City of Plattsburgh, NY
Clinton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Plattsburgh by L.L. No. 6-2007 (Ch. 175 of the 1989 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Unsafe buildings — See Ch. 148.
Heating systems — See Ch. 185.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 300.
Zoning — See Ch. 360.
This chapter provides for the administration and enforcement of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (the Uniform Code) and the State Energy Conservation Construction Code (the Energy Code) in the City of Plattsburgh. This chapter is adopted pursuant to § 10 of the Municipal Home Rule Law. Except as otherwise provided in the Uniform Code, other state law, or other section of this local Code, all buildings, structures, and premises, regardless of use or occupancy, are subject to the provisions this chapter.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BUILDING PERMIT
A permit issued pursuant to § 144-4. The term "building permit" shall also include a building permit which is renewed, amended or extended pursuant to any provision of this chapter.
CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY
A certificate issued pursuant to § 144-7B.
CITY
The City of Plattsburgh.
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
The Building Inspector appointed pursuant to § 144-3B.
CODE ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL
Includes the Code Enforcement Officer and all inspectors.
COMPLIANCE ORDER
An order issued by the Code Enforcement Officer pursuant to § 144-15A.
ENERGY CODE
The State Energy Conservation Construction Code, as currently in effect and as hereafter amended from time to time.
INSPECTOR
An inspector appointed pursuant to § 144-3D.
OPERATING PERMIT
A permit issued pursuant to § 144-10. The term "operating permit" shall also include an operating permit which is renewed, amended or extended pursuant to any provision of this local chapter.
PERMIT HOLDER
The person to whom a building permit has been issued.
PERSON
Includes 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.
STOP-WORK ORDER
An order issued pursuant to § 144-6.
TEMPORARY CERTIFICATE
A certificate issued pursuant to § 144-7D.
UNIFORM CODE
The New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, as currently in effect and as hereafter amended from time to time.
A. 
The office of Code Enforcement Officer is hereby created. The Code Enforcement Officer shall administer and enforce all the provisions of the Uniform Code, the Energy Code and this section. The Code Enforcement Officer shall have the following powers and duties:
(1) 
To receive, review, and approve or disapprove applications for building permits, certificates of occupancy, temporary certificates and operating permits, and the plans, specifications and construction documents submitted with such applications;
(2) 
Upon approval of such applications, to issue building permits, "certificates of occupancy," "temporary certificates" and "operating permits," and to include in building permits, certificates of occupancy, temporary certificates and operating permits such terms and conditions as the Code Enforcement Officer may determine to be appropriate;
(3) 
To conduct construction inspections, inspections to be made prior to the issuance of certificates of occupancy, temporary certificates and operating permits, fire safety and property maintenance inspections, inspections incidental to the investigation of complaints, and all other inspections required or permitted under any provision of this section;
(4) 
To issue stop-work orders;
(5) 
To review and investigate complaints;
(6) 
To issue orders pursuant to § 144-15A (Compliance orders);
(7) 
To maintain records;
(8) 
To collect fees as set by the Common Council of this City of Plattsburgh;
(9) 
To pursue administrative enforcement actions and proceedings;
(10) 
In consultation with the City of Plattsburgh's attorney, to pursue such legal actions and proceedings as may be necessary to enforce the Uniform Code, the Energy Code and this chapter, or to abate or correct conditions not in compliance with the Uniform Code, the Energy Code or this chapter; and
(11) 
To exercise all other powers and fulfill all other duties conferred upon the Code Enforcement Officer by this chapter.
B. 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall be appointed by the Mayor of the City of Plattsburgh. The Code Enforcement Officer shall possess background experience related to building construction or fire prevention and shall, within the time prescribed by law, obtain such basic training, in-service training, advanced in-service training and other training as the State of New York shall require for code enforcement personnel, and the Code Enforcement Officer shall obtain certification from the State Fire Administrator pursuant to the Executive Law and the regulations promulgated hereunder.
C. 
In the event that the Code Enforcement Officer is unable to serve as such for any reason, an individual shall be appointed by Mayor of the City of Plattsburgh to serve as Acting Code Enforcement Officer. The Acting Code Enforcement Officer shall, during the term of his or her appointment, exercise all powers and fulfill all duties conferred upon the Code Enforcement Officer by this section.
D. 
One or more Inspectors may be appointed by the Mayor of this City of Plattsburgh to act under the supervision and direction of the Code Enforcement Officer and to assist the Code Enforcement Officer in the exercise of the powers and fulfillment of the duties conferred upon the Code Enforcement Officer by this section. Each inspector shall, within the time prescribed by law, obtain such basic training, in-service training, advanced in-service training and other training as the State of New York shall require for code enforcement personnel, and each inspector shall obtain certification from the State Fire Administrator pursuant to the Executive Law and the regulations promulgated hereunder.
E. 
The compensation for the Code Enforcement Officer and inspectors shall be fixed from time to time by the Common Council of the City of Plattsburgh.
A. 
Building permits required. Except as otherwise provided in Subsection B of this section, a building permit shall be required for any work which must conform to the Uniform Code and/or the Energy Code, including, but not limited to, the construction, enlargement, alteration, improvement, removal, relocation or demolition of any building or structure or any portion thereof, and the installation of a solid fuel burning heating appliance, chimney or flue in any dwelling unit. No person shall commence any work for which a building permit is required without first having obtained a building permit from the Code Enforcement Officer.
B. 
