[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Evans 5-17-2000 by L.L. No. 5-2000; amended in its entirety 11-5-2008 by L.L. No. 8-2008. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Building Code administration — See Ch. 70.
Unsafe buildings — See Ch. 74.
Rental or unoccupied premises — See Ch. 158.
Solid waste — See Ch. 168.
Editor's Note: This local law, adopted as Ch. 190, was renumbered to maintain the alphabetical organization of the Code.
Pursuant to the authority conferred by Article 2 of the Municipal Home Rule Law of the State of New York, and for each and every purpose specified therein, the Town Board of the Town of Evans, County of Erie and State of New York, has ordained and does hereby enact the following chapter regulating property maintenance and restricting the use and disposal of abandoned automobiles, garbage and refuse within said Town.
This chapter shall be known and cited as the "Property Maintenance Law of the Town of Evans, New York."
This chapter is enacted in recognition of the fact that junk vehicles, garbage and refuse that is abandoned or stored on private property, or unsafe and deteriorated structural or property conditions, can constitute both a public and private nuisance. Such items present a potential danger to residents and children and are unsightly. Their existence depreciates not only the property on which they are located, but also the property of other persons in the neighborhood and Town in general. It detracts from a clean, wholesome and attractive environment and is injurious to the welfare of the Town as a whole, making it a less pleasant place in which to live and do business. The intent of this chapter is to establish basic and uniform property maintenance standards and a legal procedure for the removal of the junk vehicles, garbage and refuse where they occur in the Town. (Also see Chapters 74 and 158 of the Town Code.)
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any motor vehicle that the owner thereof does not intend to use on public highways. The intent of the owner shall be determined by the physical condition of the motor vehicle, any statements as to its abandonment, whether the motor vehicle is currently inspected and other relevant facts. With respect to a motor vehicle not required to be inspected or motor vehicles not usually used on public highways, the intent of the owner shall be determined by the length of time since it was last used for the purposes intended and statements as to its abandonment and other relevant facts.
- A structure, permanent or temporary, wholly or partially enclosed within exterior walls, or within exterior or party walls, and a roof, affording shelter to persons, animals or property.
- DANGEROUS TREE
- Any tree or any part thereof which is either dead, diseased, decayed or, due to other causes, is in such a state that there exists a clear and present danger of said tree or any part thereof falling due to natural causes so that the free and lawful usage of public highways could be impaired or endangered, or so that a structure or building located on lands adjoining the premises on which said dangerous tree is located could be damaged should the dangerous tree fall, or so that any person lawfully in the vicinity of said dangerous tree could receive bodily injury from the same should the dangerous tree fall.
- DISCARDED MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any motor vehicle which the owner thereof, as established by the surrounding circumstances, does not intend to recover the possession of or any motor vehicle the owner of which cannot be found after due and reasonable inquiry.
- ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The Building Inspector of the Town, unless the Town Board, by resolution, designates some other Town officer as enforcement officer or by resolution establishes the position of Enforcement Officer for the Town and appoints some qualified person thereto at a salary specified in such resolution.
- GARBAGE, REFUSE AND JUNK
- Waste, secondhand or used materials of whatever composition.
- JUNK VEHICLE
- Any motor vehicle, whether automobile, bus, truck, tractor, mobile home or any other vehicle, originally intended for travel on the public highways, as well as, and including, but not limited to, any lawn tractor, farm tractor, snowmobile, all-terrain vehicle, boat, jet ski and bicycle which is abandoned, discarded, stored, left or located by its owner or any other person or is permitted or condoned to be abandoned, discarded, stored, left or located by its owner or any other person on private premises in the Town of Evans, outside any village in said Town and outside any establishment duly licensed by the Town, and which junk vehicle is without current and valid license plates and registration and is uninspected by the State of New York or any other state and is not operable. The use of the term in the singular herein is intended, where applicable, to include the plural.
- Any garbage, refuse and/or junk, as such is defined or otherwise identified in this chapter, being on any premises or property in the right-of-way of a roadway, public or otherwise, or remaining thereon for any period of time whatsoever.
- MOTOR VEHICLE
- Every vehicle originally designed and intended to be operated, drawn or driven or capable of being operated, drawn or driven upon a public highway by any power other than muscular power. For the purposes of this definition, the term "motor vehicle" shall include, but not be limited to, automobiles, trucks, buses, motorcycles and trailers.
- OWNER OF MOTOR VEHICLE
- A person, firm or corporation having the property in or title to a motor vehicle, including a person entitled to the use and possession of a vehicle subject to a security interest in another person and also including any lessee or bailee of a motor vehicle having the use thereof under lease or otherwise.
