[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Collins 6-15-1987 by L.L. No. 1-1987 (Ch. 33 of the 1987 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 144.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Unsafe Buildings Law of the Town of Collins, New York."
The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the removal or repair of buildings in business, industrial and residential sections that, from any cause, may now be or shall hereafter become dangerous or unsafe to the public.
When in the opinion of the Code Enforcement Officer, who is hereby designated as the enforcement officer of this chapter, any building or structure located in the Town shall be deemed to be dangerous or unsafe to the public, the Code Enforcement Officer shall make a formal inspection thereof, and report in writing to the Town Board his or her findings and recommendations in regard to the building's or structure's removal or repair.
The Town Board shall thereafter consider said report and if it finds from said report that there is ground to believe that such building or structure is dangerous or unsafe to the public, the Town Board, by resolution, shall order its removal or repair, if the same can be safely repaired, and further order that a notice shall be personally served upon the owner or someone of the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or any other person having a vested or contingent interest in the premises, as shown by the records of the Tax Collector and/or by the records of the Erie County Clerk's office.
If no such person can be reasonably found, then by mailing a copy of such notice to such person or corporation by registered mail, addressed to his or her last known address and by securely posting a copy of such notice upon said premises.
Contents of notice. The said notice shall contain the following statements:
A description of the premises.
A statement of the particulars in which the building or structure is unsafe or dangerous.
An order requiring the same to be made safe and secure or removed.
That the securing or removal of the said building or structure shall commence within 30 days of the service of the notice and shall be completed within 60 days thereafter.
Notice of hearing. Such notice shall further provide that in case the owner and such persons having an interest in the property or structure as herein prescribed wish to contest the order, that a hearing will be held before the Town Board at a time and place specified and, that in the event such owner or persons having an interest shall fail to contest such order and fail to comply with same, the Town Board will order the repair or removal of such building or structure by the Town and that the Town will assess all costs and expense incurred by the Town in the removal of such building or structure against the land on which such building or structure is located.
A copy of the notice served in accordance with § 131-4 shall be filed in the Erie County Clerk's office, which notice shall be filed by such Clerk in the same manner as a notice of pendency pursuant to Article 65 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, and shall have the same effect as a notice of pendency as therein provided.
A notice so filed shall be effective for a period of one year from the date of filing; provided, however, that it may be vacated upon the order of a judge or justice of a court of record or upon the consent of the Town Attorney.
The Erie County Clerk shall mark such notice and any record or docket thereof as cancelled of record upon the presentation and filing of such consent or of a certified copy of such order.
At the time and date specified in the notice to repair or demolish, the Town Board shall conduct the public hearing. It may adjourn from time to time until the hearing is completed and until all interested parties are heard.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the Town Board shall determine whether to revoke the order to repair or remove, or continue said order and direct the owner and other persons to complete the work within a specified time which shall be reasonable as to the time needed to perform the work and the necessity to protect the general public.
In the event the owner and persons in interest shall fail to comply with the final order of the Town Board to make such building safe and secure or removed, the Town Board shall order such building or structure to be made safe and secure or removed and assess all the costs and expense, including the cost of actually removing such building or structure, against the land on which such building or structure is located at the same time and in the same manner as general Town taxes.
In cases where it reasonably appears that there is immediate danger to the life or safety of any person unless an unsafe building as defined herein is immediately repaired, vacated or demolished, the Code Enforcement Officer shall report such facts to the Town Board, and the Town Board shall cause the immediate repair, vacation or demolition of such unsafe building. The costs of such emergency repair, vacation or demolition of such unsafe building shall be collected in the same manner as provided in § 131-8.
No officer, agent or employee of the Town of Collins shall render himself or herself personally liable for any damage that may accrue to persons or property as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his or her duties under this chapter. Any suit brought against any officer, agent or employee of the Town of Collins as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his or her duties under this chapter shall be defended by the Town Attorney or special counsel retained by the Town until the final determination of the proceeding therein.