[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Massena: Art. I, 7-29-1976; Art. II, 12-28-1983 by L.L. No. 2-1983. Amendments noted where applicable.]
There is hereby designated in the Town of Massena a public official to be known as the "Building Inspector," who shall be appointed by the Town Board at a compensation to be fixed by it.
The Town Board may appoint one or more Deputy Building Inspectors, as the need may appear, to act under the supervision of the Building Inspector and to exercise any portion of his powers and duties. The compensation of such Deputy Building Inspectors shall be fixed by the Town Board. In the absence of the Building Inspector or in case of his inability to act for any reason, the Town Board shall designate a person to act in his behalf and to exercise all of the powers conferred upon him by this article.
No Building Inspector or Deputy shall engage in any activity inconsistent with his duties or with the interests of the Town under this article, nor shall he, during the term of his employment, be engaged directly or indirectly in any building business, in the furnishing of labor, materials or appliances for the construction, alteration or maintenance of a building or the preparation of plans or specifications thereof within the town, except only that this provision shall not prohibit any employee from such activities in connection with the construction of a building or structure owned by him and not constructed for sale.
Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, ordinance or regulation and except as herein otherwise provided, the Building Inspector shall administer and enforce all of the provisions of laws, ordinances and regulations applicable to the construction, alteration, repair, removal and demolition of buildings and structures, the installation and use of materials and equipment therein and the location, use, occupancy and maintenance thereof, but the Town Board may, by resolution, appoint a Special Building Inspector or Inspectors under the Multiple Residence Law or the Labor Law, whose power and duties shall be separate and distinct from those of any Building Inspector appointed hereunder.
He shall receive applications and issue permits for the erection, alteration, removal and demolition of buildings or structures or parts thereof and shall examine the premises for which such applications have been received or such permits have been issued for the purpose of ensuring compliance with laws, ordinances and regulations governing building construction.
He shall issue all appropriate notices or orders to remove illegal or unsafe conditions, to require the necessary safeguards during construction and to ensure compliance during the entire course of construction with the requirements of such laws, ordinances or regulations. He shall make all inspections which are necessary or proper for the carrying out of his duties, except that he may accept written reports of inspection from Deputy Building Inspectors or other employees or from generally recognized and authoritative service and inspection bureaus, provided that the same are certified by a responsible official thereof.
Whenever the same may be necessary or appropriate to assure compliance with the provisions of applicable laws, ordinances or regulations covering building construction, he may require the performance of tests in the field by experienced, professional persons or by accredited and authoritative testing laboratories or service bureaus or agencies.
The Building Inspector shall keep permanent official records of all transactions and activities conducted by him, including all applications received, permits and certificates issued, fees charged and collected, inspection reports, and notices and orders issued. All such records shall be public records open to public inspection during business hours.
The Building Inspector shall submit monthly to the Town Board a written report and summary of all business conducted by his office, including permits and certificates issued, fees collected, orders and notices promulgated, inspections and tests made and appeals or litigation pending.
No person, firm or corporation shall commence the erection, construction, enlargement, alteration, removal, improvement, demolition, conversion or change in the nature of the occupancy of any building or structure, or cause the same to be done, without first obtaining a separate building permit from the Building Inspector for each such building or structure; except that no building permit shall be required for the performance of ordinary repairs which are not structural in nature.
Application for a building permit shall be made to the Building Inspector on forms provided by him and shall contain all information necessary to determine the work proposed to be done, the persons responsible and whether same will comply with all applicable laws, regulations and ordinances.
Application shall be made by the owner or lessee, or agent of either, or by the architect, engineer or builder employed in connection with the proposed work. Where such application is made by a person other than the owner, it shall be accompanied by an affidavit of the owner or applicant that the proposed work is authorized by the owner and that the applicant is authorized to make such application.