- OWNER OF PRIVATE PROPERTY
- A person, firm or corporation who or which is the owner, contract purchaser, tenant, lessee, occupant, undertenant, receiver or assignee of private premises or private property located within the Town of Evans, outside the village.
- Any person or persons, firm, partnership, corporation, association or other entity owning real property in the Town of Evans, outside of any village therein.
- PREMISES or PROPERTY
- Includes all parcels of real property privately owned and situated in the Town of Evans, outside of any village therein, whether occupied or vacant.
- PROPER CAR COVER
- A cover which is specifically manufactured, fitted and suited for a particular model or size of motor vehicle. The use of four-sided, loosely fitted tarps, covers or other adaptations shall not be permitted.
- UNINSPECTED MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any motor vehicle that may be licensed in the State of New York and is not currently inspected. The fact that a motor vehicle does not display a current inspection sticker shall be presumptive evidence of the fact that such motor vehicle is not currently inspected.
- An open space on the same lot that contains a building and is located between the building line and the lot line, which the particular building line faces.
No person shall engage in or conduct, whether for profit or otherwise, on real property within the Town of Evans, either for himself or for and on behalf of any other person, directly or indirectly, as agent, employee or otherwise, at wholesale or retail, any operation which involves the collection, storage, burning, dumping, disassembling, dismantling, salvaging, sorting or otherwise of bodies, engines or parts of autos or of any other secondhand or used property, of whatever material it is composed, or any waste material, whether composed of wood, plastic, paper, cloth, cardboard, metals, stone, concrete, glass or otherwise.
It shall be unlawful for any person, either as owner, occupant, lessee, agent and/or tenant of property within the Town of Evans, to store or cause or permit to be stored or deposited any abandoned, junked or discarded motor vehicles, or part or piece thereof, on any private property within the Town of Evans, unless:
Such motor vehicle is stored or deposited on a premises legally used, operated and located for a junkyard.
Such motor vehicle is stored or deposited in a completely enclosed building. No abandoned vehicles, equipment or materials shall be stored in open areas on the premises.
Such motor vehicle is covered by a proper car cover. Not more than one such covered motor vehicle shall be permitted at any one time on any premises. This shall not be in addition to motor vehicles referred to in Subsection B(5) hereof.
Such motor vehicle is the inventory or part of the inventory of a new or used motor vehicle dealer located in compliance with the ordinances and local laws in the Town of Evans.
Such motor vehicle is under repair, reconstruction or refurbishing by the owners thereof, who actually reside on the premises, in which case such motor vehicle may be stored on said premises. Not more than one such motor vehicle shall be permitted at any one time on any premises. Such motor vehicle must be maintained and protected so as to not create any hazard or nuisance to surrounding property owners and shall not remain on the premises for more than 60 days.
[Amended 5-26-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2010; 12-14-2011 by L.L. No. 11-2011; 6-6-2018 by L.L. No. 2-2018]
It shall be the responsibility of any person, either owner, occupant, lessee, agent and/or tenant, of premises or property, as defined herein, to shovel or remove snow and ice from all sidewalks on or abutting his or her premises, including, but not limited to, the intersection quadrant for corner property, within 12 hours after the cessation of snowfall or frozen precipitation. Snow or ice shall not be deposited on any public street or road, nor shall any snow be plowed across any street, highway, or private property or be stockpiled within 10 feet of any fire hydrant within the Town of Evans. Fire hydrants shall be cleaned enough to make them visible.
Liability of real property owner for failure to maintain sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition.
It shall be the duty of the owner of real property abutting any sidewalk, including, but not limited to, the intersection quadrant for corner property, to maintain such sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the owner of real property abutting any sidewalk, including, but not limited to, the intersection quadrant for corner property, shall be liable for any injury to property or personal injury, including death, proximately caused by the failure of such owner to maintain such sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition. Failure to maintain such sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition shall include, but not be limited to, the negligent failure to install, construct, reconstruct, repave, repair or replace defective sidewalk flags and the negligent failure to remove snow or ice from the sidewalk.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Town shall not be liable for any injury to property or personal injury, including death, proximately caused by the failure to maintain sidewalks in a reasonably safe condition. This subsection shall not be construed to apply to the liability of the Town as a property owner.
Nothing in this section shall in any way affect the provisions of this chapter or of any other law or rule governing the manner in which an action or proceeding against the Town is commenced, including any provisions requiring prior notice to the Town of defective conditions.
