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. 77 of the 1980 Code; amended in its entirety 3-12-2018 by L.L. No. 2-2018. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Dangerous buildings — See Ch. 83.
Solid waste — See Ch. 207.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 211.
Trees — See Ch. 240.
Utility poles — See Ch. 245
Abandoned or junk vehicles — See Ch. 253.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all existing premises and constitute minimum requirements and standards for safe and sanitary maintenance.
This chapter is intended to provide standards to safeguard public safety, health and general welfare insofar as they are affected by the maintenance of premises.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL
An employee of the City of Oswego with the authority to enforce state and local ordinances and codes, including but not limited to the Police, Fire and Code Enforcement Departments of the City.
ENCLOSED PORCH
A roofed structure attached to the first floor of a building which is fully enclosed by walls, windows, and/or screening material that is not accessible from the outside except through a door that can be locked.
GARBAGE
All putrescible animal and vegetable waste resulting from growing, processing, marketing and preparation of food items, including the container in which such items are packaged.
JUNK
Worn out or discarded material of little or no value, including, but not limited to, a junk appliance, junk furniture, junk mobile home, junk motor vehicle or garbage, rubbish and debris.
NATURAL HABITAT
Uncultivated habitat whereupon native vegetation exists in a pristine state.
PERMANENT DUMPSTER
A dumpster that acts as the primary depository of waste materials and garbage for the premises.
RUBBISH, CLUTTER, LITTER AND DEBRIS
Ordinary household or commercial trash such as paper and paper products, barrels, cartons, boxes, cardboard, cans, glass, metals, machinery, plastics, rubber, crates, furniture, rugs, clothing, rags, mattresses, blankets, cigarettes, tires, lumber, brick, stone and other building materials no longer intended or in condition for ordinary use; and any and all tangible personal property no longer intended or in condition for ordinary and customary use.
TEMPORARY DUMPSTER
A dumpster that is used for transitory collection of construction debris, junk or other materials.
UNENCLOSED PORCH
Any structure attached to the first floor of a building which does not meet the definition of an enclosed porch.
Any real property owned by an individual, corporation, or other entity is, when reported or observed by a Code Enforcement Official, subject to inspection by Code Enforcement officials of the City of Oswego, New York.
A. 
Preparation of solid wastes for collection shall be the responsibility of the following persons:
(1) 
In owner-occupied property, all owners shall be responsible.
(2) 
In non-owner-occupied property, all occupants shall be responsible.
B. 
Garbage and refuse. Garbage and refuse originating from private and multiple dwellings shall be drained of surplus liquid and securely wrapped in paper or plastic bags prior to disposition in an approved collection container. Garbage and refuse originating in institutions, cafeterias and commercial establishments shall be drained of surplus liquid prior to disposition in an approved collection container.
C. 
Building debris. Building debris shall be placed at the point of collection in approved collection containers. The gross weight of the building debris shall not exceed 75 pounds. Building debris and other large items, i.e., refrigerators and stoves, that are too large for placement in collection containers shall be deemed "bulky waste." Any item that has a door shall have it removed or the latching mechanism disabled.
A. 
Approved collection containers shall be made of adequate material, shall be of substantial construction, shall have handles and shall have attached tight-fitting covers tethered to the can. They shall be watertight and shall be fly- and rodent-tight. Approved collection containers shall be clearly marked for identification by the owner, either by name or street number. Collection containers for private dwellings shall have a capacity conducive to the applicable hauler's ability to dump and maintain.
B. 
There shall also be required separate collection containers for any materials deemed recyclable under Oswego County's Mandatory Recycling Program and shall be subject to changes at any time as Oswego County finds it necessary to change.
C. 
Location of collection containers. The resident shall be required to keep all collection containers, including those used for recycling, in an area away from the street in a location in back of, or alongside of, his/her own premises until the scheduled pickup day, at which time residents may place their trash container(s) at the edge of the pavement, street or road anytime after 5:00 a.m. on said day. On or before 9:00 p.m. of that same day, the trash container(s) shall be returned to the proper storage location as stated in this subsection. The trash hauler will return the container(s) to the location where they were found at the time of pickup.
A. 
All metal trash dumpsters shall be screened from street or public view by a six-foot screening enclosure.
(1) 
The type of enclosure shall be a wooden fence, concrete masonry units, bricks or other opaque material approved by the Zoning Administrator.
