City of Schenectady, NY
Schenectady County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
All buildings or structures which are structurally unsafe, unsanitary or not provided with adequate egress or which constitute a fire hazard or are otherwise dangerous to human life or which, in relation to existing use or occupancy, constitute a hazard to safety or health by reason of inadequate maintenance, dilapidation, obsolescence or abandonment are, severally, for the purpose of this section, unsafe buildings. All such unsafe buildings are hereby declared to be illegal and shall be abated by repair and rehabilitation or by demolition in accordance with the procedure of this section.
B. 
The Building Inspector shall examine or cause to be examined every building reported as unsafe or damaged, as defined in this section, and shall make a written record of such examination.
C. 
Whenever the Building Inspector shall find any building or structure, or portion thereof, to be an unsafe building as defined in this section, he shall, in the same manner as provided for the service of stop orders in § 138-23, give to the owner, agent or person in control of such building or structure written notice stating the defects thereof. This notice shall require the owner, within a stated time, either to complete specified repairs or improvements or to demolish and remove the building or structure or portion thereof and, within five days, place a sign to be a minimum of two feet in height and three feet wide conspicuously on the front of the building visible from the City right-of-way. Said sign shall contain the words "IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, CONTACT" followed by the names of all the owners, the addresses of all the owners and a full telephone number that can be used to contact the owners. Letters shall be all uppercase at least three inches in height. Such sign shall remain posted until required repairs are made or demolition is completed. In the event that the sign is not placed, the Building Inspector may cause the placement of such sign and the owner, agent or person in control of the building shall be held liable for the costs of the creation and placement of such sign pursuant to § 138-30G and shall be subject to an administrative fee of $25, charged as a municipal lien or added to the tax roll as stated in § 138-20G. This provision pertaining to signs applies to buildings already to have been determined to be unsafe and to buildings that are determined to be unsafe after the adoption of this chapter.
[Amended 2-13-1995 by Ord. No. 95-05]
D. 
If the Building Inspector finds that there is actual and immediate danger of failure or collapse so as to endanger life, such notice shall also require the building or structure or portion thereof to be vacated forthwith and not reoccupied until the specified repairs and improvements are completed and inspected and approved by the Building Inspector. The Building Inspector shall cause to be posted at each entrance to such building a notice: "THIS BUILDING IS UNSAFE AND ITS USE OR OCCUPANCY HAS BEEN PROHIBITED BY THE BUILDING INSPECTOR OF THE CITY OF SCHENECTADY. This notice must remain as posted until abatement of violations is certified 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 servants, 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 of demolishing same.
E. 
In case the owner, agent or person in control cannot be found within the stated time limit or if such owner, agent or person in control shall fail, neglect or refuse to comply with notice to repair, rehabilitate or to demolish and remove said building or structure, or portion thereof, the Corporation Counsel shall be advised of all the facts in the case and shall institute an appropriate action in the courts to compel compliance.
F. 
In cases of emergency which, in the opinion of the Building Inspector, involve imminent danger to human life or health, he shall promptly cause such building, structure or portion thereof to be made safe or removed. For this purpose, he may at once enter such structure or land on which it stands or abutting land or structure with such assistance and at such cost as may be necessary. He may vacate adjacent structures and protect the public by appropriate barricades or such other means as may be necessary and, for this purpose, may close a public or private way. The Building Inspector may also cause to be conspicuously posted at the entrance to the building visible from the City right-of-way a sign to be a minimum of two feet in height and three feet wide. Said sign shall contain the words "IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, CONTACT" followed by the names of all the owners, addresses of all the owners and a full telephone number that can be used to contact the owners. Letters shall be uppercase at least three inches in height. Such sign shall remain posted until the building is no longer in violation of § 138-31 or 138-30. This provision applies to existing buildings and buildings that become vacant after adoption of this chapter, and when said sign has not been placed pursuant to any other section of this Code. The City's cost shall be paid out of the municipal treasury on certificate of the Building Inspector. Such costs plus an administrative fee of $25 shall be charged against the land on which the building existed as a municipal lien, or such costs and administrative fee shall be added to the tax roll as an assessment or to be levied as a special tax against the land upon which the building stands or did stand, or shall be recovered in a suit at law against the owner.
[Amended 2-13-1995 by Ord. No. 95-05]
G. 
Costs incurred under Subsections E and F of this section shall be paid out of the municipal treasury on certificate of the Building Inspector. Such costs shall be charged against the land on which the building existed, as a municipal lien, or such costs shall be added to the tax roll as an assessment or shall be levied as a special tax against the land upon which the building stands or did stand or to shall recovered in a suit at law against the owner.
H. 
In addition to costs incurred above, an administrative fee for demolition of an unsafe building or structure shall be charged as a municipal lien or added to the tax roll as stated in Subsection G. A fee of $150 shall be charged for demolitions.
[Added 2-6-1989 by Ord. No. 89-03; amended 4-22-1996 by Ord. No. 96-22]
A. 
Whenever any building shall become vacant and open at door or window, leaving the interior of the building exposed to the elements or accessible to entrance by trespassers, such building shall be deemed to be dangerous and unsafe.
B. 
Any building or structure found to be dangerous or unsafe by reason of vacancy shall be secured as follows:
[Amended 6-2-1986 by L.L. No. 3-1986; 2-13-1995 by Ord. No. 95-05]
(1) 
All openings, including doors and windows, from cellar to second floor inclusive and all windows above the second floor leading to fire escapes, porches or structural appurtenances on all floors must be covered from the exterior with one-half-inch thick plywood secured with ten-penny nails. All other windows must be secured from the exterior with either plywood or seven-eighths-inch matched boards.
(2) 
A sign, to be a minimum of two feet in height and three feet wide, shall be placed conspicuously on the front of the building visible from the City right-of-way. Said sign shall contain the words "IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, CONTACT" followed by the names of all of the owners, the addresses of all of the owners and a full telephone number that can be used to contact the owners. Letters shall be uppercase at least three inches in height. Such sign shall remain posted until the building is legally occupied, is not in violation of § 138-30 of the Code or is otherwise demolished. The Building Inspector shall give the owner, agent or person in control five days' notice (in the manner specified in § 138-23) to place the sign, and in the event that the sign is not placed, the Building Inspector may cause the placement of such sign, and the owner, agent or person in control of the building shall be held liable for the costs of the creation and placement of such sign pursuant to § 138-30G and shall be subject to an administrative fee of $25 charged as a municipal lien or added to the tax roll as stated in § 138-30G. This provision applies to existing vacant buildings and buildings that become vacant after adoption of this chapter.
C. 
Whenever an owner, agent or person in control of such premises shall fail to comply with the requirements set forth above, the Building Inspector, after five day's notice of a violation of this section, shall cause the building or structure to be secured in conformance with this section.
[Amended 6-2-1986 by L.L. No. 3-1986]
D. 
Costs incurred shall be paid out of the municipal treasury on certificate of the Building Inspector. Such costs shall be charged against the land on which the building stands, as a municipal lien, or cause such costs to be added to the tax roll as an assessment or to be levied as a special tax against the land upon which the building stands or to be recovered in a suit at law against the owner. Costs incurred shall include an administrative fee of $150 or 10% of the actual cost of the project, whichever is higher.
[Amended 2-6-1989 by Ord. No. 89-03; 4-22-1996 by Ord. No. 96-21]
E. 
This section shall apply to all buildings and structures in the City.