[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Geddes 12-14-1993 by L.L. No. 5-1993 (Ch. 25 of the 1974 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Building construction — See Ch. 90.
All buildings or structures which are structurally unsafe, unsanitary or are not provided with adequate egress or which constitute a fire hazard or are otherwise dangerous to human life or which, in relation to their existing condition or use, constitute a hazard to safety or health by reason of their incomplete construction, inadequate repair or maintenance, dilapidation, obsolescence, unrestricted access or abandonment are, severally, for the purpose of this chapter, unsafe buildings. All such unsafe buildings are hereby declared to be illegal and shall be abated by repair and rehabilitation, including such measures as may reasonably be necessary to prevent unauthorized access thereto by children and other persons, or by demolition in accordance with the procedures of this chapter.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall examine or cause to be examined every building reported as unsafe or damaged and shall make a written record of such examination.
Whenever the Code Enforcement Officer shall find any building or structure or portion thereof to be an unsafe building, as described in this chapter, he or she shall serve written notice on the owner of said building or on one of the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or other person having a vested or contingent interest in the same, which said notice shall contain:
A description of the premises.
A statement of the particulars in which said building is unsafe.
An order requiring the same to be made safe and secure by repair or otherwise or to be demolished and removed within a specified period of time, and including a date within which said work shall be commenced.
Notice of the time and place for a hearing on the matter before the Town Board.
A statement that, in the event that said building is determined by the Town Board to be unsafe, said building shall be made safe and secure by such repairs or other measures which may reasonably be necessary or shall be demolished and removed by the Town of Geddes, and all costs and expenses incurred by the town shall be charged against the owner of said building or assessed against the land on which said building is located.
The aforementioned notice shall be served in the manner provided in § 95-8, and a copy of said notice shall be filed in the Onondaga County Clerk's office in accordance with the applicable provisions of law. In the event that said notice is served by registered mail, a copy of the same shall also be posted upon a conspicuous portion of the building.
If the Code Enforcement Officer finds that there is actual and immediate danger of failure or collapse so as to endanger life, such notice shall also require the building, structure or portion thereof to be vacated forthwith and not reoccupied until the specified repairs and improvements are completed, inspected and approved by the Code Enforcement Officer. The Code Enforcement Officer shall cause to be posted at each entrance to such building a notice reading as follows: "This building is unsafe, and its use or occupancy has been prohibited by the Building Department." 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 or their agents or other servants to remove such notice without permission of the Code Enforcement Officer or for any person to enter the building except for the purpose of making the repairs or of demolishing the same.
In the event that the owner of the unsafe building or, as the case may be, the owner's executor, legal representative, agent, lessee or other person having a vested or contingent interest in the same fails, neglects or refuses to comply with the written notice, the Town Board shall conduct the hearing at the time and place specified in said notice. At said hearing, the Town Board shall receive testimony and other such evidence as may be presented to it on the issue of whether the building in question is unsafe as described in § 95-1 of this chapter. The owner or other person having interest in the building shall be given full opportunity to be heard at said hearing. If, after hearing the evidence, the Town Board determines that said building is unsafe, it may direct the Code Enforcement Officer to cause said building to be made safe and secure by such repairs or other measures which may reasonably be necessary or to be demolished and removed and the land upon which it is located cleared of debris and all excavations filled and graded.
In cases of emergency which, in the opinion of the Code Enforcement Officer, involve imminent danger to human life or health, the Code Enforcement Officer shall promptly cause such building, structure or portion thereof to be made safe or removed. For this purpose, he or she may at once enter such structure or land on which it stands or abutting land or structure, with such assistance and at such cost as may be necessary. He or she may vacate adjacent structures and protect the public by appropriate barricades or such other means as may be necessary and, for this purpose, may close a public or private way.
All costs and expenses incurred by the town under §§ 95-5 and 95-6 shall be initially paid out of town funds and shall be charged to and reimbursed by the owner of the premises involved and collected in the manner provided by law or shall be assessed against the land on which said building is or was located. The remedies set forth in this chapter, including the collection of costs and expenses as provided for in this section, shall be in addition to the remedies and penalties set forth in §§ 95-9 and 95-10 of this chapter.
The service of orders for the correction of violations of this chapter shall be made upon the owner of the building or structure or on one of the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees, other persons having a vested or contingent interest in the same as shown by the records of the Receiver of Taxes of the Town of Geddes or of the Onondaga County Clerk or other person responsible for the conditions, either by delivering a copy of the same to such person or by sending a copy of the same by certified or registered mail to the owner's last known post office address and delivering the same to and leaving it with any person in charge of the premises or, in case no such person is found upon the premises, by affixing a copy thereof in a conspicuous place on the door to the entrance of such premises. In the case of joint or multiple ownership, service of said notice on one owner shall be deemed sufficient.
If buildings or other premises are owned by one person and occupied by another under lease or otherwise, the orders issued in connection with the enforcing of this chapter shall apply to the occupant thereof, except where the orders require the making of additions to or changes in the premises themselves such as would immediately become real estate and be the property of the owner of the premises. In such cases, the order shall affect the owner and not the occupant, unless it is otherwise agreed between the owner and the occupant.
Appropriate actions and proceedings may be taken by law or in equity to prevent unlawful construction or to restrain, correct or abate a violation or to prevent illegal occupancy of a building, structure or premises or to prevent illegal acts, conduct or business in or about any premises, and these remedies shall be in addition to the remedies set forth elsewhere in this chapter and the penalties prescribed in § 95-10 or those prescribed in the State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
Any person who shall fail to comply with a written order as herein provided within the time fixed for compliance therewith shall be deemed to have committed a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment not exceeding one year in jail, or both. Each day that an offense continues beyond the date fixed in the order to remedy the violation shall be deemed a separate offense.