[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Beacon as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Spitting
Article II Public Nuisance Abatement
[Adopted 1-17-1972 as Sec. 17-4 of Art. I of the Ch. 17 of the 1972 Code of Ordinances]
No person shall spit in or upon the floor or platform of any car or bus used for the transportation of passengers or upon the floor of any public hall or any place used for public assemblage or in the halls or upon stairways of any public buildings or upon any of the sidewalks in the City.
[Adopted 5-16-2011 by L.L. No. 7-2011]
The City Council finds that public nuisances exist in the City of Beacon in the operation of certain establishments and the use of property in flagrant violation of the penal laws relating to controlled substances, dangerous drugs, prostitution, stolen property and illegal use or possession of weapons, as well as other provisions of state and local law, all of which substantially and seriously interfere with the interest of the public health, safety and welfare. The City Council further finds that the occurrence of such activities and violations is detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the City of Beacon and its neighborhoods thereof, businesses thereof and visitors thereto. It is the purpose of this article to authorize and empower the panel to impose administrative sanctions and penalties for such public nuisances, and such powers may be exercised either in conjunction with, or apart from, the powers contained in other laws without prejudice to the use of procedures and remedies available under such other laws. The Council further finds that the sanctions and penalties imposed by the panel pursuant to this article constitute an additional and appropriate method of law enforcement in response to the proliferation of the above-described public nuisances. The administrative sanctions and penalties are reasonable and necessary in order to protect the health and safety of the people of the City of Beacon and to promote the general welfare.
For the purposes of this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The person who is listed as the mortgagee on any unsatisfied or otherwise open mortgage on the premises recorded in the office of the Dutchess County Clerk.
- The person in whose name the premises affected by an order, issued in accordance with this article, is recorded as the owner in the office of the Dutchess County Clerk.
- The Chief of Police of the City of Beacon or his or her designee, the City Administrator of the City of Beacon or his or her designee, and the Building Inspector of the City of Beacon or his or her designee.
- The building, place or property whereon a public nuisance is being conducted or exists.
- A. For purposes of this article, a public nuisance shall be deemed to exist whenever, through violations of any of the following provisions resulting from separate incidents occurring at or predicated at events, circumstances or activities occurring on the premises, 12 or more points are accumulated within a period of six months, or 18 or more points are accumulated within a period of 12 months, in accordance with the following point system. Where more than one violation occurs during a single incident, the total points for the incident shall be the highest point value assigned to any single violation. The following violations shall be assigned the point value indicated:
- (1) Article 120 of the Penal Law (Assault and Related Offenses): six points.
- (2) Article 220 of the Penal Law (Controlled Substances Offenses): six points.
- (3) Article 221 of the Penal Law (Offenses Involving Marijuana): six points.
- (4) Article 225 of the Penal Law (Gambling Offenses): six points.
- (5) Article 230 of the Penal Law (Prostitution Offenses): six points.
- (6) Article 240 of the Penal Law (Offenses Against Public Order): six points.
- (7) Sections 165.40, 165.45, 165.50, 165.52 and 165.54 of the Penal Law (criminal possession of stolen property): six points.
- (8) Sections 65 or 82 of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law: six points.
- (9) Article 265 of the Penal Law (Firearms and Other Dangerous Weapons): six points.
- (10) Sections 260.20 and 260.21 of the Penal Law (unlawfully dealing with a child): six points.
- (11) Article 263 of the Penal Law (Sexual Performance By a Child): six points.
- (12) Section 415-a of the Vehicle and Traffic Law (Vehicle dismantlers): four points.
- (13) Section 175.10 of the Penal Law (Falsifying business records): four points.
- (14) Sections 170.65 and 170.70 of the Penal Law (forgery of and illegal possession of a vehicle identification number): four points.
- (15) Possession, use, sale, or offer for sale, of any alcoholic beverage in violation of Article 18 of the Tax Law, or of any cigarette or tobacco products in violation of Article 20 of the Tax Law: four points.
- (16) Article 178 of the Penal Law (Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medications and Prescriptions): four points.
- (17) Section 147 of the Social Services Law (Food Stamp Program fraud): four points.
- (18) Operating a business during hours which the business is required to be closed pursuant to Chapter 223 (Zoning) of the Code of the City of Beacon: four points.
- (19) Chapter 149 (Noise) of the Code of the City of Beacon: four points.
- (20) Domestic disputes where an emergency response is required on three or more occasions within a six-month period and where the responding officer observes evidence that a domestic dispute occurred: four points. Under no circumstances shall the victim of a domestic dispute be assessed points pursuant to this provision.
- (21) False alarms, including but not limited to police, fire and burglar alarms but excluding medical alarms, that require an emergency response on three or more occasions within a six-month period: four points.
- (22) False calls to Emergency 911: four points.
- (23) Any other instance where the City of Beacon Police Department, City of Beacon Fire Department, or City of Beacon Building Department issues a citation for a violation of the City Code of the City of Beacon or the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, or a disturbance of the peace: two points.
- B. For purposes of this article, a conviction for an offense in a court of competent jurisdiction or an administrative bureau shall not be required. Instead, the City shall prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the violations have occurred. However, a conviction as defined and applied in accordance with the provisions of Section 1.20 of the Criminal Procedure Law, in any court of competent jurisdiction, shall constitute conclusive proof of a violation. Conviction of an attempt to commit a violation of any of the specified provisions shall be considered a conviction for a violation of the specified provision.
