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1996 – No.4 – Definition and Control of Dangerous Buildings

VILLAGE OF SACKETS HARBOR
LAW #4 OF 1996
DEFINITION & CONTROL OF DANGEROUS BUILDINGS

SECTION 1 – The Local Law No. 3 of the Year 1978, “Relating to the Definition and Control of Dangerous Buildings” is hereinafter repealed.

SECTION 2 – Legislative Intent:

It is the finding of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Sackers Harbor that the existence of abandoned and unattended or unoccupied buildings or parts of buildings within the Village of Sackers Harbor, which may or may not be structurally sound, constitute a danger and a threat to the safety, health, comfort, and general welfare of this Village and it is the intent of this local law to provide for the protection of property, the preservation of peace and good order, the suppression of vice, the benefit of trade, and the preservation and protection of public works as provided by section 4-412 of the Village Law.
SECTION 3 – DEFINITIONS:
The following words and phrases as used in this local law shall have the meaning hereinafter ascribed to them.

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A) Village: The Incorporated Village of Sackets Harbor.

B) Board of Trustees: The duly elected and constituted Board of Trustees of the Village.

C) Building: House, shed, fence or other man made structure, or part of any such house, shed, fence or structure.

D) Owner: Any person, partnership, corporation, limited liability company or other type of business entity with an interest in the real property wherein the structure or building is located. 8aid term is to include, but not be limited to ant representative, agents, heirs assigns or distributees of the owner.

E) Interested Party: Any owner, as the term is defined herein, and in addition, but not limited to, any occupant, boarder, mortgagee of record or tenant of the real property wherein the structure or building is located.

SECTION 4 – DANGEROUS BUILDING:

For the purpose of this local law, a dangerous building is declared to be (a) any building which is dangerous to the public health, and general welfare because of its conditions and which may cause or aid in the spread of disease or injury to the health, safety, or general welfare of the occupants of it or of neighboring buildings, or (b) any building which because of lack of proper repair, construction, or supervision constitutes or creates a fire hazard, or (c) any building which because of its condition or because of lack of proper windows or doors available to and frequented by malefactors or disorderly persons.

All buildings and structures which have any of the following defects shall be deemed dangerous within the meaning of this chapter:

A) Those whose interior wails or other vertical structural members list, lean, or buckle to such an extent that a plumb line passing through the center of gravity falls outside the middle third of its base.

B) Those which, exclusive of the foundation, show thirty-three percent (33%) or more of damage to or deterioration of the supporting member or members or fifty percent (50%) of damage to or deterioration of the non-supporting, enclosing or outside walls or covering.

C) Those which have improperly distributed loads upon the floors or roofs or in which the same are overloaded or which have insufficient strength to be reasonably safe for the purpose used.

D) Those which have been damaged by fire, wind or other causes so as to have become dangerous to life, safety or the general health and welfare of the occupants or the people of this Village.

E) Those which have become or are so dilapidated, decayed, unsafe or unsanitary or which so utterly fail to provide the amenities essential to decent living that they are unfit for human habitation or are likely to cause sickness or disease so as to work injury to the health, safety or general welfare of those living therein or adjacent thereto.

F) Those having light, air and sanitation facilities which are inadequate to protect the health, safety or general welfare of human beings who live or may live therein, with particular reference to the requirements of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code as a detriment.

G) Those having inadequate facilities for egress in case of fire or panic or those having insufficient stairways, elevators, fire escapes or other means of communication, again referencing the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code as a detriment.

H) Those which have parts thereof which are so attached that they may fall or injure members of the public or property.

•I) Those which, because of their condition are unsafe, unsanitary or dangerous to the health, safety or general welfare of the people of the Village.

SECTION 5 – PROHIBITION:
Any owner, occupant, person in custody or person with an interest of real property located within the Village who allows or permits a building to continue as a dangerous building after due notice as provided in Section 8 below may be guilty of a violation of this local law and shall be punished, as provided in Section 8 below.

SECTION 6 – DETERMINATION:
Whenever the Board of Trustees shall have reasonable cause to believe that any building in the Village is a dangerous building, a statement setting forth such facts shall be filed by the Mayor with the Village Clerk.

SECTION 7 – PROCEDURES:
The following procedures shall be followed:

A) Upon the filing of the Statement by the Mayor with the Village Clerk that the building or structure is reported dangerous to the public, the Village Clerk shall serve a notice upon the owner and all other persons having an interest in such property or structure, as set forth in Section 8 below.

B) Such owner so served, shall commence the repair or removal of such building or structure within thirty (30) days after service of such notice.

C) A hearing shall be scheduled by and held before the Village Board of Trustees at a time and place specified in the notice to repair or demolish, not sooner than two weeks nor later than the date given to commence repair or removal.

D) At the hearing, the owner, the Village and any other interested parties may present witnesses and any other proof relating to the matters, and all parties may appear in person or with their attorneys.

E) At the conclusion of the hearing, the Village Board of Trustees shall make a determination, in writing and a copy of the same shall be served either personally or by registered mail on all parties who appeared therein.