(2) 
The enclosure for a metal dumpster shall be placed on a four-inch pad that matches the adjacent grade and paving to provide positive drainage and shall not be located on any required parking spaces.
B. 
Permanent dumpsters shall be located within a rear or side yard as approved by the Zoning Administrator but shall not be located closer than five feet to a lot line nor in a location not visible from the street right-of-way unless contained in an approved screening enclosure installed in accordance with § 249-7A of this chapter.
C. 
Temporary dumpsters shall be located in an area as approved by the Department of Code Enforcement. Obstructing the public sidewalk or street shall be prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Chief of Police or his/her designee.
D. 
No dumpster shall be located on premises without a permit authorizing its placement.
(1) 
On forms provided by the Department of Code Enforcement, the applicant shall identify the size and location of a permanent dumpster relative to the property lines. If required, details shall be provided regarding the enclosure surrounding the dumpster. The duration of the permit and the fee for the permit shall be established, from time to time, by resolution of the Common Council. The Department, for good cause, may revoke said permit.
(2) 
On forms provided by the the Department of Code Enforcement, the applicant shall identify the size and location of a temporary dumpster relative to the property lines. The duration of the permit and the fee for the permit shall be established, from time to time, by resolution of the Common Council. The Department, for good cause, may revoke said permit.
E. 
Permit applicants with outstanding violations or unpaid monies.
(1) 
No such permit shall be granted to or renewed for an applicant who is in violation of any City of Oswego code, ordinance or local law (hereinafter "violations") or who owes property taxes, water or sewer fees, special assessments, fines for violations of City ordinances or any other fees or past-due monies of any name or nature owed to the City of Oswego (hereinafter "unpaid monies").
(a) 
The applicant shall have the burden of providing proof in a form acceptable to the Department that there are no such violations or unpaid monies.
(b) 
In the event that the applicant has accrued violations or unpaid monies, such permit or renewal thereof shall be denied, regardless of whether such violations or unpaid monies relate to a parcel of real property for which the application is made or another parcel owned by applicant or are personal to the applicant.
(c) 
In the event that the applicant has accrued violations or unpaid monies, such permit or renewal thereof shall be denied, regardless of whether such violations or unpaid monies occurred or accrued before the effective date of this chapter.
(d) 
Such permit, once granted, shall be revoked in the event that the applicant accrues violations or unpaid monies, or violations or unpaid monies are discovered, after the permit is granted. The revocation shall take effect five business days after receipt by the permit holder of notice from the City of Oswego of the pending revocation. Upon such revocation, all permitted activities and privileges shall immediately cease.
(e) 
No application fees shall be refunded upon revocation of the permit.
(f) 
The applicant must reapply for the issuance of such revoked permit by submitting a new application and paying all necessary application fees, and any such permitted activities or privileges may only be resumed once a new permit has been granted.
(g) 
All requirements set forth herein shall also apply to nonperson entities, and such permit or renewal thereof shall be denied to an entity, or revoked, if a person with a substantial interest in such entity owes such unpaid monies or has accrued such violations. A "person with a substantial interest" shall mean an ownership interest of more than 10% of, membership on the governing board of, holding an office in, or holding the ability to cast or control more than 10% of the votes in, such entity.
A. 
All premises shall be maintained free from debris and noxious weeds or grass in excess of 10 inches in height. Bushes shall not exceed four feet in height in a front yard and six feet in height in a side or rear yard. Vacant structures shall be secured from illegal entry on the basement and first floor levels. Exception: Natural habitat shall be maintained free from debris and noxious weeds or grass only where native vegetation interferes with vehicular lines of sight or pedestrian access to a public sidewalk.
B. 
All dead, defective, diseased or decayed trees shall be pruned until safe or removed at the direction of the Department of Code Enforcement.
C. 
Residential swimming pools shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition, and in good repair. Existing fences surrounding pools shall be continuous and free from defects that may allow entry by unauthorized persons.
Outdoor use or storage of upholstered furniture not manufactured for outdoor use, including, without limitation, upholstered chairs, upholstered couches, and mattresses, shall be prohibited from being visible on the property from any public space, sidewalk, street or highway. Outdoor use or storage of such furniture as aforesaid shall also be prohibited on any unenclosed porch which is located on public space in the City of Oswego, New York.
A. 
