[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Oxford at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is the purpose of this chapter to assist in the continued revitalization of areas throughout the village to attract new businesses, promote the public interest in continued development, ensure regular maintenance and improvements to present structures, safeguard against blight and preserve property values and community standards and to establish minimum maintenance standards to safeguard life, limb, health, safety, property and the public welfare in the best interest of the residents of the Village of Oxford.
It is found and declared that, by reason of lack of maintenance and progressive deterioration, structures and properties have the further effect of creating blighting conditions and initiating slums and that, if the same are not curtailed and removed, the aforesaid conditions will grow and spread and will necessitate in time the expenditure of large amounts of public funds to correct and eliminate the same. By reason of timely regulations and restrictions, as herein contained, the growth of slums and blight may be prevented and the neighborhood and property values thereby maintained, the desirability and amenities of residential and nonresidential uses and neighborhoods enhanced and the public health, safety and welfare protected and fostered.
As in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ACCESSORY BUILDING
- A subordinate building located on the same lot with the main building, occupied by or devoted to an accessory use. Where an "accessory building" is attached to the main building in a substantial manner, as by a wall or roof, such "accessory building" shall be considered part of the main building.
- Any structure having a roof supported by columns or by walls and intended for shelter, housing, protection or enclosure of persons, animals or property. Depending upon its applicability, the use herein of "building" shall include the term "structure."
- CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The officer employed by the Village of Oxford to enforce the State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code previously adopted by said village.
- The condition or appearance of a building or structure characterized by holes, breaks, rot, crumbling, cracking, peeling, rusting or other evidence of physical decay or neglect, excessive use or lack of maintenance.
- DWELLING, MULTIPLE
- A building or portion thereof containing three (3) or more dwelling units and designed or used for occupancy by three (3) or more families living independently of each other.
- EXPOSED TO PUBLIC VIEW
- Any premises or open space or any part thereof or any building or structure that may be lawfully viewed by any member of the public from a sidewalk, street, alleyway or from any adjoining or neighboring premises.
- EXTERIOR OF PREMISES
- Those portions of a building that are exposed to public view and the open space of any premises outside of any building erected thereon.
- GOOD WORKING CONDITION
- Fully operable for the use intended.
- GOOD WORKING REPAIR
- A standard of maintenance that renders a building safe, habitable and possessed of a neat and orderly appearance.
- OPERATOR OR MANAGER
- Any person who has charge, care or control of a building or part thereof.
- Includes any person having individual or joint title to real property in any form defined by the laws as an estate or interest therein, whether legal or equitable and however acquired.
- Includes an individual, a partnership, a joint venture, a corporation, an association and any other organization recognized as an entity by the laws of the State of New York.
- A building, dwelling and/or grounds.
- Land and whatever is erected on, growing on, placed on or affixed thereto.
- All cardboard, plastic material or glass containers, wastepaper, rags, sweeping, pieces of wood, excelsior, rubber and like waste material.
- A combination of materials assembled, constructed or erected at a fixed location, including, for example, a building, stationary and portable carports and swimming pools, the use of which requires location on the ground or attachment to something having location on the ground.
- The Village of Oxford.
- ZONING ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The officer employed by the Village of Oxford to enforce the zoning laws of the Village of Oxford and this chapter.
This chapter establishes certain minimum standards for the initial and continued occupancy and use of all structures and does not replace or modify standards otherwise established for the construction, repair, alteration or use of the structure, the premises or the equipment or facilities contained therein, as are required by the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
In any case where a provision is found to be in conflict with any applicable zoning, building, plumbing, electrical, heating, ventilation, fire or safety code of the Village of Oxford, County of Chenango, State of New York or United States of America, the provision that establishes the higher standard, as determined by the Zoning Enforcement Officer, shall prevail.
The exterior of the premises and the condition of structures shall be maintained so that the premises and all buildings shall reflect a level of maintenance in keeping with the standards of the community and shall not constitute blight from the point of view of adjoining property owners or lead to the progressive deterioration of the neighborhood. Such maintenance shall include, without limitation, the following:
Foundations, porches, decks, steps and walls shall be in good condition.
Vent attachments shall be safe, durable, smoketight and capable of withstanding the action of flue gases.
