Village of Oakfield, NY
Genesee County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Oakfield 10-9-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012. Amendments noted where applicable.]
A. 
The Board of Trustees of the Village of Oakfield (the Board) has determined that the preservation of the character and appearance of the Village and the maintenance of its real property tax base are priority concerns.
B. 
The Board has determined that unregulated demolition of buildings on a random basis has detracted from the character, appearance and real property tax base.
C. 
The Board has determined that, absent compelling circumstances, as defined below, demolition of existing structures shall be prohibited.
[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.
Compelling circumstances shall consist of:
A. 
The presence of an unsafe building, as defined below;
B. 
Unnecessary hardship, as defined below, would be imposed on the owner if the demolition were not allowed; or
C. 
The assessed value of the structure or improvement which replaces the building or structure to be demolished would be at least 50% greater than the assessed value of the existing building or structure.
An "unsafe building" shall be defined as follows:
A. 
All buildings or structures which have any or all of the following defects shall be deemed "unsafe buildings."
(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 the nonsupporting 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 or other causes so as to have become dangerous to life, safety, morals or the general health and welfare of the occupants or the people of the Village of Oakfield.
(5) 
Those which have become or are so dilapidated, decayed, unsafe, unsanitary or which so utterly fail to provide the amenities essential to decent living that they are unfit for human habitation or are likely to cause sickness or disease, so as to insure the health, morals, safety or general welfare of those living therein.
(6) 
Those having light, air and sanitation facilities which are inadequate to protect the health, morals, safety or general welfare of human beings who live therein.
(7) 
Those having inadequate facilities for egress in case of fire or panic 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 members of the public or property.
(9) 
Those which because of their condition are unsafe, unsanitary or dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the people of this Village.
(10) 
Those buildings existing in violation of any zoning provision of the Village and any other regulations enacted by the Village.
(11) 
Any building or structure which remains vacant and unattended continuously for a period of five years.
A. 
"Unnecessary hardship" shall be defined as follows:
(1) 
The applicant cannot realize a reasonable return, provided that lack of return is substantial as demonstrated by competent financial evidence;
(2) 
That the alleged hardship relating to the property in question is unique and does not apply to a substantial portion of the district or neighborhood;
(3) 
That the requested demolition permit, if granted, will not alter the essential character of the neighborhood; and
(4) 
That the alleged hardship has not been self-created.
B. 
In analyzing the presence of all four factors, or the absence of any one of the four factors, all New York case law which has developed in the law of use variances shall be relevant and applicable to the demolition permit application process. The applicant shall also furnish to the Code Enforcement Officer the documents listed in § 135-6A(1) through (10), inclusive.
A. 
In analyzing whether the structure or improvement which replaces the structure or building to be demolished results in a 50% increase in assessed value, the applicant shall submit the following documents:
(1) 
Currently dated instrument survey.
(2) 
Site plan for the new improvement of the property by a licensed engineer.
(3) 
As-built drawings of the structure or improvement to be constructed by a licensed architect.
(4) 
Architect rendering of three elevations of the structure or improvement.
(5) 
Appraisal by a licensed appraiser concerning the fair market value of the improvement or building to be constructed.
(6) 
Demolition contract.
(7) 
Construction contract.
(8) 
Certificate from the Genesee County Department of Health and/or New York State Department of Environmental Conservation that the premises are free of asbestos or a DEC-approved asbestos abatement program will be implemented prior to demolition.
(9) 
A Phase I environmental assessment from a licensed environmental engineering firm showing that there are no underground petroleum or chemical tanks and that the premises are free from soil contamination from petroleum products or hazardous substances and shall remain free from contamination during and after demolition. If an underground tank or soil contamination is found, a Phase II study shall be conducted, and all indicated remedial steps shall be taken prior to the issuance of a demolition permit.
(10) 
A SEQR assessment.
B. 
In the event that the Village Engineer or Village Attorney is consulted by the Planning Board, Village Board or Code Enforcement Officer, the applicant shall pay the Village for all time spent by the Village Engineer and Village Attorney in reviewing the application, meeting with Village officials and employees and in attending meetings of the Planning Board and Village Board. No demolition permit shall be issued prior to payment of all Village engineering and legal fees incurred in relation to the application and permit.
A. 
The Assessor and Code Enforcement Officer shall review all information and documents submitted by the applicant. Within 30 days after the applicant has submitted all required documents to the Code Enforcement Officer, he/she shall render a written decision on whether he/she will refer the application to the Planning Board based on unnecessary hardship or whether the building or structure is unsafe.
B. 
Within 30 days after the applicant has submitted all required documents on the assessed valuation issue to the Assessor, he/she shall render a written decision on whether he/she will refer the application to the Planning Board.
A. 
In the event that the Code Enforcement Officer issues a decision unfavorable to the applicant on the issue of whether the structure or building is unsafe or on the issue of unnecessary hardship, the applicant shall appeal to the Planning Board of the Village within 30 days of the date of posting the unfavorable decision to the applicant by the Code Enforcement Officer.
B. 
In the event that the Assessor issues a decision unfavorable to the applicant on the issue of increased assessed valuation, the applicant shall appeal to the Planning Board of the Village within 30 days of the date of posting the unfavorable decision to the applicant by the Assessor.
In the event that the Village Planning Board issues a decision unfavorable to the applicant, whether there was a favorable recommendation or denial by the Code Enforcement Officer or Assessor, the applicant shall appeal to the Village Board of Trustees within 30 days of the date of posting the unfavorable decision to the applicant by the Clerk of the Planning Board.
In the event that the Village Board of Trustees issues a decision unfavorable to the applicant, whether there was a favorable recommendation or denial by the Planning Board, the applicant shall commence a legal proceeding challenging the decision of the Village Board of Trustees within 40 days of the date of posting the unfavorable decision to the applicant by the Clerk-Treasurer of the Village of Oakfield.
All applications for demolition permits shall be subject to a three-tiered review process at a minimum, with a four-tier review process if the building or structure is within the jurisdiction of the County Planning Board. The tiers are:
A. 
Tier one:
(1) 
Code Enforcement Officer, for all demolition applications involving unsafe structures or unnecessary hardship.
(2) 
Assessor, for applications alleging increased assessed value, post-demolition.
B. 
Tier two: Planning Board of the Village of Oakfield.
C. 
Tier three: Board of Trustees of the Village of Oakfield.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
The fee for a demolition permit shall be $200 or such other fee as may be set from time to time by resolution of the Village Board of Trustees.
This chapter shall not apply to any structure with an area of 500 square feet or less, or to any structure which does not front on a street or highway within the Village of Oakfield.