[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Wappingers Falls as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 2-14-1979 by L.L. No. 1-1979]
It is the finding of this Board that vacant and unoccupied buildings within the Village constitute a potential danger to the public health, safety and general welfare, and that for that reason the police, fire and administrative officers of the Village should have access to an accurate listing of the names and addresses of the owners of such buildings or the persons having control and management of the same.
For purposes of this article, a building shall be deemed a vacant building when it has been continuously unoccupied and unattended for a period of time in excess of one month.
No accessory building shall be considered vacant unless the principal building on the lot occupied thereby is also vacant.
The owner or person having control and management of a vacant building within the Village of Wappingers Falls shall file with the Police Department of said village a written statement setting forth the name and address of such owner or person having control and management and the telephone number, if any, at which such person may be reached.
[Amended 2-12-1997 by L.L. No. 3-1997]
Each violation of this article shall constitute a violation as defined in the Penal Law of the State of New York and shall be punishable by a fine not in excess of $250 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 15 days, or both. Each week that such violation shall continue shall constitute a separate violation hereof.
[Adopted 10-10-1984 by L.L. No. 6-1984]
All buildings or structures which are structurally unsafe, unsanitary or not provided with adequate egress or which constitute a fire hazard or are otherwise dangerous to human life or which in relation to existing use or occupancy constitute a hazard to safety or health by reason of inadequate maintenance, dilapidation, obsolescence or abandonment are severally, for the purpose of this section, unsafe buildings. All such unsafe buildings are hereby declared illegal and shall be abated by repair and rehabilitation or by demolition, in accordance with the procedure of this Article.
The Building Inspector shall examine or cause to be examined every building reported as unsafe or damaged, as defined in this Article, and shall make a written record of such examination.
[Added 2-12-1997 by L.L. No. 3-1997]
Before any building is demolished, in addition to the Building Inspector, the Village Engineer shall inspect the building and he shall put into writing his findings.
Whenever the Building Inspector shall find any building, structure or portion thereof to be an unsafe building, as defined in this Article, he shall give to the owner, agent or person in control of such building or structure written notice stating the defects thereof. This notice shall require the owner within a stated time either to complete specified repairs or improvements or to demolish and remove the building or structure or portion thereof. Such notice shall further provide that the owner, agent or person in control of such building may, within a stated period of time, demand a hearing before the Village Board of Trustees for the purpose of reviewing such determination.
In case the owner, agent or person in control cannot be found within the stated time limit or if such owner, agent or person in control shall fail, neglect or refuse to comply with notice to repair, rehabilitate or to demolish and remove said building or structure or portion thereof, the Village Attorney shall be advised of all the facts in the case and shall institute an appropriate action in the courts to compel compliance.
[Amended 7-31-2013 by L.L. No. 4-2013]
If the Building Inspector finds that there is actual and immediate danger of failure or collapse so as to endanger life, such notice shall also require the building, structure or portion thereof to be vacated forthwith and not reoccupied until the specified repairs and improvements are completed and inspected and approved by the Building Inspector. The Building Inspector shall cause to be posted at each entrance to such building a notice: "THIS BUILDING IS UNSAFE AND ITS USE OR OCCUPANCY HAS BEEN PROHIBITED BY THE BUILDING INSPECTOR". Such notice shall remain posted until the required repairs are made or demolition is completed. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation or their agents or other servants to remove such notice without written permission of the Building Inspector or for any person to enter the building except for the purpose of making the required repairs or of demolishing the same. Any violation of this section shall result in a penalty pursuant to § 1-14 as amended.
In cases of emergency which, in the opinion of the Building Inspector, involve imminent danger to human life or health, he shall promptly cause such building, structure or portion thereof to be made safe or removed. For this purpose he may at once enter such structure or land on which it stands, or abutting land or structure, with such assistance and at such cost as may be necessary. He may vacate adjacent structures and protect the public by appropriate barricades and take any other measures as he may deem necessary to protect the public and, for this purpose, may close a public or private way.
[Amended 11-13-2013 by L.L. No. 7-2013; 8-13-2014 by L.L. No. 4-2014]
Costs incurred under §§ 59-9, 59-11, 59-12 and 59-13 shall be paid out of the Village treasury on certificate of the Building Inspector. Such costs shall be charged against the land on which the building existed, as a municipal lien, or shall be added to the tax roll as an assessment or shall be levied as a special tax against the land upon which the building stands or stood or shall be recovered in a special proceeding to collect costs of demolition, including legal expenses incidental to obtaining an order of demolition against the owner.