City of Schenectady, NY
Schenectady County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended 5-26-1992 by Ord. No. 92-27]
A. 
Except in formal action of the Council of the City as hereinafter stated or the Signage and Sidewalk Merchandise Review Committee as set forth in Chapter 223, no owner or occupant of any premises in the City shall erect or suffer to remain in or upon the street or sidewalk in front of or on any side of such premises any sign poles, bootblack stand, bicycle rack, stepping block or canopy, nor shall anyone be permitted to carry on any business or trade upon any sidewalk, stoop or porch in said City, nor shall any sign or advertisement be inserted in or placed on the surface of any sidewalk.
B. 
An owner or operator of a business may apply for a permit to temporarily operate their business in the street or sidewalk for the purpose of selling alcohol or for a purpose related to the sale of alcohol. Permits under this subsection require compliance with all the applicable rules and regulations of the New York State Liquor Authority, evidence of adequate insurance, and such other conditions as may be required as to protect the health, welfare and safety of the public, as determined by the Corporation Counsel. The fee for a permit under this subsection shall be set from time to time by resolution.
[Added 11-25-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-29]
Except by formal action of the Council of the City as hereinafter stated, no such owner or occupant shall put up or suffer to remain upon or over the street or sidewalk in front of or alongside of such premises any sign or fixture more than 20 inches wide and not less than eight feet in the clear above the sidewalk, nor the outer edge of which shall be more than two feet from said building, except in the case of electric signs which may extend or project 10 feet in front or alongside of such premises, provided that the same shall in no case be hung so that the lower edge shall be at a lesser height than 10 feet from the surface of any sidewalk, passageway, driveway or alley, and provided, also, that such sign shall in no case extend beyond the curbline of any sidewalk. All electric signs erected or constructed within the provisions of this §§ 228-1 through 228-5 shall be under the supervision and subject to the approval of the City Engineer.
The owner or occupant of any premises in front of or alongside of which any electric sign shall have been erected or constructed as herein provided shall be liable and responsible to any party, persons or property which may in any way be damaged or injured because of the erection or construction of such sign.
Except by formal action of the Council of the City, no stoop, step or porch shall project into or occupy more than two feet of any sidewalk from the building line, nor shall any canopy, awning or window hood be hereafter put up unless the same is of linen or cotton goods and shall be at least 7 1/2 feet in the clear above the sidewalk, nor shall any goods or articles be hung or placed over any sidewalk more than four feet out from the building line and at least 7 1/2 feet in the clear above the sidewalk.
The Council of the City shall have the authority to grant a variation to stated prohibitions when a property owner can show that there are practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships in the way of carrying out the strict letter of the provisions of §§ 228-1 through 228-5; provided, however, that the safety and general welfare may be secured and substantial justice done.
No person shall leave, place or deposit in any of the streets in this City any building materials or any obstructions to the free use thereof without the written permission of the City Engineer.
It shall be unlawful for any person to deposit any earth or rubbish taken from any lot preparatory to building without first obtaining the written permission of the City Engineer, and such permission shall not be given so that such deposits shall occupy more than 1/4 of the street in front of and on the same side with the lot upon which such building is to be erected, and also provided that such person shall keep the sidewalk clear at all times for the safe and convenient use of the public, and the gutters shall remain unobstructed. When no longer necessary for the construction of the building, all such earth and rubbish shall be promptly removed and the carriageway and sidewalk carefully cleaned. Lighted lanterns shall be placed and maintained so as to give sufficient notice of the obstruction. Every such permission shall be given subject to police control and may be revoked at any time by the official granting it, the Chief of Police or the Council.
[Amended 6-26-1972 by Ord. No. 15813; 5-24-1982 by Ord. No. 82-55; 5-26-1992 by Ord. No. 92-21; 11-8-1993 by Ord. No. 93-37]
It shall be unlawful for any persons to encumber the sidewalks or streets of the City with merchandise, casks, boxes, tables, chairs, displays, portable signs or any other articles, except that the Office of Consumer Protection of the City shall have authority to grant a special permit for so-called "sidewalk sales" by merchants in the City, provided that review and approval by the Signage and Sidewalk Merchandise Review Committee as set forth in Chapter 223, Signs, is obtained, where applicable, and also provided that the applicant takes out and maintains at his expense the following amounts of insurance in which the City of Schenectady is named as an additional insured. This section shall not apply to Article VII, Sidewalk and Outdoor Cafes.
