[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson 7-16-1990 by L.L. No. 2-1990. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Village Board of the Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson hereby determines it is necessary for the public health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson to provide regulations in accordance with Public Health Law § 302 whereby properties within the incorporated portion of the village are kept clean and free from vermin, noxious weeds and disease-bearing insects, including ticks, mosquitos and flies; are properly maintained; and are kept free of nuisances, hazards, debris and litter. Further, it is found and declared that by reason of lack of maintenance and progressive deterioration, certain properties and structures have the further effect of creating blighting conditions leading toward the creation of slum-type areas and that, if the same are not curtailed and removed, the conditions will grow and impact the entire community. By reason of timely regulations and restrictions, the public health may be protected, blighted areas prevented and the desirability and amenity value of properties maintained.
For purposes of this chapter, certain words and phrases shall be construed herein as set forth in this section unless it is apparent from the context that a different meaning is intended. When not inconsistent with the context, the present tense shall include the future, and words used in the plural shall include the singular and vice versa.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any animal or vegetable refuse or waste matter capable of fermentation or decay.
- NOXIOUS WEEDS
- Plants or other flora growth that may be hurtful, harmful or may physically affect individuals, such as poison ivy, sumac (trees, bushes or vines), deadly night-shade, Japanese Heliotrope and bindweed. "Noxious weeds" shall not include those plants normally cultivated in gardens.
- (1) Any public or private condition that would constitute a nuisance according to the statutes, laws and regulations of the State of New York, its governmental agencies or the regulations and laws of the village.
- (2) Any physical condition existing in or on the exterior of any premises which is potentially dangerous, detrimental or hazardous to the life, health or safety of persons on, near or passing within the proximity of premises where said condition exists.
- (3) Any waste material or any other matter attractive to vermin, likely to breed disease or which present a fire hazard, create offensive odors or otherwise are prejudicial to good health or are so unsightly of appearance as to be offensive to surrounding properties.
- Any person residing, living or sleeping in or on the premises or having actual possession, use or occupancy of a dwelling premises or any person or entity in possession of or using any premises or part thereof, whether or not the owner thereof and regardless of the duration of time of such possession, use or occupancy.
- Any person, persons or entity who shall have legal or equitable title in any form whatsoever to any premises or part thereof, with or without accompanying actual possession thereof, or who shall have charge, care or control of any lot, premises, building, structure or part thereof as agent of the owner or as a fiduciary, trustee, receiver, guardian, lessee or mortgagee in possession, regardless of how such possession was obtained. Any person, group of persons or entity who is a lessee, sublessee or assignee of a lessee of any part or all of any building structure or land shall be deemed to be a co-owner with the lessor for the purposes of this chapter and shall have responsibility over the portion of the premises so sublet, leased or assigned.
- Any individual, partnership, association, firm, corporation or any and all combinations of individuals acting in concert.
- A lot, plot or parcel of land, including the buildings or structures thereon.
- SOLID WASTE
- Materials or substances discharged, discarded or rejected as being spent, useless, worthless or in excess by the owner at the time of such discard or rejection, except sewage and other highly-diluted water-carried materials or substances and those in gaseous form. Such waste shall include but is not limited to garbage, sludge, rubbish, ashes, incinerator residue, street cleanings, dead animals, refuse, abandoned vehicles, agricultural waste, industrial waste, commercial waste and construction and demolition debris.
In furtherance of the purposes of this chapter, it shall be the duty and responsibility of the owner or occupant of premises to comply with any or all of the requirements and standards of this chapter to keep the premises free of conditions which constitute violations hereof and to promptly remove, prevent or abate such conditions.
Owners and occupants shall have all the duties, obligations and responsibilities prescribed in this chapter, and no such person or entity shall be relieved of any duty, obligation or responsibility hereunder nor be entitled to assert, as a defense against any charge made against him or them for violation of this chapter, the fact that another owner, operator or occupant or any other third person or entity is also responsible therefor and in violation thereof.
