[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Rotterdam 4-23-1997 by L.L. No. 8-1997. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Fires and fire prevention — See Ch. 130.
Housing and building standards — See Ch. 154.
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former Ch. 90, Buildings, Unsafe, adopted 4-2-1969 by L.L. No. 5-1969.
Unsafe buildings pose a threat to life and property in the Town of Rotterdam. 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 Town of Rotterdam by requiring that such unsafe buildings be repaired or demolished and removed.
This chapter shall be known as the "Unsafe Buildings Law" of the Town of Rotterdam.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any building, structure or portion thereof used for residential, business or industrial purpose.
- BUILDING INSPECTOR/CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer of the Town
of Rotterdam or such other person appointed by the Town Board to enforce
the provisions of this chapter.[Amended 7-9-2003 by L.L. No. 9-2003]
- The Town of Rotterdam.
[Amended 7-9-2003 by L.L. No. 9-2003]
When in his own opinion or upon receipt of information that a building is or may become dangerous or unsafe to the general public; 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; is or may become a place of rodent infestation; presents any other danger to the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the public; or is unfit for the purposes for which it may lawfully be used, the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer shall cause or make an inspection thereof and report in writing to the Town Board of the Town his findings and recommendations in regard to its repair or demolition and removal.
The Town Board 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 its repair if the same can be safely repaired or its demolition and removal and further order that a notice be served upon the persons and in the manner provided herein.
The notice shall contain the following:
A description of the premises;
A statement of the particulars in which the building is unsafe or dangerous;
An order outlining the manner in which the building is to be made safe and secure, or demolished and removed;
A statement that the securing or removal of such building shall commence within 30 days of the service of the notice and shall be completed within 60 days thereafter, unless, for good cause shown, such time shall be extended;
A date, time and place for a hearing before the Town Board in relation to such dangerous or unsafe building, which hearing shall be scheduled not less than five business days from the date of service of the notice; and
A statement that in the event of neglect or refusal to comply with the order to secure or demolish and remove the building, the Town Board is authorized to provide for its demolition and removal, to assess all expenses thereof against the land on which it is located and to institute a special proceeding to collect the costs of demolition, including legal expenses.
The notice shall be served by personal service of a copy thereof upon the owner, executor, administrator, agent, lessee or any person having a vested or contingent interest in such unsafe building as shown by the records of the Receiver of Taxes or of the County Clerk or, if no such person can be reasonably found, by mailing such owner by registered mail a copy of such notice directed to his last known address as shown by the above records; and by personal service of a copy of such notice upon any adult person residing in or occupying said premises if such person can be reasonably found; and by securely affixing a copy of such notice upon the unsafe building.
A copy of the notice served as provided herein shall be filed in the office of the County Clerk of the County of Schenectady in the same manner as a notice of pendency pursuant to Article 65 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, which notice shall have the same effect as a notice of pendency.
In the event of the refusal or neglect of the person so notified to comply with said order of the Town Board, and after the hearing, the Town Board shall provide for the demolition and removal of such building or structure either by Town employees or by contract. Except in emergency as provided in § 90-11 hereof, any contract for demolition and removal of a building in excess of $20,000 shall be awarded through competitive bidding.
All expenses incurred by the Town in connection with the proceedings to repair and secure or demolish and remove the unsafe building, including the cost of actually removing such building, and all reasonable and necessary legal expenses incidental thereto, shall, at the option of the Town Board, either:
Be assessed against the land on which such building is located and shall be levied and collected in the same manner as provided in Article 12 of the Town Law for the levy and collection of a special ad valorem levy; or
Be collected by commencement of a special proceeding against the owner of said unsafe or dangerous building or structure pursuant to General Municipal Law § 78-b.
[Amended 7-9-2003 by L.L. No. 9-2003]
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 Town Board may by resolution authorize the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer to immediately cause the repair or demolition of such unsafe building. The expenses 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 § 90-10 hereof.
[Added 6-12-2013 by L.L. No. 7-2013]
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter or any rule or regulation made pursuant thereto shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of no less than $500 nor more than $1,000 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both, for conviction of a first offense; for conviction of a second offense, both of which were committed within a period of five years, punishable by a fine not less than $1,000 nor more than $1,500 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both; and upon conviction for a third or subsequent offense, all of which were committed within a period of five years, punishable by a fine not less than $1,500 nor more than $2,000 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both. Each day of continued violation shall constitute a separate, additional offense.