A. 
One million dollars for personal injuries or wrongful death for each person.
B. 
One million dollars for any one accident.
C. 
Two hundred fifty thousand dollars for property damage for each accident and an aggregate amount of not less than $500,000.
[Amended 9-15-1980 by Ord. No. 80-128; 6-2-1986 by L.L. No. 3-1986]
No person shall occupy or use any street or any public square of the City or erect any booth or platform therein for the purpose of laying, opening or exposing for sale provisions or goods of any kind or that which is provided by Chapter 194, Peddlers and Vendors.
A. 
No person shall erect or maintain or cause to be erected or maintained any box, board or other article or thing or use any tree box in any street of the City for the purpose of signs or advertising nor swing nor hang or cause to be swung or hung any flag or awning across any of the streets or sidewalks of the City for a like purpose.
B. 
The Chief of Police is hereby authorized to remove any box, board, flag, awning or other article maintained contrary hereto and to enter upon or in any building or premises for that purpose.
C. 
Fees. For any revocable permit granted as an exception to the provisions of §§ 228-1 to 228-10 for any fixture, structure or thing in the public right-of-way, there shall be paid to the City a fee of $100, which shall be tendered to the City at the time of application for said revocable permit. For the issuance of any contractor’s work permit for operations to take place in the public way, there shall be paid a fee of $750 per permit.
[Added 1-13-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-1; amended 12-27-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-20]
D. 
In the event the work affecting any public facility and subject to a permit issued by the City Engineer is not completed prior to the expiration of the permit, the permit shall be automatically extended weekly, without application, for a period not to exceed four weeks (28 days) from the expiration date of the original permit. In the event of such an extension, there shall be payable to the City an additional permit fee equal to 1/4 (25%) of the original permit fee payable for each week the work remains incomplete. If the work is not complete within four additional weeks (28 days) following the expiration of the original permit, a further permit extension must be requested in writing, with payment of the full fee as if a new permit were issued.
[Added 4-11-2005 by Ord. No 2005-4]
No person shall spit upon any sidewalk or the platform of any railroad station or upon the floors of public buildings and places. It shall not be lawful for any person to throw or deposit any filthy or dirty water upon their own lots or buildings in such manner that the same may flow or be discharged into any street of this City. It shall not be lawful for any person to carry or transport any of the substances over or through the streets of the City except in a vehicle with a tight box or compartment so loaded as not to be scattered along said streets.
[Amended 7-20-1992 by Ord. No. 92-29; 8-1-1994 by Ord. No. 94-25]
A. 
No person shall take down or remove any barricade, obstruction, light or posted sign indicating such obstruction on a street or part of a street put up for the purpose of preventing travel while a pavement, drain, sewer or other improvement in the street is under construction.
B. 
Driving through standing water where flood signs are posted is strictly prohibited.
No person shall, in any manner, interfere with, disturb, dig, take up or deface, mutilate or in any manner injure any of the drains, streets, sidewalks or the appurtenances thereto without the written consent of the City Engineer.
All sewers, water or gas mains or conduits shall be laid in the street before the paving or repaving thereof.
No person shall be permitted to make, construct or lay any drain, sewer, gas or water pipe from his lot to connect with or enter in any drain, sewer, gas or water pipe which has been made or constructed unless the permission of such person directly abutting upon and in front of any drain, sewer, gas or water pipe laid in such street for any use is obtained and unless a permit therefor has been granted by the Council and the payment of such sum of money to the City Treasurer as shall be required by the City Engineer for the purpose of defraying the cost and expense of making such connection has been made.
