This chapter shall be enforced by the Zoning Administrator of the City of Oswego, who shall be the City Engineer. No building permit or certificate of compliance shall be issued by the Zoning Administrator for any purpose except in compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
The Zoning Administrator is authorized to inspect and examine or cause to be inspected and examined any building, structure, place, premises or use in the City with regard to the provisions of this chapter and to issue a written order for the proper remedying or compliance, within a reasonable period of time, of any condition found to be in violation thereof, subject to the provisions of this chapter.
The police shall report all violations to the Zoning Administrator, Chief of Police and Fire Chief, and the Health Department Inspector shall, at the request of the Zoning Administrator or on their initiative, examine or investigate any building, structure, use or premises with regard to any provision of this chapter and shall issue reports and recommendations to the Zoning Administrator regarding any violations thereof.
If an unlawful condition or use is found not to have been properly remedied or made to comply with the provisions of this chapter by the expiration of a reasonable time period, the Zoning Administrator is empowered to immediately institute any appropriate action, charge or proceedings in the proper legal court for the prevention, cessation or discontinuance of any condition, use, occupancy or act in, on, of or around any building, structure or tract of land, and for the prosecution of any owner, occupant or offender. Furthermore, the Zoning Administrator is empowered to conduct administrative hearings to ascertain facts pertinent to a written complaint, unlawful condition or uses which do not comply with the conditions of this chapter. Administrative hearings shall not be published as public notices.
Pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 495 of the Laws of 1978 of the State of New York, and § 150.20, Subdivision 3, of the Criminal Procedure Law, the Zoning Administrator of the City of Oswego, or the persons duly designated by him, in writing, and filed in the City Clerk's office of the City of Oswego, are hereby specially authorized to issue and serve appearance tickets with respect to any violation of any provisions of this chapter upon any person or persons when he has reasonable cause to believe that such person or persons has committed a violation in his presence.
If the Zoning Administrator fails to proceed with any action in accordance with § 280-97 within a ten-day period following written request by any person, then any three or more persons residing or owning property in the district or in an adjacent district wherein an alleged violation of this chapter exists and who are jointly or severally aggrieved by such violation may institute such appropriate action, charge or proceeding.
A violation of any provision of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine of up to $1,000. Each day of continued violation shall constitute a separate additional violation. If more than one provision is violated, each provision violated shall be considered a separate violation, each liable to the maximum penalties as herein specified.
Criminal penalties for violations.
Any person who willfully or recklessly violates any provision of this chapter; willfully or recklessly violates or fails to comply with any requirements 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 $1,000 nor more than $2,500 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.
[Amended 4-26-1982; 6-12-2006]
A person commits a willful violation when he intentionally acts, or intentionally fails to act, to cause a desired result that violates this chapter. A person commits a reckless violation when he acts, or fails to act, with a conscious disregard of 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.
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.
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 defendant's action. This subsection 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.
The Common Council may from time to time by resolution establish a schedule of fees for any permits, applications or administrative processing required under this chapter. No application shall be processed or permit issued until the required fee is paid to the City Chamberlain.
[Amended 3-14-1983; 10-9-2007]
All persons proposing to construct, erect, alter, extend, relocate or structurally change any building, structure or portion thereof, shall apply to the Zoning Administrator/Code Enforcement Director for a building permit. Applications shall be made solely by the property owner. Applications shall include detailed floor plans, showing all scaled dimensions, together with specified uses. No building, structure or portion thereof shall be constructed, erected, altered, extended, relocated or structurally changed until a building permit has been issued jointly by the Zoning Administrator and Code Enforcement Director.
In the B1 Neighborhood Business District and the B2 Central Business District, all persons proposing to construct, erect, alter, extend, relocate or structurally change the facades of buildings, including but not limited to siding, windows and painting of facades, shall apply to the Zoning Administrator for a building permit. Such application shall comply with the downtown design guidelines, as amended, and shall be referred to the Architectural Review Committee for a certificate of consistency prior to issuance of a building permit.
The Zoning Administrator shall, after determining whether or not such proposed construction, erection, alteration, extension, relocation or structural change is in violation of any provisions of this chapter, either approve or disapprove any such application and shall issue a building permit for any such application which he approves.