The owner and the occupant shall be jointly and severally responsible for compliance with the provisions hereof.
Buildings and structures.
It shall be the responsibility of any person, either as owner, operator, occupant, lessee, agent and/or tenant, to maintain each and every part of any and all buildings or structures on premises or property as set forth and defined in this chapter free of all nuisances and any hazards to the safety of the occupants, pedestrians and all persons utilizing the premises or abutting roadways. Said person shall maintain accessory structures and appurtenant equipment in good repair, capable of performing the function for which the same was designed or intended to be used, including, but not limited to, the following (also see Chapters 74 and 158 of the Town Code):
Every exterior wall, roof and porch or appurtenance thereto shall be maintained in a manner so as to prevent collapse of the same or injury to the occupants of the building or to the public.
All broken or missing glass panes shall be replaced.
The exterior of every building and structure shall be maintained free of buckled, sagging, broken, partially missing, rotted or decayed walls, doors, windows, porches, balconies, steps, stairways, railings, balusters, chimneys and decorative trim. The exterior of every building and structure shall be maintained so that the appearance of the premises shall not constitute a blighting factor for adjoining property.
The following provisions shall apply to exits:
Safe, continuous and unobstructed exits shall be maintained from the interior of a building or structure to the exterior at a street, or to a yard, court or passageway leading to a public open area.
Nothing shall be placed, accumulated or stored on residential premises which obstructs egress from stairways, passageways, doors, windows, fire escapes or other means of exit.
In multiple dwellings, exits, including vestibules, stairways, passageways, corridors and hallways, but excluding fire escapes, shall be lighted with natural or electric light at all times so as to afford safe passage.
Stairways shall have handrails on at least one side.
Fire escapes shall be maintained free of encumbrances.
Vending machines and other equipment or materials shall not be located in lobbies, corridors or passageways if they constitute a fire hazard or interfere with the exit facilities.
The following provisions shall apply to exterior protection:
Exterior walls, including foundations, shall be maintained so that groundwater and surface water does not penetrate into basements and cellars.
Exterior doors, windows, skylights and similar openings shall be maintained weathertight.
Exterior stairs, porches, entrance platforms, fire escapes and the railings thereon shall be maintained in a safe and sound condition.
Roofs shall be maintained in a watertight condition.
Exterior surfaces shall be maintained in good condition. Surfaces not inherently resistant to deterioration shall be treated with a protective coating of paint or other suitable preservative.
Infestation. Buildings and structures shall be maintained free of insects, vermin and rodent harborage and infestation.
All unused refrigerators and similar equipment with locking mechanisms shall first have the locking devices, hinges and doors removed. None shall be maintained, abandoned or stored outside the exterior walls of any building on the premises.
The following provisions shall apply to exterior property areas:
Surface and subsurface water shall be appropriately drained to protect buildings and structures and to prevent ponding.
Fences, walls and other minor constructions shall be maintained in safe, good and substantial condition.
Steps, walks, driveways, parking spaces and similar paved areas shall be maintained to afford safe and convenient passage.
Yards, courts and vacant lots shall be kept clean and free of hazards.
It shall be the responsibility of any person, either as owner, occupant, lessee, agent and/or tenant of premises or property as defined herein, to dispose of any and all litter, garbage, refuse and/or junk on premises or in the right-of-way of a roadway, public or otherwise, upon which such premises or property fronts, or adjoins, or to which such property is subject, in a safe and sanitary manner and keeping the premises free and clear therefrom.
[Amended 5-2-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
Anyone placing garbage, refuse and/or junk at the curb, right-of-way, roadway or otherwise for Town-wide trash pickup shall not do so prior to 6:00 p.m. of the night before scheduled pickup.
Every owner or occupant or person having control of any property or premises in the Town shall:
Maintain the same so that all premises and immediate exterior property shall be maintained free from weeds or plant growth in excess of 10 inches (254 mm) and all noxious weeds, any poison ivy, ragweed or other poisonous plants or plants detrimental to health and free from any accumulation of dead weeds, grass or brush. "Weeds" shall be defined as all grasses, annual plants and vegetation, other than trees or shrubs; provided however, this term shall not include cultivated flowers or gardens.
Trim the hedges, shrubs and trees so that the same will not interfere with the line of sight of motor vehicle operators or pedestrians attempting to cross an adjacent intersection or attempting to make a turn upon an adjacent intersection or will not impede or interfere with pedestrian traffic upon any sidewalk abutting said lot or premises.
Trim the hedges, shrubs and trees so that the same will not grow over or so close to the sidewalk as to interfere with the pedestrian or bicycle traffic.