[Amended 6-2-1986 by L.L. No. 3-1986]
No person shall, with a vehicle, pass over any pavement which has not been completed and opened to public use when a railing or other obstruction has been placed about such pavement to secure the same against use. If there is no such railing or obstruction, a notice by the City Engineer or his employees against using such pavement must be posted.
[Amended 12-30-1985 by Ord. No. 85-100A]
A. 
It shall be the duty of every owner of any building or lot of land within the City fronting or abutting on a paved sidewalk or fire hydrant to remove and clear away or cause to be removed and cleared away snow, ice and debris from so much of said sidewalk and/or fire hydrant as abuts on said building or lot of land for the whole width thereof and from the gutters for the space of 18 inches from the curbstone line. In the case of snow and ice, said sidewalks, fire hydrants and gutters shall be cleared of snow, sleet or freezing rain within 24 hours of cessation of precipitation. In the event that snow and ice on a sidewalk and fire hydrant has become so congealed that it cannot be removed without injury to the pavement and/or fire hydrants, the person or entities charged with its removal shall, within the time listed above, cause enough sand or other abrasive to be put on the sidewalk, fire hydrants and gutters to make travel thereon reasonably safe and shall, as soon thereafter as weather permits, cause said sidewalks, fire hydrants and gutters to be thoroughly cleared. At all times, such sidewalks, fire hydrants and gutters shall be free and clear from all dirt, filth and other obstructions or encumbrances so as to allow the citizens to use the sidewalks and crosswalks. In no case, may a dangerous condition be permitted.
[Amended 2-12-1996 by Ord. No. 96-09]
B. 
It shall be the duty of the police of the City to see that the requirements of this section are complied with and obeyed. In addition to the Police Department's powers in relation to the enforcement of City ordinances, the police may serve or cause to be served a written notice upon the owner specifying the alleged violation of this section, and such notice may provide a reasonable time for compliance. In cases where the police are unable for any reason to compel compliance with the provisions of this section, such fact, with the reasons thereof and the location of the premises, shall be reported immediately in writing to the City Engineer.
C. 
In addition to the provisions of Subsection E, if the owner shall not comply with the provisions of this section and keep the sidewalks and gutters free from ice, snow, dirt, filth and other obstructions and encumbrances, as required by this section, the City Engineer may cause such work to be done and may cause such ice, snow, dirt, filth or other obstruction or encumbrances to be removed, and the expense of so doing, including administrative costs, when certified by the City Engineer, shall be paid by the owner of the property abutting on the sidewalk or gutter so cleaned. The cost and expense of doing such work may be collected in an action at law or may, if not paid within 10 days, be added to the owner's tax bill or otherwise enforced in any manner provided by law.
D. 
No person shall sweep any sidewalk or remove dirt or dust therefrom, unless such sidewalk shall first be sprinkled with water so as to prevent dust from arising from such sweeping or removing of such dirt or dust, or unless the sidewalk is swept or such dirt or dust is removed from such sidewalk in such a manner that no appreciable dust shall arise by reason of such sweeping or removal of dirt. No person, partnership or corporation or other entity may deposit or cause to be deposited any snow or ice on or against a fire hydrant or on any sidewalk, roadway, gutter or street curb.
E. 
Any person, partnership, corporation or other entity who violates any provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not exceeding $150 or by a penalty not exceeding $500 to be recovered in a civil action.
[Amended 12-11-1989 by Ord. No. 89-80; 11-3-1997 by Ord. No. 96-36]
A. 
The owner of lands abutting any street, highway, alley or other public place in the City shall repair and maintain the sidewalks adjoining his lands and shall keep the same in a safe state of repair and free from defects and free and clear of snow, ice and all other obstructions. Such owner shall be liable for any injury or damage by reason of omission, failure or negligence to maintain or repair such sidewalk and keep it free from defects or to remove snow, ice or other obstructions therefrom or for a violation or nonobservance of any ordinance or regulation relating to maintaining and repairing sidewalks and keeping them free from defects and the removal of snow, ice and other obstructions.
B. 
