[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Amsterdam 7-21-1942; amended in its entirety 8-19-2003 by L.L. No. 3-2003. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following words shall have the meanings indicated:
- APPEARANCE TICKET
- As defined in § 150.10 of the Criminal Procedure Law of the State of New York.
- ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL
- For the purpose of enforcement of this chapter of the Code
of the City of Amsterdam, an enforcement official shall be any employee
of the City authorized to enforce this section and shall include and
not be limited to any police officer, the Housing Inspector and the
Chief Code Enforcement Official.[Amended 7-1-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-7]
- OWNER OR PERSON
- Includes the following:
- A. One or more persons of either sex, natural persons or individual or corporation or partnership or agency or joint venture or titled owner of the subject real property, associations, joint-stock companies, societies and all other entities of any kind capable of being sued, who either is or claims to be the owner of such lot or land or of any occupied or unoccupied lot or land or any part thereof in the City of Amsterdam; or
- B. Any lessee, tenant or occupant of the lot or land or any part thereof located in the City of Amsterdam, provided that the same is responsible for property maintenance; or[Amended 7-1-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-7]
- C. Any agent, servant, representative or employee of any such persons or individual or corporation or partnership or agency or joint venture or titled owner of the subject real property, associations, joint-stock companies, societies and all other entities of any kind capable of being sued, who either is or claims to be the owner of such lot or land or any occupied or unoccupied lot or land or any part thereof in the City of Amsterdam.
- Hedges, shrubs, brushes, grasses, weeds, either natural ground cover or cultivated.
It shall be unlawful for any owner having control of any occupied or unoccupied lot or land or any part thereof in the City of Amsterdam to permit or maintain on any such lot or land, or on or along the sidewalk, street or alley adjacent to the same between the property line and the curb or middle of the alley, or for 10 feet outside the property line if there be no curb, any growth of weeds, grass or other rank vegetation to a greater height than 10 inches or more, or any accumulation of dead weeds, grass or brush. It shall also be unlawful for any such person or persons to cause, suffer or allow poison ivy, ragweed or other poisonous plants or plants detrimental to health to grow on any such lot or land in such manner that any part of such ivy, ragweed or other poisonous or harmful weed shall extend upon, overhang or border any public place or allow the seed, pollen or other poisonous particles or emanations therefrom to be carried through the air into any public place.
Hedges, shrubs and brushes shall be trimmed and shall be kept from becoming overgrown. On unimproved lots, vegetation shall only be required to be maintained from the sidewalk, or from the street if there is no sidewalk, inwards 10 feet and shall not overhang interior lot lines bordering public properties. At all street intersections vegetation shall be maintained so as not to create physical or visual obstructions to pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
It shall be the duty of any owner, as defined above, of any lot or land to cut and remove or caused to be cut and removed all such weeds, grass or other rank, poisonous or harmful vegetation as often as may be necessary in order to comply with the provisions of § 86-2.
The duty imposed herein shall apply during the period of March 15 through November 15.
A violation of this chapter shall be deemed a violation punishable by a fine not to exceed $250. Pursuant to this chapter, an appearance ticket shall be issued as herein provided upon a finding by an enforcement official authorized to issue appearance tickets hereunder that there exists reasonable evidence that a violation of this chapter exists.
An appearance ticket issued pursuant to this chapter shall require the owner cited to appear in person before the City Court of the City of Amsterdam. Appearance tickets must be personally served pursuant to Criminal Procedure Law § 150.40; and upon failure of a person to appear as directed by an appearance ticket issued pursuant to this chapter, the court shall issue a warrant for the arrest of the person failing to appear.
The appearance ticket must substantially conform to the following format:
It must be in writing and subscribed by the enforcement official;
It must be addressed to the defendant by name, or such part of his name as is known, and if his name or any part thereof be unknown, by a fictitious designation of such name or part thereof as is unknown, adding a description identifying the person intended;
It must summon him or her to appear before the court, at the courtroom thereof, and at the date and time specified therein;
It must state that the defendant is alleged to have violated this chapter and that the City of Amsterdam will take judgment by default for the relief demanded in the appearance ticket, together with the costs of the action, if the defendant fails to appear and answer. It shall also state that the defendant's failure to appear may also result in a warrant being issued for his or her arrest.
Upon the appearance of a person directed to appear by an appearance ticket issued pursuant to this chapter, the court shall schedule a hearing on the alleged violation at the court's earliest convenience. Hearings so scheduled shall be adjourned only by order of the City Court upon good cause shown.
Each day on which such violation continues after the issuance of an appearance ticket and/or after conviction of this chapter shall constitute a separate offense.
[Amended 7-1-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-7]
Any person who is found in violation of this chapter, who has appeared pursuant to an appearance ticket, or who has failed to appear pursuant to an appearance ticket, shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine of not less than $100, nor more than $250.
[Added 7-1-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-7]
It is essential that the City of Amsterdam adopt a procedure for the efficient removal of vegetation that violates this chapter. The presence of overgrown properties detrimentally affects the quality of life and the property values of the residents in the surrounding neighborhood.
In addition to prosecution of violations to this chapter pursuant to § 86-5, the City may remove the offending condition pursuant to the following procedure:
When an enforcement official determines that a violation of § 86-2 exists, he shall serve on the owner of the subject property, as determined by the records in the Assessors office, at the address listed in the Assessors office for the mailing of tax bills, by first-class mail, a notice. The notice shall also be posted prominently on the subject property. The notice shall state "The growth of grass, weeds or other vegetation on this property violates § 86-2 of the Code of the City of Amsterdam; should the violating conditions not be corrected within seven days of the date of this notice, the City of Amsterdam will correct the violating condition and charge the owner of the property a mobilization fee of $50 plus the cost of correcting the violation (if these charges are not promptly paid, they will become a lien on the subject property). Additionally, the City of Amsterdam will, as time and resources permit, periodically mow and maintain this property, charging the costs of this maintenance to the property owner, unless the property owner notifies the City of Amsterdam by certified mail that he/she intends to resume maintaining the subject property. The certified mail should be directed to the City Engineer, City of Amsterdam, 61 Church Street, Amsterdam, New York, 12010," The notice should specify the subject property via street address, tax identifier, the name and address of the owner and the nature of the violation.
When seven days have expired after the mailing and posting of the above-described notice, the City Engineer shall direct City employees or contractors to correct the violation if the owner has not corrected the violating condition. The City Engineer shall provide for the continuing maintenance of the subject property until notified via certified mail by the owner that he/she intends to resume maintenance.
The City Engineer shall cause such weeds, grass and other vegetation on such lot or land to be cut and removed. A mobilization charge of $50 and the actual costs of such cutting and removal and other additional costs in connection therewith, shall be certified by the City Engineer to the City Controller, who shall mail a bill for same to the owner; and if said bill is unpaid after 30 days, the charges shall thereupon become and be a lien upon the property on which such weeds, grass and other vegetation were located and shall be added to and become and form part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon such lot or land and shall bear interest at the same rate as taxes and shall be collected and enforced by the same officer and in the same manner as taxes.