The provisions of this chapter shall supplement state and local laws, codes or regulations. Where a provision of this chapter is found to be in conflict with a provision of a state or local law, code or regulation, the more restrictive provision shall prevail when legally permissible.
Surface and subsurface water shall be appropriately drained to prevent the development of stagnant ponds.
Premises shall be maintained in a clean, safe and sanitary condition free of physical hazards, fire hazards, solid waste, infestation, rodents, roaches, fleas, ticks, junk vehicles, hazardous substances, construction and demolition material, noxious weeds or nuisances.
All fences shall be maintained in a safe and substantial condition by the owner of the premises upon which it is located. Such maintenance shall include but not be limited to painting or staining as needed and the replacement of broken or missing sections of fence which may come into disrepair.
Premises shall be maintained in such a manner that noxious weeds do not encroach upon adjoining properties and the grasses thereon shall be mowed or cut at a minimum of once yearly and when the height of growth exceeds 24 inches. Exempt from this provision are those parcels located in a Conservation Residential Zoning District and those premises for grazing, pasture or the growing of hay for feed.
The landscaping on all premises improved with a building thereon shall be properly maintained. Such maintenance shall include but not be limited to the trimming or removal of dead and potentially hazardous or diseased trees, shrubs or portions thereof. Lawns shall be kept mowed to a height not to exceed 12 inches.
Steps, walks, driveways, parking spaces, parking lots and similar paved areas shall be repaired, replaced and maintained so as to be free from holes, hazards and dirt so as to afford safe passage to the public under normal use and weather conditions.
Ground cover shall be properly established to prevent undue soil erosion due to the elements.
Premises shall be maintained so that the plant growth thereon shall not:
Harm or hinder the development of valued trees and/or shrubs on public or private property;
Intrude upon the property of an adjoining property owner;
Render offensive odors;
Harbor insects (mosquitos, flies, ticks, vermin, etc.) detrimental to the public health; or
Create or present a hazard to others.
That portion of the public right-of-way between the private property line and the traveled roadway portion of any right-of-way adjoining the private property shall be maintained by the abutting private property owner or occupant in the same manner as provided in § 120-5.
Buildings and structures.
All exterior exposed surfaces not inherently resistant to deterioration shall be repaired, coated, treated or sealed with a protective coating of paint or other suitable preservative to protect them from deterioration.
All signs exposed to public view shall be maintained in good repair. Excessive weathered or faded signs shall be repaired, restored or removed. Inoperative electrical or other mechanical signs shall be repaired or removed.
Except in one- and two-family dwellings, all floors, walls, ceilings, stairs and fixtures of a building's exterior walls, roofs, porches or appurtenance thereto shall be maintained in a clean, safe and sanitary condition and shall be maintained in a manner so as to prevent injury to the occupants of the building or to the public.
The foundation walls of every building shall be maintained in a structurally sound condition.
The exterior parts of a building shall be maintained so as to keep water from entering the building. Materials which have been damaged or show evidence of dry rot or other deterioration shall be repaired or replaced and refinished in a workmanlike manner. Exterior walls, gutters, leaders, soffits, cupolas, roofs and other parts of the building shall be free from loose and unsecured objects and materials. Such objects or materials shall be removed, repaired or replaced.
Buildings and structures shall be maintained free of fleas and roaches, vermin and rodent harborage and infestation.
Adequate sanitary facilities and methods shall be used for the collection, storage, handling and disposal of garbage and refuse. Garbage and refuse containers shall be of an approved waterproof type.
Enforcement Officer; appearance tickets. The Code Enforcement Officer of the village, the Police Chief and Public Works Superintendent are hereby designated as the officers charged with the enforcement of this chapter and are hereby authorized to issue appearance tickets to secure enforcement. Such appearance tickets shall be in the form prescribed by the Village Board.
