[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Ellenville 2-11-2008 by L.L. No. 2-2008. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It shall be unlawful, without obtaining a license from the Village Clerk, for any person, firm of corporation, either as owner, tenant or agent, to run, operate or maintain in the Village of Ellenville, a hotel, motel, inn, boardinghouse, lodging house, association, club, or any building or part of a building used in the business of renting rooms or furnishing meals with accommodations for more boarders or roomers than allowed as of right in a single-family dwelling as set forth in the Chapter 227, Zoning, of the Village of Ellenville, as amended.
All applications for licenses or renewals thereof shall be made in writing, in duplicate, containing the information called for, on forms furnished by the Village Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer, and shall be sworn to by the applicant or his or its duly authorized agent or representative. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the applicant is specifically required to represent on the application the maximum occupancy limits of each room or dwelling unit offered for public occupancy.
Petition for relief from license. Any person or corporation, either as owner, tenant or agent seeking to operate or maintain a facility listed under § 129-1 within the Village may submit a petition to the Village Board requesting relief from the requirement to gain a license before allowing occupancy of said facility. Such petition shall be subject to approval by the Village Board, and no occupancy shall be allowed without a license unless approval of the Village Board has been previously obtained.
The Village Board, in making a determination to grant relief to a person or corporation acting as owner, tenant or agent, may consider in reaching a decision on such request any item that the Village Board deems appropriate, including, but not limited to, the following: whether the occupant is a victim of displacement of his/her primary residence due to fire, flood, or other catastrophe; whether the occupancy will be temporary in nature; whether the occupant is acting in the capacity of property manager of the facility; whether the occupant is an immediate family member of the owner, tenant or agent in control of the facility, etc. The Village Board may also consider such other terms and conditions as the Village Board deems appropriate.
Applications under this section are required for all facilities in existence at or prior to the adoption of this chapter by the Village Board of Trustees, as well as all facilities that arise any time thereafter.
No license shall be issued or renewed except after the application has been investigated and the premises inspected by the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer and except where the applicant keeps and maintains, and agrees during the term of the license to keep and maintain in the entrance hall, lobby or reception room, a bound register, with pages numbered consecutively, in which shall be plainly written, in the English language:
No license shall be issued or renewed for a longer period than one year and all licenses shall expire on December 31 of each year. All applications, properly filled out, must be filed at least 30 days before applicant intends to commence operations.
Fees for the issue of a license hereunder or subsequent renewals thereof shall be as set forth from time to time by resolution of the Village Board of Trustees.
No license shall be issued except where the applicant has satisfied the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer, after inspection by him, that toilet and sewerage facilities are adequate and proper for taking care of the number of guests for which the applicant proposes to take out a license, and that an adequate supply of potable and wholesome drinking water is at all times available, and hot water for bathing and dish washing; also that the building is structurally safe and properly protected from fire, and that the rooms are adequate as to size and ventilation.
Any and all licenses or renewals thereof issued hereunder may be revoked by resolution of the Village Board upon proof being made to its satisfaction that any of the terms and conditions under which such license is issued have been violated, or that any statements made in the application are false. In case of revocation, no license fee will be returned. Before the Village Board revokes any such license, it will be required to give the licensee five days' notice of a hearing, which notice may be served by mail on the licensee at the address designated in the application upon which the license or renewal was issued. Where a license has once been revoked, no further license for the same premises shall be issued until the owner or owners of said premises satisfy the Village Board that the cause of revocation of said license has been removed and that said premises in the future can and will be operated in compliance therewith.
Any and all licenses or renewals thereof may also be revoked by the Village Board upon proof being made to its satisfaction that the owner, manager and/or agent of the hotel, motel, inn or boardinghouse has, with or without actual knowledge or intent, permitted the occupancy of any building, room or part thereof by the same guest, customer, invitee, or permittee for more than 30 consecutive days or 90 total days in any individual calendar year, whichever occurs first, under the same revocation proceedings as set forth previously in this section.
All licenses issued hereunder must be permanently displayed under glass over the desk or table where the register is kept.
Every violation of this chapter shall be punished by a fine of $200 for each offense. Each day that the premises are operated in violation of this chapter constitutes a separate and distinct offense, requiring the payment of a separate, additional fine.
In addition to the penalty above provided, the Village Board also ordains that a violation of this chapter shall constitute disorderly conduct and that the person violating the same shall be a disorderly person.
The Village Board may also enforce obedience to this chapter and restrain violations thereof by injunction and may proceed against all violators hereof by any and every other means or method provided by law, although not herein specifically referred to.
This chapter is enacted by authority of § 20, Subdivision 5, of the Municipal Home Rule Law and any other law referenced herein as authority herefor.
- A private dwelling in which at least three but not more than six rooms are offered for rent and table board is furnished only to roomers and in which no transients are accommodated. A rooming house or a furnished room house shall be deemed a "boardinghouse."