Each application for a building permit shall be accompanied by duplicate copies of plans and specifications, including a plot plan drawn to scale, showing the location and size of all proposed new construction and all existing structures on the site, the nature and character of the work to be performed and the materials to be incorporated, distance from lot lines, the relationship of structures on adjoining property, widths and grades of adjoining streets, walks and alleys, and, where required by the Building Inspector, details of structural, mechanical and electrical work, including computations, stress diagrams and other essential technical data.
Plans and specifications shall bear the signature of the person responsible for the design and drawings.
The Building Inspector may waive the requirement for filing plans.
Amendments to the application or to the plans and specifications accompanying the same may be filed at any time prior to the completion of the work, subject to the approval of the Building Inspector.
The Building Inspector shall examine or cause to be examined all applications for permits and the plans, specifications and documents filed therewith. He shall approve or disapprove the application within a reasonable time.
Upon approval of the application and upon receipt of the legal fees therefor, he shall issue a building permit to the applicant upon the form prescribed by him and shall affix his signature or cause his signature to be affixed thereto.
Upon approval of the application, both sets of plans and specifications shall be endorsed with the word "approved." One set of such approved plans and specifications shall be retained in the files of the Building Inspector and the other set shall be returned to the applicant, together with the building permit, and shall be kept at the building site open to inspection by the Building Inspector or his authorized representative at all reasonable times.
If the application, together with plans, specifications and other documents filed therewith, describes proposed work which does not conform to all of the requirements of the applicable building regulations, the Building Inspector shall disapprove the same and shall return the plans and specifications to the applicant. Upon the request of the applicant, the Building Inspector shall cause such refusal, together with the reasons therefor, to be transmitted to the applicant in writing.
A building permit shall be effective to authorize the commencing of work in accordance with the application and the plans and specifications on which it is based for a period of six months after the date of its issuance. For good cause the Building Inspector may allow a maximum of two extensions for periods not exceeding three months each.
The issuance of a building permit shall constitute authority to the applicant to proceed with the work in accordance with the approved plans and specifications and in accordance with the applicable building laws, ordinances or regulations. All work shall conform to the approved application, plans and specifications.
Upon the filing of an application for a building permit, the applicant shall pay the appropriate fee. Fees for building permits are set by the Town Board, and the current schedule of fees is on file in the office of the Town Clerk.
The Building Inspector may revoke a building permit theretofore issued and approved in the following instances:
Where he finds that there has been any false statement or misrepresentation as to a material fact in the application, plans or specifications on which the building permit was based.
Where he finds that the building permit was issued in error and should not have been issued in accordance with the applicable law.
Where he finds that the work performed under the permit is not being prosecuted in accordance with the provisions of the application, plans or specifications.
Where the person to whom a building permit has been issued fails or refuses to comply with a stop order issued by the Building Inspector.
Whenever the Building Inspector has reasonable grounds to believe that work on any building or structure is being prosecuted in violation of the provisions of the applicable building laws, ordinances or regulations or not in conformity with the provisions of an application, plans or specifications on the basis of which a building permit was issued, or in an unsafe and dangerous manner, he shall notify the owner of the property or the owner's agent or the person performing the work to suspend all work, and any such persons shall forthwith stop such work and suspend all building activities until the stop order has been rescinded. Such order and notice shall be in writing, shall order the remedying of any condition found to exist in violation of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Construction Code and shall state the conditions under which the work may be resumed, and may be served upon the owner or his authorized agent personally or by sending by registered mail a copy of such order to the owner or his authorized agent at the address set forth in the application for the permit.
Any Building Inspector, upon the showing of proper credentials and in the discharge of his duties, may enter upon any building, structure or premises at any reasonable hour, and no person shall interfere with or prevent such entry.
Whenever there are reasonable grounds to believe that any material, construction, equipment or assembly does not conform with the requirements of the applicable building laws, ordinances or regulations, the Building Inspector may require the same to be subjected to tests in order to furnish proof of such compliance.
