[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Johnson City 4-16-2002 by L.L. No. 1-2002. (This local law also superseded former Ch. 118, Buildings, Unsafe, adopted 8-20-1973 as Art. II of Ch. 6 of the 1973 Code.) Amendments noted where applicable.]
Unsafe buildings pose a threat to life and property in the Village of Johnson City. Buildings and structures may become unsafe by reason of damage by fire, the elements, age or general deterioration. Vacant buildings not properly secured at doorways and windows also serve as an attractive nuisance for young children who may be injured therein, as well as a point of congregation by vagrants and transients. A dilapidated building may also serve as a place of rodent infestation, thereby creating a health menace to the community. It is the purpose of this chapter to provide for the safety, health protection, and general welfare of persons and property in the Village by requiring that such unsafe buildings be repaired or demolished and removed.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any building, structure or portion thereof which is located in any zone within the Village.
When, in his/her own opinion or upon receipt of information that a building is or may become unsafe to the general public; or is open at the doorways and windows making it accessible to and an object of attraction to minors, as well as to vagrants and other trespassers; or is or may become a place of rodent infestation; or presents any other danger to the health, safety, morals, and general welfare of the public; or is unfit for the purposes for which it may lawfully be used, the Building Inspector shall cause or make an inspection thereof and report in writing to the Board of Trustees his/her findings and recommendations in regard to its repair or demolition and removal.
Upon receipt of a report prepared as stated in § 118-3, the Board of Trustees shall thereafter consider such report 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, or its demolition and removal, and further order that a notice be served upon the persons in the manner provided herein.
Any notice served pursuant to this chapter shall contain the following:
A description of the premises;
A statement of the particulars in which the building is unsafe or dangerous;
An order outlining the manner in which the building is to be made safe and secure, or demolished and removed;
A statement that the securing or removal of such building 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;
A date, time and place for a hearing before the Board of Trustees in relation to such dangerous or unsafe building, which hearing shall be scheduled not fewer than five business days from the date of 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 Board of Trustees is authorized to provide for its demolition and removal, to assess all expenses thereof against the premises on which it is located and to institute a special proceeding to collect the costs of demolition, including legal expenses.
The said notice 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 as shown by the records of the Village Treasurer or of the county clerk, or if no such person can be reasonably found, by mailing such owner by registered mail a copy of such notice directed to his last known address as shown by the above records; and by personal service of a copy of such notice upon any adult 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. A copy of the notice served as provided herein shall also be filed in the office of the County Clerk of the County of Broome.
In the event of the refusal or neglect of the person so notified to comply with said order of the Board of Trustees, after the hearing, the Board of Trustees shall provide for the demolition and removal of such building or structure either by Village employees or by contract. Except in emergency as provided in § 118-9 hereof, any contract for demolition and removal of a building in excess of $20,000 shall be awarded through competitive bidding.
All expenses incurred by the Village in connection with the proceedings to repair and secure or demolish and remove the unsafe building, including the cost of actually removing such building, and all reasonable and necessary legal expenses incidental thereto, shall, at the option of the Village, either:
Where it reasonably appears that there is present a clear and imminent danger to the life, safety or health of any person or property, unless an unsafe building is immediately repaired and secured or demolished, the Board of Trustees 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 a charge against the premises on which it is located and shall be assessed, levied, and collected as provided in § 118-8 hereof.
Each separate provision of this chapter shall be deemed independent of all other provisions herein, and if any provisions shall be deemed invalid, all other provisions hereof shall remain valid and enforceable.