City of Oswego, NY
Oswego County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Oswego 5-12-1980 as Ch. 112 of the 1980 Code; amended in its entirety 9-26-2016 by L.L. No. 5-2016. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire prevention and building construction — See Ch. 126.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 133.
Housing standards — See Ch. 149.
Trailers — See Ch. 236.
All buildings or structures which have any or all of the following defects shall be deemed dangerous 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 foundations, 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 City of Oswego.
E. 
Those which have become or are so dilapidated, decayed, unsafe or insanitary 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, morals, safety or general welfare of those living therein.
F. 
Those buildings and structures, occupied or unoccupied, having light, air, water, electrical, hot water 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, 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, insanitary or dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the people of this City.
J. 
Those buildings existing in violation of any provision of the Building Code of this City or any provisions of any ordinances relating to the prevention of fire or of other ordinances of this City or laws of the State of New York now or hereafter adopted.
The following standards shall be followed in substance by the Building Inspector and the Director of Code Enforcement in ordering repair, removal, vacation or demolition:
A. 
If the dangerous building can reasonably be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this chapter, it shall be ordered to be repaired.
B. 
If the dangerous building is in such condition as to make it dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of its occupants, it shall be ordered to be vacated.
C. 
In any case where a dangerous building is damaged or decayed or deteriorated by 50% from its original value or structure, it shall be demolished, and in all cases where a building 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 a dangerous building is a fire hazard existing or erected in violation of the terms of this chapter or any ordinance relating to the prevention of fire, it shall be demolished.
D. 
All repairs undertaken pursuant to this chapter shall be made in compliance with existing laws of the City of Oswego and State of New York, including the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, and shall comply with the standards thereof pertaining to heat, hot water, sanitation, electricity, light, air and safety.
All dangerous buildings within the terms of § 83-1 of this chapter are hereby declared to be public nuisances and shall be repaired, vacated or demolished as hereinbefore and hereafter provided.
The Building Inspector shall:
A. 
Inspect all public buildings, schools, halls, churches, theaters, hotels, tenements, apartments or commercial, manufacturing or loft buildings for the purpose of determining whether any condition exists which renders such places a dangerous building within the terms of this chapter.
B. 
Inspect any building, wall or structure about which complaints are filed by any person to the effect that a building, wall or structure is or may be existing in violation of this chapter.
C. 
Inspect any building, wall or structure reported, as hereinafter provided for, by the Fire Department or Police Department of this City as probably existing in violation of the terms of this chapter.
D. 
Notify, in writing, the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee, agent and all other persons having an interest in the said building, as shown by the real property records of the Clerk of the County of Oswego, of any building found by him to be a dangerous building within the standards set forth in § 83-1 of this chapter that:
(1) 
The owner must vacate or repair or demolish said building in accordance with the terms of the notice and this chapter.
(2) 
The occupant or lessee must vacate said building or may have it repaired in accordance with the notice and remain in possession.
(3) 
The mortgagee, agent or other persons having an interest in said building, as shown by the said real property records of the Clerk of the County of Oswego, may, at his own risk, repair, vacate, remove or demolish said building or have such work or act done, provided that any person notified under this subsection to repair, vacate or demolish any building shall be given such reasonable time, not exceeding 90 days, as may be necessary to do or to have done the work or act required by the notice provided for herein.
E. 
Set forth in the notice provided for in Subsection D hereof a description of the building or structure deemed unsafe, a statement of the particulars which make the building or structure a dangerous building, and an order requiring the same to be put in such condition as to comply with the terms of this chapter within such length of time, not exceeding 90 days, as is reasonable.
F. 
Report to the Director of Code Enforcement any noncompliance with the notice provided for in Subsections D and E hereof.
G. 
Appear at all hearings conducted by the Director of Code Enforcement and testify as to the condition of the dangerous buildings.
H. 
