[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Tully 7-11-2007 by L.L. No. 5-2007. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This Chapter 210 shall be known as the "Property Maintenance Law of the Town of Tully."
It is hereby declared to be the policy of the Town Board to provide for the proper use of land to prevent unhealthful, hazardous or dangerous conditions due to the accumulation of brush, grass, rubbish or weeds, the growth of poisonous shrubs or weeds, the accumulation of stagnant and standing waters and the failure of general property maintenance, and to protect the public health, safety and general welfare of the residents of this Town.
By this chapter, the Town Board seeks to remove such dangers to health, life and property by requiring owners of land to cut, trim or remove brush, grass, rubbish or weeds or spray with herbicides, cut, trim, remove or destroy poisonous shrubs or weeds to mitigate or remove the accumulation of stagnant and standing waters and to correct the failure of general property maintenance and, upon default, to cause the same to be done and assess the costs against the real properties on which such conditions are found.
For purposes of this Chapter 210:
- Includes the following:
- A. The owner of the real property upon which any brush, grass or rubbish ordered cut, trimmed or removed pursuant to this chapter is located or upon which any poisonous shrubs or weeks ordered sprayed with herbicides, cut, trimmed, removed or destroyed are located.
- B. The owner of real property immediately fronting on a portion of any highway, street or road of the Town of Tully, upon which portion any rubbish ordered removed pursuant to this chapter is located.
- C. Any other person or entity who, alone or jointly or severally with others, shall have legal or equitable title to any premises, with or without accompanying actual possession thereof, or shall have possession, charge, care or control of any dwelling unit as owner or as executor, executrix, administrator, administratrix, trustee, receiver or guardian of the estate or as a mortgagee in possession, regardless of how such possession was obtained. Any person who is a lessee, sublessee or assignee of any part or all of any lease, property, dwelling or dwelling unit shall be deemed to be a co-owner with the lessor and shall have joint responsibility over the premises or portion of the premises leased, sublet or assigned by said lessee, sublessee or assignee.
- D. Contract not to alter responsibilities. The respective obligations and responsibilities of the owner on one hand and any person described in Subsection C on the other shall not be altered or affected by any agreement or contract by and between any of the aforesaid or between them and other parties which allocates or relieves such liability or expenses.
- Includes any individual, society, club, firm, partnership, corporation, Limited Liability Company, trust, other entity, or an association of persons, and the singular number shall include the plural number.
- A. Includes the following:
- (1) Lumber, junk, trash, debris, building materials, mounds or dirt or any other deleterious materials.
- (2) Any abandoned, discarded or unused objects or equipment, such as automobile parts, furniture, stoves, refrigerators, freezers, cans, containers or vehicle tires.
- (3) Any compost pile which is of such a nature as to spread or harbor disease, emit unpleasant odors or gas or attract rodents, vermin or other disease-carrying pests, animals or insets.
- (4) Any unsanitary matter or materials.
- (5) Yard and garden waste and solid waste, as said terms are defined in Chapter 234, Solid Waste, of the Code of the Town of Tully.
- (6) Tree trimmings, brush or shrubbery trimmings, trees, brush or shrubbery or portions thereof severed from their roots or uprooted trees, brush or shrubbery.
- B. However, for purposes of this chapter, the term "rubbish" shall not include any of the foregoing if stored in containers or plastic container bags conforming to the requirements of Chapter 234, Solid Waste, of the Code of the Town of Tully.
- An assembly of materials forming a construction framed of component structural parts, which exists for any occupancy or use.
Any person being the owner of real property in the Town of Tully, outside of incorporated areas, shall be required to cut, trim or remove brush, grass, rubbish or weeks or to spray real property with herbicides, cut, trim, remove or destroy poisonous shrubs or weeds.
No person being the owner of real property in the Town of Tully shall permit or maintain or allow to be permitted or maintained any growth of grass or weeds or other obnoxious growth to a height more than 10 inches on any part of said real property, whether occupied or unoccupied or on the area between the property line of an adjacent public highway or sidewalk and the pavement edge of the road.
No person being the owner of real property in the Town of Tully shall permit, maintain, deposit or scatter or allow to be permitted, maintained, deposited or scattered over the premises or private property any rubbish.