There shall be required for the construction, repair or replacement of any sidewalk a permit issued from the Department of Public Works as set forth in § 228-24. Sidewalks shall be constructed and repaired with concrete only, except that in historic districts brick and slate shall be allowed, and unless otherwise permitted by this chapter and allowed by the Department of Public Works. All construction, repair, or replacement shall be to such specifications and standards as the Department of Public Works shall from time to time promulgate. Where a sidewalk may have multiple functions, such as portion of a bike path, the Department of Public Works may authorize in writing the use of material other than concrete for the construction and repair thereof.
[Amended 7-11-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-12]
[Amended 11-3-1997 by Ord. No. 96-36]
In case any sidewalk in the City shall, at any time, in the judgment of the Commissioner of Public Works or the Assistant City Engineer, require repairing or improving, or shall have been made of improper material, the Commissioner of Public Works or the Assistant City Engineer shall serve or cause to be served a notice upon the owner of the lot or piece of land in front of which such sidewalk is out of repair or in an unsafe condition or constructed of an improper material, requiring the owner or owners thereof, within 10 days from the service of such notice, to repair or improve or correct such sidewalk so as to make the same in good repair and in a safe condition or of the proper material. Such notice shall be served on such owner personally or by leaving the same at the residence of such owner or owners with a person of suitable age and discretion or by posting the same conspicuously on such premises or by mailing the same addressed to such owner or owners at Schenectady, New York. Where there are two or more owners of any such property, service upon one of them shall be sufficient.
[Amended 2-10-1997 by Ord. No. 97-01; 11-3-1997 by Ord. No. 96-36]
If any owner or owners shall neglect or refuse to repair or improve or correct a sidewalk within the time limited therefor by the notice given in accordance with § 228-19, the Department of Public Works may forthwith make such repairs or improvements or corrections in such manner as it shall deem proper and suitable and shall file a certificate of the expense thereof, together with a description of the property in front of which such improvement or repairs or corrections were made, with the City Clerk, who shall certify the same to the Council at the next regular meeting thereafter, and the expense of making such improvements or repairs or corrections shall be paid by the owner of the property abutting on the sidewalk so improved or repaired or corrected and may be collected in an action at law or may be determined, assessed and collected in the manner provided by the Charter of the City, or, at the option of the Commissioner of Public Works or the Assistant City Engineer, if the same has not been paid within 10 days of demand therefor, the Department of Public Works shall send an attested bill of said cost or expense to the Director of Finance, and upon such transmission the attested bill shall become a municipal lien for the amount thereof, and the Director of Finance shall add the amount of said attested bill to the next tax bill of the owner.
[Added 6-19-1995 by Ord. No. 95-17]
A. 
No public pay phones shall be permitted on any City street, highway, alley, public grounds, City right-of-way and outdoor location in the City of Schenectady without first obtaining a permit from the Commissioner of Public Works or his designated agent.
B. 
Each permit application shall include a sketch showing each proposed location and installation details, including specifications showing that phones will have the following capabilities:
(1) 
Restricting the hours of outgoing calls.
(2) 
Squelching pagers involved in illicit activity by limiting the number of digits that can be entered to 11 or as determined by City Council.
(3) 
Produce listings of numbers dialed from pay phones for a period of at least 33 days from the date requested by the City.
(4) 
Provide access to emergency Area Code 911 during restricted calling hours.
(5) 
Contain toll-fraud tracking.
C. 
The Commissioner of Public Works, with the recommendation of the Police Chief, shall approve and issue the permit. The Commissioner of Public Works shall also approve the design for aesthetic compatibility with the area in which the phone is to be placed.
D. 
Permit fee and application. An annual permit fee of $100 per public pay phone shall be paid for all public pay phones by all public pay phone companies. Application for a permit shall be filed with the Commissioner of Public Works not later than March 31, and existing permits can be renewed on or before June 1 with payment of the annual fee of $100.
[Amended 11-20-1995 by Ord. No. 95-37; 1-13-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-1]
E. 
