[HISTORY: Adopted by the Clarkson Town Board 12-12-2006 by L.L. No. 5-2006. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall provide for administration and enforcement of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (Uniform Code) in the Town of Clarkson. This chapter is adopted pursuant to § 10 of Article 2 of the Municipal Home Rule Law. Except as otherwise provided within this chapter, state law, or within the Uniform Code, all premises, regardless of use, are subject to the provisions which follow.
The Town Board may, by resolution, authorize the Supervisor to enter into a contract with other governments to carry out the terms of this chapter.
If any section of this chapter shall be held unconstitutional, invalid, or ineffective, in whole or in part, such determination shall not be deemed to affect, impair, or invalidate the remainder thereof.
The office of Code Enforcement Officer is hereby created and shall be filled by an appointment of the Town Board. The Code Enforcement Officer shall possess background experience related to building construction or fire prevention and shall, within the time constraints prescribed by law, obtain such training as the State of New York shall require for code enforcement personnel.
In the absence of the Code Enforcement Officer, or in the case of his inability to act for any reason, the Town Supervisor shall have the power, with the consent of the Town Board, to designate a person to act on behalf of the Code Enforcement Officer and to exercise all the powers conferred upon him by this chapter.
The Town Supervisor, with the approval of the Town Board, may appoint one inspector or more, as the need may appear, to act under the supervision and direction of the Code Enforcement Officer and to exercise any portion of the powers and duties of the Code Enforcement Officer as directed by him.
The compensation for the Code Enforcement Officer, Acting Code Enforcement Officer and inspectors shall be fixed and adjusted as needed by the Town Board.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall administer and enforce all the provisions of the Uniform Code and the provisions of this chapter, including receiving building permit applications; reviewing plans and specifications; conducting inspections; issuing permits for the erection, alteration, relocation, addition, repair and/or demolition of buildings and structures; issuing certificates of occupancy; collecting fees as set forth by the Town Board; and maintaining and filing all records necessary for the administration of the office to the satisfaction of the Town Board. The Code Enforcement Officer is authorized to pursue administrative actions and, in consultation with the Town Attorney or attorney for the Town, legal action, as necessary, to abate conditions not in compliance with the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, this chapter, or other laws, rules or regulations of the Town of Clarkson or of the State of New York.
Except as hereinafter provided, no person, firm, corporation, association or partnership shall commence the construction, enlargement, alteration, improvement, removal, relocation or demolition of any building or structure, or any portion thereof, or install a solid-fuel-burning heating appliance, chimney or flue in any dwelling unit, without first having obtained a permit from the Code Enforcement Officer.
No permit shall be required for:
Necessary repairs which do not materially affect structural features;
Alterations to existing buildings, provided that the alterations:
Cost less than $10,000.
Do not materially affect structural features;
Do not affect firesafety features such as smoke detectors, sprinklers, required fire separations and exits;
Do not involve the installation or extension of electrical systems; and
Do not include the installation of solid-fuel-burning heating appliances and associated chimneys and flues.
Residential storage sheds and other small, noncommercial structures less than 140 square feet and located at least 10 feet from any property line or other structure which are not intended for use by one or more persons as quarters for living, sleeping, eating or cooking, for example, a small storage building; and
Installation of swings and other playground equipment associated with a one- or two-family dwelling or multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses);
Installation of swimming pools associated with a one- or two-family dwelling or multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses) where such pools have no electrical connections and where such pools are designed for a water depth of less than 24 inches and are installed entirely above the ground;
Construction of retaining walls two feet or less in height, unless such walls support a surcharge or impound Class I, II or IIIA liquids;
Construction of temporary motion picture, television and theater sets and scenery;
Installation of window awnings supported by an exterior wall of a one- or two-family dwelling or multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses);
Installation of partitions or movable cases less than five feet nine inches in height;
Painting, wallpapering, tiling, carpeting, or other similar finish work;
installation of listed portable electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation or cooling equipment or appliances;
Replacement of any equipment, provided that the replacement does not alter the equipment's listing or render it inconsistent with the equipment's original specifications;
Repairs, provided that such repairs do not involve:
The removal or cutting away of a load-bearing wall, partition or portion thereof or of any structural beam or load-bearing component;
The removal or change of any required means of egress, or the rearrangement of parts of a structure in a manner which affects egress;
The enlargement, alteration, replacement or relocation of any building system;
The removal from service of all or part of a fire-protection system, including a wall or part of a wall designed as a fire protection barrier, for any period of time.