Any person being the owner of real property in the Town of Tully shall maintain the exterior of every structure or accessory structure including fences, in good repair, and all surfaces thereof shall be kept painted and finished where necessary for purposes of preservation and appearance. The same shall be maintained free of broken glass, loose shingles, crumbling stone or brick, excessive peeling of paint, graffiti or other conditions reflecting weathering or deterioration or inadequate maintenance.
Ground surface hazards or unsanitary conditions: holes, excavations, breaks, projections, objections and excretion of pets and other animals on paths, walks, driveways, parking lots and parking areas and other parts of the premises which are accessible to and used by persons on the premises. Any person being the owner of such real property in the Town of Tully shall ensure that all such holes and excavations shall be filled and repaired, walks and steps replaced and other conditions removed where necessary to eliminate hazards or unsanitary conditions.
Any person being the owner of such real property in the Town of Tully shall ensure that surface and subsurface waters of every kind, type and size (including, but not limited to, swimming pools, sump pump drains, or drainage and detention basins and ponds, man-made or otherwise) shall be maintained, controlled and when drained, in such a manner as to prevent damage to on-site and adjacent buildings and structures and to prevent the occurrence or continuance of stagnant waters causing offensive odors, growths, or appearances. Gutters, culverts, catch basins, drain inlets, stormwater sewers and sanitary sewers or other satisfactory drainage systems shall be provided and utilized where necessary and appropriate. In no case shall waters from any rain, storm or surface water drainage systems, or as a result of grading activities, be allowed to pool or settle on or flow over adjoining properties.
Any person being the owner of such real property in the Town of Tully shall ensure that all structures and premises subject to this chapter shall be kept free of all the following conditions: dead and dying trees, limbs or other natural growths which, by reason of rotting or deteriorating conditions or storm damage and weathering, constitute a hazard to persons in the vicinity thereof. Trees shall be kept pruned and trimmed to prevent such conditions; loose and overhanging objects and accumulations of ice and snow which, by reasons of location above ground level, constitute a danger of falling on persons in the vicinity thereof.
In any case where a provision of this chapter is found to be in conflict with a provision of any zoning, building, fire, safety or health ordinance or code, that provision which establishes the higher standard for the promotion and protection of the health and safety of the people shall prevail.
Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to abolish or impair existing remedies of the municipality or its officers or agencies relating to the removal or demolition of any buildings or structures which are deemed to be dangerous, unsafe or unsanitary.
No license or permit or other certificate of compliance with this code shall constitute a defense against any violation of any other local ordinance applicable to any structure or premises or use of such structure or premises, nor shall any provision herein relieve any owner, operator, tenant or occupant from complying with any such other provision or any official of the Town of Tully from enforcing any such other provision.
Whenever the Town Clerk, at the request of any Town officer or authorized agent, Highway Superintendent or Code Enforcement Officer serves or causes to be served a notice in the manner required hereinafter, requiring the owner(s) of land to cut, trim or remove brush, grass, rubbish or weeds or to spray with herbicides, cut, trim, remove or destroy poisonous shrubs, or weeds upon their premises or lands or to otherwise abate or remove any of the conditions specified in § 210-4 of this chapter, such notice shall specify the place, manner and time (not less than 10 days from receipt of said notice) within which such work shall be completed, and such work shall be completed within the time allotted in the notice. Notice shall be served upon such owner or owners by registered or certified mail, addressed to his or her or their last known address, and/or posting of said notice on the premises and mailing a copy of said notice to the owner at the address or addresses as recorded in the Town Assessor, Collector or Receiver of Taxes, on the same date as posted.
Emergency situations. Where the violations or conditions existing on the premises or lands are of such a nature as to constitute an immediate threat to human health or safety unless abated without delay, the Town may either cause the violation to be abated or order the owner to correct the violation or condition within a period of time not to exceed three days, and upon failure to do so, the condition may be abated pursuant to and subject to the provisions of this chapter. In addition, any other remedies set forth in other provisions of the Town of Tully Code or under New York State law shall be available.
Repeat offenses. Where the premises were subject to a previous proceeding under § 210-5A relative to the same or a similar, related or resultant violation or condition within 120 days prior to the occurrence or recurrence of the violation or condition subject of the instant proceeding, then the Town may cause the violation to be abated or order the owner to correct the violation or condition with a period of time not to exceed three days and upon failure to do so, the condition may be abated pursuant to and subject to the provisions of this chapter. In addition, any other remedies set forth in other provisions of the Town of Tully Code or under New York State law shall be available.
