Village of Spring Valley, NY
Rockland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Spring Valley 1-18-2002 by L.L. No. 1-2002. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Brush, hedges, weeds and trees — See Ch. 79.
Building construction and fire prevention — See Ch. 82.
Numbering of buildings and lots — See Ch. 85.
Unsafe buildings — See Ch. 89.
Electrical standards — See Ch. 112.
Housing standards — See Ch. 147.
Plumbing — See Ch. 185.
Abandonment of property — See Ch. 190.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 192.
Solid waste — See Ch. 226.

§ 93-1 Applicability.

The provisions of this chapter are intended to apply to all locations upon and/or in which business or commercial activity is conducted of any nature and type.

§ 93-2 Purpose.

It is the purpose of this chapter to assist in the continued revitalization of areas throughout the Village to attract new businesses, promote the public interest in continued development, ensure regular maintenance and improvements to present structures, safeguard against blight and preserve property values and community standards, and to establish minimum maintenance standards to safeguard life, limb, health, safety, property and the public welfare in the best interest of the residents of the Village of Spring Valley.

§ 93-3 Findings.

It is found and declared that, by reason of lack of maintenance and progressive deterioration, structures and properties have the further effect of creating blighting conditions and initiating slums, and that if the same are not curtailed and removed, the aforesaid conditions will grow and spread and will necessitate in time the expenditure of large amounts of public funds to correct and eliminate the same. By reason of timely regulations and restrictions, as herein contained, the growth of slums and blight may be prevented and the neighborhood and property values thereby maintained, the desirability and amenities of residential and nonresidential uses and neighborhoods enhanced and the public health, safety and welfare protected and fostered.

§ 93-4 Applicability of Chapters 147 and 192.

Those provisions of Chapters 147 and 192 of this Code are hereby made applicable to business and commercial premises except for those provisions which cannot reasonably apply.

§ 93-5 Definitions.

In addition to the definitions specifically enumerated hereunder, all other definitions contained in any and all chapters of the Code are incorporated by reference herein.
ACCESSORY
The term applied to a building, structure or use which is clearly incidental or subordinate to and customarily in connection with the principal building, structure or use and which is located on the same lot with the principal building, structure or use. Any accessory building or structure attached to a principal building or structure is deemed to be part of such principal building or structure in applying the bulk requirements to such building or structure. No use shall be considered "accessory" where such use requires a greater area of a lot or larger setbacks or yards or for which greater restrictions than for the principal use on the lot are imposed by this chapter.
BUILDING
Any structure or extension thereof or addition thereto having a roof supported by such things as columns, posts, press or walls and intended for the shelter, business, housing or enclosing of persons, animals or property. Depending upon its applicability, the use herein of "building" shall include the term "structure."
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
The Village Building Inspector, his deputy, Assistant Deputy Inspectors, Code Inspectors, and Fire Inspectors.
DETERIORATION
The condition or appearance of a building or any holes, breaks, rot, crumbling, cracking.
EXTERIOR OF PREMISES
Those portions of a building that are exposed to public view and the open space of any premises outside of any building erected thereon.
GOOD WORKING CONDITION
Fully operable for the use intended.
GOOD WORKING REPAIR
A standard of maintenance that renders a building safe, habitable and possessed of a neat and orderly appearance.
OPERATOR or MANAGER
Any person who has charge, care or control of a building or part thereof.
OWNER
Includes any person having individual or joint title to real property in any form defined by the laws as an estate or interest therein, whether legal or equitable and however acquired.
PERSON
Includes an individual, a partnership, a joint venture, a corporation, an association and any other organization recognized as an entity by the laws of the State of New York.
PREMISES
A building, dwelling and/or grounds.
PROPERTY
Land and whatever is erected on, growing on, placed on or affixed thereto.
REFUSE
All discarded materials, including but not limited to cardboard, plastic, glass, metal, wastepaper, rags, sweeping and other waste.
STRUCTURE
A combination of materials constructed, assembled or erected on, above or below the ground or attached to something having location on, above or below the ground, including but not limited to buildings, fences, tanks, towers and swimming pools.
VILLAGE
The Village of Spring Valley.

§ 93-6 Provisions to be minimum standards; conflict with other provisions.

A. 
This chapter establishes certain minimum standards for the initial and continued occupancy and use of all structures, and does not replace or modify standards otherwise established for the construction, repair, alteration or use of the structure, the premises or the equipment or facilities contained therein, as are required by the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
B. 
In any case where a provision is found to be in conflict with any applicable zoning, building, plumbing, electrical, heating, ventilation, fire or safety code of the Village of Spring Valley, County of Rockland, State of New York or United States of America, the provision that establishes the higher standard, as determined by the Enforcement Officer, shall prevail.

