Town of Lansing, NY
Tompkins County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Lansing as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 7-19-2006 by L.L. No. 4-2006]
A. 
Authority. This article is adopted pursuant to the authority granted the Town in § 10 of the Municipal Home Rule Law and in § 130 of Town Law, and related provisions of law and the regulations arising thereunder.
B. 
Title. This article shall be known as the "Town of Lansing Rapid Access Lock Boxes Local Law, Local Law Number 4 of 2006 (herein "article").
C. 
Findings. The Town Board of the Town of Lansing finds the use of alarm systems connected directly or indirectly to an agency providing fire and other emergency responses is increasing within the Town of Lansing (the Town). Further, the means of securing and protecting property and structures has become increasingly complex, thus often thwarting the efforts of emergency personnel. Additionally, automatic alarms have sometimes been erroneously activated when the premises are vacant or under other circumstances where the Town of Lansing Volunteer Fire Department, and other fire departments and emergency personnel, have been called to the premises and have been unable to obtain access to the premises to turn off the alarm, or the result of such access is the unnecessary demolition of part of the structure or building. There have been other circumstances where alarms are connected to loud noise-making devices, such as bells or klaxons, and it has not been possible to turn off such noise-making alarms when they have been triggered by an erroneous signal. Additionally, there are circumstances where an emergency such as a fire or burglary is in progress and a non-forced entry to the premises would be desirable to react to the emergency. Thus, the Town has determined that it is in the interest of the public health, safety, and welfare to provide for a method of access by emergency personnel in a controlled manner. Further, the need for immediate access to property and information for fire and emergency personnel is necessary due to the increasing size and density of structures, more complex securing and locking systems, and the increased usage of petroleum products, chemicals, and hazardous materials. The passage and enforcement of this article will help save lives, buildings and properties and will reduce the severity and duration of emergency events, such as fires. Thus, the Town can prevent the spread of injury and damage from such events and prevent unnecessary air and water pollution and waste.
D. 
Territorial applicability. This article shall apply to all areas of the Town of Lansing located outside the Village of Lansing.
The following terms have the following meanings when used in this article:
AUTOMATIC ALARM or AUTOMATIC ALARMS
Any system or alarm that can activate without human intervention.
AUTOMATIC GATE or AUTOMATIC GATES
Any gate, door, wall, barrier, or obstruction that is electronically or remotely controlled.
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICE
The Town of Lansing Code Enforcement Office.
ELEVATOR
Any electric, geared, or machine-powered vertical or horizontal lift or chute, whether or not intended to transport people or animals.
FIRE DEPARTMENT
Any person, group, or organization that is registered, certified, or licensed by the State of New York to respond to fires and other emergencies in the Town of Lansing, specifically including, but not limited to, the Town of Lansing Volunteer Fire Department, and any successor organization thereto. "Town Fire Department" refers to the Town of Lansing Volunteer Fire Department. Whenever the presence or permission of the Town Fire Department is referenced, such reference shall require the presence or permission of the Fire Chief.
HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
A. 
Any chemical, biological, radiological, petroleum based, carcinogenic, toxic, explosive materials or compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls, other carcinogens, oil and other petroleum products, radon gas, urea formaldehyde, chemicals, gases, solvents, pollutants or contaminants, and any other hazardous or toxic materials, wastes, and substances which are defined, determined or identified as such in any past, present or future federal, state or local laws, bylaws, rules, regulations, codes or ordinances, or in or by any judicial or administrative interpretation thereof, that could be a detriment or pose a danger to the environment or to the health or safety of any person, animal, property, and/or the environment; and
B. 
Any material or compound defined as hazardous by or under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. § 9601 et seq. and 40 CFR § 302.1 et seq.), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (42 U.S.C. § 6901 et seq.), the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq. and 40 CFR § 116.1 et seq.), the hazardous materials Transportation Act (49 U.S.C. § 1801 et seq.), the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (hereinafter, SARA), the New York State Environmental Conservation Law, and the New York Navigation Law, and all regulations promulgated under any of the foregoing, all as now exist or as hereafter amended, re-codified, or superseded.
KEY SWITCH or KEY SWITCHES
An approved UL-type switch with a physical or electronic key or code that can be operated to gain access to any structure or property.
LOCK BOX or LOCK BOXES
A UL-type high-security keyed vault approved by the Town Fire Department for the storage of keys and materials providing emergency information and access to a specified structure or property.
MSDS
Material Safety Data Sheets, being those informative pamphlets or safety and emergency documents as are required to be kept for hazardous materials, and hazardous, explosive, caustic, and similar materials, chemicals, and compounds as required by any local, state or federal law or regulation, including, but not limited to, the regulations of OSHA.
PERSON or PERSONS
Any one or more individuals or entities, but not the Town, a Fire Department (including the Town Fire Department), or the Code Enforcement Office, as those terms are separately defined by and within this article.
