[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Schenectady 10-15-1991 as Ord. No. 91-41. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Building, plumbing and electrical standards — See Ch. 138.
Housing standards — See Ch. 167.
Editor's Note: Former Ch. 68, Housing, Department of, adopted 7-2-1979 as Ord. No. 79-63, as amended, was repealed 12-15-1986 by Ord. No. 86-76. See now Ch. 33, Development, Department of.
There is hereby created in the city a Housing Standards Review Board ("Board") to:
Vary or modify the application of the provisions of the Multiple Residence Law or rules or regulations in connection therewith; and
Entertain appeals to sustain, modify or repeal notices of denial of applications for rental certificates and notices of revocation of rental certificates issued by the Building Inspector or his duly appointed representative pursuant to Chapter 167 of the Code of the City of Schenectady.
[Added 3-15-1993 by Ord. No. 93-12]
The Board, as herein created, shall consist of five members who shall be appointed by the Mayor. One member shall be a registered architect or a professional engineer.
The term of office of each member of the Review Board shall be for five years; provided, however, that the members currently serving terms on the Multiple Residence Board shall be appointed for their original terms.
Members of the Board shall receive no compensation unless the Council of the city shall otherwise determine.
The Board shall elect its Chairman from among its own members.
Three members of the Board shall constitute a quorum. The concurring vote of at least three members of the Board shall be necessary for action.
Any member chosen to fill a vacancy on the Board occurring otherwise than by an expiration of term shall be appointed for the unexpired term of the member whom he is to succeed.
The Council of the city shall have the power to remove any member of the Board for cause and after public hearing.
The Mayor shall appoint such employees for the Board as may be authorized by the Council and shall prescribe their duties.
The Board shall have the following power within the city:
Rules and regulations. The Board is authorized to make and adopt such written rules and regulations as may be necessary for the proper enforcement and interpretation of this chapter and to secure the intent thereof. Such rules and regulations shall not be in conflict with the provisions of this chapter or any other ordinance of the city, nor shall they have the effect of waiving any provisions of this chapter or any other ordinance.
To vary or modify the application of any provision of law or of any rule of a department or commission relating and limited to egress from dwellings, fire-retarding of public halls and stairs or height and requisite open spaces, provided that the basic spirit and intent of the law are maintained and public health, safety and welfare are preserved. Such variance or modification may be granted only after satisfactory proof, at a public hearing, of practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships to be encountered in complying with the strict letter of such law or rule.
Housing surveys; priority areas. In order to implement enforcement of this chapter, the Board shall cause housing surveys to be made and to designate areas of rehabilitation and conservation in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan of the city. The Board shall be empowered and they may designate the area or areas which shall receive immediate and/or current attention in the enforcement of this chapter.
Upon receipt of an appeal from a notice of violation, notice of denial of an application for a rental certificate and/or a notice of revocation of a rental certificate, the Board shall set a time and place for hearing such appeal and shall give the applicant at least seven days' written notice thereof. At such hearing, the applicant or his representative shall be given an opportunity to show cause why such notice of violation, notice of denial of an application for a rental certificate and/or a notice of revocation of a rental certificate should be modified or withdrawn.
[Amended 3-15-1993 by Ord. No. 93-12]
After a hearing held in accordance with Subsection D(1) above and upon review of the evidence presented, the Board shall sustain, modify or withdraw the notice of the Building Inspector. If the notice of violation is sustained or modified, such decision shall be deemed a final order. Where there are practical difficulties or unreasonable hardships in the literal enforcement of the provisions of this chapter, the Board shall have the power to authorize a variance from the provisions of this chapter, provided that the intent of the chapter shall be observed with respect to the safeguarding of public health, safety or welfare.
To enter or delegate to any employee or officer of the Board power to enter any building or property for the purpose of conducting investigations, surveys or inspections necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
To adopt a seal and to alter the same at its pleasure and to require that it be used for the authentication of orders and proceedings and for such other purpose as it may prescribe.
To conduct examinations and investigations, administer oaths, hear testimony and take proof under oath, if the Board should so determine, of any matter relevant or necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
To do all other things convenient and necessary to carry out its powers.
No member of the Board nor any of its employees shall pass upon any question relating to any premises in which he or any corporation in which he is a stockholder or security holder has any interest, directly or indirectly.
An appeal to the Board may be taken by any person aggrieved or by the head of any agency or department. An aggrieved person shall be construed as being one who is directly involved in the appeal before said Board or one who by virtue of being a neighboring property owner might be adversely affected by a determination thereof. Any action or decision by the Board may be reviewed on the law or the facts in the manner provided by and pursuant to the provisions of Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
An appeal shall stay all proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed from, unless the officer from whom the appeal is taken shall file with the Board a certificate that, by reason of facts stayed therein, a stay would, in his opinion, cause imminent peril to life or property, in which case, proceedings shall not be stayed otherwise than by a restraining order which, upon good cause shown, may be granted by the Board or by the Supreme Court, on application, at least three days notice of which shall be given to the officer from whom the appeal is being taken.
The Board shall have the power to charge and collect reasonable fees and to make rules governing such charges.