[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Batavia 1-26-1981 as Ch. 28 of the 1981 Code; amended in its entirety 7-13-2015 by L.L. No. 3-2015. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "City of Batavia Rooming House Ordinance."
In recognition of the saturation of rooming houses in the City, it is the intent of this chapter to permit existing owners of dwellings to maintain sanitary, safe and attractive rooming houses for persons, in order to promote the public health, welfare and safety of the community. It is also the intent of this chapter to prevent new rooming houses from being established after the enactment of this amendment.
As used in this chapter, unless the context or subject matter otherwise requires, the following definitions shall apply:
- Any person renting or hiring habitation space in a dwelling unit hereinbefore defined who is not within the second degree of kindred and who does not occupy such space as an incident of employment therein.
In order to protect the public health, welfare and safety of the community, no person shall operate a rooming house within the City of Batavia without obtaining a permit issued by the Code Enforcement Officer upon the approval of the Planning and Development Committee. Such permit may be issued, provided that the procedures and standards of this chapter have been complied with.
This chapter shall apply to existing buildings and dwelling houses that have already received a permit to operate a rooming house prior to July 1, 2015. No new permits shall be issued by the Planning and Development Committee following July 1, 2015, other than renewal permits as outlined in § 143-5 of this chapter.
All provisions of the City of Batavia Municipal Code shall apply to the provisions of this chapter, except where exemptions are specifically authorized by this chapter.
The renewal of a permit to operate a rooming house shall be granted upon the approval of the Code Enforcement Officer subject to specific terms and conditions as herein provided. If any of these conditions are violated, the permit is subject to revocation or not being renewed.
General provisions. The following general provisions shall apply:
All rooming house permits shall be renewed each and every year prior to January 1, and such permit shall be valid for the ensuing calendar year only.
The annual fee for renewing a rooming house permit shall be as set from time to time by resolution of the City Council.
In the event that a rooming house is sold or the ownership is in any way changed, the existing permit shall be terminated and a new application shall be made as hereinabove set forth. Under no circumstances shall a permit for a rooming house be assigned. Change of ownership without a new application being made shall be grounds for revocation of such permit.
Rooming houses legally operating and duly licensed at the time of adoption of the ordinance from which this chapter is derived, and/or which may constitute nonconforming uses under the zoning regulations of the City of Batavia, shall be entitled to the issuance of a license under this chapter upon compliance with all of the provisions of this chapter except those restrictions contained in § 143-6.
Procedures for renewing a rooming house permit or new application due to change in ownership. In order to renew a rooming house permit within the City of Batavia, the following procedures shall be followed:
An application for a rooming house permit renewal shall be completed. It shall be furnished by the office of the Code Enforcement Officer. The application shall consist of a sworn statement setting forth:
The name, address and telephone number of all persons involved as owners and/or operators of the proposed rooming house; a statement detailing a description of the building; and information regarding the number of roomers to be accommodated, with specific information on the number of persons in each bedroom.
Where the applicant for a rooming house permit is a nonresident, the application shall identify the name, address and telephone number of a local agent designated to act on behalf of the owner and responsible for the maintenance of the rooming house.
In considering the renewal or new application for a permit to operate a rooming house, the Code Enforcement Officer shall take into consideration:
Potential traffic problems that have arisen without resolve;
The present safety and/or sanitary condition of the structure, and the appearance of the building in the neighborhood;
Refusal to permit an inspection of the property by the Code Enforcement Officer;
False statements on the application permit;
Permittee's conviction of a crime;
Any act or conduct of the permittee which indicates his/her unfitness to operate a rooming house;
Any activity which affects the safety or tranquility of the surrounding community;
In the event the application is denied, the Code Enforcement Officer shall notify the applicant of such action and indicate the reasons for such denial in writing.
In the event that the application is approved, the Code Enforcement Officer shall set forth all the details and conditions for the granting of such permit, in writing, to the applicant. In such instances, all and any repairs or improvements, pursuant to the report of the Code Enforcement Officer, shall be considered as conditions for the granting of a permit and shall be made by the applicant as directed prior to the issuance of the permit.
