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Village of Ossining, NY
Westchester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: [1]Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Ossining 8-3-1999 by L.L. No. 2-1999. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 91.
Fire hazard inspections — See Ch. 133.
[1]
Editor’s Note: The title of this chapter was changed from “Demolition of Buildings” to “Unsafe and Demolition of Buildings and Structures” 4-19-2017 by L.L. No. 3-2017.
[Amended 4-19-2017 by L.L. No. 3-2017]
The following provisions shall constitute and be known as the "Unsafe Buildings and Structures and Demolition Code of the Village of Ossining."
The purpose of this chapter is to safeguard life and property by regulating the repair or removal of buildings or structures which are now or may become dilapidated, unsafe, dangerous, unsanitary or a menace to health, morals, safety and general welfare of the people of this Village and which might tend to constitute a fire menace and which are a public nuisance.
[Amended 4-19-2017 by L.L. No. 3-2017]
All buildings or structures which have any or all of the following defects shall be deemed unsafe buildings:
A. 
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.
B. 
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.
C. 
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.
D. 
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 Ossining.
E. 
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 cause injury to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of those living therein.
[Amended 4-19-2017 by L.L. No. 3-2017]
F. 
Those having light, air and sanitation facilities which are inadequate to protect the health, morals, safety or general welfare of human beings who live or may live therein.
G. 
Those having inadequate facilities for egress in case of fire or panic or those having insufficient stairways, elevators, fire escapes or other means of communication.
H. 
Those which have parts thereof which are so attached that they may fall and injure members of the public or property.
I. 
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.
[Amended 4-19-2017 by L.L. No. 3-2017]
J. 
Those buildings existing in violation of any provision of the Building Code of this Village or any provisions of the Fire Prevention Code or other laws of this Village.
[Amended 4-19-2017 by L.L. No. 3-2017]
The following standards shall be followed in substance by appropriate Department of Buildings Code Enforcement personnel, including the Building Inspector, Assistant Building Inspector, their designees and, where applicable, Code Enforcement Officers in ordering repair, vacating of the building or structure or demolition:
A. 
If the unsafe building or structure can reasonably be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this chapter, it shall be ordered repaired.
B. 
If the unsafe building or structure is in such condition as to make it dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare or its occupants, it shall be ordered to be vacated.
C. 
In any case where an unsafe building or structure is damaged or decayed or deteriorated to such an extent that it cannot be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this chapter, it shall be demolished. In all cases where an unsafe building is a fire hazard existing or erected in violation of the terms of this chapter or any law of the Village or statute of the State of New York, it shall be demolished.
[Amended 4-19-2017 by L.L. No. 3-2017]
All unsafe buildings and structures within the terms of this chapter are hereby declared to be public nuisances and shall be repaired, vacated or demolished as hereinbefore and hereinafter provided.
[Amended 4-19-2017 by L.L. No. 3-2017]
A. 
It shall be the duty of the Building Inspector, Assistant Building Inspector, their designees and, where applicable, Code Enforcement Officer (collectively "Village of Ossining Code Enforcement personnel") to cause to be inspected at any time any building or structure for the purpose of determining whether any condition exists which renders such place an unsafe building or structure as defined within the terms of § 95-3 of this chapter. Village of Ossining Code Enforcement personnel shall immediately inspect any building, structure or wall if reported unsafe by the Fire or Police Department of this Village as probably existing in violation of this chapter.
B. 
Notify the owner or the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or any other person having a vested or contingent interest in the building or structure, personally or by registered or certified mail, addressed to the last known address, if any, of the owner or the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees, or other person having a vested or contingent interest in the same as shown by the records of the Village Treasurer and/or in the office of the County Clerk, Division of Land Records for the County of Westchester. This notice shall contain a description of the premises, a statement of the particulars in which the building or structure is unsafe and an order requiring the building or structure to be made safe and secured or demolished. The notice shall provide that work to be undertaken, including demolition, if warranted, shall commence within 10 days of the date of service of the notice and that such work is to be completed within 30 days thereafter. The Building Inspector, Assistant Building Inspector or their designee may extend the time for compliance where there is evidence of intent to comply within the time specified and conditions exist which prevent immediate compliance. In granting any such extension of time, the Building Inspector, Assistant Building Inspector or their designee may impose such conditions as he/she deems appropriate. The notice will advise that an appeal may be taken to the Village of Ossining Code Board of Appeals pursuant to § 95-17. In addition to the method of service described above, service of the notice/order may be effectuated pursuant to § 162-35.
C. 
If service of the notice is made by registered or certified mail, a copy of said notice shall be posted conspicuously on the premises.
