Village of Amityville, NY
Suffolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Amityville 12-14-2009 by L.L. No. 29-2009.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 49.
Building occupancy — See Ch. 50.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 81.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 130.
Zoning — See Ch. 183.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law provided that it shall take effect on January 2, 2010, subject to acceptance and filing by the Secretary of State.

§ 51-1 Purpose.

Unsafe buildings pose a threat to life and property in the Village of Amityville. Buildings and structures may become unsafe by reason of damage by fire, the elements, age or general deterioration. Vacant buildings not properly secured at doorways and windows also serve as an attractive nuisance for young children who may be injured therein, as well as a point of congregation by vagrants and transients. A dilapidated building may also serve as a place of rodent infestation, thereby creating a health menace to the community. It is the purpose of this chapter to provide for the safety, health, protection and general welfare of persons and property in the Village of Amityville by requiring that such unsafe buildings be secured, repaired or demolished and removed.

§ 51-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BUILDING
Any building, structure or portion thereof used for residential, business or industrial purposes.
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
The Code Enforcement Officer of the Village of Amityville or such other person appointed by the Village to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

§ 51-2.1 Unsafe structures and equipment.

[Added 6-13-2016 by L.L. No. 6-2016]
A. 
When a structure or equipment is found to be unsafe, or unfit for human occupancy, or is found unlawful, such structure shall be condemned pursuant to the provisions of this Code.
B. 
Unsafe structures. An unsafe structure is one that is found to be dangerous to the life, health, property or safety of the public or the occupants of the structure by not providing minimum safeguards to protect or warn occupants in the event of fire, or because such structure contains unsafe equipment or is so damaged, decayed, dilapidated, structurally unsafe, or of such faulty construction or unstable foundation that partial or complete collapse is possible. Structures which may be unsafe include but are not limited to the following:
(1) 
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.
(2) 
Those which, exclusive of the foundation, show 33% or more of damage or deterioration of the supporting member or members, and/or 50% damage or deterioration of the nonsupporting enclosing or outside walls or covering.
(3) 
Those which have improperly distributed loads upon the floors or roofs or which the same are overloaded or have insufficient strength to be reasonably safe for the purpose used.
(4) 
Those which have been damaged by fire, flood, wind or other causes so as to have become dangerous to life, safety or the general health and welfare of the occupants, surrounding residents or the public.
(5) 
Those having light, air and sanitation facilities which are inadequate to protect the health, safety or general welfare of human beings who live or may live therein.
(6) 
Those having inadequate facilities for egress in cases of fire or panic or those having insufficient stairways, elevators, fire escapes or other means of communication.
(7) 
Those which have parts thereof which are so attached that they may collapse and injure members of the public or the property.
(8) 
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 work injury to the health, safety or general welfare of those living therein or nearby.
(9) 
A swimming pool shall further be deemed to be an unsafe structure which has any of the following additional conditions:
(a) 
Absence of enclosures and/or covers required pursuant to the New York State Building Code, or water causing hazardous conditions.
(b) 
Deterioration of the pool piping, filtration or water treatment equipment, creating an unsanitary condition in pool waters.
(c) 
Deterioration or damage to the pool piping, equipment, pool walls or floors causing excessive leaching of pool water into the surrounding ground area.
(d) 
Improper electrical, water supply or waste removal connections to the swimming pool, or pool equipment creating hazardous conditions.
(e) 
Improper storage of pool chemicals causing hazardous conditions.
(f) 
Improper installation of pool heating equipment causing hazardous conditions.
(10) 
Those elements which, because of their condition, are unsafe, unsanitary or dangerous to the health, safety or general welfare of the people of this Village.
C. 
Unsafe equipment. Unsafe equipment includes any boiler, fixture, heating equipment, elevator, moving stairway, electrical wiring or device, flammable liquid containers or other equipment on the premises or within the structure which is in such disrepair or in a condition that such equipment is a hazard to life, health, property or safety of the public or occupants of the premises or structure.
D. 
Structure unfit for human occupancy. A structure is unfit for human occupancy whenever such structure is unsafe, unlawful or, because of the degree to which the structure is in disrepair or lacks maintenance, is unsanitary, vermin- or rat-infested, contains filth and contamination, or lacks ventilation, illumination, sanitary or heating facilities or other essential equipment required by this Code, or because the location of the structure constitutes a hazard to the occupants of the structure or the public.
E. 
Unlawful structure. An unlawful structure is one found in whole or in part to be occupied by more persons than permitted under this Code, or which was erected, altered or occupied contrary to law.

