Town of Marcellus, NY
Onondaga County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Marcellus 9-10-2007 by L.L. No. 4-2007. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Brush, Grass, Rubbish and Weed Control Local Law of the Town of Marcellus."
A. 
It is hereby declared to be the policy of the Town Board of the Town of Marcellus to provide for the proper use of land to prevent unhealthful, hazardous or dangerous conditions resulting from the accumulation of brush, grass, rubbish or weeds, or growth of harmful or poisonous weeds, and to protect the public health, safety and general welfare of the residents of this Town.
B. 
By this chapter, the Town Board of the Town of Marcellus seeks to remove such dangers to health, life and property by requiring owners of land to cut, trim or remove brush, grass, rubbish or weeds or cut, trim, remove or destroy poisonous or harmful weeds, and, upon the default of the owner to do so, cause the same to be done and assess the costs against the real property(ies) on which such brush, grass, rubbish or weeds are found.
The following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
OWNER
Includes the following:
A. 
The owner of the real property(ies) on which any brush, grass, rubbish or weeds ordered cut, trimmed or removed pursuant to this chapter is located, or upon which any harmful or poisonous weeds ordered cut, trimmed, removed or destroyed are located.
B. 
The owner of the real property(ies) immediately fronting on a portion of any highway, street or road of the Town of Marcellus upon which portion any brush, grass, rubbish or weeds ordered removed pursuant to this chapter is located.
RUBBISH
Includes the following:
A. 
Tree trimmings, or trees or portions thereof severed from their roots, or uprooted; and
B. 
Brush or shrubbery trimmings, or brush or shrubbery, or portions thereof, severed from their roots, or uprooted.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
It shall be the duty of any owner or occupant or person having control of any lot or plot of land in the Town of Marcellus to cut and remove, or cause to be cut and removed, all brush, grass, rubbish and weeds or other harmful or poisonous vegetation as often as may be necessary to comply with the provisions of this chapter. All premises and immediate exterior property shall be maintained free from grass or weeds in excess of 10 inches in height for such distance from buildings and public spaces as is necessary to prevent unhealthful, hazardous or dangerous conditions. All premises and immediate exterior property shall be maintained free from rubbish and harmful or poisonous vegetation for such distance from buildings, adjoining land and public spaces as is necessary to prevent unhealthful, hazardous or dangerous conditions.
Upon receipt of a written complaint that there exists an unhealthful, hazardous or dangerous condition due to the accumulation of brush, grass, rubbish or weeds, or an accumulation of poisonous or harmful weeds or other vegetation upon any property within the Town of Marcellus, the Code Enforcement Officer shall make or cause to be made an inspection of the subject property. A written report of such inspection shall be made by and maintained in the office of the Code Enforcement Officer. Copies shall be transmitted to the Town Board.
After review of such complaint, the Code Enforcement Officer shall make a determination as to whether unhealthful, hazardous or dangerous conditions exist due to the accumulation of brush, grass, rubbish or weeds, or a growth or accumulation of poisonous or harmful vegetation upon property within the Town. Upon making an affirmative determination, the Code Enforcement Officer shall serve or caused to be served the notice as herein provided, upon the owner(s), occupant(s) or person(s) having control of such property(ies) in person or by regular mail or certified mail, return receipt requested.
Such notice shall contain a description of the premises, a statement of the particulars in which the premises is unhealthful, hazardous or dangerous, and shall contain an order of the Code Enforcement Officer requiring abatement of the conditions stated in the notice, stating a time for the completion of such abatement. The order shall state that such abatement must be completed within five days of the service of the notice and order.
Any person, corporation or association being the owner of real property in the Town of Marcellus shall be required to cut, trim or remove brush, grass, rubbish or weeds or poisonous or harmful vegetation upon their lands when ordered to do so by the Code Enforcement Officer and upon receipt of the notice and order provided for herein.
Whenever a notice and order provided for herein has been served upon such owner(s), occupant(s) or person(s) having control in the manner required, and such person shall neglect or fail to comply with the requirements of such notice and order within the time provided, the Code Enforcement Officer shall issue and serve a notice of hearing upon the property owner(s), occupant(s) or person(s) having control directing that person or entity to appear before the Town Board.
A. 
At least five days' written notice of the hearing shall be given to the owner(s), occupant(s) or person(s) having control and other interested parties. The notice shall state the time, date and place of a hearing to be conducted to review the determination of the Code Enforcement Officer that such unhealthful, hazardous or dangerous conditions exist and that appropriate enforcement action will be considered. The owner(s), occupant(s) or person(s) having control and other interested parties may attend the hearing, be represented by counsel, offer evidence and call witnesses on their behalf. The hearing shall be conducted by the Supervisor of the Town of Marcellus or by a hearing officer appointed by the Supervisor and the Town Board.
B. 
If the hearing results in a determination that unhealthful, hazardous or dangerous conditions exist and that the owner(s), occupant(s) or person(s) having control has willfully failed to abide by the notice and order of the Town Board, the Supervisor may direct the performance of appropriate remediation work by Town employees or agents.
Upon authorization from the Supervisor, Town employees or agents shall enter upon the subject property and perform such remediation work as is required to alleviate the unhealthful, hazardous or dangerous conditions that have been found to exist.
The Town shall be reimbursed for the cost of the work performed or services rendered by Town employees or agents at the direction of the Supervisor and Board. Such costs shall include all costs related to ascertaining the identity and location of the owner(s), occupant(s) or person(s) having control of the property, service of notices required hereunder, the performance of remediation work on the property by Town employees, and the removal and disposal of brush, grass, or rubbish. The expenses so determined shall be reimbursed to the Town by means of assessment and levy upon the land whereon such work was performed or such services rendered, and such expenses shall constitute a lien and a charge on the real property on which it is levied and shall be collected in the same manner and at the same time as other Town taxes.
[Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
Where it reasonably appears that there is present a clear and imminent danger to the life, safety or health of any person or property unless action authorized under this chapter is taken immediately, then the Code Enforcement Officer shall have the power to abate, correct or remove the emergency, and any costs and expenses incurred by the Town in abating, correcting or removing the emergency shall be charged to the owner of the property at issue. In the event that the amount due to the Town by the owner is not paid within 30 following notification by the Town, the costs and expenses shall become and be a lien upon the property involved and shall be added to and become part of the property taxes next to be assessed and levied upon such property by the Town and shall bear interest at the same rate as and be collected and enforced in the same manner as taxes.
It shall be unlawful for any person to resist, obstruct, or interfere with any Town employee or agent engaged in the performance of remediation work ordered by the Supervisor and Town Board of the Town of Marcellus.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, in addition to reimbursing the Town for the costs of remediation work, be liable for a fine of not more than $250 for each offense. For purposes of enforcement, such violation shall be deemed a violation subject to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days to allow the Town of Marcellus Justice Court to obtain jurisdiction for service of a warrant.
The owner(s), occupant(s) or person(s) having control over any land or property found to be in violation of this chapter, after the hearing provided for herein, shall not thereafter be entitled to further hearings for subsequent offenses in the same calendar year. Repeat or subsequent offenses occurring within the same calendar year on the same property shall be corrected by the Town, or its agent, without notice to the owner(s), occupant(s) or person(s) having control of the property. After initial notification and a hearing, such owner(s), occupant(s) or person(s) having control of the property will be presumed to have been given sufficient notice of violation of this chapter for the duration of the calendar year.
If any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause, phrase or provision of this chapter shall be, for any reason, held or adjudged by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unconstitutional, such determination shall not affect the validity and enforceability of the remainder of this chapter.