[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Quogue 10-16-2015 by L.L. No. 4-2015. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Anything constructed or erected on or under the ground or upon another structure or building. The term "structure" includes a building.
- STRUCTURE UNFIT FOR HUMAN OCCUPANCY
- A structure is unfit for human occupancy whenever such structure is unsafe, unlawful or, because of the degree to which the structure is in disrepair or lacks maintenance, is insanitary, vermin- or rat-infested, contains filth and contamination, or lacks ventilation, illumination, sanitary or heating facilities or other essential equipment required by law, or because the location of the structure constitutes a hazard to the occupants of the structure or to the public.
- UNSAFE EQUIPMENT
- Unsafe equipment includes any boiler, heating equipment, elevator, moving stairway, electrical wiring or device, flammable liquid containers or other equipment on the premises or within the structure which is in such disrepair or condition that such equipment is a hazard to life, health, property or safety of the public or occupants of the premises or structure.
- UNSAFE STRUCTURE
- An unsafe structure is one that is found to be dangerous to the life, health, property or safety of the public or the occupants of the structure by not providing minimum safeguards to protect or warn occupants in the event of fire, or because such structure contains unsafe equipment or is so damaged, decayed, dilapidated, structurally unsafe, or of such faulty construction or unstable foundation, that partial or complete collapse is possible. The term "unsafe structure" also includes a structure unfit for human occupancy.
When the Building Inspector has reason to believe that any building or structure may be an unsafe structure, the Building Inspector may take such steps as may be authorized or allowed by law for inspection of the building or structure.
When in the opinion of the Building Inspector any building or structure shall be deemed to be an unsafe structure, the Building Inspector shall file a report with the Mayor containing his findings with respect to the condition of the structure and his recommendations with respect to removal or repair.
When in the opinion of the Mayor, pursuant to the Building Inspector's report, any building or structure shall be deemed to be an unsafe structure, the Mayor may direct the Building Inspector to give notice to be served on the owner or some one of the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or other persons having a vested or contingent interest in the same.
Such notice shall be served either personally or by certified mail, addressed to the last known address, as shown by the most recent tax assessment roll and/or as shown by the records of the Village Clerk. If service is made by certified mail, a copy of such notice shall be posted on the premises. Failure of a person actually to receive a notice properly sent shall not affect the validity thereof.
Such notice shall contain the following:
The physical address or other description of the premises.
A statement of the particulars in which the building or structure is unsafe.
An order requiring the building or structure to be repaired and secured or removed.
A statement that the securing or removal of the building or structure shall commence within 60 days from the date of the notice and shall be completed within 30 days thereafter. The Building Inspector may extend the time of compliance specified in the notice where there is evidence of intent to comply within the time specified and conditions exist which prevent immediate compliance. In granting any such extension of time, the Building Inspector may impose such conditions as he may deem appropriate.
A statement that, in the event of the neglect or refusal of the person served to comply with the order contained in the notice, a hearing will be held before the Board of Trustees, notice of which and the time and place thereof to be specified in the notice referred to in this section or in a subsequent notice given in the same manner.
A statement that, in the event that the Board of Trustees, after the hearing, shall determine that the building or structure is unsafe, the Board of Trustees may order the building or structure to be repaired and secured or taken down and removed.
A statement that, in the event that the Board of Trustees, after the hearing, shall determine that the building or structure is unsafe, and in the event of the neglect or refusal of the owner to repair and secure or remove the building or structure within the time provided, the Village may cause such building or structure to be repaired and secured or removed by whatever means it deems appropriate and assess all costs and expenses incurred by the Village in connection with the proceedings to repair and secure or remove, including the costs of actually repairing and securing or removing said building or structure, against the land on which said building or structure is located.
Notice served pursuant to this chapter may also be filed in the office of the County Clerk. Such 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, except as otherwise provided. 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 or justice of a court of record or upon the consent of the Village Attorney. The Clerk of the county where such notice is filed shall mark such notice and any record or docket thereof as canceled of record upon the presentation and filing of such consent or of a certified copy of such order.
The Board of Trustees shall conduct the public hearing at the time and place specified in the notice to repair or remove. The Board may adjourn the hearing from time to time until the hearing is completed. After completion of the hearing, the Board shall determine whether the building or structure is unsafe, the Board may revoke, modify or affirm the order contained in the notice to repair or remove, and the Board may issue or direct the Building Inspector to issue such further order as the Board may determine to be appropriate.
All costs and expenses incurred by the Village in connection with the proceedings to repair and secure or demolish and remove any unsafe building or structure, including the costs and expenses of actually repairing and securing or demolishing and removing the unsafe building or structure, shall be charged against such property. A statement of such costs and expenses shall be filed with the Board of Trustees and shall be presented to the owner of such property by notice as hereinafter provided. Such notice may be served upon the owner of such property as shown on the most recent tax assessment roll by regular mail addressed to such owner at the address shown on the most recent tax assessment roll. Such notice may be served upon the last known owner of such property by regular mail addressed to such owner at the last known address. Such notice may also be served by certified mail or by personal service. Such notice may also be served by posting such notice in a conspicuous place on such property.
At the option of the Board of Trustees, such costs and expenses may be recovered and collected by either of the following methods:
The Board of Trustees may commence a special proceeding pursuant to § 78-b of the General Municipal Law to collect such costs and expenses, including reasonable and necessary legal expenses.
The Board of Trustees may direct that such costs and expenses be assessed and levied against such property. In such event, the amount of such costs and expenses shall be included in the levy against such property, shall constitute a lien and shall be collected and enforced in the same manner, by the same proceedings, at the same time and under the same penalties as are provided by law for the collection and enforcement of real property taxes in the Village of Quogue.
All unsafe buildings and structures are hereby declared to be illegal and are prohibited. All unsafe buildings and structures shall be abated by repair and rehabilitation or by demolition and removal.
Each and every violation of this chapter shall constitute a violation pursuant to the Penal Law of the State of New York, punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. The continuation of a violation of this chapter shall constitute, for each day the violation is continued, a separate and distinct violation hereunder.
Each and every person responsible for, causing, permitting, assisting in or failing or refusing to abate or correct any violation of this chapter shall be guilty of such violation.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as depriving the Village or the Building Inspector of any other available remedy relevant to a violation of this chapter.
The Board of Trustees, in its discretion, may elect to apply to the Supreme Court of the State of New York for an order directing that an unsafe building or structure be repaired and secured or demolished and removed.
The invalidity of any section, subsection or provision of this chapter shall not invalidate any other section, subsection or provision thereof.