- HOTEL or MOTEL
- A building which has transient living and sleeping accommodations for rent for five or more persons and which is open for year-round occupancy; a "hotel" or "motel" shall include similar establishments designated as auto courts, tourist cabins, etc.
- A building which has transient living and sleeping accommodations for rent for at least five or more persons but no more than 10 persons.
- TRANSIENT LIVING
- A guest or customer of a hotel or motel the nature of which the term of stay is limited to no more than 30 consecutive days or 90 total days in any individual calendar year.
It is unlawful for any hotel, motel, inn or boardinghouse to be employed or used as specified crime property within the Village of Ellenville. If such a building is found to be used or employed in violation of this section, it is subject to closure for a period of up to one year.
It is unlawful for any person to employ, use, maintain or allow the employment, use or maintenance of hotels, motels, inns or boardinghouses under their ownership and/or control as specified crime property. If a person is found in violation of this subsection, he or she is subject to civil penalties of up to $500 per day for each day the property has been so employed, used or maintained.
It is unlawful for any person to use or occupy any structure determined to be specified crime property after service of notice has been made pursuant to § 129-15.
The provisions of Subsection C may be waived by the Village in the event that the Chief of Police or a court of competent jurisdiction determines that exigent circumstances are such that the use or occupancy of the structure prior to a full court hearing is mandated.
As used in this chapter, the following terms have the meanings given them in this section:
- CHIEF OF POLICE
- As used in this chapter, includes any person designated by the Village of Ellenville Chief of Police as his or her delegate in the enforcement of this chapter.
- Any natural person, association, partnership or corporation capable of owning or using property in the Village of Ellenville.
- SPECIFIED CRIME PROPERTY
- Any kind of hotel, motel, inn, boardinghouse or unit(s) thereof where activity involving the unauthorized delivery or manufacture of a controlled substance as defined in the Public Health Law, gambling as defined in the Penal Law or prostitution as defined by the Penal Law has occurred or is occurring.
When the Chief of Police believes that a structure has been or is being used or maintained in violation of § 129-13, the Chief of Police may commence proceedings to cause the closure of the structure as well as the imposition of civil penalties against any or all of its owner(s). Except in cases brought pursuant to § 129-17, in the event that the Chief of Police wishes to commence proceedings:
The Chief of Police shall notify the owner(s) of record, in writing, that the structure has been determined to be specified crime property. The notice shall contain the following information:
The street address and a legal description sufficient for identification of the premises on which the structure is located:
A statement that the Chief of Police has found the structure to be in violation of this chapter with a concise description of the conditions leading to his or her findings.
A copy of the notice shall be served on the owner and/or his or her agent, if known, at least 10 days prior to the commencement of any judicial action by the Village. Service shall be made either personally or by mailing a copy of the notice by registered or certified mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, to each person at his or her address as it appears on the last assessment roll as well as on the last instrument of conveyance as recorded in the county where the structure is located and as may be otherwise known to the Chief of Police. If no address appears or is known to the Chief of Police, then a copy shall be mailed first class, postage prepaid, addressed to such person at the address of the structure believed to be specified crime property.
A copy of the notice shall be served on the occupant of the structure if that person is different than the owner and shall occur not less than five days prior to the commencement of any judicial proceeding and be made either personally or by mailing a copy of the notice by first class mail, postage prepaid, to them at the structure. Furthermore, a copy of the notice may be posted at the property if 10 days has elapsed from the service or mailing of the notice to the owner(s) and no contact has been received by the Village from them during that period of time.
The failure of any person or owner to receive actual notice of the determination by the Chief of Police shall not invalidate or otherwise affect the proceedings under this chapter.
Concurrent with the notification procedures set forth above, the Chief of Police shall send a copy of the notice to the Board of Trustees as well as any other documentation which he or she believes supports the closure of the structure and the imposition of civil penalties. The Board of Trustees may then authorize the Village Attorney's Office to commence civil proceedings in a court of competent jurisdiction seeking the closure of the structure as well as the imposition of civil penalties against any or all of the owners thereof and any such other relief as may be deemed appropriate. Nothing contained in this subsection shall be construed to limit the ability of the Board of Trustees prior to the institution of judicial proceedings to enter into agreements with an owner willing to voluntarily abate the condition(s) giving rise to the violation.
Except in a proceeding under § 129-17, if, after the commencement but prior to the trial of an action brought by the Village pursuant to this chapter, an owner specifically stipulates with the Village that he or she will pursue a course of action as the parties agree will necessarily abate the conditions giving rise to the violation(s), the Village shall agree to stay proceedings for a period of not less than 10 nor more than 60 days. The owner or the Village may thereafter petition the court for such additional like periods of time as may be necessary to complete the action(s) contemplated by the stipulation. However, in the event that the Village reasonably believes the owner is not diligently pursuing the action(s) contemplated by the stipulation, it may then apply to the court for a release from the stay seeking some relief as is deemed appropriate.
In an action seeking the closure of a structure as specified crime property, the Village shall have the initial burden of proof to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the structure is a specified crime property.