All buildings or structures which are structurally unsafe, unsanitary or not provided with adequate egress or which constitute a fire hazard or are otherwise dangerous to human life or which, in relation to existing use, constitute a hazard to safety or health by reason of inadequate maintenance, dilapidation, obsolescence or abandonment are, severally, for the purpose of this section, unsafe buildings. All such unsafe buildings are hereby declared to be illegal and shall be abated by repair and rehabilitation or by demolition in accordance with the procedure of this section.
The Building Inspector shall examine or cause to be examined every building reported as unsafe or damaged and shall make a written record of such examination.
Whenever the Building Inspector shall find any building or structure or portion thereof to be an unsafe building as defined in this section, he shall, in the same manner as provided for the service of stop orders in § 109-13, give to the owner, agent or person in control of such building or structure written notice stating the defects thereof. This notice shall order or require the owner within a stated time either to complete specified repairs or improvements or to demolish and remove the building or structure or portion thereof.
If the Building Inspector finds that there is actual and immediate danger of failure or collapse so as to endanger life, such notice shall also order or require the building, structure or portion thereof to be vacated forthwith and not reoccupied until the specified repairs and improvements are completed, inspected and approved. The Building Inspector shall cause to be posted at each entrance to such building a notice: "This building is unsafe and its use or occupancy has been prohibited by the Building Inspector." Such notice shall remain posted until the required repairs are made or demolition is completed. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, or their agents or other servants, to remove such notice without written permission of the Building Inspector, or for any person to enter the building except for the purpose of making the required repairs or of demolishing the same.
In case the owner, agent or person in control cannot be found within the stated time limit, or if such owner, agent or person in control shall fail, neglect or refuse to comply with notice to repair, rehabilitate or to demolish and remove said building or structure or portion thereof, the Town Attorney shall be advised of all the facts in the case and shall institute an appropriate action in the courts to compel compliance.
In cases of emergency which, in the opinion of the Building Inspector, involve imminent danger to human life or health, he shall promptly cause such building, structure or portion thereof to be made safe or removed. For this purpose, he may at once enter such structure or land on which it stands, or abutting land or structure, with such assistance and at such cost as may be necessary. He may vacate adjacent structures and protect the public by appropriate barricades or such other means as may be necessary and, for this purpose, may close a public or private way.
Costs incurred under Subsections E and F of this section shall be paid out of the general funds of the Town on certificate of the Building Inspector. Such costs shall be charged to the owner of the premises involved, who shall be liable therefor, and the same shall be collected by legal action brought in the name of the town.
Violators and violations of this article and of the State Fire Prevention and Building Code, as defined in the Executive Law § 370 et seq., shall be subject to the penalties provided in said § 382 under the procedures set forth therein.
Appropriate actions and proceedings may be taken at law or in equity to prevent unlawful construction or to restrain, correct or abate a violation or to prevent illegal occupancy of a building, structure or premises or to prevent illegal acts, conduct or business in or about any premises; and these remedies shall be in addition to the penalties prescribed in the preceding section.
[Adopted 12-28-1983 by L.L. No. 2-1983]
The Town of Massena shall administer and enforce the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code on and after January 1, 1984, pursuant to Article 18 of the Executive Law of the State of New York.
The following permit and inspection fees are hereby established:
Other inspections and fees related to building construction.
Requested inspections outside of normal business hours: $15 per hour; minimum charge, two hours in addition to the permit fee.
Plan review: 50% of the permit cost (where no permit is requested).
Additional plan review required by changes, additions or revisions to approved plans: $15 per hour.
In the event that an application for a building permit is not approved, the applicant shall be entitled to a refund of 50% of the fee paid, provided that no work has commenced. If work has commenced and the application is not approved, the fees paid shall not be refunded.
Building permit renewal: $10 or 10% of the original building permit fee, whichever is larger.
Certificate of occupancy: no charge if building permit is in effect, otherwise: $25 for one- and two-family dwellings; $100 for all others.
Temporary certificate of occupancy: $10.
Third and subsequent temporary certificates of occupancy: $100.