City of Port Jervis, NY
Orange County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Port Jervis 7-27-1964 as part of Ch. 5, Art. III of the 1964 Code of Ordinances (Ch. 69 of the 1981 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Housing standards — See Ch. 319.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 417.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
DANGEROUS 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 an 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 thirty-three-percent-or-more damage or deterioration of the supporting member or members, or fifty-percent 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, morals or the general welfare of the occupants or the people of the City.
E. 
Those which have been abandoned or 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.
[Amended 2-26-1996 by L.L. No. 2-1996; 5-13-1996 by L.L. No. 6-1996]
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.[1]
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 communication.
H. 
Those which have 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 City.
J. 
Those buildings existing in violation of any provision of the Building Code of this City or any provision of the Fire Prevention Code or other ordinances of this City.
[1]
Editor's Note: For related standards, see Ch. 319, Housing Standards.
All dangerous buildings within the terms of § 234-1 are hereby declared to be public nuisances and shall be repaired, vacated or demolished as hereinbefore and hereinafter provided.
The Building Official shall:
A. 
Inspect or cause to be inspected semiannually all public buildings, schools, halls, churches, theaters, hotels, tenements and commercial, manufacturing or loft buildings for the purpose of determining whether any conditions exist which render such places a "dangerous building" within the terms of § 234-1.
B. 
Inspect any building, wall or 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.
C. 
Inspect any building, wall or structure reported, as hereinafter provided for, by the Fire or Police Departments of this City as probably existing in violation of the terms of this chapter.
D. 
Inspect annually buildings in designated sections of this City to determine whether there are dangerous buildings within the terms of § 234-1.
E. 
Duties regarding noncomplying buildings.
[Amended 2-26-1996 by L.L. No. 2-1996; 5-13-1996 by L.L. No. 6-1996; 7-10-2000 by L.L. No. 6-2000]
(1) 
With respect to buildings he deems in noncompliance with the conditions set forth in § 234-1 herein, the Building Official shall serve notice on the owner, occupant and/or lessee, by certified mail, that the building must be immediately restored to habitable condition, advising such individual(s) that any required permits for repair must be obtained within 60 days of the notice and repairs fully completed (returning the building to habitable condition) within 180 days of the notice.
(2) 
For good cause shown, in writing, the Building Official may extend the time to correct or remove for an additional 60 days.
(3) 
Upon failure of the owner, occupant or lessee to comply with the notice(s) of the Building Official or failure to apply for any required permits for repair or failure to complete the required repairs or the inability of the Building Official to locate a responsible party, the Building Official shall report in writing to the Common Council his findings and recommendations with regard to their being repaired or secured for safety purposes or their demolition and removal.
(4) 
The Building Official shall have a six-inch-round, vinyl, self-sticking sign adhered to the front or main entrance of the dangerous building so as to notify emergency responders as well as the public and others not to enter the designated dangerous building. The sticker must have a red "X" in the center, and the crossed bars of the "X" must be 1 1 /2 inches in width.
[Added 12-14-2105 by L.L. No. 8-2015]
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 115, Officers and Employees, Art. V.
The employees of the Fire Department shall make a report in writing to the Building Official of all buildings or structures which are, may be or are suspected to be dangerous buildings within the terms of this chapter. Such reports must be delivered to the Building Official within 24 hours of the discovery of such buildings by any officer of the Fire Department.
All employees of the Police Department shall make a report in writing to the Building Official of any buildings or structures which are, may be or are suspected to be dangerous buildings within the terms of this chapter. Such reports must be delivered to the Building Official within 24 hours of the discovery of such buildings by any officer of the Police Department.
[Added 2-26-1996 by L.L. No. 2-1996; amended 5-13-1996 by L.L. No. 6-1996]
The Common Council shall thereafter consider such report (pursuant to § 234-3E herein) and by resolution determine, if in its opinion the report so warrants, that such building is unsafe and dangerous and order its repair, if the same can be safely repaired, its securing for safety purposes or its demolition and removal, and further order that a notice be served upon the persons designated in § 234-9 of this chapter and in the manner provided therein.
[Added 2-26-1996 by L.L. No. 2-1996; amended 5-13-1996 by L.L. No. 6-1996]
This notice shall contain the following:
A. 
A description of the premises.
B. 
A statement of the particulars in which the building or property is unsafe or dangerous.
C. 
A statement outlining the manner in which the building or property is to be made safe and secure or demolished or removed.
D. 
An order that the securing or removal of such building or condition (nuisance) shall commence within 30 days of the service of the notice and shall be completed within 60 days thereafter, unless for good cause shown such time shall be extended.
E. 
A date, time and place for a hearing before the Common Council in relation to such dangerous or unsafe building, which hearing shall be scheduled not less than five business days from the date of service of the notice.
F. 
