[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Southampton 4-13-1982. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall apply to the territory of the Town of Southampton outside incorporated villages.
[Amended 9-9-1997 by L.L. No. 31-1997; 3-25-2003 by L.L. No. 32-2003; 5-27-2003 by L.L. No. 46-2003]
A building or structure or equipment therein shall be deemed to be unsafe or unsanitary if found to be dangerous to life, health, property or safety of the public or occupants. Such condition may be as a result of a lack of provision of minimum safeguards to protect or warn occupants in the event of fire, or because such structure is unsanitary or vermin or rat infested, contains filth and contamination or lacks ventilation, illumination, sanitary or heating facilities or other essential equipment required by this article, or contains unsafe equipment or nonfunctioning equipment that is so damaged, decayed, dilapidated, structurally unsafe or unsound that partial collapse is possible. For purposes of this chapter, "structure" is anything constructed or erected on or under the ground or upon another structure or building, excluding walkways and driveways. "Structure" includes the word "building." 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.
The Fire Inspector shall inspect any building or structure, either upon a complaint or upon his own knowledge, where a building or structure may be dangerous or unsafe pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. The Fire Inspector shall file a report with the Town Board with regard to the condition of any building or structure so inspected. The report shall include the date of the inspection, the condition of the building or structure, a determination as to whether the building or structure is dangerous or unsafe, an opinion as to what caused the condition and recommendations for the correction of any dangerous or unsafe condition.
Where the Town Board, pursuant to the Fire Inspector's report, finds a building or structure to be dangerous or unsafe, the Board, by resolution, shall direct the Fire Inspector to give notice to be served on the owner or some one of the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or other person having a vested or contingent interest in the same.
Notice shall be served either personally or by registered or certified mail, addressed to the last known address, if any, as shown by the records of the Receiver of Taxes and/or in the office of the County Clerk or County Register. If service is made by registered or certified mail, a copy of such notice shall be posted on the premises.
[Amended 11-23-1999 by L.L. No. 39-1999]
Notice shall contain the following:
A description of the premises.
A statement of the particulars of why the building is unsafe or dangerous.
An order requiring buildings or structures to be repaired or removed.
A statement that the securing or removal of the building or structure shall commence within 10 days from the date of service of the notice and shall be completed within 30 days thereafter. The Fire 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 Fire 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 the same, a hearing will be held before the Southampton Town Board, notice of which and the time and place thereof to be specified in the notice to the owner referred to in this section.
A statement that, in the event that the Town Board, after hearing, 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.
Notice served pursuant to this chapter shall also be filed in the office of the County Clerk. Such 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, except as otherwise provided. 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.
Before a building or structure may be removed by the Town, a public hearing shall be held.
[Amended 3-25-2003 by L.L. No. 32-2003; 5-27-2003 by L.L. No. 46-2003]
If the Chief Fire Marshal so determines, in his/her inspection of any building or structure, that said building or structure or equipment is dangerous, unsafe or unsanitary pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, he/she shall promptly require the building or structure or portion thereof to be vacated forthwith and not be reoccupied until the specified repairs are completed, inspected and approved by the Fire Marshal. For this purpose, he/she 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/she 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 Chief Fire Marshal 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 Fire Marshal." 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 Chief Fire Marshal 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 Southampton 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 Fire 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 Southampton.
[Amended 7-10-1990 by L.L. No. 19-1990; 7-9-2002 by L.L. No. 20-2002]
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 $1,000 or by imprisonment for a term not to exceed 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment; for conviction for a third or subsequent offense within 18 months, punishable by a fine of not less than $2,500 nor more than $10,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 15 days, or by both. 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
[Added 3-25-2003 by L.L. No. 32-2003; amended 5-27-2003 by L.L. No. 46-2003]
Vacant structures shall comply with § 311.1 through 311.4 of the Fire Code of New York State.