[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Sands Point 5-24-2016 by L.L. No. 7-2016. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Chapter 161 of the Village Code of the Village of Sands Point is enacted to require that all unsafe structures, as defined in this chapter, be secured, and so that the Village may undertake such other action(s) as may be necessary to protect the health and safety of occupants of such properties and other Village residents. This chapter is also enacted to safeguard against the dangers of unsafe structures by requiring that unsafe buildings and structures be repaired and secured or, alternatively, demolished and removed.
For the purpose of this chapter, the terms used herein are defined as follows:
- A. Any vacant structure which, by reason of lack of maintenance or by reason of the boarding up of its doors and windows, or other reasons, has a substantial adverse effect on the value of the property in the immediate neighborhood or promotes a degradation of the surrounding community, affecting the public health, safety and welfare;
- B. Any vacant structure which is frequented by persons who are not lawful occupants of such structure;
- C. A structure, the principal use of which has been abandoned and is inconsistent with its intended use;
- D. A structure that is left vacant and unsecured for a period in excess of 72 hours;
- E. A structure which, for a period of time over 30 days, has been without evidence of functioning water, electric and/or gas utilities;
- F. A structure which has been boarded up, partially destroyed or partially constructed or incomplete after the building permit authorizing its construction has expired; or
- G. Any premises that have been in tax arrearage for at least one installment period.
- BLIGHTED PREMISES
- Any improved or vacant property that is located within the Village of Sands Point that is maintained with any of the following prohibited conditions:
- A. Broken, damaged or unsecured: windows, doors, exits, entryways, roof, gutters, siding/shingles, chimney, shutters, fencing, awnings, outdoor lighting fixtures, pools or spas, decks, sheds, porches, pools, pool houses, garages, carports, storage units, front porches, outside statuary, or fish ponds.
- B. Excessive litter and debris.
- C. Overgrown grass or vegetation of at least 10 inches in length or otherwise excessively grown noncultivated vegetation.
- D. Storage of derelict motor vehicles/vessels.
- E. Presence of graffiti.
- F. Broken or exposed electrical wires, electrical equipment or extension cords.
- G. Unfinished abandoned construction which is not issued a current valid Building Division permit.
- H. Broken or fallen trees.
- I. Evidence of unresolved fire damage.
- J. Peeling or deteriorated paint.
- K. Presence of stagnant water.
- L. Unsecured or open wells, cesspools or cisterns.
- M. Presence in any outdoor area of any refrigerator, washing machine, sink, stove, heater, boiler, tank or any other household equipment, machinery, furniture, or item, appliance or appliances, boxes, lumber, dirt or debris, trash, garbage or refuse cans, or any items other than those commonly stored outdoors, or any parts of such items, for a period of time in excess of 72 consecutive hours. This subsection does not prohibit machinery or appliances installed outdoors for household or recreational use or furniture designed and used for outdoor activities.
- BUILDING OFFICIAL
- The Building Commissioner of the Village of Sands Point or the Commissioner's designee, charged with the administration and enforcement of this chapter.
- COMPLIANCE PLAN
- A written plan and timeline for bringing an unsafe structure or blighted premises into compliance with all provisions of the Village Code.
- The owner of record of any premises, a mortgagee, a tax lien purchaser, a lienor and any other person having a vested or contingent interest in said premises and anyone exercising rights of ownership therein as documented by the records of the County Clerk of Nassau County or by the records of the Receiver of Taxes, the Office of the Public Administrator or Surrogate's Court.
- A. Any abandoned structure;
- B. Any structure which because of its construction or condition is structurally unsound, unsanitary or not provided with adequate ingress and egress;
- C. Any structure which constitutes a fire hazard or which has become unsafe by reason of damage by fire, the elements, age or general deterioration;
- D. Any structure which, in relation to an existing use, constitutes a hazard to public health, safety or welfare by reason of inadequate maintenance, dilapidation, obsolescence or abandonment, or which is otherwise dangerous to human life;
- E. Any structure which may cause or aid in the spread of disease or which may become a harborage for rodents or other animals, or which may cause injury to the occupants thereof or of a neighboring structure;
- F. Any vacant building which has had its doors or windows boarded up for emergency reasons for a period in excess of eight weeks;
- G. Any structure which has broken or severely damaged windows, doors, walls, floors or roofs which create hazardous conditions; or
- H. Any structure having conditions that violate the New York State Property Maintenance Code.
Under this chapter, the Building Official shall have jurisdiction and authority for the purpose of repairing, maintaining, sealing, boarding up, fencing in, demolishing, taking down or removing any unsafe structure or blighted premises or for taking remedial action toward making any of said structures or premises to be vacated by its occupants.
It shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter and an offense within the meaning of the Penal Law of the State of New York for any person or entity who owns an unsafe structure or blighted premises to fail to register such structure or premises with the building department in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
It shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter and an offense within the meaning of the Penal Law of the State of New York for any person or entity who owns an unsafe structure or blighted premises to fail to abate, by repair and rehabilitation, or by boarding or other acceptable means of securing until repaired or demolished, or by demolition and removal, such structure or premises in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
The Building Official is hereby directed to identify an unsafe structure or blighted premises and to establish a registry for such purpose and provide such notices and carry out such other tasks as set forth herein. The Building Department shall provide a form for such registration. The registration form shall describe the methods by which the owner has secured the property against unauthorized entry and provide such other information as the Building Department may require.