Enforcement procedure. Whenever an enforcement officer determines that there is or has been a violation of any provision of this chapter, he shall, upon approval of the Mayor or a member of the Board of Trustees, give notice of such violation to the person, persons or entities responsible therefor. Such notice shall be in writing and shall include a concise statement of the reasons for its issuance. Such notice shall be deemed to be properly and sufficiently served if a copy thereof is sent by registered or certified mail to the last known address of the person or entity upon which the same is served, as shown by the most recent assessment roll of the village, or a copy thereof is personally delivered (as if a summons) to said person or persons or a copy thereof is left at the usual place of abode or office of said person or entity. Notice shall be given as aforesaid within or without the village. The notice shall also state that unless the violation is abated, removed, cured, prevented or desisted from within five days of the date of service of such notice, exclusive of the date of service, an appearance ticket shall be issued for such violation. The enforcement officer may extend the period for compliance with the violation stated in the notice for a period in excess of the aforesaid five days if, in his judgment, the abatement, removal, prevention, cessation or cure of the condition violated cannot reasonably be effected within the five-day period, and in such cases, the enforcement officer shall state such reasonably required extended period in the notice, which shall then be applicable instead of the aforesaid five days.
[Amended 7-21-1997 by L.L. No. 3-1997]
Emergency conditions. Whenever the enforcement officer finds that an emergency condition in violation of this chapter exists, which condition requires immediate attention in order to protect the public health or safety, he may, with the consent of the Mayor or member of the Board of Trustees, issue an order by service of notice in the manner set forth above, reciting the existence of such an emergency condition and requiring that such action be taken by the violator as soon as it is reasonably necessary to meet the emergency. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, such order shall be effective immediately. Any person to whom such an order is directed shall comply therewith immediately, but, upon objection in writing to the enforcement officer, any such person shall be afforded a hearing before the Board of Trustees of the village as soon as is reasonably possible. After such a hearing and decision by the Board of Trustees as to the existence or nonexistence of the emergency condition, the Board of Trustees may continue such order in effect or modify or withdraw it.
The Superintendent of Public Works shall be responsible to direct the proper securing of waste (trash dumpsters, containers or enclosures) upon all properties other than public property and shall provide written notice of noncompliance to the owner, tenant or occupant as provided in Subsection B, which shall require the correction, removal or replacement within five days of any nuisance, hazard, debris or litter not properly secured within a dumpster, container or enclosure.
Failure to comply with the direction of any official of the Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson when notice has been provided in accordance with this chapter shall constitute a separate and distinct offense hereunder.
Action by village; indemnification.
[Added 2-18-1991 by L.L. No. 1-1991]
Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed or interpreted as limiting the authority of the village to take all steps reasonable or necessary to promote and protect the public health, safety and welfare by providing for safe passage of pedestrians and vehicles on streets, sidewalks and public ways. The Board of Trustees, in its discretion, may authorize the Department of Public Works to remove obstructions or nuisances, including snow, ice and vegetative growth, which impair the customary use of streets, sidewalks and public ways. The Board of Trustees may determine to undertake or authorize action, in whole or in part, by reasonable classification based upon location, amount of public use and degree of danger or impairment presented. The undertaking of the village to take these actions upon default of the property owner shall not relieve the owner of any responsibilities imposed by this chapter.
The failure or omission by the village to undertake to provide services shall not create any liability attributable to the village. With respect to any dangerous conditions for which the village may be liable, it shall be entitled to receive notice of defect in accordance with Chapter 65 of the Code of the village. Any duty on the part of the village pursuant to this chapter is a general duty of the village. No person is authorized to create or imply or to assume or infer a special duty by the village.
Upon the failure of a person to comply with a notice to correct a condition complained of, the Village Board may, after a public hearing, abate the condition, including authorizing the Public Works Department or such other person, department or independent contractor as it shall deem appropriate to remove, cut or trim brush, grass, rubbish or weeds causing the hazard or to spray the same, charging the total cost thereof to the owner of such real property, which cost shall be assessed and constitute a lien and charge on the real property on which it is levied until paid or otherwise satisfied or discharged, and the same shall be collected in the same manner and at the same time as other village charges. In the emergency circumstances, the public hearing may take place after removal or abatement action by the village.
