[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Harrison at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 43, General Provisions, Art. I, Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to promote the public health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Town of Harrison and the conservation of property and property values and to eliminate safety and health hazards.
All buildings or structures which are structurally unsafe, dangerous, unsanitary or not provided with adequate egress or which, in relation to existing use, constitute a hazard to safety or health by reason of inadequate maintenance, dilapidation, obsolescence or abandonment are, severally, for the purpose of this chapter, unsafe buildings. All such buildings and structures are hereby declared to be illegal and are prohibited and shall be abated by repair and rehabilitation or by demolition and removal in accordance with the procedures of this chapter.
When, in the opinion of the Building Inspector, any structure located in the town shall be deemed to be unsafe or dangerous to the public, he shall make a formal inspection thereof and thereafter prepare a written report thereof and file the same in his office.
When it shall be determined by the Building Inspector that a building or structure is dangerous or unsafe to the public, he shall promptly serve or cause to be served a notice on the owner or other persons having an interest in such property or structure as hereinafter provided.
The aforementioned notice shall be served on the owner of the premises or some one of the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or other person having a vested or contingent interest in same, as shown by the last completed assessment roll of the town, either personally or by registered mail, addressed to the person intended to be served at the last known place of business. If the notice is served by registered mail, the Building Inspector shall cause a copy of such notice to be posted on the premises.
The notice referred to in § 109-4 hereof shall contain the following:
A description of the premises.
A statement of the particulars in which the building or structure is unsafe or dangerous.
An order requiring the building or structure to be made safe and secure or removed.
A statement that the securing or removal of the building or structure shall commence within 10 days from the date of the service of the notice and shall be completed within 30 days thereafter. The Building Inspector may extend the time of compliance specified in the notice, where there is evidence of intent to comply within the time specified and conditions exist which prevent immediate compliance. In granting any such extension of time, the Building Inspector may impose such conditions as he may deem appropriate.
A statement that, in the event of the neglect or refusal of the person served with notice to comply with same, a hearing will be held before the Harrison Town Board, notice of which and the time and place thereof to be specified in the notice to the owner referred to in § 109-4 hereof.
A statement that, in the event that the Town Board, after the hearing specified in Subsection E hereof, shall determine that the building or structure is unsafe or dangerous to the public, the Town Board may order the building or structure to be repaired and secured or taken down and removed.
A statement that, in the event that the building or structure shall be determined by the town to be unsafe or dangerous and in the event of the neglect or refusal of the owner to repair or remove the same within the time provided, the town may remove such building or structure by whatever means it deems appropriate and assess all costs and expenses incurred by the town in connection with the proceedings to remove or secure, including the cost of actually removing said building or structure, against the land on which said buildings or structures are located.
A copy of the notice referred to in § 109-5 hereof may be filed with the County Clerk of the county within which such building or structure is located, which notice shall be filed by such Clerk in the same manner as a notice of pendency pursuant to Article 65 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules and shall have the same effect as a notice of pendency as therein provided, except as otherwise hereinafter provided in this section. A notice so filed shall be effective for a period of one year from the date of filing; provided, however; that it may be vacated upon the order of a Judge or Justice of a court of record or upon the consent of the Town Attorney. The Clerk of the county where such notice is filed shall mark such notice and any record or docket thereof as canceled of record, upon the presentation and filing of such consent or of a certified copy of such order.
If the Building Inspector determines, in his inspection of any building or structure, that there is actual and immediate danger of failure or collapse so as to endanger life, he shall promptly require the building, structure or portion thereof to be vacated forthwith and not to be reoccupied until the specified repairs are completed, inspected and approved by the Building Inspector. For this purpose, he may enter such building or structure or land on which it stands or adjoining land or structures with such assistance and at such cost as may be necessary. He may also order adjacent structures to be vacated and protect the public by appropriate barricades or such other means as may be necessary and for this purpose may close a private or public right-of-way. The Building Inspector shall cause to be posted at each entrance to such building or structure a notice stating, "This building is unsafe, and its use or occupancy has been prohibited by the Building Inspector." Such notice shall remain posted until the required repairs are made or demolition is completed. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation or their agents or other persons to remove such notice without written permission of the Building Inspector or for any person to enter the building, except for the purpose of making the required repairs or the demolition thereof.
All costs and expenses incurred by the Town of Harrison in connection with any proceeding or any work done to remove the danger or in connection with the demolition and removal of any such building or structure shall be assessed against the land on which such building or structure is located, and a statement of such expenses shall be presented to the owner of the property, or, if the owner cannot be ascertained or located, then such statement shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises. Such assessment shall be and constitute a lien upon such land. If the owner shall fail to pay such expenses within 10 days after the statement is presented or posted, a legal action may be brought to collect such assessment or to foreclose such lien. As an alternative to the maintenance of any such action, the Building Inspector may file a certificate of the actual expenses incurred as aforesaid, together with a statement identifying the property in connection with which the expenses were incurred and the owner thereof, with the assessors, who shall, in the preparation of the next assessment roll, assess such amount upon such property. Such amount shall be included in the levy against such property, shall constitute a lien and shall be collected and enforced in the same manner, by the same proceedings, at the same time and under the same penalties as is provided by law for the collection and enforcement of real property taxes in the Town of Harrison.
Any person who neglects, refuses or fails to comply with any order or notice issued hereunder shall be guilty of an offense punishable by a fine not to exceed $250 or by imprisonment for a term not to exceed 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Each week's continued violation shall constitute a separate additional offense or violation.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as depriving the town of any other available remedy relevant to a violation of this chapter.