Exemptions. No building permit shall be required for work in any of the following categories:
(1) 
Construction or installation of one story detached structures associated with one- or two-family dwellings or multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses) which are used for tool and storage sheds, playhouses or similar uses, provided the gross floor area does not exceed 144 square feet (13.38 square meters);
(2) 
Installation of swings and other playground equipment associated with a one- or two-family dwelling or multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses);
(3) 
Installation of swimming pools associated with a one- or two-family dwelling or multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses) where such pools are designed for a water depth of less than 24 inches and are installed entirely above ground;
(4) 
Installation of fences, which are not part of an enclosure surrounding a swimming pool;
(5) 
Construction of retaining walls unless such walls support a surcharge or impound Class I, II or IIIA liquids;
(6) 
Construction of temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery;
(7) 
Installation of window awnings supported by an exterior wall of a one-or two-family dwelling or multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses);
(8) 
Installation of partitions or movable cases less than five feet nine inches in height;
(9) 
Painting, wallpapering, tiling, carpeting, or other similar finish work;
(10) 
Installation of listed portable electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation or cooling equipment or appliances;
(11) 
Replacement of any equipment provided the replacement does not alter the equipment's listing or render it inconsistent with the equipment's original specifications; or
(12) 
Repairs, provided that such repairs do not involve:
(a) 
The removal or cutting away of a load bearing wall, partition, or portion thereof, or of any structural beam or load bearing component;
(b) 
The removal or change of any required means of egress, or the rearrangement of parts of a structure in a manner which affects egress;
(c) 
The enlargement, alteration, replacement or relocation of any building system; or
(d) 
The removal from service of all or part of a fire protection system for any period of time.
C. 
Exemption not deemed authorization to perform noncompliant work. The exemption from the requirement to obtain a building permit for work in any category set forth in Subsection B of this section shall not be deemed an authorization for work to be performed in violation of the Uniform Code or the Energy Code.
D. 
Applications for building permits. Applications for a building permit shall be made, in writing, on a form provided by or otherwise acceptable to the Code Enforcement Officer. The application shall be signed by the owner of the property where the work is to be performed or an authorized agent of the owner. The application shall include such information, as the Code Enforcement Officer deems sufficient to permit a determination by the Code Enforcement Officer that the intended work complies with all applicable requirements of the Uniform Code and the Energy Code. The application shall include or be accompanied by the following information and documentation:
(1) 
A description of the proposed work;
(2) 
The Tax Map number and the street address of the premises where the work is to be performed;
(3) 
The occupancy classification of any affected building or structure;
(4) 
Where applicable, a statement of special inspections prepared in accordance with the provisions of the Uniform Code; and
(5) 
At least two sets of construction documents (drawings and/or specifications) which:
(a) 
Define the scope of the proposed work;
(b) 
Are prepared by a New York State registered architect or licensed professional engineer where so required by the Education Law;
(c) 
Indicate with sufficient clarity and detail the nature and extent of the work proposed;
(d) 
Substantiate that the proposed work will comply with the Uniform Code and the Energy Code; and
(e) 
Where applicable, include a site plan that shows any existing and proposed buildings and structures on the site, the location of any existing or proposed well or septic system, the location of the intended work, and the distances between the buildings and structures and the lot lines.
E. 
Construction documents. Construction documents will not be accepted as part of an application for a building permit unless they satisfy the requirements set forth in Subsection D of this section. Construction documents which are accepted, as part of the application for a building permit shall be marked as accepted by the Code Enforcement Officer, in writing or by stamp. One set of the accepted construction documents shall be retained by the Code Enforcement Officer, and one set of the accepted construction documents shall be returned to the applicant to be kept at the work site so as to be available for use by the Code Enforcement Personnel. However, the return of a set of accepted construction documents to the applicant shall not be construed as authorization to commence work, or as an indication that a building permit will be issued. Work shall not be commenced until and unless a building permit is issued.
F. 
Issuance of building permits. An application for a building permit shall be examined to ascertain whether the proposed work is in compliance with the applicable requirements of the Uniform Code and Energy Code. The Code Enforcement Officer shall issue a building permit if the proposed work is in compliance with the applicable requirements of the Uniform Code and Energy Code.
G. 
Building permits to be displayed. Building permits shall be visibly displayed at the work site and shall remain visible until the authorized work has been completed.
H. 
Work to be in accordance with construction documents. All work shall be performed in accordance with the construction documents, which were submitted with and accepted as part of the application for the building permit. The building permit shall contain such a directive. The permit holder shall immediately notify the Code Enforcement Officer of any change occurring during the course of the work. The building permit shall contain such a directive. If the Code Enforcement Officer determines that such change warrants a new or amended building permit, such change shall not be made until and unless a new or amended building permit reflecting such change is issued.
I. 
Time limits. building permits shall become invalid unless the authorized work is commenced within six months following the date of issuance. building permits shall expire 24 months after the date of issuance. A building permit which has become invalid or which has expired pursuant to this subdivision may be renewed upon application by the permit holder, payment of the applicable fee, and approval of the application by the Code Enforcement Officer.
J. 
Revocation or suspension of building permits. If the Code Enforcement Officer determines that a building permit was issued in error because of incorrect, inaccurate or incomplete information, or that the work for which a building permit was issued violates the Uniform Code or the Energy Code, the Code Enforcement Officer shall revoke the building permit or suspend the building permit until such time as the permit holder demonstrates that:
(1) 
All work then completed is in compliance with all applicable provisions of the Uniform Code and the Energy Code; and
(2) 
All work then proposed to be performed shall be in compliance with all applicable provisions of the Uniform Code and the Energy Code.
K. 
Fee. The fee specified in or determined in accordance with the provisions set forth in § 144-16 (Fees) must be paid at the time of submission of an application for a building permit, for an amended building permit, or for renewal of a building permit.
A. 
Work to remain accessible and exposed. Work shall remain accessible and exposed until inspected and accepted by the Code Enforcement Officer or by an Inspector authorized by the Code Enforcement Officer. The permit holder shall notify the Code Enforcement Officer when any element of work described in Subsection B of this section is ready for inspection.
B. 
Elements of work to be inspected. The following elements of the construction process shall be inspected made, where applicable:
(1) 
Work site prior to the issuance of a building permit;
(2) 
Footing and foundation;
(3) 
Preparation for concrete slab;
(4) 
Framing;
(5) 
Building systems, including underground and rough in;
(6) 
Fire-resistant construction;
(7) 
Fire-resistant penetrations;
(8) 
Solid-fuel burning heating appliances, chimneys, flues or gas vents;
(9) 
Energy Code compliance; and
(10) 
A final inspection after all work authorized by the building permit has been completed.
C. 
