[Amended 9-26-2005 by L.L. No. 8-2005]
The Town Director of Planning and Zoning shall administer and the Town Building Inspector and/or the Town Zoning Enforcement Officer shall enforce all provisions of this chapter except where otherwise herein specifically required. Whenever any permit is required herein, the same shall be applied for and shall be issued in the first instance from the office of the Town Building Inspector in accordance with the requirements of this chapter and applicable Town regulations governing building construction and the issuance of building permits.
[Amended 9-26-2005 by L.L. No. 8-2005]
The Building Inspector and/or the Zoning Enforcement Officer shall have the right to enter upon, examine and inspect, or cause to be entered, examined and inspected, any building or property at any reasonable time for the purpose of carrying out his/her duties and to determine compliance with the provisions of this chapter. A written report of each such examination and inspection shall be prepared on an appropriate form and kept on file by the Town Building Department.
In addition to all other authority conferred by law, the Building Inspector shall have the following powers and duties with respect to this chapter:
Issuance of building permits. No building or structure shall be erected, altered, reconstructed or enlarged until the Building Inspector has issued a building permit stating that the proposed use and structure comply with all applicable provisions of this chapter.
Issuance of certificate of occupancy.
No use shall be established or land or structure occupied until the Building Inspector has issued a certificate of occupancy stating that the use, land and structure comply with all applicable provisions of this chapter.
More particularly, no certificate of occupancy shall be issued for any special use of a building or of land requiring special use permit approval by the Planning Board unless and until such special permit or site plan approval has been granted by the Planning Board. Every certificate of occupancy for which a special use permit or site plan approval has been granted, or in connection with which a variance has been granted by the Board of Appeals, shall contain a detailed statement of any condition to which the same is subject and shall include, by attachment, a copy of such Board of Appeals decision.
Issuance of notices of violation. Whenever, in the opinion of the Building Inspector, after proper examination and inspection, there appears to exist a violation of any provision of this chapter or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, he shall serve a written notice upon the appropriate person(s) responsible for such alleged violation. Such notice shall be served in accordance with the requirements of § 219-105 herein.
Issuance of stop orders. Whenever the Building Inspector has reasonable grounds to believe that work on any building or structure or any use of land is occurring either in violation of the provisions of this chapter, not in conformity with any application made, permit granted or other approval issued hereunder, or in an unsafe or dangerous manner, the Building Inspector shall promptly notify the appropriate person(s) responsible to suspend work on any such building or structure or the use of any such land. Such person(s) shall forthwith suspend such activity until the stop order has been rescinded. Such order and notice shall be in writing, shall state the conditions under which the work or use may be resumed and may be served upon the person(s) whom it is directed either by delivering it personally to him or by posting the same upon a conspicuous portion of the building under construction or premises in use and additionally sending a copy of the same by registered mail.
Emergency action. If, in the opinion of the Building Inspector, a violation exists which requires immediate action to avoid a direct hazard or imminent danger to the health, safety, morals or welfare of occupants of a building or to other persons, the Building Inspector may direct such violation immediately remedied or may take direct action on his own initiative to abate the hazard or danger. Any costs incurred by such action shall be paid for by the owner, occupant or person(s) responsible for the violation. The Building Inspector shall keep on file an affidavit stating, with fairness and accuracy, the items of expense and date of execution of action taken, and is furthermore authorized to institute a suit, if necessary, against the person liable for such expenses or place a lien against property in order to recover said costs.
[Amended 9-26-2005 by L.L. No. 8-2005]
A notice of violation of any provision of this chapter or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto may be served by the Building Inspector and/or the Zoning Enforcement Officer and shall inform the recipient of:
The nature and specific details of such violation.
Recommended remedial action which, if taken, will effect compliance with the provisions of this chapter and with rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto.
The date of compliance by which the violation must be remedied or removed.
The recipient's right to a hearing before the building inspector, as provided below.
Any person served with such notice of violation and who denies the existence of the violation or is allegedly aggrieved by the required action necessary for compliance may, within 10 days of service of notice, request in writing a hearing before the building inspector, specifically noting the reasons why such hearing is requested.
Within 10 days after receipt of such request for a hearing, the building inspector shall acknowledge receipt in writing and set a time and place for such hearing not later than 30 days after the date such request was received. Such hearing may be postponed beyond the thirty-day limit for just cause, with notice of such postponement served. At such hearing, the person requesting the hearing shall be required to show cause or give evidence why he should not be required to remedy the violation or why he is unable to comply with the remedial action outlined in the notice of violation.
After consideration of all testimony given at such hearing, the building inspector shall either sustain, withdraw or modify the notice of violation as originally served. If the notice is sustained or modified, the building inspector shall set a new compliance date either consistent with the original notice of violation or extended, as appropriate. Such extension shall only be permitted if there exists both reasonable evidence of intent to comply and reasonable conditions which prevent compliance by the previously specified date.
[Amended 10-12-1990 by L.L. No. 4-1990]
Violation of any provision or requirement of this chapter or violation of any statement, plan, application, permit or certificate approved under the provisions of this chapter is hereby declared to be an offense punishable by a fine not exceeding $350 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both, for conviction of a first offense; for conviction of a second offense, both of which were committed within a period of five years, punishable by a fine not less than $350 nor more than $700 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both; and, upon conviction for a third or subsequent offense, all of which were committed within a period of five years, punishable by a fine not less than $700 nor more than $1,000 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both. The owner, general agent or contractor of a building premises or part thereof where such a violation has been committed or does exist, and any agent, contractor, architect, builder, corporation or other person who commits, takes part or assists in such violations, shall be liable for such an offense. All such penalties shall be collectible by and in the name of the town; each and every week that any such violation continues, after notification that such violation exists, shall constitute a separate offense. Such notice shall be given in writing by the building inspector and shall be served by registered mail or personal service.
However, for the purpose of conferring jurisdiction upon courts and judicial officers generally, violations of this chapter shall be deemed misdemeanors, and for such purpose only, all provisions of law relating to misdemeanors shall apply to such violations.
Court action. The imposition of penalties herein prescribed shall not preclude the town or any person from instituting appropriate legal action or proceedings in a court of competent jurisdiction to prevent an unlawful erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, conversion, maintenance or use or to restrain by injunction, correct or abate a violation or to prevent the illegal occupancy of a building, land or premises.
Taxpayer action. If the building inspector fails or refuses to act upon or refer a violation of this chapter to the Town Attorney for legal action in accordance with the provisions contained herein within a ten-calendar-day period following written request by any taxpayer to so proceed, then any three or more taxpayers of the Town of Schodack may institute appropriate legal action in a court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with or to restrain by injunction the violation of this chapter.