Whenever the Building Official has probable cause to believe, based upon an inspection, complaint or a report from another department or official of the Village, that a structure is an unsafe structure or a premises is a blighted premises, and either is not registered, the Building Official shall serve a written notice upon the owner, by personal service or regular and certified mail, return receipt requested, or by any other method authorized under the laws of this state for service of process, notifying the owner that it must register the unsafe structure or blighted premises with the Building Department within 10 days from the date of service.
Nothing herein shall prohibit an owner of any structure who has reason to believe that such structure or premises is an unsafe structure or blighted premises, respectively, from registering the same with the Building Department prior to the Building Official identifying and declaring the structure to be unsafe.
Within five days of either the Building Official or owner's registration of an unsafe structure or blighted premises, the owner shall submit a compliance plan to the Building Department, as follows:
The compliance plan shall be reviewed by the Building Official and shall be approved or rejected.
In the event that the compliance plan is rejected, the Building Official shall notify the owner, in writing, and shall state the specific reasons for such rejection. In such event, the owner shall have five days to submit a revised compliance plan addressing the reasons for the rejection.
Upon approval of the compliance plan by the Building Official, the owner shall have no more than 20 days to submit all applications for any Village permits required to perform the work set forth in the compliance plan.
The owner shall have no more than 60 days from the issuance of all required permits, or if no permits are required, after the approval of the compliance plan, to complete the work set forth in the compliance plan.
If the owner fails to comply with the requirements of this chapter, the Building Official shall cause an investigation of the premises containing the unsafe structure or blighted premises to be made and an inspection report to be prepared containing the following:
A description of the premises.
A statement of the condition of the structure or premises and the particulars of how said structure is an unsafe structure or premises are a blighted premises.
A recommendation with respect to the structure's repair or demolition and removal or the premises' repair or maintenance.
Any report prepared pursuant to this section shall be filed in the office of the Building Department.
Upon receipt of an investigation report prepared pursuant to § 161-7 herein, the Building Official shall cause a written notice to be prepared, which shall contain the following:
A description of the premises.
A statement of the particulars in which the structure is an unsafe structure or premises are a blighted premises within the meaning of this chapter.
An order directing the owner to comply with the provisions of this chapter by requiring that the structure be made safe and secure or demolished and removed, which order may outline the manner in which the structure is to be made safe and secure.
An order requiring that the securing, repairing or demolition of the unsafe structure or the repair or maintenance of the blighted premises be commenced within 10 days after service of the written notice and that such action, including removal, be completed within 30 days after the commencement date.
A statement that, in the event of the failure, neglect or refusal to comply with the provisions of this chapter within 15 days after service of the notice, the certificate of occupancy or certificate of existing use for the subject premises shall be revoked.
A statement that an owner shall have the right to file an appeal of the Building Official's determination that the structure or premises at issue is an unsafe structure or blighted premises, respectively, which appeal must be made, in writing, to the Board of Trustees and filed with the Village Clerk within 10 days after service of the notice, in accordance with Village Code § 161-10B.
A statement that, in the event of the failure, neglect or refusal to comply with the order to repair, make safe and secure or demolish and remove the unsafe structure or repair or maintenance of the blighted premises, the Village is empowered and authorized to provide for the maintenance, repair and/or security of the structure or for its demolition and removal, to assess all expenses thereof against the land on which it is located and to institute legal action to recover the such costs, as well as legal fees and expenses.
The written notice described in Subsection A, shall be served on the owner or the owner's executor, legal representative, agent, lessee or any other person having a vested or contingent interest in the subject property, either personally or by certified mail, addressed to the intended recipient's last known address as shown by the records of the Village's Receiver of Taxes or the records in the Office of the Nassau County Clerk. In addition, a copy of said notice shall be securely posted on the unsafe structure or blighted premises in a conspicuous location.
In the event that one or more adult persons are actually residing and have a lawful interest in the unsafe structure or blighted premises at the time of issuance of the Building Department's or the Board of Trustees' order mentioned hereinabove in Subsection A, a copy of the written notice provided herein shall be served upon any one such adult person if such person can reasonably be found.
In the event that the whereabouts of the owner of the unsafe structure or blighted premises and any other person having an interest therein, as defined in Subsection B hereinabove, are unknown and cannot be ascertained after the exercise of reasonable diligence by the Building Official, the Building Official shall execute an affidavit to that effect, which shall be filed in the office of the Building Department. In such a case, notice shall be served by posting a copy of the aforementioned written notice on the unsafe structure or blighted premises in a conspicuous location.
A copy of the written notice served as provided in § 161-8 shall be filed in the office of the County Clerk of the County of Nassau. The filing of said notice shall have the same effect as the filing of a notice of pendency as provided in Article 65 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, except as otherwise provided in this section.
