This article shall be known as the "Building Code Administration and Lot Control Ordinance."
The purpose of this article is to promote the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the Town of Webster by furnishing the administration for the coordination of Town building and enforcement of building regulations, the manner and method of issuing permits for any building or structure and for regulating the use of premises for building purposes and the construction of approaches thereto within highway limits and to establish penalties for the violation of such regulations.
There is hereby established in the Town of Webster Department of Public Works, a Building Department, to coordinate the various functions of Town building and for the administration and enforcement of the provisions of all laws, ordinances, rules, regulations and orders applicable to the location, design, materials, construction, alteration, repair, equipment, maintenance, use, occupancy, removal and demolition of buildings and structures and appurtenances located in the Town of Webster and the construction of approaches thereto within highway limits.
There is hereby established the position of Building Inspector to administer and enforce the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, the Energy Code and this article and who shall be in charge of the Building Department. The Building Inspector shall report to the Commissioner of Public Works. The Building Inspector shall be appointed by the Town Board from the appropriate civil service list on the basis of his administrative and technical qualifications and his building and construction experience.
The Town Board may appoint such Assistant Building Inspectors or other employees of the Building Department as it deems necessary for proper administration and enforcement of this article. Assistant Building Inspectors shall be appointed from the appropriate civil service list on the basis of their technical qualifications and building and construction experience. Building Inspectors and other employees of the Building Department shall report to and be directly responsible to the Building Inspector.
In the absence or disability of the Building Inspector, the Town Supervisor shall have the power to appoint and designate a code-certified individual to act in behalf of the Building Inspector and to exercise all of the powers conferred upon him by this article.
No official or employee of the Building Department shall, while acting pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, be personally liable for any damage that may accrue to persons or property as the result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his official duties, provided that such acts are performed in good faith and without gross negligence.
The Building Inspector shall receive applications and issue permits for the erection, alteration, removal and demolition of buildings or structures or parts thereof and shall examine the premises for which such applications have been received or such permits have been issued for the purpose of ensuring compliance with laws, ordinances and regulations governing building construction, except that he may accept written reports of examination from certified inspectors approved by the Town Board.
He shall issue all appropriate notices or orders to remove illegal or unsafe conditions, to require the necessary safeguards during construction and to ensure compliance during the entire course of construction with the requirements of such laws, ordinances or regulations. He shall make all inspections which are necessary or proper for carrying out his duties, except that he may accept written reports of inspection from building inspectors or other employees of the Building Department or from generally recognized and authoritative service and inspection bureaus, provided that the same are certified by a responsible official thereof and approved by the Town Board.
Whenever the same may be necessary or appropriate to assure compliance with the provisions of applicable laws, ordinances or regulations covering building construction, he may require the performance of tests in the field by experienced, professional persons or by accredited and authoritative testing laboratories or service bureaus or agencies.
The Building Inspector shall keep official records as required by New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and Energy Code of all transactions and activities of the Building Department, including all applications received, permits and certificates issued or denied, inspection reports and notices and orders issued. All such records shall be kept in the Town Hall and shall be public records open to public inspection during business hours. Records shall be kept in accordance with the State Archives and Records Administration Record Retention and Disposition Schedule.
The Building Inspector shall, monthly, submit to the Town Board a written report and summary of all business conducted by the Building Department, including permits and certificates issued or denied, orders and notices promulgated, inspections and tests made and appeals or litigation pending.
The Building Inspector may request and shall receive, so far as may be necessary in the discharge of his duties, the assistance and cooperation of the Police, Fire, Health and Highway Departments and the Town Engineer and of all other municipal officials exercising any jurisdiction over the construction, use or occupancy of buildings or the installation of equipment therein. Where necessary, because of the size of the structure or the complexity of its construction or because proposed construction is original or novel in its design or use of materials, the proposed plans may be referred by the Building Inspector to the Department of State, New York State Code Division or, with the approval of the Town Board, the services of a professional engineer or architect qualified to inspect and approve such design or construction may be engaged.