PROPERTY or PROPERTIES
Any improved or unimproved lot, piece, parcel, or gore of land.
STRUCTURE or STRUCTURES
Any and all buildings, facilities, gates, fences, walls, rooms, sheds, garages, tents, and any other permanent or nonpermanent building or facility.
TOWN
The Town of Lansing, and such term shall include the Town Board, the Town Planning Board, the Zoning Board of Appeals, all official and standing committees, and all elected officials, officers, managers, department heads, employees, and agents thereof.
[Amended 3-18-2009 by L.L. No. 5-2009]
Each of the following structures shall require one or more lock boxes:
A. 
All new and existing structures that have an automatic alarm.
B. 
All new and existing structures that have an elevator.
C. 
All new and existing structures that have an automatic fire suppression system.
D. 
All new and existing structures that have one or more automatic gates.
E. 
All properties and structures protected by secured or locked gates, fences, walls, or barriers of any sort.
F. 
All structures storing more than 500 gallons of petroleum products.
G. 
All new and existing properties or structures that store, for industrial or commercial uses or purposes, including retail or wholesale sale or delivery, any hazardous materials.
Lock boxes shall be securely and permanently affixed to the structures in the manner detailed by the manufacturer and in a location established and approved by the Town Fire Department. All lock boxes shall be kept locked at all times, except during any emergency event. Each automatic gate shall have a key switch installed that permits a person to open and operate the automatic gate from a readily accessible location approved by the Town Fire Department. A "readily accessible location" means a location that does not require such automatic gate, nor any other barrier or lock, to be opened, bypassed, or operated to gain ready access to the key switch.
Any property or structure currently in existence to which this article applies shall have a period ending July 31, 2007, within which to comply with the terms of this article.
Each lock box and each key switch shall be universally keyed to match the master key held by the Town Fire Department. No lock box will be sealed without advance notice to the Town Fire Department and the presence of the Town Fire Department. The Town Fire Department shall designate the type of lock box to be used within the Town and shall have the authority to require all properties and structures, and the owner(s) thereof, to use the designated system.
A. 
Contents of lock boxes. To the extent reasonably feasible, all information shall be kept in a single lock box that shall be of sufficient size to store all required documents and information without compression or damage. All lock boxes shall contain the following items and information:
(1) 
Master keys to all entry and exit doors.
(2) 
Master keys to all elevators and all elevator, mechanical, and utility rooms.
(3) 
Master keys to all locked storage areas that store or contain any hazardous materials.
(4) 
Master keys to allow access to all fire alarm panels and systems.
(5) 
Master keys, together with any activation and deactivation codes and passwords clearly written upon a laminated index card (or its equivalent), to allow the activation, deactivation, operation, and/or shutoff all alarm systems and automatic alarms.
(6) 
Master keys to any fenced, gated, or secured areas, including master keys, codes, or passwords for each automatic gate and each key switch.
(7) 
A laminated index card (or its equivalent) with the names, addresses, and contact numbers clearly written thereon for all persons to be notified in the event of an emergency.
(8) 
For all commercial or industrial structures, floor plans for the building that clearly mark the location of:
(a) 
All water sources, including OSY, PI valves, fire department connections, fire hydrants, and drains;
(b) 
All firefighting equipment;
(c) 
All hazardous materials;
(d) 
All elevators;
(e) 
All mechanical and utility rooms;
(f) 
All alarm panels;
(g) 
All key switches;
(h) 
All fire escapes; and
(i) 
If applicable, all residential units within the structure.
(9) 
If hazardous materials are stored on the property or in the structure, then the following additional items must be included in a lock box:
(a) 
A current emergency and hazardous materials inventory that is recorded, updated, and kept in accord with Subtitle B, § 312, of SARA, as now exists or as hereafter amended, re-codified or superseded.
(b) 
A MSDS for each hazardous material on site. The MSDS must be kept in alphabetical order. If the volume of MSDS is too large to keep in the lock box, then either:
[1] 
A second lock box shall be installed; or
[2] 
Such MSDS must be kept in a location where they arc and will be readily available to emergency personnel, and the lock box shall disclose the location of such MSDS on a neatly printed laminated index card (or its equivalent).
(c) 
A site plan that shall identify:
[1] 
The locations where any hazardous materials are stored or used;
[2] 
The location of all spill cleanup materials; and
[3] 
A diagram of the complete sewer, drainage, electrical, and water systems of the structure.
B. 
Labeled keys. All keys and master keys shall be clearly labeled or tagged so as to identify their proper use and location of use.
C. 
Changes in lock box locations. If at any time the location of any lock box is changed, the property owner shall promptly and immediately notify the Town Fire Department, in writing, and obtain the Town Fire Department's advance approval for such relocation.
D. 