Whenever a notice or notices referred to in § 210-5 hereof has or have been served in the manner required under § 210-5 requiring such owner of the respective lots or parcel of land to cut, trim or remove brush, grass, rubbish or weeds or to spray with herbicides, cut, trim, remove or destroy poisonous shrubs or weeds or to mitigate or remove the accumulation of standing and stagnant waters and/or to correct the failure of general property maintenance, and if such owner shall neglect or fail to comply with requirements of such notice or notices within the time provided therein, the Town Supervisor, Code Enforcement Officer, or Highway Superintendent may authorize the work to be done.
In addition to the foregoing, and the provisions of § 210-7 hereof, a first violation of § 210-4 of this chapter shall be deemed an offense against this chapter and, upon such conviction, such offender may be punished as provided in Chapter 203. For a repeat offender as defined under § 210-5C, the maximum penalty shall be two times that set forth in Chapter 203. In either case, each week that such violation shall continue shall constitute a separate violation.
Special consideration. Special consideration shall be given to individuals that are elderly or disabled. If it is determined that an individual cannot maintain a reasonable level of upkeep of the owner-occupied residence because the individual is elderly or disabled and no capable person resides in the residence, enforcement may be suspended to give the person adequate time to correct the problem. Where the individual is a low-income individual and owns and occupies a residence, special consideration may be given to the person by providing adequate time to correct the problem. The foregoing notwithstanding, in the case of a low-income individual, if any of the items designated as blighted have to do with lawn and shrub maintenance, or keeping grounds free from rubbish and debris, additional time to correct the problem shall not be provided.
Relief from enforcement. In addition to the foregoing special consideration, the Town Board may also, for good cause shown, adopt a resolution dispensing with or relaxing enforcement of the foregoing provisions of this section and/or the assessment or collection of costs and penalties due to such enforcement. For purposes hereby, "good cause" may include, without limitation, the lack of actual notice to a property owner, consideration of inadequate or defective service of notice, existence of landlord/tenant or similar relationship, or other circumstances where arguably the criteria set forth under § 210-4 may not have been clearly violated or perceived as violated, but shall in any event consist only of grounds or circumstances under which the Town Board has determined that enforcement may not be fair or equitable.
Upon review by and a finding of the Town Board that the provisions of this Chapter 210, including in particular §§ 210-5 and 210-6, have been complied with or satisfied, and in the case of § 210-5B, that a bona fide emergency condition existed and that the condition removed and abated caused a danger to the public health or safety if not so removed or abated, the Town Board may adopt a resolution authorizing that the costs incurred by the Town in performance of the work, including any quantifiable internal administrative costs, be paid for out of the general Town funds appropriated by the Town Board for such purpose. The Town shall be reimbursed for the cost of the work performed or services rendered by direction of the Town Board, as herein provided and for any penalties assessed under § 210-6B hereof by assessment and levy upon the lots or parcels of land wherein such work was performed or such services rendered, and the expenses so assessed shall constitute a lien and charge on the real property on which it is levied until paid or otherwise satisfied or discharged and shall be collected in the same manner and at the same time as other Town charges.
Appointment of ex officio receiver of income. The Town Clerk may, with the approval of the Town Board certified to by resolution, bring an action to be appointed receiver ex officio of the rents and income of such property for the purpose of collecting the rents and income from such property and expending the same for the purpose of abating the conditions against which this chapter is directed. The procedure and other legal steps shall be governed by the provisions of applicable state statutes.
Whenever the Town has ordered the reimbursement for the costs of the work performed or services rendered as hereinabove provided in § 210-7 by assessment and levy upon the lot or parcels of lands whereon such work was performed or such services rendered, the Town Clerk may cause a notice of intent to levy such costs and expenses against said lots or parcels of land in a form approved by the Resolution of the Town Board from time to time hereinafter, to be recorded in the records of the Onondaga County Clerk's Office in order that such notice shall be indexed against the said premises or parcels of land as notice to subsequent transferees or other acquiring any interest in said lots or parcels of land of the intention by the Town to assess and levy the amount of such expenses upon said lots or parcels of land. Any recorded fees of the Onondaga County Clerk shall be included in the costs and expenses assessed and levied upon such lots or parcels.
The failure of the Town Clerk to record such notice of intent to levy shall not, however, affect or impair the validity of any lien or assessment of such costs and expenses against such lots or parcels of land, the owner(s) thereof or any subsequent transferees or others acquiring any interest in such lots or parcels of land.