No person, firm or corporation shall, without first obtaining a separate building permit from the Building Department for each instance:
Commence the erection, construction, enlargement, alteration, removal, improvement, demolition, conversion or change in the nature of the occupancy of any building or structure or cause the same to be done;
Install or replace a solid-fuel-burning appliance, chimney or flue without obtaining a permit from the Building Department or Fire Marshal's office;
Remove or change any required means of egress, or the rearrangement of parts of a structure in a manner which affects egress;
Install a stationary standby emergency generator;
Exemptions. No building permit shall be required for work in the following categories:
Performance of ordinary repairs which are not structural in nature;
Installation of swings and other playground equipment associated with a one- or two-family dwelling;
Construction of retaining walls unless such walls support a surcharge or impound Class I, II or IIIA liquids;
Replacement of any equipment, provided the replacement does not alter the equipment's listing or render it inconsistent with the equipment's original specifications. This exemption does not apply to any solid-fuel-burning appliances administered and inspected by the Fire Marshal's office;
Construction of temporary motion-picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery;
Installation of window awnings supported by an exterior wall of a one- or two-family dwelling;
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;
Repairs, provided that such repairs do not involve the removal or cutting away of a load-bearing wall, partition, or any portion thereof, or any structural beam or load-bearing component.
The removal from service of all or part of a fire-protection system, as defined in § 124-12C(4)of this Code, for any period of time. Notification to the Fire Marshal's office is required before commencing any work of this exemption.
Application for a building permit shall be made to the Building Inspector on forms provided by the Building Department and shall contain the following information:
A description of the land on which the proposed work is to be done.
A statement of the use or occupancy of all parts of the land and of the building or structure.
The estimated cost of construction of the proposed work.
The full name and address of the owner and the applicant, and the names and addresses of their responsible officers if either of them are corporations.
A permit from the Superintendent of Highways having jurisdiction for the right-of- way, approving the plans for any driveway approach and for any required or proposed grading or construction within the highway limit, together with the statement of said Superintendent as to the amount of security, if any, required to insure the proper installation of said driveway approach or grading and construction within the highway limits.
Where required, a permit from the Monroe County Department of Health when septic tanks are proposed for sanitary waste disposal.
Verification that all easements shown on the approved site plan or subdivision plan have been filed with Monroe County.
Such other information as may reasonably be required by the Building Inspector to establish compliance of the proposed work with the requirements of any applicable building laws, ordinances and regulations.
Application shall be made by the owner or lessee or agent of either or by the architect, engineer or builder employed in connection with the proposed work. Where such application is made by a person other than the owner, it shall be accompanied by a statement signed by the owner or applicant that the proposed work is authorized by the owner and that the applicant is authorized to make such application.
Submission of plans.
Each application for a building permit shall be accompanied by duplicate copies of plans, including a site plan drawn to scale, showing the location and size of all existing and proposed new structures on the site, the nature and character of the work to be performed and the materials to be incorporated, distance from lot lines and the relationship of structures on adjoining streets, walks and alleys. Where the structures are for a commercial or industrial use, the Building Inspector may require details of structural, mechanical and electrical work, including computations, stress diagrams, specifications and other essential technical data.
The site plan shall indicate all existing and proposed finished grades, locations and plans of sanitary waste disposal, a plan for any driveway approach to the premises and any alteration by grading or otherwise of any portion of the public highway or highways or a public right-of-way adjoining the premises. Said site plan shall be prepared in accordance with all applicable statutes and ordinances of the Town of Webster and in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Town, and, when required, having received approval of the Town of Webster Planning Board.
Where required by Article 147 of the Education Law of the State of New York, plans shall contain the original signature and seal of a licensed architect or professional engineer or land surveyor. Each application shall contain a certificate executed by the applicant that the plans and proposed construction conform to and will comply with the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, the Energy Code, and all applicable Town ordinances and regulations.
The Building Inspector may waive the requirement for filing plans when the work involved is of a minor nature and the building operation is adequately described in the application.
Amendments to the building plans may be filed at any time prior to the completion of the work, subject to the approval of the Building Inspector. These changes must conform to the approved site plan. More than one application may be filed with the same set of duplicate plans for dwellings to be built in subdivisions, provided that the dwellings are identical in size and detail.
