[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Martinsburg 12-21-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Board of the Town of Martinsburg has determined that in order to preserve the public safety, health and welfare and protect property values within the Town of Martinsburg, it is necessary to provide certain standards for property maintenance and a mechanism by which to assure that private properties are maintained in a safe, healthy and aesthetically pleasing manner. Accordingly, the Town Board of the Town of Martinsburg hereby adopts this chapter to provide for proper property maintenance on private properties within the Town of Martinsburg.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A building or combination of buildings and structures and the lot on which it is located used wholly or in part for commercial purposes, including but not limited to offices, places of public assembly, shopping centers, supermarkets, retail stores, warehouses, manufacturing or fabrication plants, gasoline stations and other business uses.
- A building or combination of buildings and the lot on which it is located, used wholly or in part for retail or wholesale distribution of products or services.
- A putrescible or decayable waste, except sewage and body waste, including vegetable and animal offal and carcasses of dead animals, including all substances accumulated on or removed from public and private establishments and properties, including residences.
- A building or combination of buildings and structures and the lot on which it is located used wholly or in part for manufacturing, fabricating, processing of goods to make such goods ready for distribution.
- Garbage and rubbish as herein defined and all other waste material which if thrown or deposited tends to create a danger to public health, safety and welfare or spoils the natural beauty of a lot.
- A plot, tract, premises or parcel of land with or without buildings or structures located thereon.
- A one-, two- or multiple-family building or structure and the lot on which it is located, whose purpose is principally to house or occupy families or individuals.
- Generally dry material produced routinely by household, commercial or industrial establishments such as paper, cans, bottles, containers, ashes, parts of equipment, motor vehicles, unusable furniture and other such similar items, including bushes, branches, Christmas trees and discarded household appliances or equipment and materials from building demolition and construction waste.
- An open space on any lot, whether occupied or not.
No owner or occupant of a lot shall allow garbage, litter or rubbish to accumulate upon such lot for a period in excess of one week. Garbage, litter or rubbish which is stored in receptacles or containers which do not permit access by animals shall be permitted, provided that the owner or occupant of the lot has made arrangements for regular removal of all garbage, rubbish and litter contained in those receptacles on at least a biweekly basis.
Any lumber, building materials, equipment or parts of equipment being stored by an owner and occupant of a lot shall be stored in a neat and orderly fashion.
No owner or occupant of a lot shall permit any diseased, dead or dangerous tree or portion thereof which constitutes a hazard to public areas, such as roads and sidewalks, to remain. Each owner shall be required to make arrangements for the removal of all such dangerous trees and/or limbs.
No owner or occupant of a lot or building shall allow any building or part of a building to have improperly or unsecured objects or materials about it, which objects or materials could fall or be blown from the building into any public area.
No owner or occupant of a lot or building shall allow a building or structure to be maintained with graffiti or other defacing materials on it and shall promptly remove such graffiti or other defacing materials from the building or structure.
Within the hamlet areas of the Town, no owner or occupant of a lot or building shall allow any fence, shed or other accessory building or structure to be in a state of disrepair and shall either remove or repair such accessory building or structure within a reasonable time after notice from the Town to do so.
[Amended 8-21-2013 by L.L. No. 2-2013]
Owners of any lot or building shall be responsible for any violation which occurs on that lot, whether or not that owner actually occupies the lot or building. In addition to the responsibilities of owners, any occupant of a lot or building may also be responsible for the condition of that lot and subject to the penalties of this chapter.
[Amended 8-21-2013 by L.L. No. 2-2013]
The Code Enforcement Officer is hereby empowered to enforce this chapter. He or she shall be responsible for the initial determination whether a condition is hazardous or unsafe.
Notice of violation.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall give notice to any owner or occupant of a lot or building of any violation of this chapter. Such notice shall specify the nature of the violation and the action needed to correct the violation and shall state a reasonable period of time in which to do so. The notice shall further state that in the event that the owner does not correct the condition within the specified time, other enforcement action will be taken in accordance with this chapter.
In the event that the owner or occupant of the lot does not comply with the violation notice within the time set by the Code Enforcement Officer, the Code Enforcement Officer shall report the same to the Town Board. The Town Board shall, except in the event of an emergency, thereupon direct that a notice be served upon the occupant stating that if the condition is not remedied within an additional 30 days, as established by the Town Board, that the Town Board shall seek further enforcement under this chapter, which enforcement may include one or more of the following. To select this option, the Town Board must first give the appropriate individual notice that it will conduct an evidentiary hearing before the Town Board to determine if a violation exists. Notice of such hearing shall be provided to the appropriate individual either personally or by certified mail to that person's last known address at least 10 days before the hearing and posting of the notice on that premises. Such notice shall advise the date, time and place of the hearing, the right to examine and cross examine the evidence and witnesses presented, the right to present evidence and witnesses in their defense and their right to be represented by an attorney.
In the event of an emergency, the Town Board, upon determining that such emergency exists, may take immediate corrective action without further notice to the owners or occupants.
Penalties for offenses. Any person, firm or corporation which shall be found to be in violation of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of an offense which shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $250 or by imprisonment for a period of not more than 15 days, or both such fine and imprisonment. Each week of continued violation shall be considered a separate offense.
In addition to any other penalties imposed hereunder, the Town Board may assess all costs and expenses incurred by the Town in connection with proceedings to remedy property maintenance issues on private property including the costs of actually removing garbage, debris or other materials in violation of the law and to collect the same as a special assessment on the next Town tax bill.
[Added 12-18-2013 by L.L. No. 4-2013]