The granting of such a permit shall also include the conditions necessary for maintenance and renewal of such permit. Under the terms and conditions of this chapter of the City of Batavia Municipal Code, a rooming house permit shall be subject to revocation if prescribed terms and conditions upon which the permit was issued are not kept and/or it is found that the operations of such rooming house create an adverse impact upon the neighborhood. Adverse impact may include, but shall not be limited to, excessive noise, criminal activity by the roomers on the premises, undue disturbances affecting the neighborhood and inadequate property maintenance and upkeep.
Enforcement. The Code Enforcement Officer shall have all the powers and duties to enforce this chapter and to make inspections, serve notices and orders, and take any other appropriate action, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.
Revocation of permit.
The Code Enforcement Officer, if he or she determines that reasonable grounds exist, may refer to the City Planning and Development Committee for a hearing to revoke any permit issued under this chapter.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall give written notice, to the holder of the rooming house permit, of the charges, and the time, date and place that they will be presented to the Planning and Development Committee. Any permit may be revoked for making any false statement in the application for a permit; for a violation of any of the terms and conditions upon which the permit was issued; for any disorderly, indecent or immoral conduct on the premises; or for a violation of any of the rules or regulations, ordinances or laws of the United States, State of New York, County of Genesee or the City of Batavia.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall cause notice of such referral and the reason or reasons therefor to be served upon the persons named in the application as the owner or holder and also upon the owner of record of the premises so used as a rooming house. Said service shall be by registered mail with a return receipt, directed to the holder of the permit at the subject premises and to the owner of the address of said owner last known to the Code Enforcement Officer, or by personal or substituted service.
If the City Planning and Development Committee finds reasonable cause, the City Planning and Development Committee shall set a public hearing to consider revocation of the permit and shall cause a notice thereof, specifying the time, date and place of the public hearing, to be served in the same manner as above provided. If the City Planning and Development Committee finds, after the public hearing, that revocation of the permit is in the best interest of the community, the operator shall be notified of this decision, in writing, and an appropriate time for discontinuance of the rooming house established.
The following standards shall be met by an applicant for a rooming house permit:
All applicable provisions of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, 9 NYCRR Executive Volume B, shall apply to this chapter and shall be the standard imposed by the Bureau of Inspection in determining the fitness of the building for a rooming house, as hereinbefore provided, and shall determine the standards for violations.
The owner or operator of any such rooming house shall provide one car space for each roomer owning and/or keeping a motor vehicle.
A rooming house, as hereinbefore provided, must conform to the zoning requirements as set forth in Chapter 190, Zoning, of this Code.
The maximum number of occupants permitted shall be in compliance with the provisions of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, 9 NYCRR Executive Volume B, and its applicable standards.
To ensure compliance with the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, any plans and specifications for the structure shall be prepared by either a New York State registered architect or licensed professional engineer.
No sign advertising the location of a rooming house or the availability of rooms shall be permitted.
The penalties for a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall be as prescribed in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article II, General Penalty, of the City of Batavia Municipal Code. In addition to other remedies, the City of Batavia may institute appropriate action to restrain, prevent, enjoin, abate, correct or remove any violation and to take such other legal action as is necessary to carry out the terms and provisions of this chapter.
The remedies provided for herein shall be cumulative and not exclusive and shall be in addition to any other remedies provided by law; and all remedies may be pursued concurrently or consecutively, and the pursuit of any remedy shall not be construed as an election or waiver of the right to pursue any and all of the others.
Any person affected by any notice of violation or order issued in connection with the enforcement of any provision of this chapter concerning buildings or structures, or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto or the denial of issuance of permit, may request and shall be granted a hearing before the City Planning and Development Committee, provided that such person shall file in the Department of Public Works a written request for such hearing, setting forth a brief statement of the grounds therefor, designating the person and his or her address upon whom orders may be served, and setting forth the reasons why such notice of violation or order should be modified or withdrawn. If filed within 10 days after the service of notice of violation or order, compliance with such notice shall not be required while the hearing is pending, except in emergencies or as otherwise provided.