§ 93-7 Compliance standards.

A. 
Foundations, facades, steps and walls shall be in good condition.
B. 
Vent attachments shall be safe, durable, smoketight and capable of withstanding the action of flue gases.
C. 
Exterior balconies, porches, landings, stairs and fire escapes shall be provided with banisters or railings properly designed, installed and maintained to minimize the hazard of falling and unsightly appearance.
D. 
All permanent signs and billboards exposed to public view permitted by reason of other regulations or as a lawful nonconforming use shall be maintained in good repair. Any signs that have become excessively weathered, those upon which the paint has excessively peeled or those whose supports have deteriorated so that they no longer meet the structural requirements of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code shall, with their supports, be removed or put into a good state of repair. All inoperative or broken electrical signs shall be repaired or shall, with their supports, be removed. Signs denoting a business which is no longer on the premises shall be removed within 30 days of the date on which the business ceases to occupy the premises.
E. 
All storefronts and walls exposed to public view shall be kept in a good state of repair. Storefronts or any portion of the structure shall not show evidence of excessive weathering or deterioration of any nature. Unoccupied storefronts shall be maintained in a clean and neat appearance.
F. 
Any awnings or marquees and accompanying structural members shall be maintained in a good state of repair. In the event that said awnings or marquees are made of cloth, plastic or of a similar material and are exposed to public view, such material shall not show evidence of excessive weathering, discoloration, ripping, tearing, holes or other deterioration. Nothing herein shall be construed to authorize any encroachment on streets, sidewalks or other parts of the public domain.
G. 
All vacant buildings shall be continuously guarded or sealed and kept secure against unauthorized entry. Materials and methods with which such buildings are sealed must meet the approval of the Enforcement Officer as to color, design and building material. Owners of such buildings shall take such steps and perform such acts as may be required to ensure that the building and its adjoining yards remain safe and secure, and do not present a hazard to adjoining property or to the public and that such property does not become infested with vermin or rodents.
H. 
Exterior walls, including doors and windows and the areas around doors, windows, chimneys and other parts of the building, shall be so maintained as to keep water from entering the building. Materials which have been damaged or show evidence of dry rot or other deterioration shall be repaired or replaced and refinished in a workmanlike manner.
I. 
All exposed exterior surfaces shall be maintained free of broken shingles or loose or crumbling stones. Exterior surfaces that have been painted or otherwise coated must be maintained in a neat, orderly, serviceable manner. Floors, walls, ceilings, stairs and fixtures of buildings shall be maintained in a clean, safe, sanitary condition. Every floor, exterior wall, roof, porch or appurtenance thereto shall be maintained in a manner so as to prevent the collapse of the same or injury to the occupants of the building or to the public.
J. 
Roof drains, overflow pipes, air-conditioning drains and any other device used to channel water off or out of a building shall be maintained in a safe and operable condition and shall not drain onto a public sidewalk, walkway, street, alleyway or adjoining property.
K. 
Lawns shall be cut, and bushes, shrubs and hedges shall be trimmed regularly during the growing season so as to avoid an unsightly appearance.
L. 
Surface or subsurface water shall be appropriately drained to protect buildings and structures and to prevent the development of stagnant ponds. Gutters, culverts, catch basins, drain inlets, stormwater sewers or other satisfactory drainage systems shall be utilized where necessary. No roof, surface or sanitary drainage shall create a structural, safety or health hazard by reason of construction, maintenance or manner of discharge.
M. 
Fences and other minor construction shall be maintained in a safe and substantial condition.
N. 
Steps, walks, driveways, parking spaces and similar paved areas shall be maintained so as to afford safe passage under normal use and weather conditions. Any holes or other hazards that may exist shall be filled and necessary repairs or replacement carried out in compliance with applicable code requirements.
O. 