Inspection results. After inspection, the work or a portion thereof shall be noted as satisfactory as completed, or the permit holder shall be notified as to where the work fails to comply with the Uniform Code or Energy Code. Work not in compliance with any applicable provision of the Uniform Code or Energy Code shall remain exposed until such work shall have been brought into compliance with all applicable provisions of the Uniform Code and the Energy Code, inspected, and found satisfactory as completed.
D. 
Fee. The fee specified in or determined in accordance with the provisions set forth in § 144-16 (Fees) must be paid prior to or at the time of each inspection performed pursuant to this section.
A. 
Authority to issue. The Code Enforcement Officer is authorized to issue stop-work orders pursuant to this section. The Code Enforcement Officer shall issue a stop-work order to halt:
(1) 
Any work that is determined by the Code Enforcement Officer to be contrary to any applicable provision of the Uniform Code or Energy Code, without regard to whether such work is or is not work for which a building permit is required, and without regard to whether a building permit has or has not been issued for such work; or
(2) 
Any work that is being conducted in a dangerous or unsafe manner in the opinion of the Code Enforcement Officer, without regard to whether such work is or is not work for which a building permit is required, and without regard to whether a building permit has or has not been issued for such work; or
(3) 
Any work for which a building permit is required which is being performed without the required building permit, or under a building permit that has become invalid, has expired, or has been suspended or revoked.
B. 
Content of stop-work orders. Stop-work orders shall:
(1) 
Be in writing;
(2) 
Be dated and signed by the Code Enforcement Officer;
(3) 
State the reason or reasons for issuance; and
(4) 
If applicable, state the conditions which must be satisfied before work will be permitted to resume.
C. 
Service of stop-work orders. The Code Enforcement Officer shall cause the stop-work order, or a copy thereof, to be served on the owner of the affected property (and, if the owner is not the permit holder, on the permit holder) personally or by registered mail or certified mail. The Code Enforcement Officer shall be permitted, but not required, to cause the stop-work order, or a copy thereof, to be served on any builder, architect, tenant, contractor, subcontractor, construction superintendent, or their agents, or any other person taking part or assisting in work affected by the stop-work order, personally or by registered mail or certified mail; provided, however, that failure to serve any person mentioned in this sentence shall not affect the efficacy of the stop-work order.
D. 
Effect of stop-work order. Upon the issuance of a stop-work order, the owner of the affected property, the permit holder and any other person performing, taking part in or assisting in the work shall immediately cease all work, which is the subject of the stop-work order.
E. 
Remedy not exclusive. The issuance of a stop-work order shall not be the exclusive remedy available to address any event described in Subsection A of this section, and the authority to issue a stop-work order shall be in addition to, and not in substitution for or limitation of, the right and authority to pursue any other remedy or impose any other penalty under § 144-15 (Violations) or under any other applicable local law or state law. Any such other remedy or penalty may be pursued at any time, whether prior to, at the time of, or after the issuance of a stop-work order.
A. 
Certificates of occupancy required. A certificate of occupancy shall be required for any work which is the subject of a building permit and for all structures, buildings, or portions thereof, which are converted from one use or occupancy classification or subclassification to another. Permission to use or occupy a building or structure, or portion thereof, for which a building permit was previously issued shall be granted only by issuance of certificate of occupancy.
B. 
Issuance of certificates of occupancy. The Code Enforcement Officer shall issue a certificate of occupancy if the work which was the subject of the building permit was completed in accordance with all applicable provisions of the Uniform Code and Energy Code and, if applicable, that the structure, building or portion thereof that was converted from one use or occupancy classification or subclassification to another complies with all applicable provisions of the Uniform Code and Energy Code. The Code Enforcement Officer or an Inspector authorized by the Code Enforcement Officer shall inspect the building, structure or work prior to the issuance of a [certificate of occupancy/certificate of compliance]. In addition, where applicable, the following documents, prepared in accordance with the provisions of the Uniform Code by such person or persons as may be designated by or otherwise acceptable to the Code Enforcement Officer, at the expense of the applicant for the certificate of occupancy, shall be provided to the Code Enforcement Officer prior to the issuance of the certificate of occupancy:
(1) 
A written statement of structural observations and/or a final report of special inspections; and
(2) 
Flood hazard certifications.
C. 
Contents of certificates of occupancy. certificate of occupancy shall contain the following information:
(1) 
The building permit number, if any;
(2) 
The date of issuance of the building permit, if any;
(3) 
The name, address and Tax Map number of the property;
(4) 
If the certificate of occupancy is not applicable to an entire structure, a description of that portion of the structure for which the certificate of occupancy is issued;
(5) 
The use and occupancy classification of the structure;
(6) 
The type of construction of the structure;
(7) 
The assembly occupant load of the structure, if any;
(8) 
If an automatic sprinkler system is provided, a notation as to whether the sprinkler system is required;
(9) 
Any special conditions imposed in connection with the issuance of the building permit; and
(10) 
The signature of the Code Enforcement Officer issuing the [certificate of occupancy/certificate of compliance] and the date of issuance.
D. 
Temporary certificate. The Code Enforcement Officer shall be permitted to issue a temporary certificate allowing the temporary occupancy of a building or structure, or a portion thereof, prior to completion of the work, which is the subject of a building permit. However, in no event shall the Code Enforcement Officer issue a temporary certificate unless the Code Enforcement Officer determines (1) that the building or structure, or the portion thereof covered by the temporary certificate, may be occupied safely, (2) that any fire- and smoke-detecting or fire-protection equipment which has been installed is operational, and (3) that all required means of egress from the building or structure have been provided. The Code Enforcement Officer may include in a temporary certificate such terms and conditions as he or she deems necessary or appropriate to ensure safety or to further the purposes and intent of the Uniform Code. A temporary certificate shall be effective for a period of time, not to exceed six months, which shall be determined by the Code Enforcement Officer and specified in the temporary certificate. During the specified period of effectiveness of the temporary certificate, the permit holder shall undertake to bring the building or structure into full compliance with all applicable provisions of the Uniform Code and the Energy Code.
E. 