Changes in contents of lock boxes. All properties and structures affected by this article shall promptly notify the Town Fire Department, in writing, as to the contents of each lock box. Whenever the contents of the lock box change or are required to be changed under this article, the owner of the property or structure shall promptly notify the Town Fire Department, in writing, as to the updated contents of each such lock box. Any changes in any keys or codes for any structure, or any other locked area, or any key or code required by this article to be placed within a lock box, shall require immediate notification to the Town Fire Department, and such keys and codes shall be placed into the lock box in the presence of the Town Fire Department.
A. 
Any person or entity that desires any variance from or waiver of the requirements of this article shall submit such request to the Town Fire Department. The Town Fire Department shall grant or deny such request within 60 days. Variances or waivers may only be granted upon a showing of good cause or unique circumstances. A variance or waiver may only be granted where:
(1) 
Such variance or waiver is in harmony with the intent and spirit of this article;
(2) 
Such variance or waiver will not be adverse to the best interests of the community;
(3) 
There are special circumstances involved in the particular case;
(4) 
Denying the variance or waiver would result in undue hardship, provided that such hardship has not been self-imposed; and
(5) 
The variance or waiver is the minimum necessary degree of variation from the requirements of this article.
B. 
Examples of situations where it may be appropriate to issue a variance or waiver include, but are not limited to, properties or structures with twenty-four-hour on-site security personnel, home-based businesses, and properties or structures with imaginative or beneficial design concepts that comply with the spirit and intent of this article.
The Town Fire Department and the Code Enforcement Office may and shall have access to any property and/or structure at any time to inspect any lock box, key switch, or other matter or thing pertaining to this article, without, inter alia, liability therefor in trespass.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
A. 
Any person who tampers with, defaces, damages, or improperly gains access to any lock box or key switch, or attempts any of the foregoing, shall be and be deemed in violation of this chapter, and any failure to comply with this chapter shall be in violation of this chapter.
B. 
All provisions of New York State law generally applicable to misdemeanors shall apply to any criminal proceeding brought under this chapter, and any misdemeanor shall be deemed an unclassified misdemeanor. For purposes of this chapter the Town's justice court is hereby vested and imbued with jurisdiction to issue administrative and other warrants in compliance with the New York Criminal Procedure Law and administrative codes of the State of New York, as well as to hear and adjudicate allegations relating to the criminal or civil violation of this chapter and thereafter, if appropriate, impose any fine, penalty, or sanction.
C. 
Any person or entity that violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a criminal violation and subject to a fine of not more than $1,000, or subject to a civil penalty of not more than $2,000 to be recovered by the Town in a civil action. Each week that any noncompliance or violation continues is and may be charged as a separate violation.
D. 
The application or pursuit of any civil or criminal fine, sanction, or penalty shall not preclude the pursuit of any other lawful remedy by the Town, including, but not limited to, the right to seek equitable relief.
(1) 
Whenever the Town shall believe from evidence satisfactory to it that there is a violation of this chapter, the Town may bring an action to enjoin and restrain the continuation of such violation and in any such action:
(a) 
Preliminary relief may be granted under Article 63 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules; and
(b) 
The Town shall not be required to post any bond or undertaking; and
(c) 
The Town need not prove that:
[1] 
There is or will likely be irreparable harm; or
[2] 
That the Town has no adequate remedy at law.
(2) 
In such action, the court may also award any damages or other relief requested, including declaring the rights and interests of any parties and imposing any civil penalties. The remedies provided by this chapter shall not be in lieu of, and shall be in addition to, any other right or remedy available to the Town, whether sounding in enforcement or otherwise.
The Town shall not be liable or responsible for any injury to persons or damage to property (including property and structures) due to the Town's actions, or failures to act, under or pursuant to this article, unless it is proven to a reasonable degree of certainty that such injury or damage was solely caused by a willful or intentional act of the Town. In limitation of the foregoing, the Town assumes no liability or responsibility for:
A. 
Any defects in the operation of any lock box or key switch;
B. 
The lack of any required documents or things within any lock box;
C. 
The failure of any property or building to have a lock box or key switch, to have a fully or properly functioning lock box of key switch, or to have functioning keys or codes thereto;
D. 
The security or loss of any property or thing within any lock box; and/or
E. 
The security of or any damage or loss to any structure or building, or any contents thereof or appurtenances thereto, arising from unlawful or improper access to or use of any lock box or key switch, or the codes, keys, documents and things therein contained.
If the provisions of any article, section, subsection, paragraph, subdivision or clause of this article shall be adjudged invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such determination, order, or judgment shall not affect or invalidate the remainder of any article, section, subsection, paragraph, subdivision or clause of this article. Any such invalidity shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section or article thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such determination, order, or judgment shall have been rendered.
Subject headings in this article are provided for reference and convenience only and shall not be deemed or construed to limit the meaning, definition, or import of any provision contained under any such subject heading. Plural and singular terms shall be construed in the singular or plural, as the definition or context of the term so requires or admits. Terms with gender references shall be construed as male, female, or neuter, as the definition or context so requires or admits.