[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Saratoga at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 199.
The Town Board of the Town of Saratoga believes that it should provide, by ordinance, for the repair or destruction of buildings in the Town which are dangerous or unsafe to the public, in order to protect the health, safety and general welfare of the inhabitants of the Town. It therefore enacts this chapter, pursuant to § 130, Subdivision 16, of the Town Law, to provide for the removal or repair of buildings that from any cause may now be or shall hereafter become dangerous or unsafe to the public.
At any time the Town Board, by resolution, may direct an appropriate Town employee or hire a competent person to inspect any structure in the Town and report to the Town Board whether the structure is dangerous or unsafe to the public.
A building is considered "dangerous or unsafe to the public" if it meets any of the following criteria: a building that is dangerous to the life, health, property or safety of the public or the occupants of the building because the building contains unsafe equipment; or the building is so damaged, decayed, dilapidated, structurally unsafe or of such faulty construction or unstable foundation that partial or complete collapse is possible. Unsafe equipment includes any boiler, heating equipment, elevator, electrical wiring or device, or other equipment on the premises that is in such disrepair that it is a hazard to the life, health, property or safety of the public or occupants of the building. A dangerous or unsafe building also includes one which is unfit for human occupancy because of the degree to which the structure is in disrepair or lacking maintenance so as to constitute a hazard to the public or occupants of the building.
If the person directed or employed as set forth in § 182-2 reports that the structure is unsafe or dangerous to the public, the Town Board shall cause a notice to be served on the owner or the owner's executor, legal representative, agent, lessee or any other person having a vested or contingent interest in the same, either personally or by registered mail, addressed to the last known address, if any, as shown by the records of the Receiver of Taxes and/or in the office of the County Clerk or County Register, containing a description of the premises, a statement of the particulars in which the building or structure is unsafe or dangerous and an order outlining the manner in which it is to be made safe and secure or demolished and removed; an order directing any occupants of the building to vacate immediately; a statement that the securing or removal of the building is to commence within 30 days of the service or mailing of the notice and shall be completed within 60 days thereafter, unless for good cause shown such time shall be extended; a date, time and place for a hearing before the Town Board in relation to such dangerous or unsafe building, which hearing shall be scheduled not less than five business days from the date of the service of the notice; and a statement that, in the event of neglect or refusal to comply with the order to secure or demolish and remove the building, the Town Board is authorized to provide for forced demolition and removal, and to assess all expenses thereof, including legal expenses, against the land on which it is located to be levied and collected as an additional Town property tax.
A copy of such notice shall be filed in the office of the County Clerk of the County of Saratoga, which notice shall be filed by such Clerk in the same manner as a Notice of Pendency pursuant to Article 65 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules and shall have the same effect as a Notice of Pendency as therein provided, except as otherwise hereinafter provided in this subsection. A notice so filed shall be effective for a period of one year from the date of the filing; provided, however, that it may be vacated upon the order of a Judge or Justice of a court of record or upon the consent of the Town Attorney. The Clerk of the County where such notice is filed shall mark such and any record or docket thereof as canceled of record upon the presentation of filing of such consent or the certified copy of such order.
The hearing set forth in the notice shall be held at a regular meeting of the Town Board, or at a special meeting called for that purpose, at which time the person served with the notice may present proof and/or witnesses in opposition to the claim that the building is unsafe and dangerous, and if after such hearing the Town Board still concludes that the building is unsafe and dangerous and such owner fails or refuses to comply with the order of the Town Board, the Town Board shall provide for the demolition or repair of the offending building or buildings by contract. Except in an emergency, as hereinafter provided, any contract for the repair, demolition and removal of a building in excess of $10,000 shall be provided through competitive bidding.
In emergency cases where it reasonably appears that there is present a clear and imminent danger to life, safety or health of any person or property unless an unsafe building is immediately repaired or secured or demolished, the Town Board may, by resolution, authorize the Building Inspector to immediately cause the repair or demolition of such unsafe building. The expense of such repair or demolition shall be charged against the land on which it is located and shall be assessed, levied and collected as hereinafter provided.
All expenses incurred by the Town in connection with the proceedings to repair, secure, demolish or remove the unsafe building, including the cost of actually removing such building, and any legal expenses, shall be assessed against the land on which such building is located and shall be levied and collected as an additional Town property tax.