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Town of Amherst, NY
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The Commissioner of Building shall administer and enforce the Uniform Code, the Energy Code and this chapter, which shall apply to all areas of the Town of Amherst outside of the Village of Williamsville, and shall perform such other duties assigned to him hereunder. He shall be assisted by the Assistant Commissioner of Building and other code enforcement personnel assigned to the Building Department. The Assistant Commissioner of Building shall have the power to act generally for and in place of the Commissioner of Building during his absence or inability to act for any reason. The Supervisor shall have the power to designate a person to act in behalf of the Commissioner of Building and to exercise all the powers conferred upon him by this chapter during his absence and that of the Assistant Commissioner of Building or the inability of both to act for any reason.
No building official, employee or Code Enforcement Officer assigned to the Building Department shall engage in any activity inconsistent with his duties or those of the Building Department, nor shall he be engaged directly or indirectly in any occupation regulated by this chapter in the furnishing of labor, materials, supplies or appliances for, or the supervision of, the construction, alteration, demolition or maintenance of any building or other structure regulated hereunder, or the preparation of plans or specifications for any such structures or buildings or the furnishing of any hazardous substances, materials or devices within the area regulated hereunder; provided, however, that this provision shall not prohibit any official or employee from engaging in any such activities in connection with the construction of a building or structure owned by him for his own personal use and occupancy or for the use and occupancy of members of his immediate family and not constructed for sale.
3-1. 
Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, ordinance, rule or regulation, or except as herein otherwise provided, the Commissioner of Building shall administer and enforce all of the provisions of laws, ordinances, rules and regulations applicable to the plans, specifications or permits for the construction, alteration and repair of buildings and structures regulated hereunder, the installation and use of materials and equipment therein, the location, use, occupancy, conditions and maintenance thereof and the handling, storage or use of hazardous substances, materials or devices.
3-2. 
He shall promulgate rules and regulations subject to the approval of the Town Board to secure the intent and purpose of this chapter and a proper administration and enforcement of the laws, ordinances, rules and regulations governing plans, specifications, construction, alteration, repairs, conditions or maintenance pertaining to buildings, equipment and other structures regulated hereunder and the storage, handling or use of hazardous substances, materials or devices.
3-3. 
He shall receive applications, approve plans and specifications and issue permits for the erection, alteration and repairs of buildings, other structures and equipment regulated hereunder and the storage, handling or use of hazardous substances, materials or devices regulated hereunder and shall examine the premises for which such applications have been received, plans approved or such permits have been issued for the purpose of insuring compliance with laws, ordinances, rules and regulations governing same.
3-4. 
He shall issue in writing all appropriate notices or orders to remove illegal or unsafe conditions, to require the necessary safeguards during construction and to insure compliance during the entire course of construction with the approved plans and specifications, the conditions of the building permit and the requirements of all applicable laws, ordinances, rules and regulations. The notices or orders may be served upon the property owner, contractor or agent thereof, or by sending by certified mail a copy of such order to the owner, contractor or agent thereof at the address set forth in the application for permission for the construction or alteration of such building, other structure or equipment and by posting the same upon a conspicuous portion of the premises to which the notice applies. 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 code enforcement officers, building inspectors, plumbing inspectors, fire inspectors, housing inspectors, electrical inspectors or other employees of the Building Department, from generally recognized and authoritative service and inspection bureaus or agencies, provided that the same are certified by a responsible official thereof, and from professional engineers and registered architects licensed in New York State.
3-5. 
Whenever the same may be appropriate to determine compliance with the provisions of applicable laws, ordinances, rules and regulations covering construction, alteration, repair or occupancy or the storage, handling or use of hazardous substances, materials or devices, he may, in his discretion, accept and rely upon written reports of tests in the field by experienced, professional persons or by accredited and authoritative testing laboratories or service and inspection bureaus or agencies.
3-6. 
He shall issue a certificate of occupancy or certificate of compliance where appropriate for a building or structure constructed, altered or occupied in accordance with the provisions of the Uniform Code or Energy Code, which certificate shall certify that the building conforms to the requirements of those codes and, where appropriate, to other applicable laws, ordinances, rules and regulations.
4-1. 
The Commissioner of Building shall keep permanent official records of all transactions and activities conducted by all code enforcement personnel, including records of:
A. 
All applications received, reviewed and approved or denied.
B. 
All plans, specifications and construction documents approved.
C. 
All building permits, certificates of occupancy, certificates of compliance, temporary certificates, stop-work orders, and operating permits issued.
D. 
All inspections and tests performed.
E. 
All statements and reports issued.
F. 
All complaints received.
