Village of Montour Falls, NY
Schuyler County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Montour Falls as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 3-16-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
The intent of this article is to promote the orderly and timely management and maintenance of vacant parcels and structures in order to protect the public health, safety and general welfare of the people of the Village of Montour Falls and to further achieve the following beneficial purposes:
A. 
The protection of the character and stability of residential and commercial areas.
B. 
The correction and prevention of housing conditions that adversely affect or are likely to adversely affect the life, safety, general welfare and health.
C. 
The preservation of the value of land and buildings throughout the Village of Montour Falls.
This article establishes a new definition of "vacant and abandoned property" [set forth in New York Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law (RPAPL) § 1309]. Residential real property shall be deemed vacant and abandoned where the plaintiff has proven, by a preponderance of the evidence, that it has conducted at least three inspections, each between 25 days to 35 days apart and at different times of the day, and at each inspection:
A. 
No occupant was present and there was no evidence of occupancy; evidence of a lack of occupancy includes but is not limited to:
(1) 
Overgrown vegetation;
(2) 
Accumulation of newspapers or flyers;
(3) 
Past-due utility notices, disconnected utilities or utilities not in use;
(4) 
Accumulation of trash or other debris;
(5) 
Absence of window coverings;
(6) 
Boarded, missing or broken windows;
(7) 
Property is open to entry to trespass; or
(8) 
A structurally unsound structure exists that poses a potential hazard or danger; and
(9) 
There is evidence that the property was not being maintained in a manner consistent with the standards set forth in New York State Property Maintenance Code 4, Chapter 3, Sections 301, 302 (excluding 302.2, 302.6, 302.8), 304.1, 304.3, 304.7, 304.10, 304.12, 304.13, 304.15, 304.16, 307.1, and 308.1; or
B. 
A court or government entity has formally determined, with due notice to the borrower, that the property is vacant and abandoned; or
C. 
Each borrower and owner has separately issued a sworn statement expressing their intent to vacate and abandon the property. Residential real property shall not be deemed vacant and abandoned where there is a building:
(1) 
Undergoing construction, renovation or rehabilitation that is proceeding diligently; or
(2) 
Used on a seasonable basis but is otherwise secure; or
(3) 
Subject of a probate action, action to quiet title or other ownership dispute of which the servicer has notice; or
(4) 
Damaged by natural disaster but the owner intends to repair and reoccupy; or
(5) 
Occupied by a mortgagor, a relative or a lawful tenant.
A. 
Within 90 days after the effective date of this article, the owner of any vacant parcel or structure on the effective date of this article shall file with the Code Enforcement Officer a registration form. The owner of any vacant parcel or structure after the effective date of this article shall file with the Village a registration form within 30 days of acquisition of such property. Such registration form shall be furnished by the Village and shall set forth the following information, in addition to other information required by the Fire Chief and/or Code Enforcement Officer:
(1) 
Name, principal residence address, principal business address, telephone number and email address of all owners of the vacant parcel or structure.
(2) 
If the owner is other than a natural person, the information required by Subsection A(1) above for the individual(s) who are vested with the day-to-day control of the management and operations of the owner.
(3) 
The address, including street name and number, of the vacant parcel or structure.
(4) 
Descriptive information about the vacant parcel or structure.
(5) 
If applicable, the name of owner's agent, with the agent's principal residence address, principal business address, phone number(s) and email address.
(6) 
The type(s) of any fire protection system(s) located in the structure.
(7) 
The type and amount of material in the building considered hazardous by NFPA, DOT and/or DEC.
B. 
It shall be the responsibility of the owner to register any change of address, agent or any other registration information, which occurs after the filing of the registration form, within 60 days of the date of change by filing written notice of such change with the Code Enforcement Officer. For purposes of this section, a post office box shall not be accepted as the owner's or agent's address. The vacant parcel or structure intended to be registered shall not be accepted as the owner's or agent's address. The owner shall specify the address to which all notices, violations, and invoices for fees are to be delivered.
C. 
If an owner's principal place of business is not located within Schuyler County, or the owner's principal place of residence is not located in Schuyler County, the owner must designate on the registration form an agent who resides in Schuyler County. Such agent shall have all necessary authority to make decisions on the owner's behalf regarding the management and maintenance of any vacant parcel or structure leased by the owner, and by designating such agent on the registration form, the owner shall be estopped from denying such authority. The registration form shall further designate the owner's agent as the agent upon whom service of legal process and all notices may be served or delivered.
D. 
Within 30 days following the date of transfer of the legal or equitable title to any vacant parcel or structure required to be registered by this article, the new owner shall file with the Code Enforcement Officer a new registration form.
A. 
There shall be no filing fee for an owner filing a registration form within 90 days after the effective date of this article. An owner who owned a building at the effective date of this article but failed to file a registration form within said ninety-day period shall pay at the time of filing a registration form a fee of $125 for each parcel or structure being registered.
B. 
If the owner was not the owner of a building at any point during said ninety-day period, there shall be no filing fee for said owner, provided that the owner files a registration form within 30 days of acquiring legal or equitable title to the building as required by § 116-3D. If such an owner files a registration form after the expiration of said thirty-day period, the owner shall pay at the time of filing a registration fee of $125 for each parcel or structure being registered.
C. 
There shall be no filing fee for an owner filing a notice of change to a registration form pursuant to § 116-3B.
D. 
