Town of Fallsburg, NY
Sullivan County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Fallsburg as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Alarms — See Ch. 85.
Building code enforcement — See Ch. 96.
Building construction — See Ch. 100.
Unsafe buildings — See Ch. 104.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 137.
Housing code — See Ch. 156.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 218.
Sewers — See Ch. 230.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 257.
Water — See Ch. 299.
[Adopted 2-25-2013 by L.L. No. 1-2013[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law superseded former Art. I, Adoption of Standards, adopted 9-26-2006 by L.L. No. 4-2006

§ 218-1 Title.

This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Property Maintenance Code of the Town of Fallsburg, Sullivan County, New York."

§ 218-2 Purpose.

In order to prevent blight and the spread thereof, it is hereby declared all property in the Town of Fallsburg (the "Town"), improved or unimproved, including, but not limited to residences, office buildings, shopping centers, supermarkets, retail stores, discount houses, warehouses, manufacturing or fabrication plants, factories, gasoline service stations, public garages, motor vehicle repair shops or other business uses, whether occupied or vacant, and accessory structures and unlicensed or junk vehicles located in the Town of Fallsburg shall be maintained in conformity with the standards set out in this chapter so as to assure that these structures and properties will not adversely affect the neighborhood and the community at large. It is found and declared that, by reason of lack of maintenance and progressive deterioration, certain structures and properties have the further effect of creating blighting conditions and initiating slums, unhealthy, unsanitary and unsafe conditions and that if 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/or eliminate. 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 neighborhood enhanced and the public health, safety and welfare protected and fostered.

§ 218-3 Residential premises.

The Housing Code of the Town of Fallsburg[1] and the Uniform Codes of New York State shall supersede any less stringent provisions of this chapter, which are in conflict herewith. All other provisions of this chapter shall be applicable to all properties within the Town of Fallsburg.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 156, Housing Code.

§ 218-4 General maintenance standards.

A. 
Open areas.
(1) 
No shopping baskets, carts or wagons shall be left unattended or standing, and such baskets, carts or wagons shall be regularly collected and removed to the interior of the building or buildings from which they were taken by the person responsible for such building or buildings.
(2) 
No soda, candy, cigarette or other vending machines shall remain outside a building once the business for which it was connected has closed for the season, either permanently or temporarily.
(3) 
Sump pumps. Sump pumps or any other similar devices shall not discharge in such a manner as to cause a public nuisance to roadways, public rights-of-way, sidewalks, private property or in any manner which may cause an accumulation of stagnant water, icing or damage to the exterior or interior of any properties by the discharge of such devices. The discharge of sump pumps and similar devices into the Town of Fallsburg sanitary sewer system shall be prohibited.
(4) 
Gutters and storm drainage. Roof drains, gutters, downspouts, footing drain discharges shall be maintained in good repair, free from obstructions and properly secured to the structure. Discharge shall be directed in such a manner so as to prevent any negative effect or pooling of waters to neighboring properties. The drainage of roofs, gutters, footing drains, paved areas, yards and courts, and other open areas shall not be discharged in such a manner that creates a public nuisance, hazard, unsanitary condition or promote the pooling of stagnant water. The discharge of gutters and storm drainage piping into the Town of Fallsburg sanitary sewer system shall be prohibited.
(5) 
LP tanks (propane) shall not be installed within 60 inches of any opening window, door or fresh-air intake of any type dwelling and shall be installed on a level, hard surface. Storage of LP tanks for sale shall be protected by the installation of barriers approved by the Code Enforcement Office as per New York State Uniform Codes.
(6) 
Posters, ads, circulars, flyers, signs and other such billings shall be prohibited from being hung or displayed on the exterior of any buildings, public utilities, vending machines, properties, etc. When hung on the inside glass, not more that 20% of the total glass shall be used for postings, signs or advertisements. All aspects of the Fallsburg Sign Law shall be applicable.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 234, Signs.
(7) 
All yards, courts or lots shall be kept free of accumulations of trash, garbage waste, rubbish, refuse, junk, animal excrement, tires, vehicle parts, dead or fallen trees and other harmful, poisonous or offensive materials or substances which may cause a fire hazard, unsanitary conditions or may act as a breeding place for vermin, rodents or insects.
[Amended 12-22-2014 by L.L. No. 8-2014]
(8) 
All portions of premises shall be graded so that there is no pooling of water or recurrent entrance of water into any basement, cellar or onto any adjoining property.
(9) 
The draining of swimming pools and other similar water containment pools, containers, barrels, tanks, ponds, etc., shall be emptied or discharged in a manner as to prevent runoff onto adjoining or other nearby properties or structures and shall not be discharged in a manner that creates a public nuisance or unsanitary or unsafe condition.