Revocation or suspension of certificates. If the Code Enforcement Officer determines that a certificate of occupancy or a temporary certificate was issued in error because of incorrect, inaccurate or incomplete information, and if the relevant deficiencies are not corrected to the satisfaction of the Code Enforcement Officer within such period of time as shall be specified by the Code Enforcement Officer, the Code Enforcement Officer shall revoke or suspend such certificate.
F. 
Fee. The fee specified in or determined in accordance with the provisions set forth in § 144-16 (Fees) must be paid at the time of submission of an application for certificate of occupancy or for temporary certificate.
The chief of any fire department providing fire fighting services for a property within this City of Plattsburgh shall promptly notify the Code Enforcement Officer of any fire or explosion involving any structural damage, fuel burning appliance, chimney or gas vent.
Unsafe structures and equipment in this City of Plattsburgh shall be identified and addressed in accordance with the procedures established by Chapter 148, Unsafe Buildings, of the City Code, as now in effect or as hereafter amended from time to time.
A. 
Operating permits required. Operating permits shall be required for conducting the activities or using the categories of buildings listed below:
(1) 
Manufacturing, storing or handling hazardous materials in quantities exceeding those listed in Tables 2703.1.1(1), 2703.1.1(2), 2703.1.1(3) or 2703.1.1(4) in the publication entitled "Fire Code of New York State" and incorporated by reference in 19 NYCRR § 1225.1;
(2) 
Hazardous processes and activities, including but not limited to, commercial and industrial operations which produce combustible dust as a byproduct, fruit and crop ripening, and waste handling;
(3) 
Use of pyrotechnic devices in assembly occupancies;
(4) 
Buildings containing one or more areas of public assembly with an occupant load of 100 persons or more; and
(5) 
Buildings whose use or occupancy classification may pose a substantial potential hazard to public safety, as determined by resolution adopted by the Common Council of this City of Plattsburgh.
Any person who proposes to undertake any activity or to operate any type of building listed in this Subsection A shall be required to obtain an operating permit prior to commencing such activity or operation.
B. 
Applications for operating permits. An application for an operating permit shall be in writing on a form provided by or otherwise acceptable to the Code Enforcement Officer. Such application shall include such information as the Code Enforcement Officer deems sufficient to permit a determination by the Code Enforcement Officer that quantities, materials, and activities conform to the requirements of the Uniform Code. If the Code Enforcement Officer determines that tests or reports are necessary to verify conformance, such tests or reports shall be performed or provided by such person or persons as may be designated by or otherwise acceptable to the Code Enforcement Officer, at the expense of the applicant.
C. 
Inspections. The Code Enforcement Officer or an Inspector authorized by the Code Enforcement Officer shall inspect the subject premises prior to the issuance of an operating permit.
D. 
Multiple activities. In any circumstance in which more than one activity listed in Subsection A of this section is to be conducted at a location, the Code Enforcement Officer may require a separate operating permit for each such activity, or the Code Enforcement Officer may, in his or her discretion, issue a single operating permit to apply to all such activities.
E. 
Duration of operating permits. operating permits shall remain in effect until reissued, renewed, revoked, or suspended.
F. 
Revocation or suspension of operating permits. If the Code Enforcement Officer determines that any activity or building for which an operating permit was issued does not comply with any applicable provision of the Uniform Code, such operating permit shall be revoked or suspended.
G. 
Fee. The fee specified in or determined in accordance with the provisions set forth in § 144-16 (Fees) must be paid at the time submission of an application for an operating permit, for an amended operating permit, or for reissue or renewal of an operating permit.
A. 
Inspections required. Fire safety and property maintenance inspections of buildings and structures shall be performed by the Code Enforcement Officer or an Inspector designated by the Code Enforcement Officer at the following intervals:
(1) 
Fire safety and property maintenance inspections of buildings or structures, which contain an area of public assembly, shall be performed at least once every 12 months.
(2) 
Fire safety and property maintenance inspections of buildings or structures being occupied, as dormitories shall be performed at least once every 12 months.
(3) 
Fire safety and property maintenance inspections of all multiple dwellings not included in Subsection A(1) or (2) of this section, and all nonresidential buildings, structures, uses and occupancies not included in Subsection A(1) or (2) of this section, shall be performed at intervals consistent with local conditions, not to exceed 36 months.
B. 
Inspections permitted. In addition to the inspections required by Subsection A of this section, a fire safety and property maintenance inspection of any building, structure, use, or, occupancy, or of any dwelling unit, may also be performed by the Code Enforcement Officer or an Inspector designated by the Code Enforcement Officer at any time upon:
(1) 
The request of the owner of the property to be inspected or an authorized agent of such owner;
(2) 
Receipt by the Code Enforcement Officer of a written statement alleging that conditions or activities failing to comply with the Uniform Code or Energy Code exist; or
(3) 
Receipt by the Code Enforcement Officer of any other information, reasonably believed by the Code Enforcement Officer to be reliable, giving rise to reasonable cause to believe that conditions or activities failing to comply with the Uniform Code or Energy Code exist provided, however, that nothing in this subdivision shall be construed as permitting an inspection under any circumstances under which a court order or warrant permitting such inspection is required, unless such court order or warrant shall have been obtained.
C. 
OFPC inspections.
(1) 
Nothing in this section or in any other provision of this section shall supersede, limit or impair the powers, duties and responsibilities of the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control ("OFPC") and the New York State Fire Administrator under Executive Law § 156-e and Education Law § 807-b.
(2) 
Notwithstanding any other provision of this section to the contrary: The Code Enforcement Officer shall not perform fire safety and property maintenance inspections of a building or structure occupied as a dormitory if OFPC performs fire safety and property maintenance inspections of such building or structure at least once every 12 months, such properties that are owned and operated the State of New York, the County of Clinton or by the federal government of the United States.
D. 
Fee. The fee specified in or determined in accordance with the provisions set forth in § 144-16 (Fees) must be paid prior to or at the time each inspection performed pursuant to this section. This subdivision shall not apply to inspections performed by OFPC.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall review and investigate complaints which allege or assert the existence of conditions or activities that fail to comply with the Uniform Code, the Energy Code, this chapter, or any other local law, ordinance or regulation adopted for administration and enforcement of the Uniform Code or the Energy Code. The process for responding to a complaint shall include such of the following steps as the Code Enforcement Officer may deem to be appropriate:
A. 
