[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Rotterdam 5-10-1989 by L.L. No. 9-1989. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Unsafe buildings — See Ch. 90.
Fires and fire prevention — See Ch. 130.
Plumbing — See Ch. 213.
Zoning — See Ch. 270.
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former Ch. 154, Housing Standards, adopted 12-2-1970 by L.L. No. 12-1970, as amended.
The purpose of this chapter is to provide a minimum level of protection from the hazards of fire, inadequate building construction and improper maintenance in residential and nonresidential buildings, both public and private, so as to establish uniform standards to reduce the threat to public health and safety for occupants and users of buildings.
The Town Board of the Town of Rotterdam does hereby adopt by reference, the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, pursuant to Article 18, §§ 370 through 383, of the Executive Law of the State of New York, as enacted by Chapter 707 of the Laws of 1981, effective January 1, 1984. Said code is made a part hereof without the inclusion of the text thereof herein.
[Amended 7-22-1992 by L.L. No. 15-1992]
Said code shall be enforced by the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer, who shall be the chief code enforcement officer, and by the Assistant Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer or a duly appointed representative by the Rotterdam Town Board. The Plumbing Inspector is designated as a code enforcement officer for the purpose of enforcing Article 9 of the Uniform Code.
Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, ordinance, rule or regulation, or except as herein otherwise provided, the code enforcement officers shall administer and enforce all of the provisions of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and other laws, ordinances, rules and regulations applicable to plans, specifications or permits for the construction, alteration and repair of buildings and structures, and the installation and use of materials and equipment therein and to the location, use and occupancy thereof.
In the absence of the code enforcement officers or in the case of their inability to act for any reason, the Town Board of the Town of Rotterdam shall have the power to designate a person who is qualified by law to enforce the Uniform Code to act on behalf of the code enforcement officers and to exercise all the powers conferred upon them by this chapter.
The Town Board of the Town of Rotterdam may appoint one inspector or more, as the need may appear, to act under the supervision and direction of the code enforcement officers to make such inspections as may be required by the code enforcement officers. The compensation of such inspectors shall be fixed by the Town Board.
The code enforcement officers shall not engage in any activity inconsistent with these duties; nor shall they, during the terms of their employment, be engaged directly or indirectly in any building business, in the furnishing of labor, materials, supplies or appliances for or in the supervision of the construction, alteration, demolition or maintenance of a building or the preparation of plans or specifications thereof within the Town of Rotterdam, except that this provision shall not prohibit any code enforcement officer or employee from engaging in any such activities in connection with the construction of a building or structure owned by them for their own personal use and occupancy or for the use and occupancy of members of their immediate families and not constructed for sale.
Where practical difficulties or unnecessary hardship may result from enforcement of the strict letter of any provision of the New York State Uniform Code, applications for variances consistent with the spirit of the code may be made to the Regional Board of Review in accordance with Part 440 of the New York Code of Rules and Regulations entitled, "Uniform Code: Board of Review," as promulgated by the New York State Department of State. The code enforcer shall maintain a copy of such rules and regulations for public inspection and shall obtain and retain a copy of all decisions rendered by the Board of Review pertaining to matters affecting the Town of Rotterdam.
Where practical difficulties or unnecessary hardship may result from enforcement of the strict letter of any provision of this chapter or any rule or regulation hereunder which provision is not also required by the New York State Uniform Code, applications for variances consistent with the spirit of such law, rule or regulation may be made to the Rotterdam Zoning Board of Appeals.
Except as hereinafter provided, no person, firm, corporation, association or partnership shall commence the construction, enlargement, alteration, improvement, removal or demolition of any building or structure or any portion thereof, or install a solid fuel-burning heating apparatus, chimney or flue in any dwelling unit without first having obtained a permit from the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer of the Town of Rotterdam.
No permit shall be required for:
Necessary repairs which do not materially affect structural features;
Alterations to existing buildings, provided that the alterations:
Cost less than $10,000;
Do not materially affect structural features;
Do not affect firesafety features such as smoke detectors, sprinklers, required fire separations and exits;
Do not involve the installation or extension of electrical systems; and
Do not include the installation of solid-fuel-burning heating appliances and associated chimneys and flues.