Exterior balconies, porches, landings, stairs and fire escapes shall be provided with banisters or railings properly designed, installed and maintained to minimize the hazard of falling and unsightly appearance.
All permanent signs and billboards exposed to public view permitted by reason of other regulations or as a lawful nonconforming use shall be maintained in good repair. Any signs that have become excessively weathered, those upon which the paint has excessively peeled or those whose supports have deteriorated so that they no longer meet the structural requirements of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code shall, with their supports, be removed or put into a good state of repair. All nonoperative or broken electrical signs shall be repaired or shall, with their supports, be removed. Signs denoting a business which is no longer on the premises shall be removed within thirty (30) days of the date on which the business ceases to occupy the premises.
All storefronts and walls exposed to public view shall be kept in a good state of repair. Storefronts or any portion of the structure shall not show evidence of excessive weathering or deterioration of any nature. Unoccupied storefronts shall be maintained in a clean and neat appearance.
Any awnings or marquees and accompanying structural members shall be maintained in a good state of repair. In the event that said awnings or marquees are made of cloth, plastic or of a similar material and are exposed to public view, such material shall not show evidence of excessive weathering, discoloration, ripping, tearing, holes or other deterioration. Nothing herein shall be construed to authorize any encroachment on streets, sidewalks or other parts of the public domain.
All vacant buildings shall be continuously guarded or sealed and kept secure against unauthorized entry. Materials and methods with which such buildings are sealed must meet the approval of the Zoning Enforcement Officer as to color, design and building material. Owners of such buildings shall take such steps and perform such acts as may be required to ensure that the building and its adjoining yards remain safe and secure and do not present a hazard to adjoining property or to the public and that such property does not become infested with vermin or rodents.
Exterior walls, including doors and windows and the areas around doors, windows, chimneys and other parts of the building, shall be so maintained as to keep water from entering the building. Materials which have been damaged or show evidence of dry rot or other deterioration shall be repaired or replaced and refinished in a workmanlike manner.
All exposed exterior surfaces shall be maintained free of broken or cracked glass, loose shingles or loose or crumbling stones or bricks, loose shutters, railings, aerials, excessive peeling paint or other conditions reflective of deterioration or inadequate maintenance. Said conditions shall be corrected by repair or removal. All exposed exterior surface of structures not inherently resistant to deterioration shall be coated, treated or sealed to protect them from deterioration or weathering. Wood, masonry or other exterior materials that will naturally resist deterioration do not have to be treated but must be otherwise maintained in a sound, secure workmanlike manner. Exterior surfaces that have been painted or otherwise coated must be maintained in a neat, orderly, serviceable manner. Floors, walls, ceilings, stairs and fixtures of buildings shall be maintained in a clean, safe, sanitary condition. Every floor, exterior wall, roof, porch or appurtenance thereto shall be maintained in a manner so as to prevent the collapse of the same or injury to the occupants of the building or to the public.
Roof drains, overflow pipes, air-conditioning drains and any other device used to channel water off or out of a building shall be maintained in a safe and operable condition and shall not drain onto a public sidewalk, walkway, street, alleyway or adjoining property.
Lawns shall be cut, and bushes, shrubs and hedges shall be trimmed regularly during the growing season so as to avoid an unsightly appearance.
Surface or subsurface water shall be appropriately drained to protect buildings and structures and to prevent the development of stagnant ponds. Gutters, culverts, catch basins, drain inlets, stormwater sewers or other satisfactory drainage systems shall be utilized where necessary. No roof, surface or sanitary drainage shall create a structural, safety or health hazard by reason of construction, maintenance or manner of discharge.
Fences and other minor construction shall be maintained in a safe and substantial condition.
Steps, walks, driveways, parking spaces and similar paved areas shall be maintained so as to afford safe passage under normal use and weather conditions. Any holes or other hazards that may exist shall be filled and necessary repairs or replacement carried out.
Yards and vacant lots shall be kept clean and free of physical hazards and rodent haborage and infestation. They shall be maintained in a manner that will prevent dust or other particles from being blown about the neighborhood. Open wells, cesspools or cisterns shall be securely closed or barricaded from access by the public. All temporary excavations shall be kept covered or barricaded so as to protect the general public from injury.