Performing an inspection of the conditions and/or activities alleged to be in violation, and documenting the results of such inspection;
B. 
If a violation is found to exist, providing the owner of the affected property and any other person who may be responsible for the violation with notice of the violation and opportunity to abate, correct or cure the violation, or otherwise proceeding in the manner described in § 144-15 (Violations) of this chapter;
C. 
If appropriate, issuing a stop-work order;
D. 
If a violation which was found to exist is abated or corrected, performing an inspection to ensure that the violation has been abated or corrected, preparing a final written report reflecting such abatement or correction, and filing such report with the complaint.
A. 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall keep permanent official records of all transactions and activities conducted by all Code Enforcement personnel, including records of:
(1) 
All applications received, reviewed and approved or denied;
(2) 
All plans, specifications and construction documents approved; consider requiring copies all plans, etc., to be submitted as a PDF file on a CD or DVD;
(3) 
All building permits, certificates of occupancy, temporary certificates, stop-work orders, and operating permits issued;
(4) 
All inspections and tests performed;
(5) 
All statements and reports issued;
(6) 
All complaints received;
(7) 
All investigations conducted;
(8) 
All other features and activities specified in or contemplated by §§ 144-4 through 144-12, inclusive, of this section, including; and
(9) 
All fees charged and collected.
B. 
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.
A. 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall annually submit to Common Council of this City of Plattsburgh a written report and summary of all business conducted by the Code Enforcement Officer and the Inspectors, including a report and summary of all transactions and activities described in § 144-13 (Recordkeeping) of this chapter and a report and summary of all appeals or litigation pending or concluded.
B. 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall annually submit to the Secretary of State, on behalf of the City of Plattsburgh, on a form prescribed by the Secretary of State, a report of the activities of the City of Plattsburgh relative to administration and enforcement of the Uniform Code.
C. 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall, upon request of the New York State Department of State, provide to the New York State Department of State, from the records and related materials the City of Plattsburgh is required to maintain, excerpts, summaries, tabulations, statistics and other information and accounts of the activities of the City of Plattsburgh in connection with administration and enforcement of the Uniform Code.
A. 
Compliance orders.
(1) 
The Code Enforcement Officer is authorized to order, in writing, the remedying of any condition or activity found to exist in, on or about any building, structure, or premises in violation of the Uniform Code, the Energy Code, or this chapter. Upon finding that any such condition or activity exists, the Code Enforcement Officer shall issue a compliance order. The compliance order shall:
(a) 
Be in writing;
(b) 
Be dated and signed by the Code Enforcement Officer;
(c) 
Specify the condition or activity that violates the Uniform Code, the Energy Code, or this chapter;
(d) 
Specify the provision or provisions of the Uniform Code, the Energy Code, or this chapter which is/are violated by the specified condition or activity;
(e) 
Specify the period of time which the Code Enforcement Officer deems to be reasonably necessary for achieving compliance;
(f) 
Direct that compliance be achieved within the specified period of time; and
(g) 
State that an action or proceeding to compel compliance may be instituted if compliance is not achieved within the specified period of time.
(2) 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall cause the compliance order, or a copy thereof, to be served on the owner of the affected property personally or by certified mail. The Code Enforcement Officer shall be permitted, but not required, to cause the compliance order, or a copy thereof, to be served on any builder, architect, tenant, contractor, subcontractor, construction superintendent, or their agents, or any other person taking part or assisting in work being performed at the affected property personally or by certified mail; provided, however, that failure to serve any person mentioned in this sentence shall not affect the efficacy of the compliance order.
B. 
Appearance tickets. The Code Enforcement Officer and each inspector are authorized to issue appearance tickets for any violation of the Uniform Code.
C. 
Civil penalties. In addition to those penalties proscribed by state law, any person who violates any provision of the Uniform Code, the Energy Code or this section, or any term or condition of any building permit, certificate of occupancy, temporary certificate, stop-work order, operating permit or other notice or order issued by the Code Enforcement Officer pursuant to any provision of this chapter, shall be liable to a civil penalty of not more than $200 for each day or part thereof during which such violation continues. The civil penalties provided by this subdivision shall be recoverable in an action instituted in the name of this City of Plattsburgh.
D. 
Injunctive relief. An action or proceeding may be instituted in the name of the City of Plattsburgh, in a court of competent jurisdiction, to prevent, restrain, enjoin, correct, or abate any violation of, or to enforce, any provision of the Uniform Code, the Energy Code, this section, or any term or condition of any building permit, certificate of occupancy, temporary certificate, stop-work order, operating permit, compliance order, or other notice or order issued by the Code Enforcement Officer pursuant to any provision of this section. In particular, but not by way of limitation, where the construction or use of a building or structure is in violation of any provision of the Uniform Code, the Energy Code, this chapter, or any stop-work order, compliance order or other order obtained under the Uniform Code, the Energy Code or this section, an action or proceeding may be commenced in the name of the City of Plattsburgh, in the Supreme Court or in any other court having the requisite jurisdiction, to obtain an order directing the removal of the building or structure or an abatement of the condition in violation of such provisions. No action or proceeding described in this subdivision shall be commenced without the appropriate authorization from the Common Council of the City of Plattsburgh.
E. 
Remedies not exclusive. No remedy or penalty specified in this section shall be the exclusive remedy or penalty available to address any violation described in this section, and each remedy or penalty specified in this section shall be in addition to, and not in substitution for or limitation of, the other remedies or penalties specified in this section, in § 144-6 (Stop-work orders), in any other section or in any other applicable law. Any remedy or penalty specified in this section may be pursued at any time, whether prior to, simultaneously with, or after the pursuit of any other remedy or penalty specified in this chapter, in § 144-6 (Stop-work orders), in any other section, or in any other applicable law. In particular, but not by way of limitation, each remedy and penalty specified in this section shall be in addition to, and not in substitution for or limitation of, the penalties specified in Subdivision 2 of § 382 of the Executive Law, and any remedy or penalty specified in this section may be pursued at any time, whether prior to, simultaneously with, or after the pursuit of any penalty specified in Subdivision 2 of § 382 of the Executive Law.