Yards and vacant lots shall be kept clean and free of physical hazards and rodent harborage and infestation. They shall be maintained in a manner that will prevent dust or other particles from being blown about the neighborhood. Open wells, cesspools or cisterns shall be securely closed or barricaded from access by the public. All temporary excavations shall be kept covered or barricaded so as to protect the general public from injury.
P. 
All land must be kept free of dead or dying trees and accumulations of brush, shrubs, weeds, grass, stumps, roots, excessive and/or noxious growths, garbage, refuse or debris which would either tend to start a fire or increase the intensity of a fire already started or cause poisoning or irritation to people or animals or cause or tend to cause or enhance an unhealthy or dangerous or obnoxious condition on said property or on any adjacent or neighboring property.
Q. 
Grounds, buildings and structures shall be maintained free of insect, vermin and rodent harborage and infestation. Methods used for exterminating insects, vermin and rodents shall conform to generally accepted practice.
R. 
Where the potential for rodent or vermin infestation exists, windows and other openings in basements and cellars shall be closed or appropriately screened with wire mesh or other suitable materials.
S. 
Adequate sanitary facilities and methods shall be used for the collection, storage, handling and disposal of garbage and refuse in accordance with the provisions of applicable codes. Each owner of any building from which garbage, rubbish, mixed refuse, ashes or other wastes are collected, shall provide refuse containers sufficient in number to hold all collectible wastes which may accumulate. Containers must be rodent- and insect-proof and watertight and must be kept covered at all times. Such containers may not be placed on the sidewalk or street for collection more than four hours before the next scheduled trash collection date.
T. 
No refrigerator may be discarded, abandoned or stored in a place accessible to children without first completely removing any locking or latching device and all doors.
U. 
It shall be an offense for any person to abandon, leave, dump, store or keep any nuisance, hazard, litter, debris or matter attractive to vermin upon any public street or public place.
V. 
Every owner, tenant or occupant of any business premises or building, every owner or person entitled to possession of any vacant lot, and every person having charge of any building in the Village shall be responsible to immediately remove any nuisance, hazard, debris or litter from the sidewalk adjoining the property and for a distance of two feet into the street.
W. 
If there is no sidewalk, the distance they are responsible to care for shall be measured from the end of the property to two feet into the street.
X. 
No materials or stock-in-trade, garments, shoes or other wares may be stored or displayed in a front or exterior or interior side yard except for motor vehicles for sale at a permitted motor vehicle sales establishment. No soft drink or other vending machines, ice machines or the like may be placed in front of a building on a public sidewalk. Specifically excluded herefrom are chairs and tables used in connection with a sidewalk cafe or restaurant, provided that there shall be sufficient sidewalk passage for pedestrians. Materials may be stored in a rear yard, provided that a storage area therein is completely enclosed within a six-foot-high solid fence or evergreen hedge of equivalent height, and that the storage area does not infringe on or obstruct vehicle parking or maneuvering areas.
Y. 
No outside storage or accumulation of garbage, crates, rubbish, refuse or debris shall be permitted at any time, and all such garbage, crates, rubbish, refuse or debris shall be kept inside the building or buildings on the premises or in an acceptable enclosure and shall be regularly collected and removed from the premises except when placed out for collection.
Z. 
No shopping baskets, carts or wagons shall be left unattended or standing in open areas, and the same shall be collected at the close of business each day by the occupant of such unit and moved to the interior of the building or buildings.
AA. 
No mobile refrigeration unit shall be operated on the premises after the closing of the business conducted thereon unless such mobile refrigeration unit is electrically operated, except in an industrial zone.
BB. 
All fences and planting areas installed on the premises shall be maintained by the owner of the property. Such maintenance shall include but not be limited to the replacement of trees and shrubs which may die and/or otherwise be destroyed, the maintenance and cutting of lawns and the replacement and/or repair of fences which may become in disrepair.
CC. 
Persons owning or occupying property shall keep all walkways, public or private, abutting said premises free from litter and trash of whatever nature.