G. 
All investigations conducted.
H. 
All fees charged and collected.
I. 
All rules and regulations promulgated by the Commissioner of Building.
J. 
All orders and notices issued.
4-2. 
All such records shall be public records open for public inspection during normal business hours. All plans and records pertaining to buildings or structures, or appurtenances thereto, shall be retained for at least the minimum time period so required by state law and regulation.
5-1. 
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to construct, alter, repair, move, equip, use, or occupy any building or other structure regulated hereunder, or portion thereof, or to store, handle, or use hazardous substances, materials or devices in violation of the Uniform Code or Energy Code, this chapter or other applicable law or ordinance or any regulation or rule promulgated by the Commissioner of Building in accordance with applicable laws, or to fail in any manner to comply with a notice, directive or compliance order of the Commissioner of Building or his representative issued pursuant to the New York Executive Law, the New York Energy Code or this chapter, or to construct, alter, use or occupy any building, structure, or premises regulated hereunder, or part thereof, or to store, handle or use hazardous substances, materials or devices in a manner not permitted by an approved building permit, fire prevention permit, operating permit, certificate of occupancy or certificate of compliance or in strict accordance with the approved plans and specifications.
5-2. 
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to install, or cause to be installed, or to alter or repair electrical wiring for light, cooling, heat or power in a manner not permitted by an approved electrical permit.
5-3. 
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to connect, or cause to be connected, electrical wiring in or on properties for light, cooling, heat or power to any source of electrical supply prior to authorization of the Commissioner of Building.
5-4. 
Any person having been served with a compliance order pursuant to the provisions of 19 NYCRR Chapter XXXIII, Subchapter A or B, or this chapter who shall fail to comply with it within 30 days after such service or within the time frame fixed by the Commissioner of Building for compliance, and any owner, builder, engineer, architect, tenant, contractor, subcontractor, construction superintendent or other agencies or any other person taking part or assisting in the construction, repair, alteration or use of any building, other structure or equipment regulated by 19 NYCRR Chapter XXXIII, Subchapter A or B, or this chapter, or any person storing, handling or using hazardous substances, materials or devices, in violation of 19 NYCRR Chapter XXXIII, Subchapter A or B, or this chapter or any lawful compliance order, notice, directive, permit or certificate of the Commissioner of Building or his representative made thereunder, shall be punishable:
A. 
By a fine of not more than $1,000 per day of violation or imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both, for a violation of 19 NYCRR Chapter XXXIII, Subchapter A, Part 1225, or any order made pursuant thereto. Each day that such violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense punishable as such.
B. 
By a fine of not more than $250 per day of violation or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 15 days, or both, for all other violations of 19 NYCRR Chapter XXXIII, Subchapter A or B, or this chapter. Each day that such violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense punishable as such.
C. 
Except as otherwise provided for by this Chapter or State Law, any violation by a person, firm, corporation, or other entity of Section 83-9-5, as amended from time to time, shall be deemed a violation punishable by the following penalties:
[Added 4-11-2011 by L.L. No. 8-2011]
(1) 
For Property in Residential Districts:
(a) 
First violation $25;
(b) 
Second violation within 12 months of the first violation, $50;
(c) 
Each subsequent violation within 12 months of the first violation, $100.00, and
(2) 
For Property in Nonresidential Districts:
(a) 
First violation $75;
(b) 
Second violation within 12 months of the first violation, $150;
(c) 
Each subsequent violation within 12 months of the first violation, $250.00.
5-5. 
Any person who, without a valid license or registration, engages in any occupation or activity which under this chapter requires a license or registration shall be guilty of an offense punishable by a fine not exceeding $250 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 15 days, or both.
[Amended 4-11-2011 by L.L. No. 6-2011]
5-6. 
Whenever a person, firm or corporation shall be convicted for a second time of a violation of the Uniform Code, Energy Code or this chapter, any license or registration then held by such person, firm or corporation pursuant to this chapter shall be deemed revoked.
[Amended 4-11-2011 by L.L. No. 6-2011]
Appropriate action and proceedings may be taken at law or in equity to prevent unlawful construction, to restrain, correct or abate a violation, 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 penalties otherwise prescribed by law.
7-1. 
Words in this chapter and the codes are used in their ordinary English usage except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning or where a specific definition is set forth.
7-2. 
In this chapter, words of the masculine gender will include the feminine and vice versa. The neuter gender will refer to any gender as required, unless the context plainly indicates the contrary.
7-3. 
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AGENT
The designated representative of an owner, lessor, operator, occupant or person, as filed with the Building Department of the Town of Amherst, New York.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER OF BUILDING
The Assistant Commissioner of Building of the Town of Amherst, New York.