[Amended 4-17-2019 by L.L. No. 4-2019]
The fees set forth in, or determined in accordance with the fee schedule or amended fee schedule established by the Common Council from time to time by resolution shall be charged and collected for the submission of applications, the issuance of building permits, amended building permits, renewed building permits, certificates of occupancy, letters of compliance, temporary certificates, operating permits, school inspections, fire safety and property maintenance inspections, and other actions of the Code Enforcement Officer described in or contemplated by this chapter.
The Common Council of the City of Plattsburgh may, by resolution, authorize the Mayor of the City of Plattsburgh to enter into an agreement, in the name of the City of Plattsburgh, with other governments to carry out the terms of this section, provided that such agreement does not violate any provision of the Uniform Code, the Energy Code, Part 1203 of Title 19 of the NYCRR, or any other applicable law.
[Added 12-12-2019 by L.L. No. 6-2019; amended 9-10-2020 by L.L. No. 3-2020]
A. 
Purpose. The Common Council of the City of Plattsburgh recognizes that the rental of single-family residences or units within a duplex to more than four unrelated individuals who do not otherwise qualify as a "family" or "functional equivalent of a family," or the rental of multifamily dwelling units, (hereinafter "high occupancy rental units") constitutes a business which impacts upon the public health, safety and general welfare of the people of the City of Plattsburgh. The state and local framework for regulation and inspection of high occupancy rental units is in many and various respects not sufficient to protect the residents from potential violations of the Building and Fire Code, particularly where there is a high turnover of residents therein. The intent of this section is to create a registry, inspection and permit protocol for the offering for rental of high occupancy rental units so as to facilitate the enforcement of New York Building and Fire Codes as well as the City Code of Plattsburgh in relation thereto in order to protect the public health, safety and welfare of the people of the City of Plattsburgh and to achieve the following beneficial purposes:
(1) 
The protection of the character and stability of residential areas;
(2) 
The correction and prevention of housing conditions/violations that adversely affect or are likely to adversely affect the life, safety, general welfare and health, including the physical, mental and social well-being of persons inhabiting high occupancy rental units; and
(3) 
The preservation of the value of land and buildings throughout the City of Plattsburgh.
B. 
Definitions. The following definitions will apply to this section:
DWELLING UNIT
Any room or group of rooms forming a single habitable unit occupied or intended to be occupied for sleeping or living.
(1) 
The term "family" means:
(a) 
Any number of persons related by blood, marriage, or adoption living together in a single housekeeping unit and using certain rooms and sanitary and cooking facilities in common; or
(b) 
Up to four unrelated persons living together in a single housekeeping unit and using certain rooms and sanitary and cooking facilities in common; or
(c) 
Five or more persons occupying a dwelling unit and living together as the functional equivalent of a family.
(2) 
It shall be presumed that five or more persons occupying a dwelling unit do not comprise the functional equivalent of a family. A functional equivalent of a family is a group of persons living together in a dwelling unit who:
(a) 
Share the use of the entire dwelling unit.
(b) 
Share the cost of rent, food, utilities, property maintenance and other household expenses.
(c) 
Intend to reside together on a permanent basis and have a stable relationship.
(3) 
The following facts shall be considered in deciding whether a group intends to reside together on a permanent basis and has a stable relationship:
(a) 
The presence of minor dependent children regularly residing in the household who are enrolled in local schools.
(b) 
Whether the group members regularly dine together.
(c) 
Whether the dwelling is the legal residence of all group members as evidenced by the address listed on their driver's license, motor vehicle registration, voter registration card, income tax return or any other document that lists the member's residence address.
(d) 
Employment in the local area.
(e) 
Joint or common ownership of household furnishings.
(f) 
Other facts relevant to prove that the group functions as a stable household unit and intends to reside together for the indefinite future.
HIGH OCCUPANCY RENTAL UNITS
The term "high occupancy rental units," as used in this section, includes 1) single-family residences rented to more than four unrelated individuals who do not otherwise qualify as a "family" or "functional equivalent of a family"; 2) dwelling units within a duplex or two-family dwelling rented to more than four unrelated individuals who do not otherwise qualify as a "family" or "functional equivalent of a family"; or 3) a multifamily dwelling.
MULTIFAMILY DWELLING
A building of three or more dwelling units, separated by common walls and/or floors. It may or may not have a direct entrance from the outside to each dwelling unit.
RECORD TITLEHOLDER
Any person holding title of record by deed, contract of sale, or judicial determination.
REGISTERED COMPLAINT
Any oral or written communication or personal observation upon which the Code Enforcement Officer has probable cause to believe that additional investigation is required to verify compliance with this section.
RENTAL AGREEMENT
A written or oral agreement embodying and fixing the terms and conditions for the transfer of possession and the use and occupancy of premises for at least a thirty-day continuous period.
(1) 
Dwelling units, rooming houses, rooming units, two-family dwellings, or multiple dwellings which occupied by one or more persons, none of whom is the record titleholder; or
(2) 
Dwelling units, rooming houses, rooming units, two-family dwellings, or multiple dwellings which are used for residential purposes under the terms of a rental agreement.
ROOMING/BOARDING HOUSE
Dwelling providing lodging and meals for monetary compensation for three or more nontransient guests in which no private kitchen facilities shall be provided to guests.
SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENCE
A freestanding detached structure which contains a residence designed for and occupied by one family as defined herein.
TENANT
A person, corporation, partnership or group, not the legal owner of record, occupying a dwelling unit or portion thereof as a unit.
TWO-FAMILY DWELLING or DUPLEX
A building of two dwelling units, separated by common walls and/or floors. It may or may not have a direct entrance from the outside to each dwelling unit.
C. 
Rental certification and registration information.
(1) 
Commencing April 1, 2021, owners of high occupancy rental units which are located in the City of Plattsburgh shall complete and sign a registration form provided by the Code Enforcement Office for each mailing address associated with rental buildings and/or structures owned. If the owner owns more than one rental building or structure located at one mailing address, then one form shall be completed for that address. If the owner owns properties with more than one mailing address, then separate forms must be completed for each separate mailing address. The form shall indicate the name, mailing address, and telephone number for each and every owner, and if the owner is a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or other business entity, the name, address, phone number and e-mail address of a responsible agent for that owner (the "owner's agent"), and the mailing address of the rental building or structure for which a rental registry certification is sought, the number of dwelling units contained within each rental building or structure, the number of occupied bedrooms within each single-family residence, daytime and evening telephone numbers of the owner and, if applicable, the owner's agent, the approximate square footage of habitable space in each rental dwelling unit, the maximum number of tenants in each and every rental dwelling unit, any pre-existing nonconforming status, and any other pertinent data sought by the Code Enforcement Officer. The owner shall indicate whether a lease agreement is in effect. The form shall indicate an address for receipt of notices by mailing under this section. The owner shall be responsible for updating such information within five business days of an event or a change in circumstances that would render the information in the registration form inaccurate.
(2) 
The registration form shall also include a self-verification section, described in Subsection E below, whereby the owner of high occupancy rental units shall affirm, subject to perjury, that all information on the registration form is accurate and complete and that said rental building or structure, and all dwelling units contained therein, are in compliance with all applicable City and state codes, statutes, laws, ordinances and regulations.
(3) 
Only those owners who can demonstrate to the Code Enforcement Officer that such single-family residences or units within a duplex who rent to more than four unrelated individuals who do not otherwise qualify as a "family" or "functional equivalent of a family" are an established pre-existing nonconforming use will be eligible to receive a rental registry certification. If the Code Enforcement Officer declines to issue a rental registry certificate, then the owner shall have the right to appeal that decision to the Zoning Board of Appeals pursuant to the Code of the City of Plattsburgh, Section 360-54D(1).
(4) 
A rental registry certification shall be issued by the Code Enforcement Officer and shall be valid for three years from the date of issuance. However, if there is an event or change in circumstance that would render the information in the registration form inaccurate, within five business days of that event or change in circumstance the Owner shall apply for a new rental registry certification. Owners and lessors, or their respective agents, shall, upon request, make available a copy of said rental registry certification to the person(s) in possession or occupancy. Rental registry certifications may not be assigned or transferred.
(5) 
A rental registry certification for a specific property shall not be granted to an applicant if that specific property is in violation of any Uniform Building Code or City of Plattsburgh Code, ordinance or local law (hereinafter "violations") or if that applicant owes property taxes, water or sewer fees, special assessments, fines for violations of City ordinances or any other fees or past due monies of any name or nature owed to the City of Plattsburgh (hereinafter "unpaid monies") for that specific property.
(a) 
The applicant shall have the burden of providing proof in a form acceptable to the department that there are no such violations or unpaid monies.
(b) 
In the event that the applicant has accrued violations or unpaid monies, such rental registry certification shall be denied if such violations or unpaid monies relate to a parcel of real property for which the application is made.
(c) 
In the event that the applicant has accrued violations or unpaid monies, such rental registry certification shall be denied regardless of whether such violations or unpaid monies occurred or accrued before the effective date of this local law.
(d) 
All requirements set forth herein shall also apply to nonperson entities including but not limited to an LLC, corporation, or trust. If an application for a rental registry certification is denied, then the owner shall have the right to appeal that decision to the Zoning Board of Appeals pursuant to the Code of the City of Plattsburgh, Section 360-54D(1).
D. 
Inspections; issuance of notices; occupancy limitations.
(1) 
Upon the receipt of a registration form, the Code Enforcement Officer, in their sole discretion, may request an inspection of the subject property. If a request for an inspection is denied, then the Code Enforcement Officer may deny the application for the rental registry certification. The applicant shall have the right to appeal that denial to the Zoning Board of appeals pursuant to the Code of the City of Plattsburgh, Section 360-54D(1). Further, the Code Enforcement Officer may inspect the subject property:
(a) 
If requested in writing by the owner, owner's agent or occupant of a rental building(s) or structure(s) pursuant to this section;
(b) 
Upon receipt of a registered complaint; however, if a registered complaint is made by a tenant the complaint must also state that said tenant first complained to the landlord therein and the concern was not adequately remedied within seven days of the complaint. The tenant's complaint must be affirmed as true under the penalties of perjury;
(c) 
Upon the sale, transfer or conveyance of a multifamily dwelling that will be utilized as a rental building/structure;
(d) 
Upon the sale, transfer or conveyance by more than four unrelated individuals who do not otherwise qualify as a "family" or "functional equivalent of a family";
(e) 
Upon the application for a building permit for a multifamily dwelling that will be utilized as a rental building/structure.
(f) 
Otherwise in accordance with law.
(2) 
The inspection by the Code Enforcement Office shall determine the condition of rental buildings and structures, rooming houses, rooming units, similar dwellings and accessory structures located within the City of Plattsburgh, and the Code Enforcement Office may issue notices as provided for in this section.
(3) 
The Code Enforcement Officer or his/her designees are authorized to enter common areas accessible to the general public at reasonable times for the purposes of conducting a visual inspection. If entry is refused or not obtained, the Code Official is authorized to pursue entry to the fullest extent authorized by law.
(4) 
Occupancy limitations shall be governed by the rules and regulations contained in the Uniform Building Code, New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code City Code of the City of Plattsburgh, and any amendments made thereto. Nothing in this section shall authorize any owner to allow for an occupancy of property in excess of what is permitted in these aforementioned Codes.
E. 
Procedures for inspections and self-verification form.
(1) 
If the owner desires an inspection to verify compliance with this section, the following shall apply:
(a) 
At least 30 days prior to initial occupancy, or 30 days prior to the expiration date of a current Rental Registration Certification, whichever is applicable, the owner or agent of a rental property shall apply to the Code Enforcement Office for inspection of the structure and all units therein. The owner of the property shall be required to sign and return the application along with the applicable fee, which will also include the registration form required by this section.
(b) 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall use diligent efforts to inspect the property forthwith subject to the requirements set forth in this section.
(2) 
As part of the registration form, the Owner may elect to self-verify compliance with the relevant Codes, in lieu of an inspection, as set forth above, and the following shall apply:
(a) 
The form for self-verification shall be made available by the Code Enforcement Officer and shall be completed, signed and affirmed by the record titleholder(s) under penalties of perjury at least 30 days prior to initial occupancy or 30 days prior to the expiration date of a current rental registry certification, whichever is applicable. The owner of the property shall be required to sign and return the application along with the applicable fee, which will also include the registration form required by this section.
(b) 
Any owner that provides materially false or misleading information on the self-verification form shall be in violation of this section and shall also be subject to the penalties of perjury in addition to the penalties found in this section.
(c) 
The Code Enforcement Officer has the right, but not the obligation, to inspect the subject property regardless of the submission of the self-verification form provided reasonable suspicion exists to believe that the self-verification form contains materially false statements. In the event that the Code Enforcement Officer finds that the self-verification form contains materially false information then he shall revoke the owner's right to self-verification for a term not to exceed five years. The applicant shall have the right to appeal that determination to the Zoning Board of appeals pursuant to the Code of the City of Plattsburgh, Section 360-54D(1).
(d) 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall review the self-verification form and other required documentation and, if warranted, issue the rental registry certification.
F. 
Fees.
(1) 
Rental registry certification fees, rental inspection fees, reinspection fees and penalties will be charged in the amount set forth in the schedule of fees adopted by the City of Plattsburgh Common Council by resolution.
(2) 
Rental registry certifications shall be issued upon completion of all of the following:
(a) 
Provision of all the information required in the registration form pursuant to Subsection C, D and/or E; and
(b) 
Verification of compliance with this section through one of the following methods:
[1] 
Completion and submission of a self-verification form by the owner, certifying under oath and subject to perjury that said rental building or structure, and all dwelling units contained therein, are in compliance with all applicable city and state codes, statutes, laws ordinances and regulations; or
[2] 
Performance of an inspection by the Code Enforcement Office to determine compliance with this section; and
[3] 
All requirements of this section have been met.
G. 
Notice of violation; method of service.
(1) 
If the Code Enforcement Officer determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that premises are being maintained in violation of this section, that officer shall give notice of the alleged violation to the owner or owner's agent of the premises.
(2) 
Such notice shall be mailed via first-class, registered or certified mail to the permittee or served upon any other person in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Criminal Procedure Law.
(3) 
Such notice shall state that all health, safety and maintenance violations must be corrected immediately per an order to remedy; however, in the event the Code Enforcement Officer observes violations that create an imminent risk to health, safety or welfare, the Code Enforcement may pursue condemnation of the premises. For nonemergency violations, the Code Enforcement Officer shall return at the date specified in the notice to verify conformance with the order to remedy. Any maintenance items which cannot be completed at this time because of weather constraints may be granted a time extension. Reasonable time extensions may be granted by the Code Enforcement Office based on consideration of all relevant factors. Such notice shall also state that, if upon reinspection a violation still exists, the Code Enforcement Officer may seek compliance pursuant to this section.
(4) 
Upon such reinspection, any remaining health, safety and maintenance violations, or other violations of the Uniform Building Code, New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and Plattsburgh City Code shall result in the issuance of an appearance ticket returnable in the City of Plattsburgh City Court, or other court of competent jurisdiction, pursuant to the provisions of Article 150 of the Criminal Procedure Law seeking fines and injunctive relief pursuant to Subsections C and D of this section, and if applicable, revocation of the rental registry certification and an order to vacate the structure. In the event that the City pursues an action against an owner in a court of competent jurisdiction for any violation described herein, then as part of the relief sought, the City may request that the court revoke all of the owner's rental registry certificates for any rental building or structure located within the City.
(5) 
Any party aggrieved by this action may appeal to the Zoning Board of Appeals pursuant to the Code of the City of Plattsburgh, Section 360-50(D)(1), and/or pursue judicial relief in a court of competent jurisdiction.
H. 
Retaliatory actions.
(1) 
No person shall institute or maintain an action for eviction because the occupant has reported a violation of this section or a related provision of the City Code to the Code Enforcement Officer or other City employee.
(2) 
No person shall cause any service, facility, equipment or utility required under this section to be removed, shut off or discontinued in retaliation for a complaint.
I. 
Content of rental registry certification.
(1) 
The rental registry certification issued under this section shall contain the following information, as well as any additional information required by the Code Enforcement Officer:
(a) 
The address, type of structure, and structure classification;
(b) 
The date of the inspection or date of self-verification statement, whichever is applicable;
(c) 
The date of issuance;
(d) 
The expiration date;
(e) 
Number of dwelling units and/or bedrooms suitable for occupancy;
(f) 
A statement indicating whether the structure is equipped with a fire alarm system, single station smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors as required by Code;
(g) 
A statement indicating whether the structure is equipped with a sprinkler system;
(h) 
Local contact information including name, address and phone number for the owner or owner's designated representative; and
(i) 
The maximum number of occupants permitted for each and every rental dwelling unit.
J. 
Transferability, posting and notice of rental permit.
(1) 
A current Rental Registration Certification issued under this section shall be invalidated by sale, conveyance, or transfer of the subject property. Upon such sale, conveyance or transfer, the new owner shall be required to obtain a Rental Registration Certificate in conformance with this section. The owner or owner's agent of a rental building or structure shall deliver a copy to each tenant therein and retain a signed receipt proving delivery which shall be provided to the Code Enforcement Officer on request.
(2) 
Commencing February 1, 2021, all written rental agreements for high occupancy rental units with the City of Plattsburgh must contain the following language in ten-point or larger type: "Please take notice that you and the landlord each have certain rights and responsibilities under The City of Plattsburgh Rental Registry Law, a copy of which is available in the City Hall, 41 City Hall Place, Plattsburgh, New York, 12901, or via the City's website."
K. 
Exemptions.
(1) 
Any dwelling unit or rental unit located on property owned by the State University of New York or the Plattsburgh Housing Authority is subject to an existing inspection protocol and is therefore exempt from this section.
(2) 
Any property used as a "nursing home," as defined in this chapter is exempt from this section.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 360-5 for said definition.