The removal of any nuisance, hazard or litter by the Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson or its agents shall not operate to excuse the owner, tenant or occupant from properly maintaining any premises as required by this chapter, and such owner, tenant or occupant shall, notwithstanding such action, be subject to any penalties provided for herein.
All direct and indirect costs of labor and equipment, supplies, disbursements and payments made or incurred by the village in enforcement of this chapter, performing the work to abate the conditions which violate this chapter and in otherwise securing compliance shall be payable to the village by the owner of the property. Any sums unpaid shall be a lien on the real property and shall be assessed against such property, with 9% interest per annum, and shall be relevied and collected in the same manner as real property taxes.
[Added 7-27-1998 by L.L. No. 3-1998]
Criminal penalty. Any person or entity who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter or any order promulgated hereunder shall, upon conviction, be punishable as provided for violations of the Penal Law.
Penalties; remedies. Alternatively or in addition to those penalties prescribed for violations under state law, any person, firm or corporation who violates this chapter shall be liable to the village for a civil penalty of not more than $200 for each day or part thereof during which such violation continues. Said civil penalties shall be recoverable in an administrative proceeding held by and before the Board of Trustees pursuant to the following procedure:
[Amended 7-27-1998 by L.L. No. 3-1998]
Whenever a violation has not been remedied within the time specific in the notice of violation, an enforcement officer may issue an order to show cause before the Board of Trustees why such penalties should not be imposed.
Service of order to show cause.
Such order to show cause shall be served personally or by mailing a copy of such order by certified mail to the property owner and occupant, to their last known addresses as shown by the records of the village, and by posting a copy of such order on said premises.
A copy of said order may be filed in the County Clerk's office, which order shall be filed in the same manner as a notice of pendency as therein provided. An order so filed shall be effective for one year from the date of filing. It may be canceled upon an order of a judge or justice of a court of record or upon the written consent of the attorney for the village. The County Clerk shall mark the order to show cause and any record or docket thereof as canceled of record upon the presentation and filing of a certified copy of such judicial order of such consent.
Content of order. Said order to show cause shall state the nature of the violation; the provision or term violated; and the date, time and place for a hearing before the Board of Trustees. The hearing shall be set for a date not less than seven days after the date of the order to show cause is mailed.
Conduct of hearing.
The Board of Trustees shall conduct a hearing at the date, time and place specified in the order to show cause. The hearing may be adjourned from time to time and shall continue until interested persons subject to the order to show cause are heard. No formal rules of evidence shall apply nor shall a stenographic transcript be required.
The property owner, occupant and any others subject to the order to show cause may be represented by an attorney and shall have the right to present evidence and examine witnesses to show why penalties should not be assessed and/or why an order to remove an emergency condition should be modified or withdrawn.
After the hearing is closed, the Board of Trustees shall make findings and make a determination. Such determination shall indicate the basis and reason for the decision, shall state the dollar amount of any fine(s) imposed and shall be supported by substantial evidence.
Any fines imposed, plus, if any fine is imposed, the costs to the village of the proceeding, including but not limited to attorneys' fees and administrative costs, shall be immediately due and payable. Administrative costs shall be determined from time to time by resolution of the Board of Trustees.
The determination of the Board of Trustees may be reviewed in a proceeding pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, provided that such proceeding is commenced within 30 days of such determination. Judicial review shall not stay any stop-work order or stay payment of any fine and costs imposed.
Assessment of fines and costs. All fines and all costs incurred by the village in connection with the administrative proceeding, if unpaid, shall be a lien on the real property and shall be assessed against such property, with 9% interest per annum, and shall be levied and collected in the same manner as real property taxes.
Injunction. In addition to the above-provided penalties and punishment, the Board of Trustees of the village may also maintain an action or proceeding in the name of the village in a court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with or to restrain, by injunction, the violation of this chapter or any order promulgated hereunder.
If any phrase, sentence or provision of this chapter is adjudged invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, such judgment shall be confined to that phrase, sentence or provision affected by such judgment and shall not affect the validity of the remainder of this chapter.