Village of Hancock, NY
Delaware County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Hancock 5-10-1999 by L.L. No. 2-1999. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building code administration and enforcement — See Ch. 39.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 79.

§ 41-1 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to protect and preserve the public health, safety and general welfare of the residents and owners of real property located in the Village by providing a method for removal or repair of buildings or structures within the limits of the Village that, from any cause, may now or shall hereafter become dangerous or unsafe to the public and residents and/or owners of property within the Village.

§ 41-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
COUNTY
Delaware County.
OWNER
The legal or titled owner of the premises, his or her executor or administrator, legal representative, agent, lessee, persons or corporation who has a vested interest in the property as shown in the Assessors office or office of the County Clerk.
UNSAFE BUILDINGS
All buildings or structures which have any or all of the following defects:
A. 
Those whose interior walls or other vertical structural members list, lean or buckle to such extent that a plumb line passing through the center of gravity falls outside of the middle third of its base.
B. 
Those which, exclusive of the foundation, show 33% or more of damage or deterioration of the supporting member or members or 50% of damage or deterioration of the nonsupporting 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, morals or the general health and welfare of the occupants or the people of the Village of Hancock.
E. 
Those which have become or are so dilapidated, decayed, unsafe, 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, morals, safety or general welfare of those living therein.
F. 
Those having light, air and sanitation facilities which are inadequate to protect the health, morals, safety or general welfare of human beings who live or may live therein.
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 escape.
H. 
Those having parts thereof which are so attached that they may fall and injure members of the public or property.
I. 
Those which because of their condition are unsafe, unsanitary or dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the people of this Village.
J. 
Those buildings existing in violation of any provision of any local law, ordinance or regulations of the Village, county, state or federal government.
K. 
Any building or structure which remains vacant and unattended continuously for a period of five years.
VILLAGE
The Village of Hancock.

§ 41-3 Unsafe buildings declared nuisances.

All unsafe buildings within the terms of § 41-2 of this chapter are hereby declared to be public nuisances and shall be repaired, vacated or demolished as hereinbefore and hereinafter provided.

§ 41-4 Standards for repair, vacation or demolition.

The following standards shall be followed in substance by the Building Inspector and the Board of Trustees in ordering repair, vacation or demolition:
A. 
If the unsafe building can reasonably be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this chapter, it shall be ordered repaired.
B. 
If the unsafe building is in such condition as to make it dangerous to the safety or general welfare of its occupants, it shall be ordered to be vacated.
C. 
In any case, except as provided in Subsections A and B above, where an unsafe building is so damaged or decayed, or deteriorated from its original value or structure, so that it can not be economically restored, it shall be demolished, and in all cases where a building can not be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this chapter, it shall be demolished. In all cases where an unsafe building is a fire hazard existing or erected in violation of the terms of this chapter or any other provisions of any local law, or regulations of the Village or laws of the county, state or federal government, it shall be demolished.

§ 41-5 Duties of Building Inspector.

The Building Inspector shall:
A. 
Inspect any building, wall or other structure about which complaints are filed by any person to the effect that a building, wall or structure is or may be existing in violation of this chapter or any other provisions of any local law, or regulations of the Village, county, state or federal government and report his or her findings at least annually to the Board of Trustees, or more frequently as requested by the Board or the Mayor.
B. 
Inspect any building, wall or structure reported (as hereinafter provided for) by the Fire or Police Department of this Village as probably existing in violation of the terms of this chapter.
C. 
Notify personally or in writing the owner of the property, by certified mail, returned receipt requested, addressed to the last known address, if any, of the owner, as shown by the records of the Assessor or in the office of the County Clerk, of any building found by him or her to be an unsafe building within the standards set forth in § 41-2 of this chapter:
(1) 
The owner must vacate or repair or demolish said building in accordance with the terms of the notice and this chapter.
(2) 
The occupant or lessee must vacate said building or may have it repaired in accordance with the notice and remain in possession.
(3) 
Any mortgagee, agent or other persons having an interest in said building may, at his or her own risk, repair, vacate or demolish said building or have such work or act done, provided that any person notified under this subsection to repair, vacate or demolish any building shall be given such reasonable time, not exceeding 30 days, as may be necessary to do, or have done, the work or act required by the notice provided for herein.
D. 
Set forth in the notice provided for in Subsection C hereof, a description of the building or structure deemed unsafe, a statement of the particulars which make the building or structure an unsafe building and an order requiring the same to be put in such condition as to comply with the terms of this chapter within such length of time, as is reasonable, not exceeding 30 days.
E. 
Place a notice on all unsafe buildings reading as follows: "This building has been found to be an unsafe building by this Building Inspector. This notice is to remain on this building until it is repaired, vacated or demolished in accordance with the notice which has been given to the owner by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the last known address, if any, of the owner, of any building found by me to be an unsafe building within the standards set forth in § 41-2 of this chapter. It is unlawful to remove this notice until such notice is complied with."
F. 
Report to the Board of Trustees any noncompliance with the notice provided for in Subsections C and D hereof.
G. 
Appear at all hearings conducted by the Board of Trustees and testify as to the condition of unsafe buildings.

