[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Holland 7-13-1988 by L.L. No. 2-1988; amended in its entirety 9-11-2002 by L.L. No. 2-2002. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The Public Officer, who shall be appointed for a term of one year, will be confirmed by the Holland Town Board.
The Assistant Public Officer, who shall be appointed for a term of one year, will be confirmed by the Holland Town Board, and, when so appointed, he or she shall exercise all of the powers prescribed for the Public Officer at the direction of the Public Officer or in the event of the disability or temporary absence of the Public Officer.
Duties. The Public Officer is hereby authorized to exercise such powers as may be necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this chapter, including the following powers, in addition to others herein granted:
To investigate the building conditions in the Town in order to determine which buildings therein are unfit for human habitation, occupancy or use.
To enter upon premises for the purpose of making examinations, provided that such entries shall be made in such a manner as to cause the least possible inconvenience to the persons in possession.
Whenever a notice to remedy has been served upon the owner of property or at least five residents of the Town of Holland have filed a complaint charging that any building is unfit for human habitation, or occupancy or use and the Public Officer shall have investigated such complaint and determined that the building is unfit for human habitation, occupancy or use, said officer shall file an information with the Town of Holland Justice Court for the issuance of an appearance citation.
Upon the filing of a complaint by the Public Officer with the Town Board charging that a building is unfit for human habitation, or occupancy or use, the following procedure is hereby adopted:
A notice is to be served upon the owner or someone of the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees, or any other person having a vested or contingent interest in same, either personally or by registered mail, addressed to the last known address, if any, but if the whereabouts of such person is unknown and the same cannot be ascertained by the Public Officer in the exercise of reasonable diligence and the Public Officer shall make an affidavit to that effect, then the serving of the complaint or order upon these persons may be made by publishing the same once in a newspaper printed and published in the Town or, in the absence of the newspaper, in one printed and published in the County of Erie and circulated in the Town.
The notice shall set forth the time within which the person served with such notice may commence the securing or removal of buildings or structures.
A filing of a copy of such notice in the office of the County Clerk of the County of Erie within which such building or structure is located.
If the Town Board shall determine after such notice and hearing that the building under such consideration is unfit for human habitation, occupancy or use, the Public Officer shall state in writing the findings of fact of the Town Board in support of the determination and shall issue and cause to be served upon the owner thereof and parties of interest an order as follows:
Requiring the repair, alteration or improvement of the building to be made by the owner, within a reasonable time, which time shall be set forth in the order or, at the option of the owner, to vacate or have the building vacated and closed within the time set forth in the order.
If the building is in such a condition as to make it dangerous to the health and safety of persons on or near the premises and the owner fails to repair, alter or improve the building within the time specified in the order, then the owner shall be required to remove or demolish the building within a reasonable time, as specified in the order of removal.
If the owner fails to comply with an order to repair, alter or improve or, at the option of the owner, to vacate and close the building, the Town Board may cause the building to be repaired, altered or improved or to be vacated and closed, with an assessment of all costs and expenses incurred by the Town in connection with the proceeding to remove or secure, including the cost of actually removing said building or structure, against the land on which said building or structures are located.
The Public Officer may determine that a building is unfit for human habitation, occupancy or use if he or she finds that conditions exist in the building which are dangerous or injurious to the health and safety of the occupants of the building, the occupants of neighboring buildings or other residents of the Town. Such conditions may include the following, without limiting the generality of the foregoing:
Defects therein increasing the hazards of fire, accident or other calamities.
Lack of adequate ventilation, light or sanitary facilities.
Dilapidation, disrepair, structural defects or uncleanliness.
Lack of proper maintenance, i.e. high grass causing breeding grounds for mosquitos, rodents, etc.
[Amended 11-14-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
For violation of any provision of this chapter, the maximum penalty shall be a fine of $500 and/or 15 days in jail. Each and every violation of any provision of this chapter shall be considered as a separate violation and shall subject the person so charged to the maximum penalty.