[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Goshen 9-27-1984 by L.L. No. 7-1984; amended in its entirety 2-14-2019 by L.L. No. 1-2019. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Dangerous and unsafe buildings and structures pose a threat to life and property in the Town of Goshen. Buildings and structures may become unsafe by reason of damage by fire, the elements, age or general deterioration. Vacant buildings not properly secured at doorways and windows also serve as an attractive nuisance for young children who may be injured therein, as well as a point of congregation by vagrants and transients. A dilapidated building may also serve as a place of rodent infestation, thereby creating a health menace to the community. Vacant parcels or the property on which improvements may exist may constitute a serious and growing menace and may be injurious or detrimental to the public safety, health and welfare.
When in his own opinion or upon receipt of information that a building or structure is or may become dangerous or unsafe to the general public, is open at the doorways and windows making it accessible to and an object of attraction to minors under 18 years of age, as well as to vagrants and other trespassers, is or may become a place of rodent infestation, presents any other danger to the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the public or is unfit for the purposes for which it may lawfully be used, the Building Inspector shall cause or make an inspection thereof and report in writing to the Town Board his findings and recommendations for the building or structure's repair or demolition and removal.
The enforcement officer of the Town is hereby authorized, subsequent to written notification, to enter onto any of the premises in the Town, whether public or private, for the purpose of inspection whenever said enforcement officer is reasonably sure that any building on the premises is dangerous, unsafe, a public nuisance or a fire hazard to the public or in the proper discharge of his duties.
The Town Board shall thereafter consider such report and by resolution determine, if in its opinion the report so warrants, that such building or structure is unsafe and dangerous and order its repair, if the same can be safely repaired, or its demolition and removal. The Town Board shall further order that a notice as provided in § 51-5 shall be prepared, signed by the Town Clerk on behalf of the Town Board, and served upon the persons designated in § 51-5 and in the manner provided therein.
Contents of notice. The notice required under this chapter 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 that the building or structure be made safe and secure or demolished and removed and that the securing or removal shall commence within 15 days of the service of the notice and shall be completed within 45 days thereafter, unless for good cause shown such time shall be extended.
A date, time and place for a hearing before the Town Board in relation to such dangerous or unsafe building or structure, which hearing shall be scheduled not less than five business days from the date of service of the notice.
A statement that, in the event of failure, neglect or refusal to comply with the order to repair or demolish and remove the building or structure within the time provided, the Town Board is authorized to provide for its demolition and removal, to assess all costs and expenses thereof against the land on which it is located.
Service of notice.
The notice required under this chapter shall be served upon the owner or some one of the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or any other person having a vested or contingent interest in the property, building or structure.
Service shall be either personally, by personal delivery of the notice or copy thereof to such person(s) within or without the state, or by registered mail addressed to the last known address of such person(s), 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 such service be made by registered mail, a copy of the notice shall also be posted on the premises.
Filing of notice. A copy of the notice shall be filed in the Office of the County Clerk, who shall file the notice in the same manner as a notice of pendency pursuant to Article 65 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
In the event of the failure, refusal or neglect of the person so notified to comply with the order of the Town Board and after the hearing, the Town Board shall provide for the demolition and removal of such building or structure either by Town employees or by contract. Except in emergency cases, any contract for demolition and comply with the Town's procurement policy and, if applicable, competitive bidding provisions of General Municipal Law of the State of New York.
All costs and expenses incurred by the Town in connection with proceedings to remove or secure a building or structure, including the cost of the aforementioned survey and the cost of actually removing such building or structure, shall be assessed against the land on which said building or structure is located and shall be and become a lien on said land as of the date of such assessment. The lien of the Town for such costs and expenses shall have priority over all other liens and encumbrances, except the liens of taxes and assessments which constitute prior liens.
The remedies of the Town as herein set forth shall not be exclusive, but the Town shall have any other and further remedy at law or otherwise by injunction or otherwise now existing under the laws of the State of New York, and any and all such remedies shall be deemed cumulative, and the pursuit of any remedy shall not be construed as an election or waiver of the right to pursue any and all others.
Any building or structure or part thereof, which is in a condition that poses an imminent danger or dangerous attraction to the life or safety of the public is hereby declared to be a public nuisance. Such a condition may result from any occurrence whatsoever, including, but not limited to, fire, explosion, or decay.
Whenever the Fire Marshal, Building Inspector, or other official requested by the Town Board inspects and finds any building or structure, or part thereof, to be in a condition that poses such an imminent danger or dangerous attraction to the life or safety of the public, and declares such building or structure, or part thereof, a public nuisance, said official may direct that the building or structure, or part thereof, be demolished and removed, and may further direct any additional work be done in and about the building or structure as may be necessary to abate the dangerous condition.
The officials noted in Subsection B above may direct that the building or structure, or part thereof, be demolished or removed by other than the owner, and without providing notice to the owner or an opportunity to be heard, if there are exigent circumstances that require immediate demolition to protect the public.
If all costs and expenses incurred by the Town in connection with any work done to abate a public nuisance as set forth in Subsection A above, including, but not limited to, costs and expenses in connection with the demolition and/or removal of any such building or structure, or part thereof, are not paid by the property owner upon demand by the Town, they shall be assessed against the land on which such building or structure is located and shall be and constitute a lien upon such land.