A statement that in the event of neglect or refusal to comply with the order to secure or demolish and remove or correct such condition (nuisance), the Common Council is authorized to provide for its repair, securing or its demolition and removal as the case may be, to assess all expenses thereof against the land on which it is located and to institute a special proceeding to collect the cost of repair or demolition and removal, including legal and engineering expenses.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original § 69-8, Notification procedure, as amended, which immediately followed this section, was repealed 5-13-1996 by L.L. No. 6-1996.
The following standards shall be followed in substance by the Building Official and Common Council in ordering repair, vacation or demolition:
A. 
Repair. If the dangerous building can reasonably be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this chapter, it shall be ordered to be repaired.
B. 
Vacation. If the dangerous building is in such condition as to make it dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of its occupants, it shall be ordered to be vacated.
C. 
Demolition. In any case where a dangerous building is fifty-percent damaged or decayed or deteriorated from its original value or structure, it shall be demolished, and in all cases where a building cannot 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 a dangerous building is a fire hazard existing or erected in violation of the terms of this chapter or any ordinance of the City or statute of the State of New York, it shall be demolished.
[Added 2-26-1996 by L.L. No. 2-1996; amended 5-13-1996 by L.L. No. 6-1996]
The notice required under this chapter shall be served by personal service of a copy thereof upon the owner, executor, administrator, agent, lessee or any person having a vested or contingent interest in such unsafe building or property as shown on the records of the Assessor of the City or of the County Clerk; if no such person can be reasonably found, service shall be made by mailing to such owner by certified mail, return receipt requested, a copy of such notice directed to his last known address as shown on the assessment rolls of the City of Port Jervis and by personal service of a copy of such notice upon any person residing in or occupying said premises if such person can be reasonably found and by securely affixing a copy of such notice upon the unsafe building or property. Affidavits of service of the notice shall be filed with the City Clerk-Treasurer at the hearing provided for in § 234-7E herein.
[Added 2-26-1996 by L.L. No. 2-1996; amended 5-13-1996 by L.L. No. 6-1996]
A copy of the notice served as provided herein shall be filed in the office of the Clerk of the County of Orange and with the City Clerk-Treasurer of the City of Port Jervis.
[Added 2-26-1996 by L.L. No. 2-1996; amended 5-13-1996 by L.L. No. 6-1996]
In the event of the refusal or neglect of the person so notified to comply with said order of the Common Council and after the hearing, the Common Council shall provide for the repair, securing or demolition and removal, as the case may be, of such building or property either by City employees or by contract. Except in emergency cases, as provided for herein, any contract for repair, securing or demolition and removal, as the case may be, shall be awarded in accordance with the provisions of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York.
[Added 2-26-1996 by L.L. No. 2-1996; amended 5-13-1996 by L.L. No. 6-1996]
All expenses incurred by the City in connection with the proceedings to repair and secure or demolish and remove the unsafe building or property including the cost of actually removing such building or correcting such condition or nuisance or repairing the same shall be assessed against the land on which such building or condition or nuisance is located and shall be levied and collected in the same manner as provided for in the City Code for the levy and collection of a special ad valorem levy.
[Amended 5-13-1996 by L.L. No. 6-1996]
In cases where it reasonably appears that there is immediate danger to the life or safety of any person unless a dangerous building as defined herein is immediately repaired, vacated or demolished, the Building Official shall report such facts to the Common Council and it shall cause the immediate repair, vacation or demolition of such dangerous building. The cost of such emergency repair, vacation or demolition of such dangerous building shall be collected in the same manner as provided in § 234-12.
The Corporation Counsel shall:
A. 
Prosecute all persons failing to comply with the terms of the notices provided for herein.
[Amended 5-13-1996 by L.L. No. 6-1996]
B. 
Appear at all hearings before the Common Council in regard to dangerous buildings.
C. 
Bring suit to collect all municipal liens, assessments or costs incurred by the Common Council repairing or causing a dangerous building to be vacated or demolished.
D. 
Take such other legal action as is necessary to carry out the terms and provisions of this chapter.
No officer, agent or employee of the City shall render himself 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 duties under this chapter. Any suit brought against any officer, agent or employee of the City as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this chapter shall be defended by the Corporation Counsel until the final determination of the proceedings therein.
[Amended 9-28-1981 by L.L. No. 4-1981]
A. 
By owner. The owner of any dangerous building who shall fail to comply with any notice or order to repair, vacate or demolish said building given by any person authorized by this chapter to give such notice or order shall, upon conviction, be punishable as provided in the general penalty provisions of the City of Port Jervis; see Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article I.
B. 
By occupant. The occupant or lessee in possession who fails to comply with any notice given as provided for in this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punishable as provided in the general penalty provisions of the City of Port Jervis; see Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article I.
C. 
Removal of notice. Any person removing the notice posted by the City of Port Jervis shall, upon conviction, be punishable as provided in the general penalty provisions of the Code of the City of Port Jervis; see Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article I.
[Amended 5-13-1996 by L.L. No. 6-1996]