BUILDING PERMIT
A permit issued pursuant to Article V of this chapter. The term "building permit" shall also include a building permit which is renewed, amended or extended pursuant to any provision of this chapter. The term "building permit" shall also include electrical, plumbing, and fire prevention permits.
CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY or CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE
A certificate issued pursuant to Article VI of this chapter.
CODE ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL
Shall include the Commissioner of Building, the Assistant Commissioner of Building and all inspectors.
COMMISSIONER OF BUILDING
The Commissioner of Building of the Town of Amherst, New York.
COMPLIANCE ORDER
An order issued by the Commissioner of Building pursuant to Article I of this chapter.
ENERGY CODE
The State Energy Conservation Construction Code, as currently in effect in New York State and as hereafter amended from time to time.
FLOOR AREA
The habitable or occupied floor area, using exterior building dimensions plus the floor area of any accessory structure such as a garage, shed, etc.
HOME IMPROVEMENT
Any work requiring a permit performed on an existing dwelling unit and/or the premises that it is located upon for the repairing, remodeling, altering, converting, improving or modernizing of, or adding to the dwelling unit or associated premises.
[Added 4-11-2011 by L.L. No. 6-2011]
HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR
A person, partnership, firm or corporation which owns or operates a home improvement business or who undertakes, offers to undertake or agrees to perform any home improvement for a fee. "Home improvement contractor" does not include a person, partnership, firm, corporation, landlord, cooperative corporation, condominium board of managers, joint tenant or co-tenant that owns, in whole or in part, the property to be improved.
[Added 4-11-2011 by L.L. No. 6-2011]
INSPECTOR
A code enforcement officer appointed by the Town Board. This term shall include but not be limited to the following job titles: Senior Building Inspector, Building Inspector, Assistant Building Inspector, Senior Code Enforcement Officer, Code Enforcement Officer, Assistant Code Enforcement Officer, Senior Plumbing Inspector, Plumbing Inspector, Assistant Plumbing Inspector, Senior Electrical Inspector, Electrical Inspector, Assistant Electrical Inspector, Senior Fire Inspector, Fire Inspector and Assistant Fire Inspector.
LESSOR
The grantor of a lease interest in premises.
OCCUPANT
The person in occupancy, in possession or in control of premises, or using premises.
OPERATING PERMIT
A permit issued pursuant to Article VII of this chapter. The term "operating permit" shall also include an operating permit which is renewed, amended or extended pursuant to any provision of this chapter.
OPERATOR
The person engaged in the activity of renting or providing space or premises for occupancy or use by others.
OWNER
The person exercising dominion or control over or vested with title in premises, a proprietor (legal owner, joint owner, part owner, record owner, equitable owner, reputed owner or their successor in interest) or the respective agent of any of them.
PERMIT HOLDER
The person to whom a building permit has been issued.
PERSON
Shall include an individual, corporation, limited-liability company, partnership, limited partnership, business trust, estate, trust, association, or any other legal or commercial entity of any kind or description.
PLUMBING, GENERAL
The practice, materials and fixtures used in the installation, maintenance, extension and alteration of piping, fixtures, appliances and appurtenances in connection with any of the following: sanitary drainage or storm drainage systems, the attendant vent systems, and the water supply systems, within or adjacent to any building or structure, to their connections with public systems or other approved terminals.
PREMISES
Land (improved or unimproved), place, property, buildings, structures, equipment, facilities and improvements, if any.
SITE PLAN
The site development plan as defined in Chapter 203, Zoning, and Chapter 204, Subdivision of Land, of the Code of the Town of Amherst, New York.
STOP-WORK ORDER
An order issued pursuant to Article V of this chapter.
STRUCTURE
A building, gas or liquid storage tank, or anything other than a fence, dumpster enclosure, parking lot or driveway constructed or erected which requires permanent location in or on the ground or attachment to something having such location.
SUPERVISOR
The Supervisor of the Town Amherst, New York.
TEMPORARY CERTIFICATE
A certificate issued pursuant to Article VI of this chapter.
TOWN
The Town of Amherst, New York outside of the Village of Williamsville, New York.
TOWN ATTORNEY
The Town Attorney of the Town of Amherst, New York.
TOWN BOARD
The Town Board of the Town of Amherst, New York.
TOWN CLERK
The Town Clerk of the Town of Amherst, New York.
UNIFORM CODE
The New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, as currently in effect and as hereafter amended from time to time.
VOLUME
The covered volume of any building or structure having one or more of its sides enclosed.