[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Oakfield 4-13-1981 by L.L. No. 1-1981. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Unsafe buildings pose a threat to life and property in the Village of Oakfield. 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 an attractive nuisance for young children who may be injured therein, as well as a point of congregation by vagrants and transients. A dilapidated building may also serve as a place of 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 Oakfield by requiring such unsafe buildings be repaired or demolished and removed.
[Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
The provisions of this chapter shall be in addition to, and in furtherance of, the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
This chapter shall be known as the "Unsafe Buildings Law" of the Village of Oakfield, New York.
Words used in the present tense include the future, words in the masculine gender include the feminine and neuter, the singular number includes the plural, and the plural the singular.
Unless the context specifically indicates otherwise, the meaning of terms used in this chapter shall be as follows:
- Any building, structure, appurtenance or portion thereof used for residential, business, industrial or storage purposes.
- CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The Code Enforcement Officer of the Village of Oakfield or such other person appointed by the Village Board to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
- EMERGENCY SITUATION
- A situation in which 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.
When in his own opinion or upon receipt of information by him/her that a building or any part thereof a) is or may become dangerous or unsafe to the general public, b) is open at the doorways and windows, making it accessible to and an object of attraction to minors as well as to vagrants and other trespassers, c) is or may become a place of rodent infestation, d) presents any other danger to the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the public, or e) is unfit for the purposes for which it may lawfully be used, the Code Enforcement Officer shall cause or make an inspection thereof and report, in writing, to the Village Board his findings and recommendations in regard to its repair or demolition and removal.
In connection with the performance of his duties as described in Subsection A above, the Code Enforcement Officer shall be authorized to conduct inspections of premises or parts of premises at such times and in such manner as he/she may find convenient or necessary, with the consent of the person in possession or occupancy.
If admission is refused or cannot be obtained from the person in possession or occupancy, the Code Enforcement Officer shall be authorized to obtain a warrant from a local Town Justice to make an inspection, provided reasonable or probable cause is shown.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
The Village Board shall thereafter consider such report and by resolution determine whether such building is unsafe and/or dangerous. Upon a determination by the Village Board that said building is unsafe and/or dangerous, the Village Board shall order its repair if the same can be safely repaired or otherwise its demolition and removal and shall further order that a notice requiring said repair or demolition and removal be served upon the owner of the building as provided in §§ 114-7 and 114-8 of this chapter.
The notice shall contain the following:
A description of the premises upon which the building in question is located;
A statement of the particular unsafe or dangerous conditions present with respect to said building;
An order outlining the manner in which the building is to be made safe and secure, or demolished and removed;
A statement that the repairing and 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 by the Village Board;
A date, time and place for a hearing before the Village Board in relation to such dangerous or unsafe building, which hearing shall be scheduled not less than 10 business days from the date of service of the notice; and
A statement that in the event of neglect or refusal to comply with the order to secure or demolish and remove the building, the Village Board may provide for its repair, demolition and removal, assess all expenses thereof against the land on which it is located and may institute a special proceeding to collect the costs of demolition, including legal expenses.
Service of the notice shall be sufficient if directed to the owner of the building in question. Service of said notice shall be made personally upon the owner, executor, administrator, agent, lessee or any person having a vested or contingent interest in said unsafe building as shown by the records of the Village Tax Collector (Village Clerk-Treasurer) or of the Genesee County Clerk, if possible; otherwise, service shall be sufficient if the notice is served by delivering the same to a person of suitable age or discretion at the building found to be unsafe and/or dangerous and by mailing the notice to the owner at his last known residence or business address; or, where service cannot otherwise be made with due diligence, by affixing said notice to the door of said building and by mailing said notice to the owner at his last known residence or business address. Verified affidavits of service and a copy of the notice shall be filed with the Village Clerk-Treasurer within five days of service being made.
Within seven days after a hearing has been held pursuant to the notice served in accordance with § 114-8 of this chapter, the Village Board shall either confirm, amend or rescind its original order and shall immediately communicate its decision to the owner of said building, in writing.
A copy of the notice served as provided herein shall be filed in the office of the County Clerk of the County of Genesee.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
In the event of the refusal or neglect of the person so notified to comply with said order of the Village Board and after the hearing held as provided herein, the Village Board may provide for the repair or demolition and removal of such building or structure either by Village employees or by contract. Except in emergency cases as provided in § 114-13 hereof, contracts in excess of $5,000 shall be awarded through written requests for proposals; contracts in excess of $35,000 shall be awarded through competitive bidding.
All expenses incurred by the Village in connection with its actions to repair and secure or demolish and remove the unsafe building, including the cost of actually removing such building, shall be assessed against the land on which such building is located and shall be levied and collected in the same manner as provided by law for the levy and collection of Village real property taxes. The Village is further authorized to institute special proceedings against the owner of the building to collect the costs of demolition, including reasonable legal expenses.
In an emergency situation, as defined in § 114-4 of this chapter, the Village Board 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 § 114-12 hereof.
If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part of this chapter shall be adjudged by any court to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered.