Town of Yorktown, NY
Westchester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Yorktown 3-17-1981 by L.L. No. 11-1981. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction and fire prevention — See Ch. 130.
Electrical standards — See Ch. 155.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 225.
Unsafe buildings pose a threat to life and property in the Town of Yorktown. Buildings and structures may become unsafe by reason of damage by fire, the elements, age or general deterioration. Vacant buildings not properly secured at doorways and windows also serve as an attractive nuisance for young children who may be injured therein, as well as point of congregation by vagrants and transients. 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 persons and property in the Town of Yorktown by requiring such unsafe buildings be repaired or demolished and removed.
This chapter shall be known as the "Unsafe Buildings Law of the Town of Yorktown."
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BUILDING
Any building, structure or portion thereof used for residential, business or industrial purpose.
BUILDING INSPECTOR
The Building Inspector of the Town of Yorktown or such other person appointed by the Town Board to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
DANGEROUS OR UNSAFE BUILDINGS 
All buildings or structures which have any or all of the following defects shall be deemed "dangerous buildings"
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A. 
Those whose interior walls or other vertical structural members list, lean or buckle to such an extent that a plumb line passing through the center of gravity falls outside of the middle third of its base.
B. 
Those which, exclusive of the foundation, show 33% or more of damage or deterioration of the supporting member or members or 50% of damage or deterioration of the nonsupporting enclosing or outside walls or covering.
C. 
Those which have improperly distributed loads upon the floors or roofs or in which the same are overloaded or which have insufficient strength to be reasonably safe for the purpose used.
D. 
Those which have been damaged by fire, wind or other causes so as to have become dangerous to life, safety, morals or the general health and welfare of the occupants or the people of the town.
E. 
Those which have become or are so dilapidated, decayed, unsafe, insanitary or which so utterly fail to provide the amenities essential to decent living that they are unfit for human habitation or are likely to cause sickness or disease so as to work injury to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of those living therein.
F. 
Those having light, air and sanitation facilities which are inadequate to protect the health, morals, safety or general welfare of human beings who live or may live therein.
G. 
Those having inadequate facilities for egress in case of fire or panic or those having insufficient stairways, elevators, fire escapes or other means of communication.
H. 
Those which have parts thereof which are so attached that they may fall and injure members of the public or property.
I. 
Those which, because of their condition, are unsafe, insanitary or dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the people of the town.
J. 
Those buildings existing in violation of any provision of Chapter 130, Building Construction and Fire Prevention, or any other provisions of Code of this town.
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Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
When, in his own opinion or upon receipt of information that a building is or may become dangerous or unsafe to the general public; is open at the doorways and windows making it accessible to and an object of attraction to minors under 18 years of age, as well as to vagrants and other trespassers; 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 purpose for which is may lawfully be used, the Building Inspector shall cause to be made or make an inspection thereof and report, in writing, to the Town Board his findings and recommendations in regard to its repair or demolition and removal.
The Town Board shall thereafter consider such report and, by resolution, determine if, in its opinion, the report so warrants that such building is unsafe and dangerous and order its repair if the same can be safely repaired or its demolition and removal, and further order that a notice be served upon the persons and in the manner provided herein.
The notice shall contain the following:
A. 
A description of the premises;
B. 
A statement of the particulars in which the building is unsafe or dangerous;
C. 
An order outlining the manner in which the building is to be made safe and secure or demolished and removed;
D. 
A statement that the securing or removal of such building shall commence within 30 days of the service of the notice and shall be completed within 60 days thereafter, unless for good cause shown such time shall be extended;
E. 
A date, time and place for a hearing before the Town Board in relation to such dangerous or unsafe building, which hearing shall be scheduled not fewer than five business days from the date of service of the notice; and
F. 
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 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 a 10% surcharge and legal expenses.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
The notice shall be served by:
A. 
Personal service of a copy thereof upon the owner, executor, administrator, agent, lessee or any person having a vested or contingent interest in such unsafe building as shown by the records of the Receiver of Taxes (or Tax Collector) or of the County Clerk or, if no such person can be reasonably found, by mailing such owner by registered mail a copy of such notice directed to his last known address as shown by the above records;
B. 
Personal service of a copy of such notice upon any adult person residing in or occupying said premises if such person can be reasonably found; and
C. 
Securely affixing a copy of such notice upon the unsafe building.
A copy of the notice served as provided herein shall be filed in the office of the County Clerk of the County of Westchester.
In the event of the refusal or neglect of the person so notified to comply with said order of the Town Board and after the hearing, the Town Board shall provide for the demolition and removal of such building or structure either by town employees or by contract. Except in emergency as provided in § 38-11 hereof, any contract for demolition and removal of a building in in an amount subject to competitive bidding will be awarded in accordance with state and local purchasing requirements.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
All expenses incurred by the town in connection with the proceedings to repair and secure or demolish and remove the unsafe building, including the cost of actually removing such building, as well as a surcharge of 10% and legal expenses, shall be assessed against the land on which such building is located and shall be levied and collected in the same manner as provided in Article 15 of the Town Law for the levy and collection of a special ad valorem levy.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
Where it reasonably appears that there is present a clear and imminent danger to the life, safety or health of any person or property, unless an unsafe building is immediately repaired and secured or demolished, the Town Board may by resolution authorize the Building Inspector to immediately cause the repair or demolition of such unsafe building. The expenses of such repair or demolition shall be a charge against the land on which it is located and shall be assessed, levied and collected as provided in § 38-10 hereof.
Any person or persons who shall violate any provisions of this chapter will be guilty of an offense and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $250 or imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both such fine and imprisonment. Each days' continued violation shall constitute a separate offense.
[1]
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).