Not allow any cut or fallen trees, or parts thereof, to remain upon the ground longer than 10 days, and shall remove the same from such property or premises unless the same is cut and stacked as cordwood to be used as fuel for use in heating equipment in quantities not to exceed 10 full cords, a volume of 1,280 cubic feet, neatly piled so as not to create a hazard. Brush shall be removed within 10 days of its appearance upon the property or premises.
It shall be unlawful for any person to allow any dangerous tree, as defined herein, to remain upon the property owned by any such person, form or corporation.
Immediately upon receipt of a written complaint signed by a complainant that a dangerous tree exists within the Town, or in the event that the Building Inspector discovers a dangerous tree in the course of his duties, notwithstanding the absence of a written signed complaint, the Building Inspector of the Town shall make an inspection of the dangerous tree.
After such inspection, if the Building Inspector determines that a dangerous tree exists, the Building Inspector shall notify the owner, occupant or person having control of any such property or premises upon which the dangerous tree or portion thereof posing a danger exists of the violation of this provision in the manner set forth in this chapter relating to notices of violation.
Whenever a condition shall be observed to exist on any premises or property within the Town which is in violation of the provisions of this chapter, a notice of such violation shall be issued by the Code Enforcement Officer, directing such owner, occupant or person having control of any such lot or premises to correct such violation and/or condition within no less than five days of the service of the same. If such violation is not corrected within such period specified in said notice, the Code Enforcement Officer may take such action as is required to cause such condition of violation to be corrected.
Any notice of violation aforesaid shall be written and shall be served upon any person charged herein with the responsibility to comply with the terms and provisions of this chapter, and such service shall be deemed to have been made on the date of personal delivery of such notice, or, if such notice is delivered by mail, it shall be mailed by regular mail and service thereof shall be deemed to be complete, and to have taken place, five days after mailing.
In addition to the foregoing, the Code Enforcement Officer may file an accusatory instrument with the Town Court and such summons or appearance ticket as such Code Enforcement Officer or the Said Court deems appropriate directing the person so noticed to appear in said Town Court to answer the alleged violation of these provisions of the Town Code.
Whenever the Code Enforcement Officer takes action in accordance with this chapter to cause a violation of the any of the provisions of this chapter to be corrected, which conditions of violation have not been corrected by the person or persons notified of such violation, and the Town incurs costs therefor, the Town Board shall direct that the property or premises which is the subject of the enforcement action shall be assessed, which assessment shall be in addition to any penalties otherwise imposed for any violation of the terms and provisions of the Code of the Town of Evans, in an amount, referred to in this chapter as the "charge for remediation", as follows:
The cost of labor, machinery and materials of the Town or the cost of services of an independent contractor; in addition, a surcharge of 25% of the above cost or $150, whatever is greater, to reimburse the Town for the cost of supervision and administration.
The above said cost and surcharge shall be levied upon the property or premises which is the subject of the enforcement action and shall be collected in the same manner as Town taxes and assessments.
Such charge for remediation shall be borne entirely by the person owning such premises or property at the time of such remediation.
A written statement specifying such charge for remediation shall be delivered to the person shown to be the owner of such premises or property at the time of such remediation set forth in the latest completed assessment roll of the Town at the time of the completion of such remediation.
Delivery of statement specifying such charge for remediation shall be deemed to be complete upon personal delivery as defined by the Civil Procedure Law and Rules of the State of New York or by mailing, by regular mail, a copy of the same to the person shown to be the owner of such premises or property at the time of remediation, as shown by the aforesaid assessment roll, and the twenty-day period within which the same is to be paid shall commence to run upon the filing in the office of the Town Clerk of the affidavit of personal service, or an affidavit of mailing, of such statement of such charge for remediation.
If the aforesaid charge for remediation so specified in such statement of the same is not fully paid by such person to whom the same was delivered within 20 days of completion of such delivery, as aforesaid, such unpaid charge for remediation shall be a charge levied upon the real property taxes relative to the premises or property so remedied, due with the payment of the county and Town taxes relative to such premises and property and shall be, if unpaid, a lien on the premises and property so taxed with the same force and effect as such real property taxes impose.
The provisions hereof shall be in addition to any penalty for violation of any other provision of the Town Code of the Town of Evans.
Any person who is found guilty of violating any provision of this chapter or any regulation adopted hereunder shall for each violation be subject to a fine not to exceed $250 or imprisonment not to exceed 15 days, or both. From the date of the first court appearance set forth in any notice of violation, appearance ticket or summons, each week's continued violation shall constitute a separate violation.