All land must be kept free of dead or dying trees and accumulations of brush, shrubs, weeds, grass, stumps, roots, excessive and/or noxious growths, garbage, refuse or debris which would either tend to start a fire or increase the intensity of a fire already started or cause poisoning or irritation to people or animals or cause or tend to cause or enhance an unhealthy or dangerous or obnoxious condition on said property or on any adjacent or neighboring property.
No more than one (1) unregistered vehicle may be stored on the premises, and said vehicle must be capable of passing a New York State motor vehicle inspection. This subsection shall be enforced by the Village Police Department.
Business units shall at all times be maintained in compliance with the provisions of this chapter regulating open spaces, buildings or structures and littering.
No materials or stock-in-trade, garments, shoes or other wares may be stored or displayed in a front or exterior or interior side yard except for motor vehicles for sale at a permitted motor vehicle sales establishment. No soft drink or other vending machines, ice machines or the like may be placed in front of a building on a public sidewalk. Specifically excluded herefrom are chairs and tables used in connection with a sidewalk cafe or restaurant, provided that there shall be sufficient sidewalk passage for pedestrians. Materials may be stored in a rear yard, provided that a storage area therein is completely enclosed within a six-foot-high solid fence or evergreen hedge of equivalent height and that the storage area does not infringe on or obstruct vehicle parking or maneuvering areas.
No outside storage or accumulation of garbage, crates, rubbish, refuse or debris shall be permitted at any time, and all such garbage, crates, rubbish, refuse or debris shall be kept inside the building or buildings on the premises or in an acceptable enclosure and shall be regularly collected and removed from the premises.
No shopping baskets, carts or wagons shall be left unattended or standing in open areas, and the same shall be collected at the close of business each day by the occupant of such unit and moved to the interior of the building or buildings.
No mobile refrigeration unit shall be operated on the premises after the closing of the business conducted thereon unless such mobile refrigeration unit is electrically operated, except in an industrial zone.
All fences and planting areas installed on the premises shall be maintained by the owner of the property. Such maintenance shall include but not be limited to the replacement of trees and shrubs which may die and/or otherwise be destroyed, the maintenance and cutting of lawns and the replacement and/or repair of fences which may become in disrepair.
Persons owning or occupying property shall keep all walkways, public or private, abutting said premises free from litter and trash of whatever nature.
Grounds, buildings and structures shall be maintained free of insect, vermin and rodent harborage and infestation. Methods used for exterminating insects, vermin and rodents shall conform to generally accepted practice.
Where the potential for rodent or vermin infestation exists, windows and other openings in basements and cellars shall be closed or appropriately screened with wire mesh or other suitable materials.
No materials, goods or supplies may be stored in any front yard or in an exterior or interior side yard. Materials may be stored in a rear yard, provided that the area used for storage is screened from neighboring properties by a fence or hedge and that the method and manner of storage complies with the other provisions hereof.
Residential, commercial and industrial premises, whether improved or vacant, shall be maintained free of litter; provided, however, that this section shall not prohibit the storage of litter in appropriate private receptacles for collection.
Adequate sanitary facilities and methods shall be used for the collection, storage, handling and disposal of garbage and refuse in accordance with the provisions of applicable codes. Each owner of any building from which garbage, rubbish, mixed refuse, ashes or other wastes are collected shall provide refuse containers sufficient in number to hold all collectible wastes which may accumulate. Containers must be rodent- and insectproof and watertight and must be kept covered at all times. Such containers must not be kept in a front yard or exterior side yard.
No refrigerator may be discarded, abandoned or stored in a place accessible to children without first completely removing any locking or latching devices and all doors.
Dumpsters and similar large receptacles shall be shielded from the public view by means of appropriate landscaping, hedges, fences or screening. This section shall not apply to receptacles for clothing and the like donated to charity.
Shopping centers, supermarkets and similar business units shall provide permanent, attractive, decorated litter receptacles within the premises for public use in sufficient quantity so that a person will not have to walk in excess of fifty (50) feet to use any such receptacle.
An occupant of premises shall be responsible for compliance with this chapter in regard to the following:
Maintenance of that part of the premises which he occupies or controls in a clean, sanitary and safe condition.
Maintenance of all plumbing, cooking and refrigeration fixtures and appliances, as well as other building equipment and storage facilities, in that part of the premises which he occupies or controls in a clean and sanitary condition and providing reasonable care in the operation and use thereof.