F) The determination shall state whether the original notice is sustained, modified or reversed. If reversed, no further proceedings shall be had.

G) If the original notice is sustained, in whole or in part, the Village Board of Trustees shall also include an order directing the owner to proceed in accordance therewith and shall further specify that unless the work is commenced within ten (10) days after the service and completed within a reasonable time thereafter, which the Village Board of Trustees shall designate, the penalties hereinafter provided shall be invoked.

H) The notice from the Village Clerk, pursuant to the direction of the Mayor under subsection A of this section, shall be filed in the Office of the County Clerk within which such building or structure is located, which notice shall be filed by such clerk in the same manner as the notice of pendency, pursuant to Article 65 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules. Such notice so filed shall be effective for a period of one (i) year from the date of filing. However, said notice may be vacated upon the order of a Judge or Justice of a court of record or upon consent of the Village Attorney.

SECTION 8 – SERVICE OF NOTICE:

(A) The Village Clerk shall thereupon cause written notice to be served in the following manner:

1) By personal service of a copy thereof upon the owner and all other persons having an interest in such property or structure as shown by the last preceding completed assessment roll of the Village and/or in the Office of the County Clerk, such service to be complete and the thirty day time period recited in said notice to commence upon filing of an affidavit of personal service upon the owner and other interested persons with the Village Clerk and County Clerk; or

2) By mailing a copy of said notice to such owner and. all other interested persons having an interest as aforesaid., by registered mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the last known address of the owner or other persons having an interest and by affixing a copy of said notice to the premises, such service to be completed and the thirty-day time period recited in said notice to commence ten (I0 days after the filing of the return receipt and the affidavit of posting with the Village Clerk and County Clerk; and

3) By personal service of a copy of said notice upon any adult residing in or occupying said premises or, if no such person can be reasonably found, by posting a copy of said notice upon the premises.

B) The notice shall contain the following:
1) A description of the premises.

2) A statement of the particulars in which the building or structure is unsafe.

3) An order requiring the same to be made safe and secure or removed.

4) That the securing or removal of the building or structures shall commence within
thirty (30) days of the serving of the notice, as herein provided, and shall be completed
within sixty (60) days thereafter.

5) That, in the event of neglect or refusal of the persons and/or corporations served with the notice to comply with the same, an inspection of the premises will be made by the an inspector, architect or engineer to be named by the Village Board of Trustees and a practical builder, engineer or architect appointed by said persons or corporations so notified.

6) That, in the event of the refusal or neglect of the persons or corporations so notified to appoint an inspector, the two (2) inspectors named by the Village engineer shall make the inspections and report.

7) That a hearing shall be scheduled by and held before the Village Board of Trustees at a time and place specified in the notice to repair or demolish, not sooner than two weeks nor later than the date given to commence repair or removal.

8) That at the hearing, the owner, the Village and any other interested parties may present witnesses and any other proof relating to the matters, and all parties may appear in person or with their attorneys.

Such notice shall be in subsequently the following form:

TO: Real Property Owner and other Interested Parties

From: The Board of Trustees, Village of Sackets Harbor

You are hereby notified that the Board of Trustees of the Village of Sackets Harbor has determined that the building owned by you and located at address and tax assessment parcel number has been declared a dangerous building as provided for and defined in Local Law No. of the year 1996 in that (herein insert the particulars) after inspection by In
accordance with the provisions of the local law you are hereby directed to begin all necessary repairs, improvements or removal within thirty (30) days after service if this notice. Said repairs, improvements or removal shall be completed no later than sixty (60) days following service of the subject notice.

A hearing is scheduled before the Village Board of Trustees on at p.m., in order for you or your agents or representatives to present witnesses and evidence as to why said building is not a dangerous building. All parties may appear-in person or with their attorneys. Failure to so comply may result in a violation of Local Law No. 4 of 1996 which provides for a penalty, upon conviction for a fine not to exceed Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250) or by imprisonment for not more than fifteen (15) days or both. Each day for which such offense continues shall constitute a separate violation.

SECTION 9 – TRESPASS PROHIBITED:

In addition to serving a notice on the owner as provided in Section above, the Board of Trustees may, if it determines that the purposes of this Local Law will be further effectuated, order that no person other than the owner, his agent or other interested party shall enter upon the property and shall post on such property signs indicating no trespassing. When such a determination is made, notice of such fact shall be included in the notices to the owner referred to in Section above. Anyone found guilty of trespassing in violation of this Section shall be liable for a fine not to exceed Fifty Dollars ($50) for each offense.

SECTION 10 – NONCOMPLIANCE WITH NOTICE, SURVEY OF PREMISES:

In the event of neglect or refusal of the persons so notified to comply with said Notice of the Village Clerk, a survey of said premises shall be made in the following manner:

A) The Village Board of Trustees shall appoint a building inspector, architect or engineer, and the persons so notified shall appoint a practical builder, engineer or architect who shall each make and submit a written report thereon in regard to the dangerous conditions of said building or structure. If the persons so notified shall refuse or neglect to appoint an inspector within thirty 30 days after service of the notice, the two (2) inspectors appointed by the Village engineer shall proceed and report.