§ 51-3 Inspection and report by Code Enforcement Officer.

The Code Enforcement Officer shall cause or make an inspection and report in writing to the Board of Trustees his findings and recommendations in regard to a building which needs to be secured, repaired or demolished and removed, when in his own opinion, or upon receipt of information that, it:
A. 
Is or may become dangerous or unsafe to the general public;
B. 
Is open at the doorways and windows making it accessible to and an object of attraction to minors under 18 years of age, as well as to vagrants and other trespassers;
C. 
Is or may become a place of rodent infestation;
D. 
Presents any other danger to the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the public; or
E. 
Is unfit for the purposes for which it may lawfully be used.

§ 51-4 Order for action.

The Board of Trustees shall thereafter consider such report and by resolution determine, if in its opinion the report so warrants, that such building is unsafe and dangerous, and order that it be secured and boarded up or repaired, if this can be safely done, or that it be demolished and removed, and further order that notice be served upon the persons and in the manner provided herein.

§ 51-5 Contents of notice.

[Amended 6-13-2016 by L.L. No. 6-2016]
Such notice shall contain a description of the premises, a statement of the particulars in which the building or structure or equipment is unsafe and an order requiring the same to be made safe and secure or removed. Said notice shall specify:
A. 
A description of the premises.
B. 
A statement of the particulars in which the building is unsafe or dangerous.
C. 
An order outlining the manner in which the building is to be made safe and secure or demolished and removed.
D. 
A statement within which the person served with such notice shall commence the securing or removal of such building or equipment as may be necessary to protect the life, safety or health of any person or property.
E. 
The date, time and place at which a hearing shall be held before the Board of Trustees, at which hearing the owner or other persons having an interest in the structure or equipment may be heard with respect to the condition of the building, structure or equipment and the actions necessary to secure or remove same.
F. 
Said notice shall further state that after such hearing, the Board of Trustees may provide for the securing or removal of such building or structure or equipment by the Village in the event such owner fails or refuses to secure or remove the same within the time provided.

§ 51-6 Service of notice.

[Amended 3-8-2010 by L.L. No. 2-2010; 6-13-2016 by L.L. No. 6-2016]
Such notice, together with the report prepared pursuant to § 51-3, shall be posted on the premises, and shall be filed in the office of the Suffolk County Clerk in the same manner as a notice of pendency pursuant to Article 65 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, and shall be served upon the owner, or one of the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or other person having a vested interest in the premises, either personally or by registered mail addressed to their last known address, if any, as shown by the records of the Village Clerk and/or in the office of the Suffolk County Clerk.

§ 51-7 Filing of proof of service of notice.

A copy of the proof of service of said notice, as provided herein, shall be filed in the office of the Suffolk County Clerk.

§ 51-8 Hearing.

[Amended 6-13-2016 by L.L. No. 6-2016]
The Board of Trustees shall conduct a public hearing at the time and place specified in such notice. The owner, the occupant and any other interested persons shall have a right to be heard. The Code Enforcement Officer and any surveyor or engineer appointed by the Board of Trustees shall submit testimony and/or documentary evidence as to whether the building or structure is unsafe. The Board of Trustees shall consider all competent and relevant evidence and make a determination as to whether such building or structure is unsafe and whether it should be secured, repaired, demolished or removed. The owner, any occupant and such other interested persons shall receive written notice of such determination and any resulting order in accordance with the requirement of § 51-5 hereof.

§ 51-9 Refusal to comply; contracts for demolition.

A. 
In the event of the refusal or neglect of the person or entity so notified to comply with said order of the Board of Trustees within seven days, or earlier if conditions require, the Board of Trustees shall direct that such building or structure be secured, repaired or demolished and removed, either by Village employees or by contract, unless such conditions require emergency or immediate remedial action, whereupon the Village shall take such action as may be necessary.
[Amended 6-13-2016 by L.L. No. 6-2016]
B. 
Except in an emergency, any contract for demolition and removal of a building in excess of $20,000 shall be awarded through competitive bidding.

§ 51-10 Assessment of costs; assessment to constitute lien.

