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.
- (4) Those which have been damaged by fire, wind, snow load or other causes so as to have become dangerous to the life, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Village.
- (5) Those which have become or are so dilapidated, decayed, unsafe or unsanitary that they are unfit for occupation by humans or animals or for use for storage.
- (6) Those buildings intended or used for human occupation that are inadequate to protect the health, safety and general welfare of human residents living therein.
- (7) Those buildings that lack adequate facilities for ingress and egress in case of fire or other emergency or those having insufficient stairways, elevators, fire escapes or other means of escape.
- (8) Those which have parts thereof which are so attached that they may fall and injure persons on the property or members of the general public or cause damage to other property.
- (9) Those buildings which violate the provisions of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, the Zoning Law of the Village, the Property Maintenance Code of New York State, the Building Code of New York State, the Fire Code of New York State, the Residential Code of New York State, the Plumbing Code of New York State, the Mechanical Code of New York State, the Energy Code of New York State and any other applicable laws of the State of New York, County of Livingston or the Village.
- (10) Any building which remains vacant and unattended continuously for a period of one year or longer, without adequate safeguards to prevent unauthorized entry.
- B. This Code provision shall be applicable to all properties in the Village, whether existing at the time of the adoption of this provision or constructed thereafter.
When in his own opinion or upon receipt of information that a building is or may become dangerous or unsafe to the general public, is open at the doorways and windows making it accessible to and an object of attraction to people under 18 years of age, as well as to vagrants and other trespassers, is or may become a place of rodent infestation, presents any other danger to the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the public or is unfit for the purposes for which it may lawfully be used, the Code Enforcement Officer or authorized representative shall cause or make an inspection thereof and report in writing to the Board of Trustees his findings and recommendations in regard to its repair or demolition and removal.
The Board of Trustees shall thereafter consider such report and, by resolution, determine if, in its opinion, the report so warrants, that such building is unsafe and dangerous and order its repair if the same can be safely repaired or its demolition and removal, and further order that a notice be served upon the persons and in the manner provided herein.
The notice shall contain the following:
A description of the premises.
A statement of the particulars in which the building is unsafe or dangerous.
An order outlining the manner in which the building is to be made safe and secure or demolished and removed.
A statement that the securing or removal of such building shall commence within 30 days of the service of the notice and shall be completed within 60 days thereafter, unless for good cause shown, such time shall be extended.
A date, time and place for a hearing before the Board of Trustees in relation to such dangerous or unsafe building, which hearing shall be scheduled not less than five business days from the date of service of the notice.
A statement that in the event of neglect or refusal to comply with the order to secure or demolish and remove the building, the Board of Trustees is authorized to provide for its demolition and removal, 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 by:
Personal service of a copy thereof upon the owner, executor, administrator, agent, lessee or any person having a vested or contingent interest in such unsafe building as shown by the records of the Receiver of Taxes (or Tax Collector) or of the County Clerk or, if no such person can be reasonably found, by mailing such owner by certified mail a copy of such notice directed to his last known address as shown by the above records;
Personal service of a copy of such notice upon any adult person residing in or occupying said premises if such person can be reasonably found; and
Securely affixing a copy of such notice upon the unsafe building.
A copy of the notice served as provided herein shall be filed in the Office of the County Clerk of the County of Livingston.
In the event of the refusal or neglect of the person so notified to comply with said order of the Board of Trustees and after the hearing, the Board of Trustees shall provide for the demolition and removal of such building or structure either by Village employees or by contract. Except in an emergency as provided in § 88-11 hereof, any contract for demolition and removal of a building in excess of an amount determined by the Code Enforcement Officer shall be awarded through competitive bidding.
All expenses incurred by the Village in connection with the proceedings to repair and secure or demolish and remove the unsafe building, including the cost of actually removing such building, plus 10%, shall be assessed against the land on which such building is located and shall be levied and collected in the same manner as provided in Article 22 of the Village Law for the levy and collection of a special ad valorem levy.
Where it reasonably appears that there is present a clear and imminent danger to the life, safety or health of any person or property, unless an unsafe building is immediately repaired and secured or demolished, the Board of Trustees may by resolution authorize the Code Enforcement Officer to immediately cause the repair or demolition of such unsafe building. The expenses of such repair or demolition shall be a charge against the land on which it is located and shall be assessed, levied and collected as provided in § 88-10 hereof.
Any person or persons who shall violate any provisions of this chapter, commit unauthorized removal of notices or interference with officials shall be guilty of an offense punishable by a fine not exceeding $250 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 15 days, or both. Each days' continued violation shall constitute a separate offense.