In an action seeking civil penalties from an owner, the Village shall have the initial burden of proof to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the owner had knowledge of activities or conditions at the structure constituting a violation of this chapter.
In any action brought to enforce the terms of § 129-13, evidence of a structure's general reputation and the reputation of persons residing in or frequenting it shall be admissible as competent.
Except in an action brought pursuant to § 129-17B, it is a defense to an action seeking the closure of a structure that the owner of a structure at the time in question could not, in the exercise of reasonable care or diligence, determine that the structure was being used or maintained as a specified crime property.
In establishing the amount of any civil penalty requested, the court may consider any of the following factors, as they may be appropriate, and shall cite those found applicable:
The actions taken by the owner(s) to mitigate or correct the problem at the structure;
The financial condition of the owner;
Whether the problem at the structure was repeated or continuous;
The magnitude or gravity of the problem:
The economic or financial benefit accruing or likely to accrue to the owner(s) as a result of the conditions at the structure;
The cooperativeness of the owner(s) with the Village;
The cost to the Village of investigating and correcting or attempting to correct the condition;
Any other factor deemed by the court to be relevant.
In the event that it is determined that the structure is an immediate threat to the public safety and welfare, the Village may apply to the court for such interim relief that is deemed by the Board of Trustees and the Village Attorney to be appropriate. In such an event, the notification procedures set forth in § 129-15A and the limitation of § 129-16A need not be complied with.
In the event that the Chief of Police determines that a structure is or has been used as the locale for the manufacture of controlled substances that involve the use of toxic, flammable or explosive substances as defined in 49 CFR 172 (1988) and/or processes that, in the opinion of Police Department or Fire Department personnel, present a continuing threat to the public's safety or welfare, the Village may obtain an order from the court preventing that structure's use or occupancy for a period of 60 days.
No person shall enter the structure during the first 20 days of this sixty-day period without first obtaining the prior written approval of the Village or an order of the court. After the expiration of this twenty-day period, the owner may enter the structure to clean and decontaminate it in accordance with guidelines established by the Health Department.
After cleaning and/or decontaminating the structure, the owner shall attest in writing on a form to be provided by the Village and sent to the Chief of the Ellenville Fire Department that the structure has been cleaned and/or decontaminated in accordance with the guidelines, at which time the structure may be reused or reoccupied, provided that it is not otherwise subject to the provisions of the chapter.
In the event that the owner fails to comply with the provisions of Subsection B(2) above, the Village may seek an order preventing the use or occupancy of the structure for such further time as, under the circumstances, it deems appropriate, unless the owner shows to the satisfaction of the court that the structure no longer presents a continuing threat to the public's safety or welfare from the toxic, flammable or explosive substances and/or processes.
In the event that a court finds that a structure constitutes specified crime property as defined in this chapter, the court may order that it be closed for any period of up to one year and that the owner(s) pay to the Village a civil penalty of up to $500 for each day the owner had knowledge of activities or conditions at the structure constituting a violation of this chapter.
The court may also authorize the Village to physically secure the structure against use or occupancy in the event that the owner(s) fail to do so within the time specified by the court. In the event that the Village is authorized to secure the property, all costs reasonably incurred by the Village to effect a closure shall be made an assessment lien upon the property. As used in this subsection, "costs" means those costs actually incurred by the Village for the physical securing of the structure, as well as tenant relocation costs given pursuant to Subsection B(3) of this section.
The Village department(s) effecting the closure shall prepare a statement of costs, and the Village shall thereafter submit that statement to the court for its review. If no objection to the statement is made within 30 days, a certified copy of the statement, including a legal description of the property, shall be forwarded to the Office of the Village Assessor, who thereafter shall enter the same in the Village's lien docket.
Liens imposed by this chapter shall be collected in all respects as provided for water and sewer liens and shall bear interest at the rate of 9% per year from 10 days after the entry in the lien docket.
A tenant as defined by the Real Property Tax Law is entitled to his or her reasonable relocation costs as those are determined by the Village, if without actual notice the tenant moved into the structure after either:
Any person who is assessed the costs of closure and/or a civil penalty by the court shall be personally liable for the payment thereof to the Village.
Owners of a structure determined to be specified crime property may obtain relief from the court's judgment if:
They appear and pay all costs associated with the proceedings under this chapter.
They file a bond in such a place and form as the court may by order direct in an amount not less than the tax-assessed value of the structure; and keep said bond in force for a period of not less than one year or for such period as the court directs.
They enter into a stipulation with the Village that they will immediately abate the conditions giving rise to the specified crime property and prevent the same from being established or maintained thereafter. The stipulation will then be made part of the court's file. In the event that the owner violates the terms of the stipulation, the Village may thereafter apply to the court for an order awarding up to the entire amount of the aforementioned bond to the Village as a penalty as well as such other relief including closure for any additional period of up to one year, that is deemed by the court as appropriate.
In any action seeking the closure of the structure pursuant to this chapter, the court may, in its discretion, award attorneys' fees to the prevailing party.