Place a notice on all dangerous buildings, reading as follows:
This building has been found to be a dangerous building by the Code Enforcement Officer. It is unlawful to remove this sign without permission of the City of Oswego under penalty of the law.
The Director of Code Enforcement shall:
A. 
Upon receipt of a report of the Building Inspector as provided for in § 83-4F hereof, give written notice to the owner, according to the general tax assessment rolls of the City of Oswego, and also to the occupant, mortgagee, lessee, agent and all other persons who may have an interest in said building, as determined by the Director of Code Enforcement from the assessment and tax records of the City of Oswego, to appear before him on the date specified in the notice to show cause why the building or structure reported to be a dangerous building should not be repaired, vacated or demolished in accordance with the statement of particulars set forth in the Building Inspector's notice provided for herein in § 83-4E.
B. 
Hold a hearing and hear such testimony, under oath, as the Building Inspector or the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee or any other person having an interest in said building, as shown by the real property records of the Clerk of the County of Oswego, and any other persons called as a witness by any of the foregoing, shall offer relative to the dangerous building.
C. 
Make written findings of fact from the testimony offered pursuant to Subsection B above as to whether or not the building in question is a dangerous building within the terms of § 83-1.
D. 
Issue an order, based upon findings of fact made pursuant to Subsection C above, commanding the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee, agent and all other persons having an interest in said building, as shown by the real property records of the Clerk of the County of Oswego, to repair, vacate or demolish any building found to be a dangerous building within the terms of this chapter, and provided that any person so notified, except the owners, shall have the privilege of vacating or repairing said dangerous building, or any person not the owner of said dangerous building but having an interest in said building, as shown by the real property records of the Clerk of the County of Oswego, may demolish said dangerous building at his own risk to prevent the acquiring of a lien against the land upon which said dangerous building stands by the City, as provided in Subsection E hereof.
E. 
If the owner, occupant, mortgagee or lessee fails to comply with the order provided for in Subsection D hereof within 10 days, the Director of Code Enforcement shall report such fact to the Common Council, in writing, and transmit to the Common Council at such time a copy of his written findings of fact and of the order provided for in Subsection D. The Common Council, by resolution, may authorize the Director of Code Enforcement to cause such building or structure to be repaired, vacated or demolished as the facts may warrant under the standards hereinbefore provided for in § 83-2. The cost of such repair, vacation or demolition shall be charged against the land upon which such building exists in the same manner as local assessments provided for in the Charter of the City of Oswego, provided that in cases where such procedure is desirable and any delay thereby caused will not be dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the people of the City of Oswego, the Common Council may direct the City Attorney to take legal action to compel the owner to make all necessary repairs or to demolish the building.
In cases where it reasonably appears that there is immediate danger to the life or safety of any person unless a dangerous building as defined herein is immediately repaired, vacated or demolished, the Building Inspector shall report such facts to the Common Council, and the Common Council may direct the Director of Code Enforcement to cause the immediate repair, vacation or demolition of such dangerous building. The costs of such emergency repair, vacation or demolition of such dangerous building shall be collected in the same manner as provided in § 83-5E hereof.
In all cases where notices or orders provided for herein are required to be served, such service shall be made either personally or by registered mail, return receipt requested, directed to the person upon whom it is intended to be served at his last known address, and in the event that such service is made by registered mail, a copy of such notice or order shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the dangerous building to which it relates. Such personal service or service by mail and posting shall be deemed adequate service.
No officer, agent or employee of the City of Oswego shall render himself personally liable for any damage that may accrue to the persons or property of anyone as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this chapter. Any suit brought against any such officer, agent or employee of the City of Oswego as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this title shall be defended by the City Attorney, and any judgment recovered against such person, if affirmed where an appeal is taken, shall be paid by the City of Oswego.
All members of the Fire and Police Departments of the City of Oswego shall make a report, in writing, to the Building Inspector of any buildings or structures which are or may be or are suspected to be dangerous buildings within the meaning of this chapter.
This chapter shall take effect immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State.