A notice filed in accordance with Subsection A above 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. Upon the presentation and filing of such consent or certified copy of such order in the office of the County Clerk of the County of Nassau, the aforementioned notice and any record or docket thereof shall be marked as canceled of record by said County Clerk.
If the owner fails to comply with a written notice issued by the Building Official pursuant to § 161-8 hereof, subject to the owner's right to appeal, the Village may proceed as follows:
The Board of Trustees may, upon the recommendation of the Building Official and after a public hearing held in accordance with Village Code § 161-14, adopt a resolution setting forth that the Village undertake any of the following remedies:
That employees of the Village, under the supervision of the Superintendent of Public Works, or a duly appointed agent of the Village by contract, shall maintain, repair and/or secure the unsafe structure or blighted premises;
That the Building Official shall revoke the certificate of occupancy or certificate of existing use for the premises that contain an unsafe structure or constitute a blighted premises is situated; or
Order that the owner of the unsafe structure or blighted premises must demolish and/or remove all structures and conditions that constitute an unsafe structure or blighted premises; and that, if the owner fails to comply with such order, the Village or its agent may demolish and/or said structure or conditions.
The owner of a structure or premises that has been determined by the Building Official to be an unsafe structure or blighted premises, respectively, shall have the right to appeal such determination by filing a written notice of appeal, on the form prescribed by the Village, with the Village Clerk within 10 days after service of the notice setting forth the Building Official's determination as to the structure. Thereafter, the Board of Trustees shall hold a public hearing at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees that is at least seven days after the filing of said notice of appeal with the Village Clerk.
Failure to comply with any written notice issued by the Building Official when such notice has been provided in accordance with this chapter shall constitute a separate and distinct offense hereunder.
It shall be unlawful for any person, whether or not interested in the property affected by this chapter, to interfere with, obstruct or hinder the Building Official or any person acting on his/her behalf in performing his/her duties as set forth in this chapter.
In a case where the Village or the Village's agent has corrected any violation of this chapter in response to the owner's failure to comply, said owner shall pay to the Village the costs of any such work so performed within 14 days of service of a demand for payment issued by the Village Clerk.
In addition to the actual cost of either maintaining, repairing, securing or demolishing and removing an unsafe structure or condition constituting a blighted premises, or taking such other action as may be necessary to protect the health and safety of occupants of the lot or parcel, if any, and other Village residents, the Village shall be reimbursed for all costs and expenses, including legal and administrative expenses, incurred by it in connection with any proceedings undertaken pursuant to this chapter. Such costs and expenses may be assessed against and recovered from the real property subject to action pursuant to this chapter, as designated by a resolution of the Board of Trustees, and the expenses so assessed shall constitute a lien and charge on the real property on which they are levied until paid or otherwise satisfied or discharged and shall be collected in the same manner and at the same time as other Village charges. The Village may also institute a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover said costs and expenses, including legal and administrative expenses, from the owner of the affected property. The provisions of this section, with respect to costs, shall be in addition to any penalty imposed for violation of or noncompliance with any provision of this chapter.
Where the investigation and report of the Building Official reveals that the continued existence of an unsafe structure or blighted premises presents an imminent danger to human life or public health or safety, and such condition is independently confirmed by the Building Commissioner, the Board of Trustees, by resolution, is hereby empowered to authorize the immediate repair, securing or demolition and removal of such structure or condition constituting a blighted premises either by employees of the Village or by contract. The expenses of such demolition and repair shall be assessed and/or recovered as provided in § 161-12 hereinabove.
Any public hearing to be held in connection with the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter shall be held before the Board of Trustees, at the Board's next regularly scheduled meeting, on at least 15 days' notice to the owner. The notice of public hearing shall be served on the owner by the Village Clerk by personal service or regular and certified mail, return receipt requested, and such notice of hearing shall also be published in the official Village newspaper. In addition, a copy of said notice shall be securely posted on the unsafe structure or blighted premises in a conspicuous location. The notice of hearing shall set forth the date, time and location of the public hearing, the address and section, block and lot of the premises at issue as set forth on the Nassau County Land and Tax Map, and that the public hearing is being held in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
Wherever notice is required to be given under a provision of this chapter, service of such notice shall be deemed complete upon personal delivery or three days in Nassau County or its adjoining counties, or five days for other locations after service by certified mail or first-class mail, as may be required. The failure of any intended recipient to receive such notice shall not affect in any manner the validity of any proceedings taken hereunder, provided that same was properly addressed to the last known address of the intended recipient.
Any person or persons, association, firm or corporation who violates any provisions of this Chapter shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $3,000 for a conviction of a first offense; for a conviction of a second offense, both of which were committed within a period of five years, punishable by a fine of not less than $3,000 nor more than $5,000; and upon conviction for a third or subsequent offense, all of which were committed within a period of five years, punishable by a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $10,000. Each week's continued violation shall constitute a separate and additional violation.
The procedures and remedies set forth in this chapter shall be in addition to and not exclusive to any other any civil and/or injunction proceeding necessary to enforce and/or enjoin noncompliance with this chapter or any other federal, state or local law, ordinance or regulation.