In addition to the enforcement procedures established elsewhere in this article, the panel, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, shall be authorized:
Prior to the issuance of an order by the panel, pursuant to this article, the panel shall give notice and opportunity for a hearing to the owner, and any other person directly or indirectly in control of the premises wherein the public nuisance is being conducted, maintained or permitted. Such notice and opportunity to be heard may be given to a mortgagee of the premises. Such notice shall be served upon an owner or any other person directly or indirectly in control of the premises pursuant to Article 3 of the New York State Civil Practice Law and Rules, and upon a mortgagee by means of certified mail, return receipt requested, sent to the mortgagee's last known address, provided that any service other than delivery to the person to be served shall be complete immediately upon delivery, mailing or posting without the necessity of filing proof of service.
The notice provided for in Subsection A of this section shall:
Specify the activity creating the public nuisance;
Provide 30 days for elimination of the public nuisance;
Inform the person to whom it is directed of his or her right to apply within 10 days of service of the notice for a hearing before the panel;
Inform the owner or any other person directly or indirectly in control of the premises that, upon expiration of 30 days after service without a hearing before the panel, or upon noncompliance with any written agreement reached at the hearing, the panel shall act to obtain compliance as provided by this article; and
Inform the owner or any other person directly or indirectly in control of the premises of the obligation to post a copy of the notice within five days, in a conspicuous place, so that all premises occupants and others entering the premises shall have notice that the public nuisance is being conducted, maintained or permitted on the premises and that, upon expiration of 30 days after service of the notice, the panel shall act to obtain compliance as provided in this article, including, but not limited to, closing the premises.
The lack of knowledge of, acquiescence or participation in, or responsibility for a public nuisance on the part of the owner, mortgagee or any other person directly or indirectly in control of the premises, or having any interest in the premises or in any property, real or personal, used in conducting or maintaining the public nuisance, shall not be a defense by such owner, mortgagee or other person.
The panel shall issue the order provided for in § 159-4 of this article by posting said order on the premises wherein the public nuisance is occurring and mailing a copy by first class mail of said order to the owner, mortgagee or any other persons directly or indirectly in control of the premises, within one business day of the posting of said order on the premises.
Where the panel closes a premises pursuant to this section, such closing shall be for such period as the panel may direct, but in no event shall the closing be for a period of greater than one year from the issuance of the order.
Upon receiving a copy of the order issued by the panel, pursuant to §§ 159-4 and 159-7 of this article, the Corporation Counsel shall maintain a special proceeding to affix a civil penalty in the amount up to $5,000, and to collect any costs and expenses incurred by the City of Beacon, in commencing the proceeding, closing the premises and in relocating any occupants on the premises. The Corporation Counsel shall file a notice of pendency of the proceeding in the Dutchess County Clerk's office.
The judgment in such proceeding, in favor of the City of Beacon, shall establish the penalty sued for with costs and disbursements as a lien upon the premises, subject only to taxes, assessments, water rates, mortgages and mechanics' liens as they exist thereon.
Any owner whose tenant is found by the panel to be in violation of this chapter shall not be subject to penalties related to the offending tenant for a period up to six months, provided the owner serve the offending tenant with an eviction notice.
The Corporation Counsel shall have the power, on ex parte application to any court of competent jurisdiction, to appoint a receiver of rents and profits of the premises for the purposes of collecting the civil penalty established pursuant to § 159-8 of this article, and abating the public nuisance. The receiver shall have the powers, duties, and rights of a receiver of rents and profits of real estate, as provided by law; provided, however, that the Corporation Counsel shall act as counsel to the receiver, and the receiver shall not be allowed any expenditure for counsel fees, and the receiver's commission shall be no greater than 10% of the receiver's collections from the premises, which sum shall be full compensation for the receiver's services and those of any agent or agents whom the receiver may retain. The receivership shall continue until the amount of the City of Beacon's liens, with interest at the rate of 9% per annum, and the receiver's commissions, have been fully paid and the nuisance abated; provided, further, that nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent any prior lienor from applying to a court in a proper case for a receiver of the premises.
At any time after the entry of any judgment establishing a lien upon the premises, the Corporation Counsel, on behalf of the City of Beacon, may apply to a court for leave to sell the premises. Upon such application, the court may order the premises sold at public auction, subject to taxes, assessments, water rates, mortgages and mechanics' liens.
A closing directed by the panel pursuant to this article shall not constitute an act of possession, ownership or control by the City of Beacon of the closed premises.
It shall be a misdemeanor for any person to use or occupy, or to permit any other person to use or occupy, the premises, or any portion thereof, ordered closed by the panel.
Mutilation or removal of a posted order of the panel shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $250, or by imprisonment not exceeding 15 days, or both, provided that such order contains therein a notice of such penalty.
Disobedience of or resistance to any provision of the order issued by the panel, in addition to any other punishment prescribed by law, shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $500, or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both.
Each day's violation shall constitute a separate offense.
It shall be unlawful to create a public nuisance as defined in § 159-3. Creation of a public nuisance shall be a violation punishable by a fine not in excess of $1,000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 15 days, or both.
The panel may promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this article.
Neither the City of Beacon, nor any officer, agent or employee thereof, shall be personally liable for any damage resulting from any official determination, order or action required or permitted by or under this article.
For the purposes of this article, references to the "Penal Law," "Alcoholic Beverage and Control Law," "Vehicle and Traffic Law" and "Social Services Law" shall mean the laws of the State of New York.
If any provision of this article or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the remainder of this article and the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be rendered invalid thereby.