The application for a building permit and its accompanying documents shall contain sufficient information to permit a determination that the intended work accords with the requirements of the Uniform Code.
The form of the permit and application therefor shall be prescribed by the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer. The application shall be signed by the owner or his authorized agent of the building or work and shall contain at least the following:
The name and address of the owner;
Identification and/or description of the land on which the work is to be done;
A description of use or occupancy of the land and existing or proposed building;
A description of the proposed work;
The estimated cost of the proposed work;
A statement that the work shall be performed in compliance with the Uniform Code and applicable state and local laws, ordinances and regulations; and
Such application shall be accompanied by such documents, drawings, plans, including plot plan, and specifications as the applicant shall deem adequate and appropriate for compliance with the local law, or as the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer may require as being necessary or appropriate in his judgment. The applicant may confer with the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer in advance of submitting his application to discuss the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer requirements for the same.
Any plans, including plot plan, or specifications which comprise a portion of the application, whether submitted subsequently upon requirement by the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer, shall be stamped with the seal of an architect or professional engineer or land surveyor licensed in this state, and shall in all respects, comply with § 7209 of the Education Law of the State of New York as the same may be amended from time to time.
The applicant shall notify the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer of any changes in the information contained in the application during the period for which the permit is in effect. A permit will be issued when the application has been determined to be complete and when the proposed work is determined to conform to the requirements of the Uniform Code. The authority conferred by such permit may be limited by conditions, if any, contained therein.
A building permit issued pursuant to this section shall be prominently displayed on the property or premises to which it pertains.
A building permit issued pursuant to this section may be suspended or revoked if it is determined that the work to which it pertains is not proceeding in conformance with the Uniform Code or with any condition attached to such permit, or if there has been misrepresentation or falsification of a material fact in connection with the application for the permit.
It shall be the obligation of the owner to procure the building permit, and failure to do so shall subject him to prosecution as provided in § 154-15.
A building permit issued pursuant to this chapter shall expire one year from the date of issuance or upon the issuance of a certificate of occupancy (other than a temporary certificate of occupancy), whichever occurs first. The permit may, upon written request, be renewed for successive one-year periods, provided that:
The permit has not been revoked or suspended at the time the application for renewal is made;
The relevant information in the application is up to date;
The renewal fee is paid; and, in addition,
A permit may not be renewed after two successive renewals. Upon completion of the third year, a complete review of plans and specifications may be required for the remainder of the work to be completed.
No building erected subject to the Uniform Code and this chapter shall be used or occupied, except to the extent provided in this section, until a certificate of occupancy has been issued by the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer upon request of the owner or his agent. No building similarly enlarged, extended or altered or upon which work has been performed which required the issuance of a building permit shall be occupied or used for more than 30 days after the completion of the alteration or work unless a certificate of occupancy has been issued. No change shall be made in the nature of the occupancy of an existing building unless a certificate of occupancy authorizing the change has been issued.
A temporary certificate of occupancy may be issued if the building or structure or a designated portion of a building or structure is sufficiently complete that it may be put to the use for which it is intended. A temporary certificate of occupancy may be issued, upon request, before the entire work covered by the building permit shall have been completed, provided that such portions as have been completed may be occupied safely without endangering life or the public health and welfare. The temporary certificate of occupancy may be issued for a period of 60 days or portion thereof at the discretion of the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer and may be renewed not to exceed a maximum of 90 days.
No certificate of occupancy shall be issued except upon an inspection which reveals no uncorrected deficiency or material violation of the Uniform Code in the area intended for use; compliance with all other Town and other applicable laws, ordinances, rules and regulations, including site plan requirements, variances and special use permit conditions, if any; and upon payment of the appropriate fee.
Work for which a building permit has been issued shall be inspected for approval prior to enclosing or covering any portion thereof and upon completion of each stage of construction, including but not limited to building location, site preparation, excavation, foundation, framing, superstructure, electrical, plumbing and heating and air conditioning. It shall be the responsibility of the owner to inform a code enforcement officer that the work is ready for inspection and to schedule such inspection.