Criteria for issuance.
No building permits will be issued until the stone road bed has been properly installed, approved by the Town, and will support emergency vehicles.
All building permits issued in areas where the required paving binder has not been installed will contain the disclaimer "Building permit issued on the contingency that there could be a problem of accessibility to new construction."
No building permits will be issued until all hydrants are in, tested and operational as required by Chapter 124, Fire Prevention.
No certificate of occupancy will be issued until the required paving binder has been installed.
The Commissioner of Public Works (or his deputies) may waive any of the above subsections only upon a written application made to the Commissioner of Public Works, the Fire Marshal and the fire district having jurisdiction over the area of the building upon good cause shown that such waiver and issuance of a building permit will not endanger life or public safety and where the construction completed otherwise complies with all applicable laws, ordinances, codes and regulations.
The Building Inspector shall examine or cause to be examined all applications for permits and the plans, specifications and documents filed therewith, and their conformance with zoning regulations and the approved site plan or subdivision plan. He shall approve or disapprove the application within 10 working days unless the plans are being inspected by authoritative personnel outside the Building Department as provided in § 86-12.
Editor's Note: See Ch. 225, Zoning.
Upon approval of the application and upon receipt of all fees as required by the Town Fee Schedule therefor and upon the receipt of any required security, the Building Inspector shall issue a building permit to the applicant upon the form prescribed by him and shall affix his signature or cause his signature to be affixed thereto.
Upon approval of the application, two sets of building plans shall be endorsed with the word "APPROVED." One set of such approved plans shall be retained in the files of the Building Department, and the other set shall be returned to the applicant, together with the building permit, and shall be kept at the building site in good condition and open to inspection by the Building Inspector or his authorized representative at all reasonable times.
If the application, together with the plans and other documents filed therewith, describes proposed work that does not conform to all of the requirements of the applicable building regulations, zoning regulations, and approved site or subdivision plan, the Building Inspector shall disapprove the same and shall return the plans and documents to the applicant. The Building Inspector shall cause such refusal, together with the reasons therefor, to be transmitted to the applicant in writing.
A building permit shall be effective to authorize the commencing of work in accordance with the application and plans on which it is based for a period of 12 months after the date of its issuance. For good cause, the Building Inspector may allow a maximum of two successive extensions for periods not exceeding three months each.
The issuance of a building permit shall constitute authority to the applicant to proceed with the work in accordance with the approved plans and in accordance with the applicable building laws, ordinances or regulations. All work shall conform to the approved application and plans, except that no building permit shall be valid insofar as it authorized the performance of work or the use of materials that are not in accordance with the requirements of the applicable building regulations. All construction must be completed in accordance with the approved plans within the time limits of the building permit. Failure to complete all work shall be considered a violation of this chapter.
Where no construction work on the superstructure of a building has been commenced within 120 days of the date of the issuance of the permit, the excavations and/or foundations shall be deemed abandoned and the owner and contractor notified, in writing, by the Building Inspector to commence work on the superstructure or to fill in the excavation and/or the foundation up to the original ground level with clean earth and to seal up any sewer connections that may exist on the property. Said notice shall be served on the owner and the contractor by registered mail at their last known place of residence. In the event that the owner or contractor fails to comply with the requirements of this section within 20 days after the date of the mailing of said notice, the building permit issued for the building shall be canceled, notwithstanding any other provisions of this article, and the Town of Webster shall place the fill and seal the sewer openings, if any, and said owner of the premises shall reimburse the Town for any expenditures thereby involved, or the Town may elect to assess the cost of so doing on the tax roll of the property involved.
For the purpose of this article, the division of any parcel of land into five or more parcels along existing or proposed streets, highways, easements or rights-of-way for sale or for rent, regardless of why the subdivision is made or what use is to be made of the land, regardless of whether the parcels to be sold or offered for sale or leased for any period of time are described by metes and bounds or by reference to a map or survey of the property or by any other method of description and regardless of whether the parcels are contiguous, is hereby declared to be a subdivision. No permit shall be issued for any construction in a subdivision as herein defined unless a map of said subdivision has been prepared in accordance with all applicable statutes and ordinances of the Town of Webster and in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Town of Webster Planning Board and has received approval of said Planning Board and been filed in the Monroe County Clerk's office.