§ 93-8 Responsibilities of occupants.

An occupant of premises shall be responsible for compliance with this chapter in regard to the following:
A. 
Maintenance of that part of the premises which he occupies or controls in a clean, sanitary and safe condition.
B. 
Maintenance of all plumbing, cooking and refrigeration fixtures and appliances, as well as other building equipment and storage facilities, in that part of the premises which he occupies or controls in a clean and sanitary condition and providing reasonable care in the operation and use thereof.
C. 
Keeping exits from the building or occupant's portion thereof clear and unobstructed.
D. 
Disposal of garbage and refuse into appropriate facilities in a clean and sanitary manner, in accordance with any applicable provisions of the Village Code.
E. 
Extermination of insects, rodents or other pests within the premises.
F. 
Maintenance of yards, lawns and courts in a clean, sanitary condition and free from infestation by rodents.

§ 93-9 Responsibilities of owners; persons considered to be owners.

A. 
Responsibilities.
(1) 
Owners of premises shall be responsible for compliance with the provisions of this chapter and shall remain responsible therefor regardless of the fact that this chapter may also place certain responsibilities on operators and occupants and regardless of any agreements between owners and operators or occupants as to which party shall assume such responsibility.
(2) 
Owners and operators of buildings shall be responsible for the proper installation, maintenance, condition and operation of service facilities and for furnishing adequate heat and hot-water supply where they have contracted to do so.
B. 
Whenever any person or persons shall be in actual possession of or have charge, care or control of any property within the Village as executor, administrator, trustee, guardian, operator or agent, such persons shall be deemed and taken to be the owner or owners of said property within the intent and meaning of this chapter and shall comply with the provisions of this chapter to the same extent as the record owner; and notice to any such person of any order or decision of the Enforcement Officer shall be deemed and taken to be good and sufficient notice; as if such person or persons were actually the record owner or owners of such property. In instances where an occupant is responsible or shares responsibility with the owner for the existence of one or more violations of this chapter, said occupant shall be deemed and taken to be an owner within the intent and meaning of this chapter.

§ 93-10 Property under construction.

A. 
For purposes of enforcement of this chapter, if work is being done on the property, either the prime or general contractor or the owner shall be held responsible.
B. 
Materials may be stored in any area of the property upon which construction is being carried on, provided that the method of storage and the materials stored are in compliance with the requirements of this chapter. In no event shall such storage be permitted for a period exceeding one year.
C. 
Drainage crossing the property being developed must be maintained during the period of development, and no materials may be stored, land disturbed or other work done to interfere with existing drainage.
D. 
The person responsible as herein shall take all necessary and reasonable steps to ensure that there will not be an unusual or unwarranted amount of dust and debris blown onto or across neighboring or nearby properties.
E. 
Construction roads must be oiled or kept wet or properly treated to decrease the spread of dust and mud.
F. 
Temporary electrical service must be through electric lines that are weather- and waterproof; such lines must not cross public walkways or highways on the ground, nor shall they be placed on the ground in areas subject to construction equipment traffic.
G. 
Grounds and buildings must be kept free of debris such as broken glass, boards with fastenings protruding and other articles making travel around the job site dangerous and unsafe.

§ 93-11 Administration and enforcement.