§ 218-5 Maintenance of premises and landscape elements.

A. 
All premises and landscape elements shall be maintained in a safe and sanitary condition, including but not limited to steps, walks, driveways, fences, retaining walls, trees, shrubs, grass and weeds. If any such area or object constitutes a danger to health or safety, it shall be repaired, replaced or removed. It shall be the duty of every property owner to maintain all driveways, walkways, steps, sidewalks, etc., free of ice and snow or other conditions which may make passage hazardous to the occupants, general public, emergency personnel and equipment, within 24 hours of cessation of inclement weather or any circumstances causing such hazardous conditions.
B. 
All fences, retaining walls or similar structures shall be firmly anchored in the ground and maintained in good structural repair. Wooden elements or other elements subject to deterioration from weathering shall be maintained with chemicals, stain or paint to preserve the wood and retard deterioration. Wooden fences shall be kept in good repair and free from broken, damaged, rotted areas. Chain link fences, gates, slats, posts and rails shall be maintained free of damage, rust and breaks.
C. 
All properties within the Town of Fallsburg having one or more structures 100 feet or more from the edge of any road shall maintain all access driveways and other areas deemed necessary by the Code Enforcement Official for access by emergency services free of snow, ice and other hazardous conditions within 24 hours of cessation of inclement weather or any circumstances causing such conditions in order to allow for safe, unhindered access of emergency service equipment and personnel. Locked gates and fences shall be provided with a Knox-Box® or equivalent for emergency service access.
D. 
Properties having private fire hydrants shall ensure all hydrants display an approved hydrant marker and shall maintain a clear path of not less than four feet up to and around all hydrants located on the property. All private hydrants shall be maintained in working condition at all times. Overhanging tree branches, bushes and shrubs shall be maintained in a manner that shall provide unobstructed access to hydrants.

§ 218-6 Buildings and accessory structures.