Editor's Note: See Ch. 192, Subdivision of Land.
Before receiving a building permit, the owner or his agent shall pay the building permit fee in accordance with the schedule of fees duly adopted by the Webster Town Board. The building permit fee shall be refunded to the applicant only if no construction has been commenced under the permit and the permit has either expired or is surrendered to the Building Inspector, but in either of such events, the Town shall retain the minimum building permit fees set forth on such schedule of fees.
Every applicant, when required to do so, must show proof that he has deposited the appropriate security deposit with the Superintendent of Highways that has jurisdiction for the right-of-way.
The Building Inspector may revoke a building permit theretofore issued and approved in the following instances:
Where he finds that there has been any false statement or misrepresentation as to a material fact in the application or plans on which the building permit was based.
Where he finds that the work performed under the permit is not being prosecuted in accordance with the provisions of the application or plans.
Where the person to whom a building permit has been issued fails to or refuses to comply with a stop order issued by the Building Inspector.
Whenever the Building Inspector has reasonable grounds to believe that work on any building or structure is being prosecuted in violation of the provisions of the applicable building laws, ordinances or regulations or not in conformity with the provisions of an application or plans on the basis of which a building permit was issued or in an unsafe and dangerous manner, he shall notify the owner of the property or the owner's agent or the person performing the work to suspend all work, and any persons shall forthwith stop such work and suspend all building activities until the stop order has been rescinded. Such order and notice shall be 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 under construction and sending a copy of the same by regular mail to the address designated in the building permit or the property owner.
Any employee of the Building Department, upon showing of proper credentials and in the discharge of his duties, may enter upon any building, structure or premises where there is a permit at any reasonable hour, and no person shall interfere with or prevent such entry.
No building hereafter erected shall be used or occupied in whole or in part until a certificate of occupancy shall have been issued by the Building Inspector.
No building hereafter enlarged, extended or altered or upon which work has been performed which required the issuance of a building permit shall continue to be occupied or used for more than 30 days after the completion of the alteration or work unless a certificate of compliance shall have been issued by the Building Inspector.
No change shall be made in the use or type of occupancy of an existing building unless an administrative change of use shall have been issued by the Building Inspector, the Fire Marshal, and the Commissioner of Public Works.
Before the issuance of a certificate of occupancy in the case of new structures or external additions, the applicant for said certificate shall present for filing to the Building Inspector an instrument survey map containing the signature and seal of a licensed land surveyor showing the location of all buildings or structures on the lot or land in question and easements and a copy of the building plans in microfilm format approved by the Town. In addition, for commercial and industrial projects, the applicant must supply a certificate signed by the engineer verifying that the project has been completed in accordance with the approved site plan. Where weather does not permit the completion of all required items, the applicant must provide a financial guarantee to ensure completion of the site plan. The Building Inspector shall examine or cause to be examined all buildings, structures and sites for which an application has been filed for a building permit to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, demolish or change the use or occupancy, and he may conduct such inspection as he deems appropriate from time to time during and upon completion of the work for which a building permit has been issued.
When, after final inspection, it is found that the proposed work has been completed in accordance with the applicable building laws, approved site plans, ordinances and regulations and also in accordance with the application, plans and specifications filed in connection with the issuance of the building permit, the Building Inspector shall issue a certificate of occupancy upon the form provided by him. If it is found that the proposed work does not so comply, the Building Inspector shall refuse to issue a certificate of occupancy and shall order the work completed in conformity with the building permit and in conformity with the applicable building regulations.
The certificates of occupancy shall certify that the work has been completed and that the proposed use and occupancy is in conformity with provisions of the applicable building laws, ordinances and regulations and shall specify the use or uses and the extent thereof to which the building or structure or its several parts may be put.
No certificate of occupancy shall be issued by the Building Inspector for a commercial or industrial building or multiple-family dwelling unless and until the builder or owner thereof submits to the Building Inspector a certificate of the registered architect or licensed engineer who signed the plans submitted to the Building Inspector, with the application for a building permit, that such building has been substantially completed in accordance with the plans and specifications therefor approved by the Building Inspector.