Liability of permit holder insurance. In consideration of the granting of the permit required in this article by the City, the permit holder shall indemnify and save harmless the City from all claims, suits, actions, damages, judgments and costs of every name and description, in any way arising out of or resulting from the erection or maintenance of telephone booths under the permit and shall defend on behalf of the City all claims, suits, actions or proceedings which may be instituted against the City, provided that the City shall, in the event of any accident or other claim, give the permit holder written notice of all accidents or claims to which this indemnity agreement relates, and the permit holder shall present to the City a certificate of insurance, naming the City of Schenectady as additional insured, prior to the issuance of the permit, in the amounts for liability insurance of not less than $1,000,000 for each person and $1,000,000 for each accident and for property damages in an amount not less than $250,000 with an aggregate of $500,000 for each injury.
F. 
Manner of installation; maintenance. Installation of public telephones, including power connections and site preparations, shall be made by the permit holder in accordance with the City Code and specifications contained therein. Phones shall be maintained and cleaned at the permit holder's expense.
(1) 
No phone shall be placed or used on or in any street or public ground in such a manner as to obstruct or interfere with any owner's easement of access to any premises abutting upon or near the location of such booth or the wiring or appurtenances attached thereto, be permitted to become or be a nuisance or hazard to users of the public streets and public grounds or be permitted to obstruct the vision of motorists at street intersections.
(2) 
Owners of phones that present a public safety problem and that require the implementation of the technology outlined in Subsection B(1) through (5) shall be notified by the Police Chief of the requirement of implementing the technology, with a statement giving the reasons for implementation.
G. 
Payment of fees to City; records of receipts. The public telephone company shall furnish accurate records of receipts and shall pay commissions to the City on charges collected at each City-owned location after deducting lighting costs in connection with the service, all in accordance with the regulations and the standard rate of commission adopted by the permit holder and/or the Public Service Commission from time to time.
H. 
Termination of service.
(1) 
The public telephone permit holder may terminate service and remove any or all upon at least 10 days' prior written notice to the Commissioner of Public Works. Upon termination, the permit holder shall restore the site of any removed booth to a safe and proper condition to the satisfaction of the City.
(2) 
Those with existing pay phones whose permit applications are denied and those who have existing pay phones whose permit is revoked for violation of this section and/or whose phones are found to be a public nuisance or public safety hazard shall remove the phone and restore the site to a safe and proper condition to the satisfaction of the City.
I. 
Installation or a continuance of a public pay phone in violation of this section, including technology requirements outlined in § 228-20.1B and conditions contained on the permit, shall be a violation punishable by a fine of $500 and/or a sentence of 15 days of community service.
J. 
Appeal. An aggrieved applicant who is denied a permit or an aggrieved permit holder whose permit is revoked may, within 30 days of notice of adverse decision, appeal to the City Council Public Service and Utility Committee for reversal. Said appeal may be in letter form.
K. 
Vandalism. Persons intentionally damaging City-owned telephone equipment shall be prosecuted pursuant to Article 145 of the New York State Penal Law entitled "Criminal Mischief and Related Offenses."
[Added 2-11-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-3; amended 5-9-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-10]
A. 
No permit to use or open any City right-of-way which would require resurfacing or reconstruction, except for emergency work as determined by the City Engineer, shall be issued to any such person within a five-year period after the completion of the construction of any capital project performed by the City relating to such City right-of-way. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the City Engineer may issue a permit to open the City right-of-way within a five-year period following the construction of any capital project upon a finding that the need for the work could not have reasonably been anticipated prior to or during the construction of any capital project. In the event a permit is issued to open any City right-of-way within five years following the construction of any capital project, all persons, corporations or other entities completing asphalt restoration within the City right-of-way shall make such restorations or repairs in accordance with the standards and details of the Department of Engineering. The permit holder must guarantee such restorations or repairs for a period of five years from the City's date of acceptance.
B. 
