[Adopted 12-10-1990 by L.L. No. 16-1990]
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 uses, 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 give to the owner, agent or person in control of such building or structure written notice stating the defects thereof. This notice shall 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 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 by the Building Inspector. 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 Department." 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 Board 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.
Upon the failure of an owner, tenant or occupant to comply with a notice to correct a condition complained of, the Town Board may hold a public hearing. The public hearing shall be held upon notice posted conspicuously on the affected property and forwarded to the last known address of the property owner, as it appears on the current tax records of the Town, by certified mail, return receipt. Posting and service of such notice shall be not less than 15 days prior to the date of such hearing.
The Town Board, after a public hearing as provided in Subsection G (if held), may cause any nuisance, hazard or litter as defined in this chapter or any vehicle parked or stored in violation of this chapter to be removed from any property within the unincorporated portion of the Town of Haverstraw upon the failure of such owner, tenant or occupant to comply with any order of the Town Board. Said removal may be performed by the Building Inspector or other designee, including a private contractor. The Town Board shall ascertain the cost of the proceeding and the costs of removal, and such costs shall be charged and assessed against the owner of the property. The expense so assessed shall constitute a lien and charge on the real property against which it is levied until paid or otherwise satisfied or discharged and shall be collected in the same manner and at the same time as other Town charges, and the same shall be placed on the tax assessment role and levied against the property as if the same constituted a special district.
The removal of any nuisance, hazard or litter by the Town of Haverstraw or its agents shall not operate to excuse such owner, tenant or occupant from properly maintaining any premises as required by the Town Code, and such owner, tenant or occupant shall, notwithstanding such action, be subject to any other penalties provided for herein.
In instances where the Town Board, its designee or the Building Inspector determines that a condition exists which requires immediate attention due to the fact that it jeopardizes the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Town of Haverstraw, then the Town Board and/or Building Inspector are empowered to take immediate action to correct the same without adherence to public hearing or notice requirements. In such instances, the property owner shall be charged the costs incurred by the Town as set forth hereinabove.