Accessory structures shall include, but not be limited to, garbage sheds, carports, garages, pump houses, greenhouses, barns, etc.
A. 
Maintenance to exterior of buildings and accessory structures. Each owner and occupant shall keep all exterior components of every structure in good repair, including but not limited to walls, ceilings, floors, roofs, chimneys, cornices, gutters, downspouts, drains, porches, steps, landings, fire escapes, exterior stairs, windows, shutters, doors, storefronts, signs, marquees and awnings. The use of tarps as a roof covering shall be limited to not more than 30 days unless approved by the Code Enforcement Office for a longer duration not to exceed an additional 30 days.
B. 
All surfaces subject to deterioration shall be covered with protective coatings, such as paint, plastic, vinyl, metal or other materials, which will preserve the structure and does not contribute to deterioration.
C. 
All exterior surfaces shall be maintained free from breaks and deterioration, including but not limited to broken glass, window and door screens, loose or missing shingles and siding, crumbling brick, stone and mortar, peeling, chipping, flaking, scaling, rusting or deteriorated paint. All exterior metal surfaces subject to rusting shall have a protective coating and kept free of rust.
D. 
Overhanging structures, including canopies, marquees, signs, awnings, exterior stairways, fire escapes and other structures with overhanging extensions shall be maintained in good repair, be securely anchored to the structure and be protected from rust and other signs of decay by application of a weather-protective material such as paint. Nonoperative or broken electrical signs, lighting fixtures, electrical conduits, etc., shall be repaired or removed. All obsolete signs, sign structures and sign poles shall be removed.
E. 
The foundation of every building shall be maintained in good repair, free from cracking, and be structurally sound. All mortared joints shall be kept in well-maintained condition free from deterioration.
F. 
Exterior walls (including doors and windows), roofs and the areas around doors, windows, chimneys and other parts of a building shall be so maintained as to keep water from entering the buildings. 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. Exterior walls, roofs and other parts of the building shall be free from loose and unsecured objects and materials. Such objects or materials shall be removed, repaired or replaced.
G. 
The owner of a vacated building shall take such steps and perform such acts as may be required of him or her from time to time to insure the building and its adjoining yards remain safe and secure and do not present a hazard or blighting problem to adjoining properties, the public or the surrounding area. All vacant structures shall be secured in such a way as to prevent and deter entry.
H. 
Boarded-up structures shall have all exposed, visible wood used for securing/boarding up the structure painted white or the primary color of the structure. All boarded-up areas shall be cut to the size of the opening and properly secured and fastened, with a minimum one-half-inch-thick plywood.
I. 
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 with generally accepted practices and in conformance with all state and federal rules, regulations and codes applicable thereto.

§ 218-7 Maintenance of interior of structures.

Each owner and occupant shall keep all interior components of every structure in good repair, including but not limited to walls, ceilings, floors, roofs, chimneys, plumbing, drains and vents, porches, steps, landings, fire escapes, windows, screens, doors, and cabinets. Floors, walls, ceilings, stairs, furnishings and fixtures of buildings shall be maintained in a clean, safe, working and sanitary condition. Every floor, exterior wall, roof and porch or other component thereto, shall be maintained in a manner so as to prevent collapse of the same or injury to the occupants of the building or to the public. All interior surfaces shall be free of holes, deterioration and leaks.

§ 218-8 Residential rental property requirements; single-family and multifamily.

A. 
The owner of every rental dwelling shall provide properly fitted window screening for each window or a habitable room from May 31 to Sept. 15.
B. 
All commercial and residential rental properties shall be maintained free of all types of interior mold at all times. The areas covered by this section shall include, but not be limited to, basements, enclosed porches, crawl spaces, attics, attached garages, hallways and all habitable areas.
C. 
Mechanical ventilation discharge to the outside shall be provided in bathrooms containing a shower or tub in rental dwellings when an operable window is not present. Exceptions are at the discretion of the Code Enforcement Official.
D. 
Smoke detectors shall be installed in each bedroom and outside of each bedroom within 10 feet of the entrance of each bedroom.
E. 
A minimum of one carbon monoxide detector shall be installed at the lowest level containing a sleeping area within 15 feet of a sleeping area. An additional carbon monoxide detector shall be required at any level of a structure that contains a CO2 producing device and in all common areas of multifamily structures.
F. 
The owner of every rental property shall provide garbage and recycling services and containers for each rental unit.
G. 
Portable space heaters shall be prohibited as a primary heat source within all multifamily dwellings.
H. 
GFI receptacles shall be installed at every electrical outlet within 24 inches of a water source (measured from the faucet to the edge of the receptacle).
I. 
All rental properties shall provide a minimum sixty-four-square-foot, one-hour fire-rated ceiling above any fuel-fired boiler or furnace and to any combustible walls within 24 inches of all sides of the unit located within the structure.

§ 218-9 Outside storage.

A. 
In nonresidential districts, all storage shall be within enclosed buildings or effectively screened from view by plantings or screening as per § 310-5.17 of the Fallsburg Zoning Law.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 310, Zoning.
B. 
In residential zones, all storage for a continuous period exceeding 15 days shall be effectively screened from view. However, the storage of functional items such as children's play structures, bicycles and outside lawn furniture shall be exempt from this provision.
C. 
The outdoor storage of tires shall be prohibited. Tires shall be stored in such a manner so as not to accumulate standing water. Tires stored outside shall be screened from public view.