Right-of-way permission agreement. The City of Schenectady, by nonexclusive right-of-way permission agreement, may hereafter authorize a provider of fiber-optic or similar telecommunications services to enter in or upon the public right-of-way for the purpose of installing, erecting, maintaining or operating fiber-optic or other similar telecommunications equipment within or upon the City of Schenectady's public rights-of-way in accordance with the provisions of this section and all other applicable laws or regulations.
C. 
Any provider of fiber-optic or similar telecommunications services seeking a right-of-way permission agreement shall be required to satisfy the following requirements:
(1) 
Initial permit fee. An initial permit fee in the amount of $50,000 shall be payable to the City of Schenectady in connection with any right-of-way permission agreement. The City shall have the right to accept the installation or provision of services or equipment having an equivalent value, as determined by the Department of Engineering and Public Works, in satisfaction of the initial permit fee. The determination as to whether or not to accept such services/equipment shall be in the sole judgment and discretion of the City.
(2) 
Annual permit fee. An annual permit fee equal to the greater of 5% of the grantee's gross revenues attributed to facilities located within the City of Schenectady, or $5,000, shall be paid to the City of Schenectady pursuant to the right-of-way permission/agreement.
(3) 
Nonexclusive right-of-way permission. In accordance with a right-of-way permission agreement, the Commissioner of Public Works/City Engineer shall, subject to receipt of all approved maps, drawings or other documents or information as shall be required by the Department of Engineering and Public Works, issue any necessary contractor permit(s) authorizing the construction, installation, maintenance, location, upgrading, repair, relocation, operation, reconstruction, removal and replacement of the grantee's facilities in the public right-of-way pursuant to the agreement.
(4) 
Standard right-of-way permission agreement. In accordance with the requirements of this section, the Commissioner of Public Works/City Engineer may promulgate and adopt any necessary rules and regulations governing the terms of the right-of-way permission agreement for the City of Schenectady.
[Added 11-17-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-22]
A. 
Criteria for the ceremonial naming of a portion of a City street.
(1) 
Any individual or organization may apply to the City Clerk to ceremonially name a portion of a street that has not already been ceremonially named, but streets may only be ceremonially named after a prominent person who is:
(a) 
A real person; and
(b) 
A person who has achieved prominence as a result of his or her significant, positive contribution to the United States of America, or the City of Schenectady, or a local community.
(2) 
The portion of the street proposed for ceremonial naming must begin and terminate in not more than two blocks.
(3) 
Names to be avoided:
(a) 
Street names being duplicated from an existing street;
(b) 
Curse words or derogatory terms;
(c) 
Cumbersome, corrupted or modified names;
(d) 
Discriminatory or derogatory names from the point of view of race, sex, color, creed, political affiliation, or any other illegal factor;
(e) 
Reuse of former street names.
B. 
Application guidelines.
(1) 
Applications and official petition formers shall be available in the City Clerk's office and available upon request.
(2) 
The cost of ceremonially naming a street shall be set by resolution and will substantially reflect the cost of sign materials and labor.
(3) 
An applicant shall, after filing a completed application form and paying any applicable fees:
(a) 
Obtain a minimum of 500 signatures of adults aged 18 years or older in support of the proposal. All signatures must be from legal residents of the City of Schenectady at large, and 75% of which must be from the neighborhood of the street proposed for ceremonial naming.
(b) 
Provide the City Clerk supporting information, including a complete biography of the proposed honoree with references of substantiation, such as honors received and contributions to the national and local community.
(4) 
Once an application form is completed and filed with the City Clerk, the party will have 180 days to get the required number of signatures and provide the other required information to the City Clerk, which she or he shall then pass on to the City Council for review.
C. 
City Council review.
(1) 
Once the City Council receives a complete application from the City Clerk, a resolution calling for a public hearing on the application shall be introduced at the next City Council meeting by the Council President.
(2) 
At the next City Council meeting after the public hearing, the resolution shall be placed on the agenda by the Council President for a formal vote to approve or deny the ceremonial naming of the street.
(3) 
The Council may approve or deny the application for any reason or reasons the members determine to be in the best interest of the City. If the Council denies the application, an application that is the same or substantially similar may not be considered for a period of at least two years from the date of the formal vote.