Unsafe buildings, whether vacant or occupied, pose a threat to life and property in the Town. Buildings and structures may become unsafe by reason of damage by fire, the elements, age or general deterioration. Buildings not properly secured at doorways and windows also serve as an attractive nuisance for young children, who may suffer injury therein, as well as points of congregation by persons not having a legal or lawful claim of occupancy. 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 the persons and property in the Town by requiring such unsafe buildings to be repaired or demolished and removed.
When a Code Enforcement Officer has reason to believe that a building is or may become dangerous or unsafe to the general public; is open at the doorways and/or windows, making it accessible to and an object of attraction to minors under eighteen (18) years of age, as well as to persons not having a legal or lawful claim of occupancy; is or may become a place of rodent infestation; 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 Code Enforcement Office shall cause or make an inspection thereof and report, in writing, to the Town Board findings and recommendations in regard to its repair or demolition and removal.
The Town Board shall consider such report and, if in its opinion the report so warrants, set a date for a public hearing on at least 10 days' notice to determine whether or not such building can be safely repaired or should be demolished and removed.
The notice of hearing shall be published once in the official Town newspaper, a copy shall be affixed to the building in question and a copy shall be either personally served on the owner or sent to the owner by regular mail. The owner shall be the one listed on the then official assessment roll of the Town.
At the public hearing all interested parties shall be heard on the question of repair or demolition and removal of the building.
Town Board shall thereafter make an order either denying any action in regard to the building; ordering its repair, if the same is feasible; or ordering its demolition and removal.
If the Town Board order requires repair or demolition and removal, it shall also contain the following:
The street address of the building.
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 20 days of the service of the order and shall be completed within 45 days thereafter, unless for good cause shown such time shall be extended.
A statement that in the event of neglect or refusal to comply with the order to secure or demolish and remove the building, the Town Board is authorized to provide for its securing or demolition and removal, to assess all expenses thereof against the land on which it is located and to institute a special proceeding to collect the costs of demolition, including legal expenses.
The Town Board order shall be served on the owner, either personally or sent to the owner by regular mail, and affixed to the building. Such Town Board order will be deemed received upon personal five days after service by first class mail.
In the event of the refusal or neglect of the owner to comply with said Town Board order, the Town Board shall provide for the repair or demolition and removal of such building or structure either by Town employees or by contract.
In a case where the Town has made repairs or demolished and removed such building, as a result of the failure of the owner to do so, the owner shall pay to the Town the costs thereof, within 20 days of service of a demand for payment issued by the Code Enforcement Office. Such demand for payment shall be served on the owner personally or by first class mail and will be deemed received upon personal delivery five days after service by first class mail.
Upon the failure of the owner to pay the above costs, the costs shall be deemed to be a civil penalty against the owner, personally. Such costs, if unpaid, shall also be assessed against the property on which such building is located and shall be levied and collected in the same manner as provided in Article 15 of New York State Town Law for the levy and collection of a special ad valorem levy. The civil penalties provided by this subsection shall be recoverable in an action instituted in the name of the Town. The provisions of this section with respect to costs shall be in addition to any penalty imposed for violation of or noncompliance with any provision of this chapter.