An agent designated as such under this article shall be required to register with the Code Enforcement Officer as an agent and will submit at that time a filing fee of $25 for each vacant parcel or structure of the owner for whom he is acting as agent. The agent shall be required to renew his registration annually and pay a registration fee of $25 upon each renewal. The Village reserves the right to and may decline to accept the registration of an agent who has failed to satisfy his duties pursuant to this article in the preceding year. It shall be the duty of the Code Enforcement Officer to give notice to an agent whose registration has been denied and the reason(s) for denial.
E. 
Mixed use properties containing both residential and commercial units will be considered commercial properties for the purpose of this article, and the fee schedule will apply to the property as a commercial parcel.
Fee Schedule
Property Type
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Subsequent Year
Residential structure registration fee: $125
First unit: $500; each additional unit: $100
First unit: $600; each additional unit: $150
First unit: $700; each additional unit: $200
First unit: $800; each additional unit $250
Commercial structure registration fee: $125
$1,000 or $0.15 per square foot, whichever is greater
$1,500 or $0.20 per square foot, whichever is greater
$1,800 or $0.25 per square foot, whichever is greater
$2,200 or $0.30 per square foot, whichever is greater
Vacant residential parcel (land only) registration fee: $125
$250 or $0.02 per square foot, whichever is greater
$500 or $0.04 per square foot, whichever is greater
$750 or $0.06 per square foot, whichever is greater
$1,000 or $0.08 per square foot, whichever is greater
Vacant commercial parcel (land only) registration fee: $125
$350 or $0.05 per square foot, whichever is greater
$700 or $0.10 per square foot, whichever is greater
$1,000 or $0.15 per square foot, whichever is greater
$1,400 or $0.20 per square foot, whichever is greater
A. 
A violation of any provision of this article shall be an offense punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 and imprisonment for a term not to exceed 15 days, or both. For purposes of this article, each week's continued existence of a violation shall constitute a separate violation. For purposes of the preceding sentence, a "week" shall constitute any period of seven consecutive days.
B. 
The Code Enforcement Officer or a representative designated by the Code Enforcement Officer, as the case may be, is hereby authorized to issue appearance tickets pursuant to the Criminal Procedure Law in the enforcement of this or any related laws of the Village of Montour Falls.
C. 
An action or proceeding may be instituted in the name of the Village, in a court of competent jurisdiction, to prevent, restrain, enjoin, correct, or abate any violation of, or to enforce, any provision of this article. No such action or proceeding shall be commenced except upon resolution by the Board of Trustees authorizing same.
D. 
No remedy or penalty specified in this section shall be the exclusive remedy or remedy available to address any violation of this article, and each remedy or penalty specified in this section shall be in addition to, and not in substitution for or limitation of, the other remedies or penalties specified in this section, or otherwise available under applicable law. Any remedy or penalty specified in this section may be pursued at any time, whether prior to, simultaneously with, or after the pursuit of any other remedy or penalty specified in this section, in section or in any other applicable law.
E. 
There shall be filed annually, on or before the first day of May, with the Board of Trustees a statement showing the unpaid filing fees that have been assessed to a property pursuant to this article with a brief description of the property upon which the fees were incurred and the name of the property owner. Such fees shall be added to the annual Village real property tax statements and shall be collected in the same manner and subject to the same rules, penalties and charges as apply to the collection of real property taxes of the Village.
The owner shall submit a vacant building plan which must meet the approval of the Enforcement Officer. The plan, at a minimum, must contain information from one of the following three choices:
A. 
Plan A: rehabilitate and reoccupy. If the building or parcel is to be returned to an appropriate occupancy or use, a rehabilitation plan for the property must be submitted. The rehabilitation plan shall not exceed 365 days, unless the Village Board grants an extension upon receipt of a written statement from the owner, detailing the reasons for the extension. Any repairs, improvements, or alterations to the property must apply with applicable zoning (including historic preservation) and building codes. The property must be secured in accordance with the Village of Montour Falls Zoning Code during the period of rehabilitation. If no building permit has been applied for within the one-year period, the owner will be notified of their noncompliance. The owner will be required to file an extension with a revised Village of Montour Falls - Vacant Property Registry Application.
B. 
Plan B: stabilize and maintain. If the building or parcel is to remain vacant, a plan for securing the building or parcel in accordance with the Village of Montour Falls codes must be submitted. This must include the procedure that will be used to monitor and maintain the building in accordance with these standards, and a statement of the reasons why the building is to remain vacant. The stabilization plan shall not exceed 30 days, unless the Village Board grants an extension upon receipt of a written statement from the owner, detailing the reasons for the extension.
C. 
Plan C: demolish. If the building is to be demolished, a demolition plan indicating the proposed time frame for demolition, including timeline to obtain the necessary permits. If no demolition permit has been applied for within the one-year period, the owner will be notified of their noncompliance. The Village Board has discretion to grant an extension, upon receipt of a written statement from the owner, detailing the reasons for the extension, if extenuating circumstances have prevented the demolition of the property or if the plan for the property has changed for reasons deemed legitimate by the Enforcement Officer. If no extension is granted, the property owner will be required to pay the maximum fee for their property type in all subsequent years, and the owner may be prosecuted under § 116-5 of this code.
If any section or provision of this article shall be held unconstitutional, invalid or ineffective, such determination shall not be deemed to affect, impair or invalidate the remainder of this article. In the event of any inconsistency or conflict between any provision of this article and any other local law or ordinance, the provisions of this article shall control.