[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Lake Grove 11-16-1978 as Ch. 52 of the 1978 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to require the repairing, vacating, removal or the demolition of unsafe, abandoned, vacant, dangerous or collapsed buildings or structures in order to protect and safeguard the lives of the people and especially the children of the Village of Lake Grove, who very often find such vacant and abandoned buildings and structures a dangerous place to play.
All buildings or structures, whether business, industrial or residential, which have any of the following defects shall be deemed unsafe or dangerous buildings:
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 space.
Those which, exclusive of the foundation, show 331/3% or more of damage or deterioration of the supporting member or members, or 50% or more of damage or deterioration of the nonsupporting enclosing or outside walls or covering.
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 purposes used.
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 Village of Lake Grove.
Those which have become or are so dilapidated, decayed, unsafe or unsanitary, or which are likely to cause such sickness or disease as to work injury to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the occupants thereof or the people of the Village of Lake Grove.
Those having light, air and sanitation facilities which are inadequate to protect the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the occupants or other persons who live or may live therein or of those persons who may enter therein or of the people of the Village of Lake Grove.
Those having inadequate facilities for egress in case of fire or panic, or those having insufficient stairways, elevators, fire escapes or other means of escape.
Those which have parts thereof which are so attached that they may fail and injure members of the public or property.
Those which, from any cause whatsoever, may be or may hereafter become dangerous or unsafe to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the public.
Those buildings existing in violation of any provision of this chapter or any other ordinance or local law of the village, County of Suffolk or any statute of the State of New York.
Those buildings or structures which remain vacant and unattended continuously for a period of three years.
The following standards shall be followed in substance by the Building Inspector in ordering repair, vacation or demolition:
If the dangerous or unsafe building can reasonably be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the provisions of this chapter, it shall be ordered repaired.
If the dangerous or unsafe building is in such condition as to make it dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the occupants or the public, it shall be ordered to be vacated.
If the dangerous or unsafe building is damaged or decayed or deteriorated from its original value or structure to an extent of 50% of its structure, it shall be demolished; and in all cases where a building cannot be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the provisions of this chapter, it shall be demolished. In all other cases where a dangerous or unsafe building is a fire hazard existing or erected in violation of the provisions of this chapter or any other local law or ordinance of the Village of Lake Grove, County of Suffolk or any statute of the State of New York, it shall be demolished.
All dangerous or unsafe buildings and all collapsed structures, as hereinbefore described, are hereby declared to be public nuisances and shall be repaired, vacated or demolished as herein provided.
The Building Inspector of the Village of Lake Grove shall:
Inspect any and all buildings, walls or structures known or believed by him, or reported to him by the Fire or Police Department or by any other persons, to be existing in violation of the provisions of this chapter.
Serve written notice on the owner or some one of the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or any other person having a vested or contingent interest in the property, either personally or by registered mail addressed to the last known address, if any, of said owner or some one of the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or other person having a vested or contingent interest in said property, as shown by the records of the Receiver of Taxes of the Village of Lake Grove and/or in the office of the County Clerk or County Registrar of Suffolk County, and said notice shall contain:
A notice shall be posted on the premises containing the following words in bold print at least 3/4 of an inch high: THIS BUILDING HAS BEEN FOUND TO BE A DANGEROUS BUILDING BY THE BUILDING INSPECTOR OF THE VILLAGE OF LAKE GROVE.
In addition, said notice so posted shall contain the following words printed at least 1/2 inch high: THIS NOTICE IS TO REMAIN ON THE BUILDING UNTIL IT IS REPAIRED, VACATED OR DEMOLISHED, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE NOTICE WHICH HAS BEEN GIVEN THE OWNER, OR SUCH OTHER PERSONS BY REGISTERED MAIL AS REQUIRED BY § 69-5 OF CHAPTER 69 OF THE CODE OF THE VILLAGE OF LAKE GROVE PERTAINING TO ANY BUILDING FOUND BY THE BUILDING INSPECTOR TO BE A DANGEROUS OR UNSAFE BUILDING. IT IS UNLAWFUL TO REMOVE THIS NOTICE UNTIL SUCH NOTICE IS COMPLIED WITH, AND APPROVED BY THE BUILDING INSPECTOR.
Any person so served with such notice shall commence the securing or removal of the building or structure within a reasonable time, not exceeding 30 days, after such service, and the same shall be completed within 60 days after such service.
If the provisions of any of the forgoing sections are not complied with, the Building Inspector or Code Enforcement Officer shall serve written notice, either personally or by mail, upon the owner, lessee or occupant or any persons having the care or control of any building or structure, to comply with the provisions of this chapter. If the person upon whom the notice is served fails, neglects or refuses to secure, board up or remove such building or structure within 10 days after such notice is given or if no person can be found who either is or claims to be the owner of such building or structure, the Building Inspector or Code Enforcement Officer may cause such building or structure to be secured, boarded up or removed and the cost shall be added to and become and form part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon such lot or land and shall bear interest at the same rate as taxes and shall be collected and enforced by the same officers and in the same manner as taxes.
In cases where it reasonably appears that there is immediate danger to the life or safety of any persons unless a dangerous or unsafe building as described herein is immediately repaired, vacated or demolished, the Building Inspector shall report such facts to the Village Board and the Board shall cause the immediate repair, vacation or demolition of such dangerous or unsafe building. The Building Inspector, the Village Engineer and the practical builder, engineer or architect employed by the village may enter such structure or land on which it stands or the abutting land or structure with such assistants and at such cost as may be necessary. They may vacate adjacent structures and protect the public by appropriate barricades or such other means as may be necessary, and for this purpose only may temporarily close a public or private road, highway or street, as authorized by the Village Board.
No officer, agent or employee of the Village of Lake Grove shall render himself personally liable for any damage that may accrue to persons or property as a result of any act required or committed in the discharge of his duties under this chapter. Any action or lawsuit brought against any such officer, agent or employee of the Village of Lake Grove resulting from any act required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this chapter shall be defended by the Attorney for the village until the final determination of the proceeding therein.
All costs and expenses incurred by the village in connection with the enforcement of this chapter shall be paid out of the village treasury on certificate of the Building Inspector and the Village Engineer.
The compensation of the surveyors appointed by the Village Board shall be determined by the Board and include the costs and expenses incurred by the village in connection with any legal proceedings required to be taken as herein provided, and all other costs and expenses incurred by the village for labor, materials and other services to repair or secure such unsafe building or collapsed structure, including the costs of actually removing the said building or structure, shall be assessed against the land on which said building or structure is located.
The total amount of such costs and expenses so incurred shall be audited and determined by the Village Board and shall be reported to the Board of Assessors of the Village of Lake Grove as an amount to be immediately levied and assessed against said premises as an assessment for an improvement, to be included in the assessment roll of the Village of Lake Grove.
Each violation of this chapter shall constitute a distinct and separate offense. In addition to any other penalties provided by this chapter, village or county law, the person violating the same shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding $250 or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not exceeding 15 days, or by both such fine and such imprisonment. Each day that a violation continues shall be deemed a separate and distinct offense. The remedies and penalties provided herein shall not be exclusive but shall be in addition to any other remedy provided by law, and the invoking of this chapter shall not bar the pursuing of any other remedy, all of which remedies shall be cumulative.