Keeping exits from the building or occupant's portion thereof clear and unobstructed.
Disposal of garbage and refuse into appropriate facilities in a clean and sanitary manner, in accordance with any applicable provisions of the village.
Extermination of insects, rodents or other pests within the premises.
Maintenance of yards, lawns and courts in a clean, sanitary and safe condition and free from infestation by rodents or vermin, insofar as said occupant occupies or controls said yards, lawns or any parts thereof.
The installation and removal of required screens.
Keeping domestic animals and pets in an appropriate manner and under control, in accordance with any other regulations of the village.
Elimination of all prohibited uses for that part of the premises which he occupies, controls or has accessibility thereto.
Owners of premises shall be responsible for compliance with the provisions of this chapter and shall remain responsible therefor regardless of the fact that this chapter may also place certain responsibilities on operators and occupants and regardless of any agreements between owners and operators or occupants as to which party shall assume such responsibility.
Owners and operators of buildings shall be responsible for the proper installation, maintenance, condition and operation of service facilities and for furnishing adequate heat and hot-water supply where they have contracted to do so.
Whenever any person or persons shall be in actual possession of or have charge, care or control of any property within the village as executor, administrator, trustee, guardian, operator or agent, such persons shall be deemed and taken to be the owner or owners of said property within the intent and meaning of this chapter and shall comply with the provisions of this chapter to the same extent as the record owner; and notice to any such person of any order or decision of the Zoning Enforcement Officer shall be deemed and taken to be good and sufficient notice, as if such person or persons were actually the record owner or owners of such property. In instances where an occupant is responsible or shares responsibility with the owner for the existence of one (1) or more violations of this chapter, said occupant shall be deemed and taken to be an owner within the intent and meaning of this chapter.
The Zoning Enforcement Officer is hereby authorized and directed to make inspections to determine compliance with this chapter. Inspections shall be made between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and every operator or owner shall cooperate with the Zoning Enforcement Officer in providing access to the premises. Whenever the Zoning Enforcement Officer determines that there is a violation of the provisions of this chapter, he shall cause a written notice to be served upon the owner or operator, which shall include:
An enumeration of conditions which violate the provisions of this chapter.
An enumeration of the remedial action required to meet the standards of this chapter.
A statement of a definite number of days from the date of the notice in which the owner or operator must commence and complete such remedial action.
A statement of the penalties for noncompliance, as set forth herein.
A copy of such notice shall be filed in the Village Clerk's office, and such notice shall be deemed sufficient if served upon the owner or operator as follows:
Upon failure to comply with said notice, the Zoning Enforcement Officer shall issue an appearance ticket returnable in the Village Court.
For purposes of enforcement of this chapter, if work is being done on the property, either the prime or general contractor or the owner shall be held responsible.
Materials may be stored in any area of the property upon which construction is being carried on, provided that the method of storage and the materials stored are in compliance with the requirements of this chapter. In no event shall such storage be permitted for a period exceeding one (1) year.
Drainage crossing the property being developed must be maintained during the period of development, and no materials may be stored, land disturbed or other work done to interfere with drainage or to divert or cause runoff of groundwater or stormwater in an unnatural fashion.
The person responsible as herein specified shall take all necessary and reasonable steps to ensure that there will not be an unusual or unwarranted amount of dust and debris blown onto or across neighboring or nearby properties.
Construction roads must be oiled or kept wet or properly treated to decrease the spread of dust and mud.
A temporary cover such as rye grass or a mulch must be applied on land that has been stripped of its protective vegetation during the course of its construction to prevent the spread of dust and mud.
All excavations in or near a public or private walkway or street must be properly guarded and protected at all times by lights, flags, barricades or other warnings sufficient in kind and amount to warn the public of the danger of falling into the excavation.
Temporary electrical service must be through electric lines that are weather- and waterproof; such lines must not cross public walkways or highways on the ground, nor shall they be placed on the ground in areas subject to construction equipment traffic.
Grounds and buildings must be kept free of debris such as broken glass, boards with fastenings protruding and other articles making travel around the job site dangerous and unsafe.
A violation of any provision of this chapter shall be an offense punishable by a fine not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars ($250.) or by imprisonment for not more than fifteen (15) days, or both. For the purposes of this chapter, each week's continued existence of a violation shall constitute a separate violation.