[Amended 4-19-2017 by L.L. No. 3-2017]
In the event that the person served with said notice and order fails to comply with the same, the Building Inspector, Assistant Building Inspector or their designee shall request that the Board of Trustees of the Village of Ossining cause a survey to be made of the premises. The Board of Trustees of the Village of Ossining shall designate two persons, one an official of the Village and one a practical builder, engineer or architect, to make said survey. The person served with the notice and order and failing to comply with same shall be advised of said designation and shall be given an opportunity to designate one individual who is also a practical builder, engineer or architect to act as a third surveyor. Said designation by the person notified must be made, in writing addressed to the Clerk of the Village of Ossining, within 15 days from service of said notice. Said notice shall further provide that, in the event of refusal or neglect of the person so notified to appoint such surveyor, then the two surveyors named shall make the survey and report and, in the event that the building or structure shall be reported unsafe or dangerous under such survey, that an application shall be made at a special term of the Supreme Court in Westchester County not fewer than five nor more than 60 days (after filing such survey with the Village Clerk) for an order determining the building or other structure to be unsafe and directing that it shall be repaired or demolished or removed.
[Amended 4-19-2017 by L.L. No. 3-2017]
Reports from persons designated to make said survey of the property must be furnished to the Building Inspector or Assistant Building Inspector of the Village of Ossining not later than 30 days from the date of designation of the surveyors appointed by the Village and not later than 30 days from the date of notification of designation mailed to the Village Clerk by the property owner pursuant to § 95-7 of this chapter. Upon receipt of all reports or such reports as may have been filed upon the expiration of the time limits herein imposed, the Building Inspector, Assistant Building Inspector or their designee shall file said reports with the Clerk of the Village of Ossining. The Building Inspector, Assistant Building Inspector or their designee shall also post a signed copy of the survey on the building or structure in a conspicuous location and mail a copy thereof in the same manner as provided in § 95-6 of this chapter.
The Village Clerk, upon receipt and filing of the survey report, will immediately notify the Village Attorney if said survey report determines that the building or structure is dangerous or unsafe. A certified copy of the survey shall be forwarded to the Village Attorney.
The Village Attorney, upon receipt of said certified copy of the survey report, shall, not less than five days nor more than 60 days from the filing date thereof, make application at a special term of the Supreme Court, Westchester County, for an order determining said building or structure to be a public nuisance and directing that it be repaired or torn down.
The Village of Ossining shall compensate the two surveyors appointed by the Village at a sum to be agreed upon, depending upon the size of the structure to be surveyed and related to the special skills or professional standing of the surveyor engaged. The compensation in any event shall be reasonable.
If the structure surveyed is determined to be dangerous or unsafe by order of any court having jurisdiction thereof and if its removal is undertaken by the Village of Ossining, then in that event, the Village of Ossining shall assess the property for all expenses of said removal, including the costs of all proceedings for its removal such as compensation of surveyors, court costs and reasonable attorneys' fees.
No officer, agent or employee of the Village of Ossining shall render himself personally liable for any damage that may accrue to persons or property as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this chapter. Any suit brought against any officer, agent or employee of the Village of Ossining as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this chapter shall be defended by the Corporation Counsel until the final determination of the proceedings therein.
It shall be the duty of the Corporation Counsel to institute contempt proceeding in the event that any owner or agent having control of any building or structure fails to remove, repair or rehabilitate the same or fails to obey any order or mandate by any judge having jurisdiction thereof.
[Amended 9-16-2008 by L.L. No. 6-2008]
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a minimum fine of $100 and a maximum fine of $1,000 per offense or imprisonment not exceeding 15 days, or both such fine and imprisonment.
[Added 4-19-2017 by L.L. No. 3-2017]
If Code Enforcement personnel responsible for the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter find that there is actual and immediate danger of failure or collapse of the building or structure so as to endanger life, or where there is imminent danger to human life or health, notice, as detailed in § 95-6, shall be provided to the owner, owner's agent, person responsible for the building or structure and any lessees that the building, structure or portion thereof be vacated forthwith and not reoccupied until the specified repairs and improvements are completed, inspected and approved by appropriate Code Enforcement personnel. There shall be posted at each entry to such building or structure a notice: "This Building is unsafe and its use or occupancy has been prohibited by Village of Ossining Code Enforcement personnel." Such notice shall remain posted until the required repairs are made or demolition is completed. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, their agents, servants or employees to remove such notice without written permission of the Village of Ossining Building Inspector, Assistant Building Inspector or Code Enforcement Officer, where applicable, or for any person to enter the building or structure, except for the purpose of making the required repairs or of demolishing the same. A violation of this section shall result in a penalty pursuant to § 95-15.
[Added 4-19-2017 by L.L. No. 3-2017]
A. 
Any person, owner, corporation and/or agent aggrieved by the service of a notice and order detailed in this chapter may appeal the notice and order, including any requirement to undertake repairs, vacate the building or structure and/or demolish the building or structure, to the Village of Ossining Code Board of Appeals.
B. 
Within 10 days after the date of service of the notice detailed in this chapter, the aggrieved person may appeal to the Village of Ossining Code Board of Appeals. The appeal shall be in writing and addressed to the Village of Ossining Building Department. The appeal shall be transmitted by the Building Department to the Village of Ossining Code Board of Appeals and the Corporation Counsel within five days of receipt. No appeal will be considered after expiration of the ten-day period.
C. 
In addition to the powers and duties listed in § 162-53, the Village of Ossining Code Board of Appeals shall decide questions involving the interpretation of provisions in this chapter, including whether the notice/order appealed from should be affirmed, modified or revoked and if the notice/order is affirmed or modified, the time to comply with the order.