B) A signed copy of such report shall be posted on the building or structure.

SECTION 11 – EMERGENCY WORK:

A) In case there shall be, in the opinion of the Village Engineer, actual and immediate danger of the falling of the building or structure so as to endanger public safety, life or property or actual or immediate menace to health or public welfare as a result of the conditions present in or about a building or structure, he shall cause the necessary work to be done to render such building or structure temporarily safe, this may include but not be limited to the securing of the property by means of a fence denying the public access to the property or any other means of securing the dangerous building or structure as proscribed by the Village Engineer, whether the procedure prescribed in this chapter for unsafe or dangerous buildings or structures has been instituted or not.

B) When emergency work is to be performed under this section the Mayor shall cause the owner thereof to be served personally or by registered mail, return receipt requested and, if served by registered mail, shall post on the premises a notice to comply containing a description of the premises, a statement of the facts in which the structure is unsafe or dangerous and orders and directions to correct the conditions which constitute an emergency within a specified period not to exceed Thirty (30) days from actual or constructive receipt of the notice.

C) In the event that the emergency does not permit any delay in correction, the notice shall state the Village has corrected the emergency condition.

D) In both cases, the notice shall state that the corrective costs of the emergency will be assessed against the owner pursuant to the provisions of this local law.

SECTION 12 – REMOVAL OR REPAIR BY THE VILLAGE:

A) Upon notification that the owner of the dangerous building or structure has failed or refused to repair the dangerous building or structure within the time specified in the final order, The Village Engineer shall report the same to the Village Board of Trustees. The Village Board of Trustees may direct that the Village shall cause the repair or removal of the building or structure. The Village, in its discretion, may undertake to do the authorized work with its own personnel or hire a private contractor to complete said work. After the work has been completed, the Village engineer shall file with the Village Board of Trustees a verified statement of all of the direct costs of the same, together with a charge of One Thousand Five Hundred ($1,500.00) dollars, in addition thereto, as compensation to, the Village for administering, supervising and handling said work. Said administrative surcharge of One Thousand Five Hundred ($1,500.00) dollars shall be added to the direct cost, whether the Village personnel or a private contractor was used to do the subject work.

B) Upon receipt of the verified statement, the Village Board of Trustees shall direct that the amount thereof, including the charges added thereto, shall constitute a lien against the premises and direct that the same shall be added to the next assessment roll of the Village taxes and shall be collected and enforced in the same manner, by the same proceedings, at the same time arid under the same penalties as the Village taxes and as part thereof. In addition thereto, interest shall run thereon from the date of filing the verified statement to the date of actual payment at the legal rate of interest.

C) Notwithstanding any provision herein to the contrary, the Village may, at its election, institute suit against the owner of the premises for the direct costs, together with a charge of One thousand five hundred ($1,500) dollars, in addition thereto, as compensation for the Village for administering, supervising, and handling said work and enter judgment thereon against the owner personally for the aforesaid amount. The imposition and collection of any fine or penalty herein-
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after prescribed shall not bar the right of the Village to collect the costs of the removal or repair of any unsafe building or structure as herein prescribed.

SECTION 13 – FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH FINAL ORDER:

The failure of the owner to complete the repairs or to remove the unsafe building or structure as specified in the final order of the Village engineer shall subject the owner to the same procedure and penalties as herein set forth.
SECTION 14 – TRANSFER OF TITLE:

The transfer of title by the owner of the premises upon which an unsafe building or structure is located is no defense to any proceedings under this Local Law.

SECTION 15 – PENALTIES FOR OFFENSES:

Except as provided in Section 8 above, any person upon whom notice as provided in this local law has been served who fails, neglects or refuses to place such unsafe building or structure in a safe condition as designated in such notice or who shall commit an offense against any of the provisions of this local law or orders given pursuant thereto or who shall resist or obstruct the Village engineer in carrying out the provisions of this local law shall, upon conviction, be guilty of as violation pursuant to the Penal Law of the State of New York, punishable by a fine of not more than Two Hundred Fifty ($250.00) dollars or by imprisonment for not more than fifteen (15) days, or both such fine and imprisonment. Each day for which such offense continues shall constitute a separate violation.

SECTION 16 – COMPENSATION OF INSPECTORS:

The inspectors shall be paid the reasonable compensation for the services performed by them in making their reports and in preparing the report thereof.

SECTION 17 – ASSESSMENT OF COSTS:

All costs and expenses incurred by the Village in connection with the administratively and\or judicially substantiated proceedings to remove or secure, including the cost of actually removing said building or structure, shall be assessed against the land on which said building or structure is located.

SECTION 18 – SEVERABILITY:

In the event that any word, phrase or part of this local law shall be declared unconstitutional, the same shall be severed and separated from the remainder of this local law and shall not effect the remainder of said local law which shall remain in full force and effect.

SECTION 19 – EFFECTIVE DATE:

This local law shall become effective immediately upon its filing with the Secretary of State.

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