[Amended 3-8-2010 by L.L. No. 2-2010; 6-13-2016 by L.L. No. 6-2016]
All costs and expenses incurred by the Village of Amityville in connection with the proceedings to remove or secure an unsafe building, unsafe equipment or collapsed structure, including the cost of actually removing said building, equipment or structure, shall be assessed against the land on which said buildings or structures are located. The amount of such cost and expense shall be determined and audited by the Board of Trustees and shall be reported to the Village Assessor as an amount to be levied and assessed against said premises as an assessment for an improvement to be included in the next succeeding assessment roll of the Village of Amityville to be thereafter prepared.

§ 51-11 Emergency corrections.

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 an unsafe building is immediately repaired and secured or demolished, the Board of Trustees may, by resolution, authorize the Code Enforcement Officer to immediately cause the repair or demolition of such unsafe building. The expense of such repair or demolition shall be a charge against the land on which it is located and shall be assessed, levied and collected as provided in § 51-10 hereof.

§ 51-12 Appointment of surveyor or engineer, compensation.

A surveyor or engineer may be appointed to determine if a building or structure is unsafe, and he shall be paid reasonable compensation as shall be fixed by the Board of Trustees.

§ 51-13 Order to vacate premises.

[Added 6-13-2016 by L.L. No. 6-2016]
When there is imminent danger of failure or collapse of a building or structure which endangers life, or when any structure or part of a structure has fallen and life is endangered by the occupation of the structure, or when there is actual or potential danger to the building occupants or those in the proximity of any structure because of explosives, explosive fumes or vapors or the presence of toxic fumes, gases or materials, or operation of defective or dangerous equipment, the occupants shall vacate the premises forthwith. There shall be posted at each entrance to such structure a notice reading as follows: "This Structure is Unsafe and its Occupancy Has Been Prohibited by the Code Enforcement Official." It shall be unlawful for any person to enter such structure except for the purpose of securing the structure, making the required repairs, removing the hazardous condition or demolishing the same.

§ 51-14 Corrective action by Village.

[Added 6-13-2016 by L.L. No. 6-2016]
When there is imminent danger of failure or collapse of a building or structure which endangers life, or when any structure or part of a structure has fallen and life is endangered by the occupation of the structure or when there is actual or potential danger to the building occupants or those in the proximity of any structure because of explosives, explosive fumes or vapors or the presence of toxic fumes, gases or materials, or operation of defective or dangerous equipment, the Building Inspector may take such immediate action as is necessary to protect life and alleviate the danger presented, including emergency repair or removal of all or part of the building or structure, without notice or hearing to the property owner.

§ 51-15 Further action.

[Added 6-13-2016 by L.L. No. 6-2016]
Following action taken pursuant to § 51-13, Order to vacate premises, or under § 51-14, Corrective action by Village, the Building Inspector shall prepare and deliver a report of such action to the Board of Trustees, and, if the building or structure remains unsafe, to cause said building or structure to be rendered safe pursuant to § 51-9 hereof. The Building Inspector shall notify the property owner of the emergency actions taken pursuant to the provisions of § 51-6 hereof.

§ 51-16 Assessment and lien.

[Added 6-13-2016 by L.L. No. 6-2016]
All costs and expenses incurred by the Village of Amityville in connection with emergency measures taken pursuant to an order to vacate premises or corrective action by the Village under §§ 51-13 or 51-14, shall be assessed against the land on which said buildings or structures are located. The amount of such cost and expense shall be determined and audited by the Board of Trustees and shall be reported to the Village Assessor an amount to be levied and assessed against said premises as an assessment for an improvement to be included in the next succeeding assessment roll of the Village of Amityville to be thereafter prepared.

§ 51-17 Transfer of title.

[Added 6-13-2016 by L.L. No. 6-2016]
The transfer of title by an owner of the premises upon which an unsafe building or structure or excavation is located shall be no defense to any proceeding or actions already commenced under this chapter.

§ 51-18 Penalties for offenses.

[Added 6-13-2016 by L.L. No. 6-2016]
Any owner upon whom a notice as provided in this chapter has been personally served who fails, neglects or refuses to place such unsafe building or structure or hazard in a safe condition as designated in such notice, or who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter or orders given pursuant thereto, or who shall resist or obstruct the Building Inspector in carrying out the provisions of this chapter, shall be guilty of a violation and shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine of not more than $15,000. Each week in which such violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.