Existing buildings not subject to inspection under Subsection A of this section shall be subject to periodic inspections for compliance with the Uniform Code in accordance with the following schedule: all areas of public assembly defined in the Uniform Code, all buildings or structures containing areas of public assembly and the common areas of multiple dwellings, every year; all buildings or structures open to the general public and all other buildings, at intervals consistent with local conditions or by bona fide complaint. Notwithstanding any requirement of this subsection to the contrary, no regular periodic inspections of occupied dwelling units shall be required; provided, however, that this shall not be a limitation on inspections conducted at the invitation of the occupant or where conditions on the premises threaten or present a hazard to public health, safety or welfare.
The inspections required by § 154-11 of this chapter must be performed by a code enforcement officer and inspectors, if any, appointed by the Town Board to assist him. A code enforcement officer is authorized to order, in writing, the correction of any condition in violation of the Uniform Code or other applicable law, ordinance, rule or regulation found in, on or about any building. Such orders shall be served upon the owner and upon the party responsible for creating the condition in person or by certified or registered mail sent to the owner at the address set forth in any relevant application for a permit or in any relevant certificate. The order shall set forth the time within which the condition must be corrected. Any owner and/or the party responsible for creating such condition, who fails to correct the condition within the specified time, shall be subject to a penalty as set forth in § 154-15.
A person subject to inspection under § 154-11 may be required by the chief code enforcement officer to have such inspection performed at his own cost and expense by a competent inspector acceptable to the chief code enforcement officer. Such inspector may be a registered architect, licensed professional engineer or other person whose experience and training has been demonstrated to the satisfaction of the chief code enforcement officer. Such inspector shall certify the results of his inspection to the chief code enforcement officer.
The chief code enforcement officer shall keep permanent official records of all transactions and activities conducted by the code enforcement officers, including all applications received, plans approved, permits and certificates issued, fees charged and collected, inspection reports, all rules and regulations promulgated by the municipality and notices and orders issued. All such reports shall be public information open to public inspection during normal business hours.
The chief code enforcement officer shall annually submit to the Town Board of the Town of Rotterdam a written report of all business conducted.
Whenever a code enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe that work on any building or structure is proceeding without permit or is otherwise in violation or the provisions of any applicable law, code, ordinance or regulation or is not in conformity with any of the provisions of the application, plans or specifications on the basis on which a permit was issued or is being conducted in an unsafe and dangerous manner, he shall notify either the owner of the property or the person, firm or corporation performing the work to immediately suspend all work. In such instance, any and all persons shall immediately suspend all related activities until the stop-work order has been duly rescinded.
Such stop-work order shall be in writing on a form prescribed by the chief code enforcement officer and shall state the reasons for the stop-work order, together with the date of issuance. A stop-work order shall be served upon the person to whom it is directed either by personal delivery or by posting the same upon a conspicuous portion of the building where the work is being performed, and sending a copy of the same to the person, firm or corporation by certified mail.
Any person, firm or corporation who shall willfully fail to comply with a written order of a code enforcement officer within the time fixed for compliance herewith and any owner, builder, architect, tenant, contractor, subcontractor, plumber, construction superintendent or their agents or any other person taking part or assisting in the construction or use of any building who shall violate any of the applicable provisions of this chapter or any lawful order, notice, directive, permit or certificate of a code enforcement officer made thereunder or any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter, the Uniform Code, any rules or regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter or who shall violate or fail to comply with any order made thereunder or who shall build in violation of any detailed statement of specifications or plans submitted and approved thereunder shall severally for each and every such violation be guilty of an offense and, 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. The imposition of one penalty for any violation shall not excuse the violation nor permit it to continue; and all such persons shall be required to correct or remedy such violation or defects within a reasonable time; and when not otherwise specified, each day that the prohibited condition(s) or violation continues shall constitute a separate offense. The imposition of any such penalty shall not be held to prohibit the enforced removal of prohibited conditions by any appropriate remedy, including immediate application for an injunction.
[Amended 7-9-2003 by L.L. No. 9-2003; 6-12-2013 by L.L. No. 7-2013]
An action or proceeding in the name of the Town of Rotterdam, New York, may be commenced in any court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with or restrain by injunction the violation of any provision of the Uniform Code, this chapter, rule or regulation adopted pursuant to this chapter or any other applicable law, ordinance, rule or regulation or a violation order, or to vacate the occupancy or building in the case of imminent danger to life or property. Such remedy shall be in addition to penalties otherwise prescribed by law.