The deposit, accumulation, or storage of junk, regardless of quantity, is hereby prohibited within sight of persons traveling the public highways or within sight of neighboring property. The provisions of this subsection shall also be applicable to conditions existing at the time of enactment.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to use a bus, uninhabited mobile home, truck, truck trailer, horse trailer, semitrailer, tank truck, or similar vehicles or units for the storage of junk on any premises. Exceptions shall be made for the temporary use of such vehicles or units for construction purposes for periods of less than 90 days, or when actively used in connection with active farming or agricultural operations.
A. 
Upon notification of a violation of any sections of this chapter, the Code Enforcement Official will notify the owner, tenant and occupant of his/her findings and explain, in detail, the steps the owner, tenant and occupant must take to bring the premises into compliance. This may be done by any of the following methods:
(1) 
By certified mail, return receipt requested.
(2) 
By registered mail, return receipt requested.
(3) 
Hand delivery by a Code Enforcement Official.
(4) 
By United States Mail.
B. 
The Code Enforcement Official will also set a day by which time the work must be completed.
C. 
If the work is not completed as required in the notification sent to the owner pursuant to Subsection A herein, the City may go upon the premises in violation and may take or cause to take appropriate measures to alleviate the conditions complained of. In the event that the City does take action as herein described, the City shall ascertain the costs of such remedial measures and place said amount upon the tax rolls for said property, plus an administrative surcharge in the amounts listed below:
Value of Work
Surcharge
$1 to $99
$100
$100 to $199
$150
$200 to $299
$200
$300 or greater
$250
D. 
If an unlawful condition or use is found not to have been properly remedied or made to comply with the provisions of this chapter, the Director of Code Enforcement is empowered to immediately institute any appropriate action, charge or proceedings in the proper legal court to enforce the provisions of this chapter and for the prosecution of any owner, occupant or offender.
E. 
In the event that two notices of violation of any section of this chapter have been previously sent to the owner, tenant or occupant of a residential home within a six-month period, the requirement of a notification pursuant to Subsection A shall be waived, and the Director of Code Enforcement, or his/her designee, is empowered to immediately institute any appropriate action pursuant to Subsection D.
All premises shall be maintained properly such that they shall not be a threat to public safety. In the event that the Department of Code Enforcement identifies a structure or premises that imminently endangers the public health, safety or welfare, it shall take appropriate measures to render the condition safe pursuant to § 249-11 of this chapter.
A. 
A violation of any provision of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine based on the previous number of violations related to the premises by the current owner. Such fines amounts shall be based on the below:
Number of Previous Violations
Fine Amount
0
$75
1
$150
2
$300
3 and above
$500
B. 
Each day of continued violation shall constitute a separate additional violation.
A. 
Any person who willfully or recklessly violates any provision of this chapter; willfully or recklessly violates or fails to comply with any requirement of an order of the Department; or willfully makes or causes any other person to make any false or misleading statement on any notice or other document required to be filed pursuant to this chapter or on any application or any accompanying document for the granting of any permit or any other action by the Department pursuant to this chapter shall be guilty of an offense punishable by a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $500 for each violation or by imprisonment for up to 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment, or other penalties pursuant to the Penal Law of the State of New York.
B. 
A person commits a willful violation when he/she intentionally acts, or intentionally fails to act, to cause a desired result that violates this chapter. A person commits a substantial risk that the act or failure to act will result in a condition constituting a violation of this chapter which will endanger the life, health, safety or general welfare of another person.
C. 
In a prosecution for a willful or reckless violation of a provision of this chapter, evidence of prior service of civil process or of prior judgments from the same violation and relating to the same premises shall be admissible on the issue of the defendant's knowledge of the existing violation.
D. 
Evidence that the defendant had knowledge or notice of the violation and failed to correct the same for more than one month or take reasonable action to explain to the Department this failure shall be evidence of the willfulness of the defendant's action.
E. 
This section shall not be construed to prevent conviction for a willful violation on other grounds.
Any person who refuses entry or access to an officer or an inspector of the Department to any premises or any part thereof that the officer or inspector is lawfully authorized to inspect or who unreasonably interferes with an authorized inspection shall be guilty of an offense punishable by a fine of not more than $50 or by imprisonment for not more than five days, or by both such fine and imprisonment, or other penalties pursuant to the Penal Law of the State of New York.
This chapter shall become effective immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State.