Any such application for any proposed construction, erection, alteration, extension, relocation or structural change of a building, structure or portion thereof shall be accompanied by two copies of all plans drawn to scale showing the dimensions and location on the lot or in the building of the proposed construction, erection, alteration, extension, relocation or structural change, and showing its relation to any existing buildings or other structures.
All applications for a building permit shall be made in duplicate, and the Zoning Administrator, in issuing a building permit, shall return to the applicant one copy of the approved application and plans, marked with approval. If disapproved, the reasons shall be stated on one copy of the application and plans and that copy shall be returned to the applicant.
If approval is required by the Board of Appeals, Planning Board or other agency for any such proposed construction, erection, alteration, extension, relocation or structural change, such approval shall be obtained in writing and submitted along with the application for a building permit.
Every building permit issued shall become void after the expiration of one calendar year immediately following the date of issuance, and any further work on any premises after the expiration date or extension period of such building permit has passed shall constitute a violation of this chapter. Prior to such expiration date, the applicant may either apply for a new building permit or make application to the Board of Appeals for an extension of the expiration date of the original building permit.
The Board of Appeals may for just cause extend the expiration date of any building permit for a reasonable time period and may attach reasonable conditions to such extension relating to work involved or situations that exist as a result of the work.
Any building permit issued after effective date of this amendment in violation of provisions of this chapter shall be null and void and of no effect, and no further proceedings for revocation and nullification thereof will be necessary; and any work undertaken or use established pursuant to any such permit shall be unlawful and liable to penalties in accordance with this chapter.
The Zoning Administrator shall inspect or cause to be inspected any building, structure or portion thereof after completion of any work for which a building permit was issued.
Excavation relating to the construction on the same lot of a building for which a building permit has been issued shall be permitted in any district. In the event that construction of a building is stopped prior to completion, and the building permit thereof is allowed to expire, the premises shall immediately be cleared of any rubbish, building materials or other unsightly accumulations relating to construction; and any excavation to a depth greater than two feet below existing grade shall immediately be filled in and topsoil replaced, or all excavations shall be entirely surrounded by a substantial fence at least six feet high that will effectively block access to the excavated area. Where necessary, suitable gates will be installed with locks.
No building permit shall be issued for a building, structure or use located on a lot or land which does not have frontage on a dedicated street.
No building permit shall be issued for more than one principal building, structure or use located on a lot or land in a residential district.
Application for a zoning certificate of compliance shall be made to the Zoning Administrator:
The Zoning Administrator shall issue a zoning certificate of compliance after inspection of the premises if he is satisfied that the work for which the building permit was issued is completed and complies with all provisions of this chapter and other applicable ordinances.
Every applicant for a zoning certificate of compliance shall refer in his application to the building permit which he was issued or, in case none was needed, he shall submit such additional data as is required in an application for a building permit.
No building or structure following construction, erection, alteration, extension, relocation or structural changes, wholly or in part, and no existing building or part thereof may be changed in use and no vacant land may be changed in use until a zoning certificate of compliance has been issued by the Zoning Administrator.
A zoning certificate of compliance shall continue in effect as long as such building, structure or portion thereof, or the use of same, or the use of land shall remain in conformity with the provisions of this chapter, including any further amendment thereto or other applicable ordinances.
One copy of every zoning certificate of compliance issued in accordance with this chapter shall be filed with the City Clerk, and one copy shall be retained by the Zoning Administrator.
If the Zoning Administrator declines to issue a zoning certificate of compliance, his reasons for doing so shall be stated on one copy of the application, and that copy shall be returned to the applicant.
[Added 2-9-2015 by L.L. No. 2-2015; amended 8-14-2015 by L.L. No. 6-2015]
Permit applicants with outstanding violations or unpaid monies.
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").
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.
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.
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 local law.
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.
No application fees shall be refunded upon revocation of the permit.
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.
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.
Notwithstanding the provisions contained in this section to the contrary, when in the opinion of the Director of Code Enforcement the issuance of a permit is necessary to prevent harm to life, safety, or the general welfare of the public, the Director of Code Enforcement shall be authorized to issue said permit for the sole and exclusive purpose of bringing such violations into compliance with the Code of the City of Oswego. Nothing contained herein shall relieve the property owner from complying with all other applicable sections of the Code including, without limitation, the provisions contained in this section.
[Added 4-10-2017 by L.L. No. 2-2017]