A. 
Enforcement of provisions.
(1) 
Enforcement agency designated. The Building Department of the Village is hereby authorized and empowered to administer and secure compliance with this chapter.
(2) 
Assistants and inspectors. The Building Inspector shall have such assistants and inspectors as may be authorized by the Board of Trustees to carry out and to secure compliance with this chapter.
B. 
Inspection of premises.
(1) 
Right of entry. The Building Inspector and inspectors and assistants of the Building Department are hereby authorized and shall have the right in the performance of their duties to enter any premises during normal business hours and in emergencies whenever necessary to protect the public interest.
(2) 
Duty of owner and occupant. Owners, agents, operators and occupants shall be responsible for providing access to all parts of the premises within their control to authorized inspectors acting in the performance of their duties.
C. 
Notice to remedy conditions.
(1) 
Issuing authority. A Code Inspector shall have the right to order, in writing, by a notice to remedy, the correcting of any conditions found to exist in or on any premises or on such lot upon which such premises are situate, in violation of the provision of this chapter.
(2) 
Time within which conditions must be remedied; service of notice. Such notice to remedy shall provide for a five-day period for compliance therewith. It shall be sufficient service to such notice if such notice is personally served upon the owner, agent, person in control of the premises and/or tenant or is posted in a conspicuous place upon the premises affected and a copy thereof mailed to the owner, person in control of the premises and/or agent of said premises.
D. 
Summons for prosecution of violation. Upon the determination of a Code Inspector that a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter exists with respect to such premises, said Code Inspector is authorized, empowered and permitted to issue or cause to be issued a summons, returnable in the Village Justice Court or any other court of competent jurisdiction, for the prosecution of said violation, after the expiration of the required period for compliance. If a Code Inspector determines that an emergency exists requiring compliance within a shorter period of time, he shall specify said period for compliance in the notice to remedy, after which time he may issue or cause to be issued a summons for the prosecution of the violation as set forth herein.
E. 
Abatement of nuisances.
(1) 
Definition. The term "nuisance" shall be held to embrace whatever is dangerous to human life or detrimental to health and shall include, but not be limited to:
(a) 
A public nuisance as known at common law, statutory law and in equity jurisprudence.
(b) 
A premises that, in violation of this chapter or of any state or local law or regulation, does not have adequate egress, safeguards against fire, adequate electrical service, installation and wiring, structural support, ventilation, plumbing, sewerage or drainage facilities, is inadequately cleaned or lighted and the condition constituting such violation is dangerous to human life or detrimental to health.
(c) 
Any condition in and about land used for business or commercial purposes which is dangerous to human life, detrimental to the health of nearby residents or passersby or which substantially interferes with the reasonable use or enjoyment by the owners or occupants of premises located within 200 feet of the boundary lines of the offending landowner or occupant.
[Added 1-13-2004 by L.L. No. 2-2004]
(2) 
Nuisances declared unlawful. All nuisances enumerated in Subsection E(1) of this section are hereby declared unlawful.
(3) 
Notice; order to remove. Whenever the Building Department shall declare that a dwelling or a condition in and about land used for business or commercial purposes is a nuisance, it shall serve a notice or order reciting the facts constituting such nuisance, specifying in what respect the dwelling or the land used for business or commercial purposes is dangerous to human life, detrimental to health or which substantially interferes with the reasonable use or enjoyment by the owners or occupants of premises located within 200 feet of the boundary lines of the offending landowner or occupant and requiring the owner to remove such nuisance within five days after such service of such notice or such lesser period of time if an emergency exists as determined by the Department Head. Such notice or order shall provide that, if the owner fails to remove such nuisance within such period for compliance so prescribed, the Building Department may remove or cause the removal of such nuisance by cleansing, repairing, vacating, demolishing or by taking such other corrective action deemed necessary and shall notify the owner of his right to a hearing as hereinafter provided.
[Amended 1-13-2004 by L.L. No. 2-2004]
(4) 
Owner's right to hearing. Whenever a notice is given as provided in Subsection E(3) of this section, the owner may request a hearing before the Board of Trustees, and a hearing shall be given such owner prior to the expiration of the period for compliance so prescribed.
(5) 
Failure of owner to remove; removal by Village. If such nuisance is not removed by the owner within the time prescribed after service of such notice or order, the Building Department may proceed with the removal of such nuisance as provided in the notice or order.
(6) 
Refusal of owner to permit removal by Village; proceeding to vacate or demolish. If the owner refuses to permit the Building Department to remove or cause the removal of such nuisance by cleansing, repairing, vacating, demolishing or by taking such other corrective action as may be necessary or interferes in any way with the Department or causes delay to the taking of corrective action, the Department may cause such business or commercial premises. in whole or in part. to be vacated and demolished, but, in such case, the Department shall commence a special proceeding in the Supreme Court for such relief. During the pendency of such proceeding, the Department may obtain a temporary order for the immediate vacating of such business or commercial premises upon proof of a present danger to human life or detriment to health. In addition to the owner, all tenants, mortgagees and lienors of record shall be necessary parties to such special proceeding.
[Amended 1-13-2004 by L.L. No. 2-2004]
(7) 
Contracts for removal of nuisance. If the Building Department proceeds to execute a notice or order issued by it or by the court for the removal of a nuisance, the Department may let contracts therefor, in accordance with the provisions of any local laws, rules and regulations of the Village applicable to the letting of contracts, for municipal improvements. The cost of executing such notice or order or orders, whether or not carried out pursuant to court order, shall be met from any appropriation made therefor or, if such appropriation has not been made or is insufficient, from the proceeds of the sale of obligations pursuant to the Local Finance Law. The Department shall keep a record of such notices and orders, together with the acts done and the items of cost incurred in their execution.
(8) 
The Village shall have a lien upon the business or commercial premises for the cost of executing such notice or order or orders for the removal of a nuisance and shall file a notice of such lien in the office of the Clerk where notice of mechanics’ liens are filed; and all proceedings with respect to such lien, its enforcement and discharge shall be carried on in the same manner as proceedings with respect to mechanics’ liens under the Lien Law.
[Amended 1-13-2004 by L.L. No. 2-2004]
(9) 
Action to recover costs. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions and in addition to any other remedy available, the Building Department may maintain an action against the owner to recover the cost of executing such notice or order or orders.

§ 93-12 Penalties for offenses.

Any owner, agent, occupant or lessee who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine not to exceed $5,000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 15 days, or both. Violations of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code provisions shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 or imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both. The continuance of such offense against the provisions of this chapter shall constitute, for each and every day or part thereof the same is continued, a separate and distinct violation hereunder.