[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of East Fishkill as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 9-27-2012 by L.L. No. 7-2012]
The New York State Property Maintenance Code provides minimum standards for the maintenance of property so as to ensure the public well-being, health and safety and welfare. The property maintenance code provides for the issuance of orders to remedy and, upon noncompliance, appearance tickets requiring the property owner to appear in Town Court and to be punished for their continuing failure to comply with a lawfully issued notice order to remedy.
The Real Property Law has been amended by the State Legislature to mandate that vacant houses that are in the foreclosure process be maintained by the banks that are foreclosing on the mortgage, and upon notification to the banks and failure of the bank to comply with the lawful order under Property Maintenance Law, the Town may step in, do the work and tax the cost against the property.
The Town Board desires to authorize the Code Enforcement Officials of the Town to be able to mandate that when a property owner refuses to comply with a lawful mandate, the Town may have an independent contractor perform the maintenance work, pay the cost of same and relevy it against the property at the same time that the Town collects its taxes against said property.
It is with this intent in mind that this article is established.
Following the issue of an order to remedy and noncompliance therewith, the Town Engineer or his designee may send a notice to the noncompliant property owner providing that if the order is not complied with within 10 days following a receipt of the notice, that the Town will engage contractors to perform the work and that the cost of said work shall become a lien against the property in the same manner as the Town taxes are on an annual basis. The cost taxed to the property shall be the cost of the cleanup plus an administrative fee of 20%.
Following the expiration date of the order to remedy as required under the New York State Property Maintenance Law, the Town Engineer shall then serve by regular and certified mail, return receipt requested, a notice giving the property owner 10 days within which to cure the violation. Receipt of either the regular mailing or certified mail by the property owner shall be deemed good and sufficient service. Upon passage of the 10 days, the Town Engineer is authorized in compliance with other rules and regulations of the Town to engage the services of a contractor to clean the exterior of the premises and to bring it into compliance with the New York State Property Maintenance Law. Nothing herein shall be construed so as to enable any work to be performed on the interior of a structure of any property within the Town. The maintenance of buildings shall be in compliance with the Unsafe Building Code of the Town of East Fishkill.
Upon receipt of an order advising the property owner that the Town will hire a contractor to clean or maintain the property and bring it into compliance with the New York State Property Maintenance Code, the property owner may either arrange to perform the work or may file a letter with the Zoning Board of Appeals with the Town appealing the decision of the Town Engineer determining that the property is in violation of the New York State Property Maintenance Code. The Zoning Board shall process said appeal by giving notice to the Town and to the property owner and causing a sign to be posted on said property indicating that it is the subject of a hearing with respect to a violation of the New York State Property Maintenance Code. Following the notice to all parties, the Zoning Board of Appeal shall then make a determination to either uphold the decision of the Town Engineer or to vacate or modify the Town Engineer's decision with respect to a violation of the Property Maintenance Code.
On an annual basis, the Town Board shall receive from the Town Comptroller a list of all funds expended by the Town to remedy properties that have been in violation of the New York State Property Maintenance Code. Upon receipt of said list, the Town Board shall adopt a resolution no later than October 1 in each calendar year directing that the Receiver of Taxes add to the Town tax bills of the respective parcels the total cost of cleanup plus the appropriate administrative fee, as set forth herein. Once received by the Tax Receiver, the said amount shall be collected by her in the same manner by which Town taxes are collected. If unpaid they shall become liens in the same manner as the Town tax bill. The cost of the cleanup incurred shall be deemed to be an additional Town tax levied upon said property.
This article shall take effect on January 1, 2013.