[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Clarence 8-8-1990 by L.L. No. 5-1990. Amendments noted where applicable.]
One of the most important benefits received by residents of the Town of Clarence from its government is the protection of property values and way of life safeguarded by the Town's zoning and planning laws. The Town has expended substantial public funds developing, nurturing and maintaining its comprehensive land use plan. Every violation of these laws undermines the benefit of these laws to all citizens and corrupts the integrity of the plan as a whole.
The criminal enforcement process is an ineffective tool to compel compliance with these laws because it is designed for punishment, not compliance, and the penalties associated therewith are insufficient to modify behavior.
The injunctive powers of the Supreme Court, on the other hand, are designed to compel compliance but are very expensive to the municipal taxpayer. This chapter is designed to provide authorization for the Town of Clarence to recover its reasonable attorney's fees from a defendant who is adjudged by the Court in a civil proceeding of having violated the Town's zoning and/or planning laws.
This chapter shall be applicable to any civil proceeding, whether in the nature of an action for injunction or otherwise, brought by the Town of Clarence or any of its boards, departments, agencies or divisions to enforce, compel compliance with or enjoin a violation of the Town's Zoning Law, Subdivision Law, Junk Vehicle Law, Site Plan Law or other local law or ordinance in which the Town of Clarence or its boards, departments, agencies or divisions are in the prevailing party.
In any civil proceeding for an injunction or other relief in which the Town of Clarence, its boards, departments, agencies or divisions shall prevail, it shall be entitled to recover from the defendant or defendants, or both, all of its reasonable attorney's fees, costs and disbursements.
By this chapter, the Town of Clarence intends to exercise the powers granted to it by the Municipal Home Rule Law to the maximum extent possible, and it is specifically intended that this chapter shall supersede all other local or state laws of general application inconsistent herewith, except that this chapter shall not be construed so as to be inconsistent with nor to deprive any member of the judiciary of the State of New York of any power granted or reserved to such Judge.