§ 41-6 Duties of Board of Trustees.

The Board of Trustees shall:
A. 
Give written notice to owner or lessees. Upon receipt of a report of the Building Inspector, as provided in Subsection F of § 41-5 hereof, give written notice to the owner, by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the last known address, if any, of the owner of any building found by him or her to be an unsafe building within the standards of § 41-2 of this chapter, to appear before it on the date specified in the notice to show cause why the building or structure reported to be an unsafe building should not be repaired, vacated or demolished in accordance with the statement of particulars set forth in the Building Inspector's notice provided for herein in Subsections C and D in § 41-5.
B. 
Hold hearings. Hold a hearing and hear such testimony as the Building Inspector or the owner shall offer relative to the unsafe building.
C. 
Make written findings of fact. Make written findings of fact from the testimony offered pursuant to Subsection B as to whether or not the building in question is an unsafe building within the terms of § 41-2 hereof.
D. 
Issue an order based on findings of fact. Issue an order based on findings of fact made pursuant to Subsection C commanding the owner to repair, vacate or demolish any building found to be an unsafe building within the terms of this chapter, provided that any person so notified, except the owners, shall have the privilege of either vacating or repairing said unsafe building, or any person not the owner of said unsafe building but having an interest in said building may demolish said unsafe building at his or her own risk to prevent the acquiring of a lien against the land upon which the said unsafe building stands by the Village as provided in Subsection F hereof.
E. 
Report names and other pertinent information of owners not complying to the Village Attorney. Report to the Village Attorney the names and other pertinent information of all owners not complying with the order provided in Subsection D of this section.
F. 
Cause building to be repaired. If such person fails to comply with the order provided in Subsection D hereof within 10 days, the Board of Trustees shall cause such building or structure to be repaired, vacated or demolished as the facts may warrant under the standards hereinbefore provided in § 41-3 of this chapter and shall, with the assistance of the Village Attorney, cause the costs of such repair, vacation or demolition, together with a service charge of 50% thereof to cover costs of supervision and administration, to be charged against the land on which the building existed as a municipal lien or cause such costs to be added to the tax rolls as an assessment or to be levied as a special tax against the land upon which the building stands or did stand or to be recovered in a suit at law against the owner, provided that in cases where such procedure is desirable and any delay thereby caused will not be dangerous to the health, safety or general welfare of the people of this Village, the Building Inspector shall notify the Village Attorney to take legal action to force the owner to make all necessary repairs or demolish the building.

§ 41-7 Emergency cases.

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 Building Inspector shall report such facts to the Board of Trustees and the Board of Trustees 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 Subsection F of § 41-6.

§ 41-8 Absence of owner.

In cases, except emergency cases, where the owner, occupant or lessee is absent from the Village, all notices or orders provided for herein shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner as described in Subsection C of § 41-5 to the last known address of such party, and a copy of such notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the unsafe building to which it relates. Such mailing and posting shall be deemed adequate notice.

§ 41-9 Administrative liability.

No officer, agent or employee of the Village 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 Village of Hancock 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 Village until the final determination of the proceeding therein.

§ 41-10 Duties of Fire Department.

The Fire Marshal shall, or any volunteer fireman of the Village Fire Department may, make a report in writing to the Building Inspector of any building or structures which are, may be or are suspected to be unsafe buildings within the terms of this chapter.

§ 41-11 Duties of Police Department.

All officers and employees of the Police Department, or any other law enforcement official, shall make a report in writing to the Building Inspector of any buildings or structures which are or may be deemed to be unsafe buildings within the terms of this chapter. Such reports must be delivered to the Building Inspector within 24 hours of the discovery of such building.

§ 41-12 Penalties for offenses.

A. 
Violation of any of the provisions of this chapter is hereby declared to be a violation.
B. 
For every violation of any provision of this chapter, the person violating the same shall be subject to a fine of not more than $250 or imprisonment of not more than 15 days, or both fine and imprisonment. Each day’s continued violation of the provisions of this chapter shall constitute a separate violation.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).