[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Oakfield 6-13-1988 by L.L. No. 5-1998; amended in its entirety 7-13-2020 by L.L. No. 1-2020. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Growth prohibited along public streets.
It is unlawful for any owner, lessee or occupant, or any agent, servant, representative or employee of any such owner, lessee or occupant having control of any occupied or unoccupied lot or land or any part thereof in the Village of Oakfield to permit or maintain on any such lot or land, or on or along the sidewalks, streets or alleys adjacent to the same between the property line and the center of the alley, street or right-of-way, any growth of weeds, grass, plants or rank vegetation, other than trees, bushes, flowers or other ornamental plants, to a greater height than eight inches on the average, or any accumulation of dead weeds, grass or brush. Any such growth exceeding such height is hereby declared to be a public nuisance.
Individual trees and shrubs shall be maintained in such a manner that branches and foliage of individual plants are separated by at least three feet to a height of six feet above the ground except in the case of an established and identifiable hedge. Unmaintained growth of ornamental plantings which propagate mosquitoes shall be classed as rank growth.
Noxious weeds. It is unlawful for any such person to cause, suffer or allow poison ivy, ragweed or other poisonous or noxious plants, or any plants detrimental to health, to grow on any such lot or land in such manner that any part of such ivy, ragweed or other poisonous or harmful weed shall extend upon, overhang or border any public or private place or allow seeds, pollen or other poisonous particles or emanations therefrom to be carried through the air into any public place.
Generally. On any land within the Village of Oakfield not contiguous or adjacent to public streets or public lands, no growth as specified in Subsection A of this section shall be permitted at a height to exceed eight inches. Any such growth exceeding such height is hereby declared to be a public nuisance.
Cutting and removal. It is the duty of any owner, lessee or occupant of any lot or land to cut and remove or cause to be cut and removed all such weeds, grass, plants, or other rank, poisonous or harmful vegetation, as hereinabove specified, as often as may be necessary to comply with the provisions of this section; or treatment by chemicals which does retard or prevent growth shall be deemed to be a compliance with this section. The above rules apply to all property that is within 100 feet of any residential building and anywhere in the parkway of a paved street regardless of the distance from a residential building.
The following areas shall be exempted from the provisions of this chapter:
An undeveloped lot is one upon which no building exists.
No owner, lessee or occupant, or any agent, servant, representative or employee of any such owner, lessee or occupant having control of any land within the Village of Oakfield, whether occupied or unoccupied, shall permit or suffer accumulations of any debris upon such land which tends to or might tend to permit the existence thereon of mosquitoes or vermin, such as rats or mice, or present an unsightly appearance. "Debris" shall include, but shall not be limited to, accumulations of wood in any form, metal, cloth, any piles of stones not intended for use as accumulated or any accumulations of such materials which alter the topography of the land in its natural state. Any such accumulations shall constitute a public nuisance.
Notice. When the Zoning Enforcement Officer or his/her designated representative deems it necessary, he/she shall notify, by regular mail and by affixing to the front door, any such persons that they are in violation of this section. Said notice shall be in substantially the following form:
"To the owner and occupants of property in the Village of Oakfield:
Please take notice that you are hereby required to cut and remove all debris, grass, weeds and other rank, poisonous, harmful vegetation on the property owned or occupied by you and to comply with the ordinance of the Village of Oakfield relative to the removal of debris, grass, weeds, etc. In the event of your failure to remove such debris, grass, weeds, etc., the Director of Public Works or his/her duly designated representative may cause such debris, weeds and grass and other vegetation on your property to be cut and removed, and the actual cost of such cutting and removing, plus $250 for inspection and other additional costs in connection therewith, thereof shall thereupon become and be a charge and lien upon your property and shall be collected the same as other taxes upon your property.
Where a violation occurs more than once during the same calendar year with respect to the same parcel of property, a surcharge of $100 shall be added to the above costs and expenses. Where multiple properties are referenced in a notice, decision and/or order, the surcharge of $100 shall apply to each separate parcel of property."
Failure to comply with notice.
If the provisions of the foregoing subsections are not complied with within five days of the date of mailing and by affixing to the front door of the notice hereinbefore provided for, the Director of Public Works or his/her duly designated representative may cause weeds, grass and other vegetation on such lot or land to be cut and removed. The actual cost of such cutting and removing, plus $250 for inspection and other additional costs in connection therewith, shall be billed to the property owner, a copy of which shall be forwarded to the Village Clerk-Treasurer by the Director of Public Works or his/her duly designated representative. Thirty days after the billing date, all unpaid charges will become and be a lien upon the property on which said debris was located and shall be added to and become and form a part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon such lot or land and shall bear interest at the same rate as taxes and shall be collected and enforced by the same officer and in the same manner as taxes levied and assessed against such property, or the same may be collected by suit against the owner or owners in the name of the City.
Any person who shall fail, neglect or refuse to comply with the provisions of any notice herein provided for or who shall resist or obstruct the Director of Public Works or his/her duly designated representative or his employees in the cutting and removing of debris shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a penalty as hereinafter provided, and each day on which such violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
Upon receipt of a hearing request, the Clerk-Treasurer shall set a date, time, and place for the same as soon as practicable. The Director shall cause written notice to be given to the Zoning Enforcement Officer and to the person requesting the hearing not less than 10 days prior to said scheduled hearing date.
At the date, time and place specified in the notice, the Village Mayor or his designee shall serve as the Hearing Officer and shall conduct the hearing. The hearing shall be conducted informally by the Hearing Officer, and oral or documentary evidence pertinent to the facts and issues raised by the Zoning Enforcement Officer and other interested parties shall be received without regard to admissibility under the rules of evidence applicable to judicial proceedings. All parties to the hearing shall be afforded a fair hearing providing the basic safeguards of due process, including, but not limited to, the right to counsel, the right to cross-examine witnesses, the right to present relevant evidence as well as the right to review adverse evidence.
Following the close of the hearing, the Hearing Officer shall make a decision and order as to whether a violation of this chapter has occurred and, if so, the manner and time limits within which the same shall be corrected and/or what charges and costs should be assessed. Such decision and order shall be made in writing, and a copy shall be delivered to each participant in the hearing either personally or by first class mail.
Where a violation occurs more than once during the same calendar year with respect to the same parcel of property, a surcharge of $100 shall be added to the above costs and expenses. Where multiple properties are referenced in a notice, decision and/or order, the surcharge of $100 shall apply to each separate parcel of property.
In lieu of the foregoing, the Zoning Enforcement Officer and or his/her designated representative may issue and serve an appearance ticket for violation of this chapter to persons within the Village of Oakfield, returnable in the Town Court.
Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $250 or imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
The continuation of any violation for each successive day shall constitute a separate offense, and the person allowing or permitting the continuation of a violation may be punished as above provided for each separate offense.
The invalidity, illegality or unconstitutionality of any clause, sentence, paragraph, section, subsection or provision, or part of this chapter, or any of the rules or regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter, shall not affect the validity, legality or constitutionality of the remainder of the chapter but shall be confined in operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section, subsection, provision, or part of this chapter or rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to this chapter in which the finding of invalidity, illegality, or unconstitutionality was rendered.