Application for a permit.
The application for a building permit, and its accompanying documents, shall contain sufficient information to permit a determination that the intended work accords with the requirements of the Uniform Code.
The form of the permit and application therefor shall be prescribed by the Code Enforcement Officer. The application shall be signed by the owner (or his authorized agent) of the building and shall contain at least the following:
The full name and address of the owner and, if by a corporation, the names and addresses of the responsible officials;
Identification and/or a description of the land on which the work is to be done;
A description of the use or occupancy of the land and existing or proposed building;
A description of the proposed work;
Three sets of plans and specifications for the proposed work,
The required fee;
The Code Enforcement Officer may waive the requirement of plans and specifications when the work to be done involves minor alterations or is otherwise unnecessary.
The applicant shall notify the Code Enforcement Officer of any changes in the information contained in the application during the period for which the permit is in effect. A permit will be issued when the application has been determined to be complete and when the proposed work has been determined to conform to the requirements of the Uniform Code. The authority conferred by such permit may be limited by conditions, if any, contained therein. Amendments, if any, to the application or to the plans and specifications accompanying the same shall be filed with the Code Enforcement Officer, and approval shall be received from the Code Enforcement Officer prior to the commencement of such change of work.
A building permit issued pursuant to this chapter shall be prominently displayed on the property or premises to which it pertains.
A building permit issued pursuant to this chapter may be suspended or revoked if it is determined that the work to which it pertains is not proceeding in conformance with the Uniform Code or with any condition attached to such permit or if there has been misrepresentation or falsification of a material fact in connection with the application for the permit.
A building permit issued pursuant to this chapter shall expire one year from the date of issuance or upon the issuance of a certificate of occupancy (other than a temporary certificate of occupancy), whichever occurs first. The permit may, upon written request, be renewed for successive one-year periods, provided that:
A fee schedule shall be established, and changed as needed, by resolution of the Town Board. Such fees may be charged for the issuance of permits, certificates of occupancy and temporary certificates of occupancy, and for firesafety inspections.
No building erected subject to the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code shall be used or occupied, except to the extent authorized hereunder, until a certificate of occupancy has been issued. No building similarly enlarged, extended, or altered, or upon which work has been performed which requires the issuance of a building permit, shall be occupied or used more than 30 days after the completion of the alteration or work unless a certificate of occupancy has been issued. No change shall be made in the nature of the occupancy of an existing building unless a certificate of occupancy authorizing the change has been issued. The owner or his agent shall make application for a certificate of occupancy.
A temporary certificate of occupancy may be issued if the building or structure or a designated portion of a building or structure is sufficiently complete that it may be put to the use for which it is intended. A temporary certificate of occupancy shall expire six months from the date of issuance or at an earlier date if so specified. A temporary certificate of occupancy may, at the discretion of the Code Enforcement Officer and upon payment of an additional fee as specified for a temporary certificate of occupancy, be renewed. The Code Enforcement Officer may place special conditions on temporary certificates of occupancy as necessary to ensure safety and to protect the interest of the Town.
Inspections during construction.
Work for which a building permit has been issued hereunder shall be inspected for approval prior to enclosing or covering any portion thereof and upon completion of each stage of construction, including, but not limited to, building location, site preparation, excavation, foundation, framing, superstructure, electrical, plumbing, and heating and air conditioning. It shall be the responsibility of the owner, applicant, or his agent to inform the inspector that the work is ready for inspection and to schedule such inspection.