§ 218-10 Skirting and slab for mobile homes.

All mobile homes shall be on a monolithic slab, full foundation or crawl space. All newly installed mobile homes shall be fully skirted as per § 310-5.12 of the Town Zoning Code.[1] Mobile homes in existence prior to the enactment of this section shall maintain existing skirting in good condition, and the unit shall be fully skirted on four sides, and all water and sanitary sewer lines shall be protected from freezing.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 310, Zoning.

§ 218-11 Skirting for structures built on piers.

A. 
Any structures built on piers where the floor is 10 inches above the ground or higher shall require skirting on all sides from the floor to the ground.
B. 
The skirting on all dwellings shall be maintained in good repair. Missing or damaged skirting shall be repaired or replaced and protected from deterioration. Allowable skirting material specifications shall comply with § 310-5.12B of the Fallsburg Zoning Code.

§ 218-12 Store closings.

The following regulations as to store closings shall apply to all hamlets in the Town of Fallsburg:
A. 
The store and surrounding area, i.e., garbage or dumpster area, shall be left broom clean.
B. 
Storefront windows and the areas visible behind them shall be left clean and fully closed.
C. 
Except for all permanent signs, all promotional signs and the tape used to hold these signs in place must be removed from all surfaces.
D. 
The store owner/proprietor shall leave his or her telephone number and address with the Police and Building Departments of the Town of Fallsburg so he or she can be promptly contacted if necessary.
E. 
The store owner/proprietor shall make arrangements with the Code Enforcement Office for a store-closure inspection within 10 days of closing and receive the approval of the Code Enforcement Office.
F. 
Dumpsters and containers shall be removed from the property when a store or business is closed.

§ 218-13 Brush, grass and weeds.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any owner, lessee or occupant, or any agent, servant, representative or employee thereof, having control of any occupied lot or land, or any part thereof, in the Town to:
(1) 
Permit or maintain on any lot or land any growth of grass, weeds or other rank vegetation to a greater height than six inches on the average, starting from the edge of any road(s) bordering the property and a minimum to the rear line of the primary structure located on the property.
(2) 
Permit the continued accumulation of dead weeds, grass, brush, tires, vehicle parts, leaves and dead or fallen trees and branches.
[Amended 12-22-2014 by L.L. No. 8-2014]
(3) 
Cause, suffer or allow poison ivy or oak, or other poisonous plants and vegetation detrimental to human or animal health to grow on any lot or allow such plants or vegetation to extend onto or border any public place or to allow seed, pollen or other poisonous particles or emanations therefrom to be carried through the air into any public place.
(4) 
Fail to cut and remove or to kill by spraying, or to cause to be cut and/or killed by spraying, all such weeds, grass and or rank, poisonous or harmful vegetation as often as may be necessary to comply with the provisions; provided, however, that cutting or removing or killing by spraying such weeds, grass and vegetation at least once every three weeks between April 15 and November 15 shall be deemed to be in compliance with the terms and provisions of said sections.
(5) 
Rake, blow, place, leave or allow leaves or cut grass into the street or culvert or other similar areas that may cause a hazardous condition.
(6) 
Allow trees and shrubs which have branches projecting into the public right-of-way, including public sidewalks, public places or public highway. All protruding branches shall be kept trimmed to prevent the interference with any person or vehicle lawfully using the right-of way. Trees and branches considered to be a threat to the public by the Code Enforcement Officer shall be trimmed or removed immediately upon notification.
B. 
It shall be the duty of any and every owner, lessee or occupant of any lot or land upon which is located a sediment/retention basin to perform all necessary maintenance work that may be required to insure the proper operation of all sediment or retention ponds. This may include grass cutting, sediment removal, or removal of any other impediment that may obstruct the proper operation of the sediment pond.