Work which requires special inspections during construction shall be the responsibility of the owner, applicant, or his agent to provide a list, at his expense. A statement of the special inspections, including a complete list of materials and work requiring such inspections, and a list of the individuals and approved agencies shall be provided to the Code Enforcement Officer for the permit application file. The reports of such special inspections shall be provided to the Code Enforcement Officer for the permanent record.
If entrance to make an inspection is refused or cannot be obtained, the Town Board, after being notified by the inspector of the situation, may apply to any court of competent jurisdiction for an order to make an inspection.
Fire prevention and property maintenance inspections.
Multiple dwellings shall be inspected for the purpose of determining compliance with fire prevention and property maintenance requirements of the Uniform Code at least once in every 36 months. Inspections of such buildings shall include the common areas such as halls, foyers, staircases, etc. and vacant dwelling units. Where the tenants of occupied dwelling units allow, the inspection may include such units.
Firesafety inspections of buildings or structures having areas of public assembly, defined as "all buildings or portions of buildings used for gathering together 50 or more persons for amusement, athletic, civic, dining, educational, entertainment, patriotic, political, recreational, religious, social, or similar purposes, the entire fire area of which they are a part, and the means of egress therefrom," shall be performed at least once in every 12 months.
All other buildings, uses and occupancies (except one- or two-family dwellings) shall be inspected at least once in every 24 months.
An inspection of a building or dwelling unit may also be performed at any other time upon:
Upon determination that a violation of the Uniform Code or this chapter exists in, on, or about any building or premises, the Code Enforcement Officer shall order in writing the remedying of the condition. Such order shall state the specific provision of the Uniform Code which the particular condition violates and shall grant such time as may be reasonably necessary for achieving compliance before proceedings to compel compliance shall be instituted. Such order shall be served personally or by notification by certified mail.
In addition to those penalties prescribed by state law, any person, firm or corporation who violates any provision of the Uniform Code or any rule or regulation of this chapter, or the terms or conditions of any certificate of occupancy issued by the Code Enforcement Officer, shall be liable to a civil penalty of not more than $200 for each day or part thereof during which such violation continues. The civil penalties provided by this subsection shall be recoverable in an action instituted in the name of the Town Board on its own initiative or at the request of the Code Enforcement Officer.
Alternatively or in addition to an action to recover the civil penalties provided by Subsection B, the Town Board may institute any appropriate action or proceeding to prevent, restrain, enjoin, correct, or abate any violation of, or to enforce, any provision of the Uniform Code or the terms or conditions of any certificate of occupancy issued by the Code Enforcement Officer.
Whenever the Code Enforcement Officer has reason to believe that the work on any building or structure is being performed in violation of the provisions of the applicable building laws, ordinances, rules or regulations or not in conformity with the provisions of an application or in an unsafe and dangerous manner, he shall notify the owner of the property, or the owner's agent, to suspend all work and suspend all building activities until the stop-work order has been rescinded. Such order and notice shall appear in writing, shall state the conditions under which the work may be resumed and may be served upon a person to whom it is directed either by delivering it personally to him or by posting the same upon a conspicuous portion of the building where the work is being performed and sending a copy of the same to him by certified mail at the address set forth in the application for the permission of the construction of such building.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall keep permanent official records of all transactions and activities conducted by him, including all applications received, plans approved, permits and certificates issued, fees charged and collected, inspection reports, all rules and regulations promulgated by him with the consent of the Town Board, and notices and orders issued. All such records shall be public records open for public inspection during normal business hours. All plans and records pertaining to buildings or structures, or appurtenances thereto, shall be retained for at least the minimum time period so required by state law and regulation.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall annually submit to the Town Board a written report and summary of all business conducted by his office, including approvals, permits and certificates issued, fees collected, orders and notices promulgated, inspections and tests made, and appeals or litigation pending or concluded.