§ 218-14 Unlicensed and junk vehicles.

A. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
JUNK VEHICLE
Any motor vehicle, whether automobile, bus, truck, motorcycle, trailer, mobile home, camper, construction or office trailer or any other contraption originally intended for travel on public highways, which is abandoned, stored outdoors, left or located by its owner or any other person, or is permitted or condoned to be abandoned, stored, left or located by its owner or any other person, on private property in the Town of Fallsburg and outside any junk yard establishment duly licensed by the Town pursuant to the Code of the Town of Fallsburg, which junk vehicle is unregistered by the State of New York or any other state or not in operation and does not bear a valid New York State inspection sticker in the current year or a valid inspection sticker of any other state for the current year. A vehicle that does not display a current license plate or displays an expired license plate shall be presumptive evidence of the fact that such vehicle is not currently registered.
PERSON
Any individual, person or persons, firm, partnership, corporation, whether business, membership, religious, charitable or otherwise, any association or other unit owning real property in the Town of Fallsburg or owning a junk or unlicensed vehicle.
UNLICENSED VEHICLE
Any motor vehicle intended for use on the public highways that does not display a valid license plate that matches the state registration but displays a valid/unexpired state inspection sticker on the vehicle.
B. 
Vehicle covering. The covering of any unlicensed vehicles in the Town of Fallsburg, as defined by this section, shall be with a fitted car cover and properly secured. The use of tarps or similar materials shall be prohibited.
C. 
Storage of unlicensed/junk vehicles.
(1) 
The outside storage of two or more inoperable or unlicensed vehicles on any property shall be prohibited. No vehicle shall be at any time in a state of major disassembly, disrepair, or in the process of being dismantled or stripped. The painting of vehicles is prohibited unless conducted inside an approved painting booth. Inoperable or junk vehicles must be stored within an enclosed building. The storage of vehicles defined as "unlicensed" shall be prohibited outside any junkyard establishment duly licensed by the town pursuant to the Code of the Town of Fallsburg.
(2) 
The outside storing, parking, placing, abandoning, repairing of any vehicle that is unregistered and not displaying a current state inspection sticker or is no longer intended for or in the condition for legal use on the public highways or in a major state of disrepair or disassembly and is defined as a "junk vehicle" on any property shall be strictly prohibited. Such vehicles shall be stored inside and screened from public view. The use of any such vehicles as storage shall be prohibited. The storage of vehicles defined as a "junk vehicle" shall be prohibited outside any junkyard establishment duly licensed by the Town pursuant to the Code of the Town of Fallsburg.
(3) 
Exemptions. Recreational vehicles used for legitimate sporting events shall be exempt, including, but not limited to, stock cars, dragsters, dirt bikes, etc. and shall not exceed a total of three in any combination per property.
D. 
Removal procedure of junk vehicles. Any "junk vehicle," as defined by this chapter, may be removed from the premises on which it is located by the Town of Fallsburg in the manner hereinafter provided:
(1) 
The Enforcement Officer, upon detecting a junk vehicle, either abandoned, stored, placed or parked on a property within the Town of Fallsburg shall serve written notice on the person owning the property and, if known, the last registered owner of the vehicle, ordering such persons to remove the vehicle within 15 days of such service by certified, return receipt mailing. If such premises is owned by more than one person, certified, return receipt mailing on any one owner shall suffice. A violation notice shall be affixed upon the vehicle a minimum of three days prior to removal and a dated picture of the vehicle and posting are to be made part of the property's permanent file at the Office of Code Enforcement. Code Enforcement shall provide a written description of the vehicle and, if obtainable, a vehicle identification number to the Fallsburg Police Department upon removal. The 15 days to removal shall commence from the date of personal service or the date of mailing, whichever comes first. Any cost incurred for the removal of junk vehicles plus a sum equal to a 50% of such costs for inspection and other additional costs in connection therewith, thereof shall be added to the ensuing year's real property tax bill for the premises. If the Enforcement Officer has received proper notification from the property owner within the fifteen-day period that the junk vehicle was abandoned on his property by another and has been unable to identify the last registered owner, the junk vehicle shall be removed at no cost or penalty to the property owner.

§ 218-15 Notice requirements.

A. 
Notice required. If the provisions of this article are not complied with, the Town, through the Code Enforcement Officer, may serve written notice upon the owner, lessee or occupant or any person having the care or control of any such lot or land to comply with the provisions of said section.
B. 
Service and contents of notice. Such written notice shall be mailed to such owner, lessee, occupant or person at his last known address, or if such owner, lessee, occupant or person or his address is unknown, such notice shall be affixed to or posted upon said lot or land. Such notice shall require compliance within five days after the date of the mailing or posting of such notice as aforesaid.
C. 
Correction of brush, grass, weeds and other conditions by Town. If the person upon whom the notice provided for in Subsection A is served fails, neglects or refuses to cut and remove or kill by spraying such weeds, grass or other vegetation within five days after the date of mailing or posting of said notice, then the Town, through the official designated by it for said purposes, shall cause such weeds, grass and other vegetation on such lot or land to be cut and removed or killed by spraying.
D. 
Due to violations of this article, if the Code Enforcement Officer of the Town of Fallsburg requires that, but not limited to the following, the boarding up of unsecured buildings, snow and ice removal, the removal of vending machines, shopping carts, obsolete or broken signs, fences, retaining walls, accessory structures or similar structures that may be broken, unsafe or in disrepair or the trimming of trees or shrubbery interfering with any person or vehicles using the public right-of-way or similar areas, or the removal of junk, trash, garbage, refuse, etc., or an unsanitary condition deemed potentially hazardous to the public, the Town Code Enforcement Officer, after giving five days' notice to the owner or occupant by certified mail, return receipt requested, at the address set forth on the Town real property tax bills, may enter the premises and cause said item to be removed or trimmed, as the case may be, and the cost plus a sum equal to a 50% of such costs for inspection and other additional costs in connection therewith thereof shall be added to the ensuing year's real property tax bill for the premises. However, if any such violation is deemed to be of an emergency in nature, unsanitary, unsafe or hazardous to the public health or safety, then the Code Enforcement Officer may enter the premises to immediately ameliorate or abate said condition without giving required notice.

§ 218-16 Penalties for offense.

A. 
Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of this article shall be fined not less than $50 and not more than $1,500 for each offense, and a separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues. Said fee shall be assessed by the Town Code Enforcement Officer, the amount of which shall be at the discretion of the Town Code Enforcement Officer. Any person, corporation or firm shall have the right to contest the penalty or fine within 30 days of being assessed. All fines will include costs incurred by the Town, which the Town incurred as part of the prosecution and collection of said penalties.
B. 
Any violation of this article is hereby deemed to be a nuisance and a public safety issue and, in addition to any relief provided herein, the Town Attorney may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for an injunction to prohibit the continuance of any violations of this article. Such application for relief may include a temporary restraining order, temporary injunction and permanent injunction.

§ 218-17 Maintenance after casualty damage.

A. 
Within a period of 30 days after casualty damage to any premises, the owner and operator shall take the following steps:
(1) 
Contract for the repair and restoration of damaged areas and removal of all related debris; and
(2) 
Contract for the demolition and removal of any part of the premises not to be repaired and restored and for the removal of debris in connection therewith.
B. 
The work to repair, restore, demolish or remove, as set forth above, must be completed within 90 days after the casualty damage occurs.

§ 218-18 Severability.

If any clause, sentence, paragraph, word, section or part of this article shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be unconstitutional, illegal or invalid, such judgment shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, word, section or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered.

§ 218-19 When effective.

This article shall take effect immediately upon filing in the office of the Secretary of State and in compliance with all applicable provisions of the law.