No temporary certificate of occupancy may be issued unless the issuance thereof shall have been authorized by the Town Board after written request to such Board. The Town Board may authorize the issuance of such a temporary certificate of occupancy only for good cause shown and where such portions of the building or structure as have been completed may be occupied safely without endangering life or public safety and where the construction completed complies with all applicable laws, ordinances, codes and regulations. Such temporary certificate shall be valid for 30 days and may not be renewed except with the approval of the Town Board.
A partial certificate of occupancy may be issued for a portion of a building or structure which constitutes an independent unit individually owned or rented for which construction has been completed and such unit of the building or structure complies with all applicable laws, ordinances, codes and regulations.
Whenever there are reasonable grounds to believe that any material, construction, equipment or assembly does not conform to the requirements of the applicable building laws, ordinances and regulations, the Building Inspector may require the same to be subjected to tests in order to furnish proof of such compliance.
All buildings or structures which are structurally unsafe, unsanitary or not provided with adequate egress or which constitute a fire hazard or are otherwise dangerous to human life or which, in relation to an existing use, constitute a hazard to safety or health by reason of inadequate maintenance, dilapidation, obsolescence or abandonment are, severally, for the purpose of this section, unsafe buildings. All such unsafe buildings are hereby declared to be illegal and shall be abated by repair and rehabilitation in accordance with the procedure of this article.
Upon reasonable cause the Building Inspector may examine or cause to be examined any building reported as unsafe or damaged and shall make a written record of such examination.
Whenever the Building Inspector shall find any building or structure or portion thereof to be an unsafe building as defined in § 86-27, he shall give to the owner, agent or person in control of such building or structure written notice, by either personal delivery or by registered mail, stating the defects thereof. This notice shall require the owner within a specified time either to complete specific repairs or improvements or to demolish and remove the building or structure or portion thereof. In the event the delivery of such notice is made by registered mail, a copy of such notice shall be posted on the premises.
A copy of such notice shall be filed with the office of the Clerk of Monroe County in the same manner as a notice of pendency.
If the Building Inspector finds that there is actual and immediate danger of failure or collapse so as to endanger life, such notice shall also require the building, structure or portion thereof to be vacated forthwith and not reoccupied until the specified repairs and improvements are completed, inspected and approved by the Building Inspector. The Building Inspector shall cause to be posted at each entrance to such building a notice as follows: "This building is unsafe, and its use or occupancy has been prohibited by the Town of Webster Building Department." Such notice shall remain posted until the required repairs are made or demolition is completed. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation or their agents or other servants to remove such notice without written permission of the Building Inspector or for any person to enter the building except for the purpose of making the required repairs or of demolishing the same.
In case the owner, agent or person in control cannot be found within the stated time limit or if such owner, agent or person in control shall fail, neglect or refuse to comply with the notice to repair, rehabilitate or to demolish and remove said building or structure or portion thereof, the Town Attorney shall be advised of all the facts in the case and shall institute a hearing by and before the Town Board. Notice of the time and place of such hearing shall be served upon the owner and other persons having interest in the property in the same manner as set forth in § 86-28.
In cases of emergency, which, in the opinion of the Building Inspector, involve imminent danger to human life or health, he shall promptly cause such building, structure or portion thereof to be made safe or removed. For this purpose he may at once enter such structure or land on which it stands or abutting land or structure with such assistance at such cost as may be necessary. He may vacate adjacent structures and protect the public by barricades or such other means as may be necessary and for this purpose may close a public or private way.
Cost incurred under §§ 86-30 and 86-31 shall be paid out of the Town treasury on certificates of the Building Inspector. Upon demand, the amount of such costs shall be due from, and repaid immediately by, the owner of the building or structure determined to be unsafe, and if not paid shall be added to the Town's tax rolls for the next tax year, and shall become a lien upon the real property affected. The costs so incurred shall in all such circumstances be a charge to the owner of the premises involved and shall be collected by any manner provided by law.
Upon determination by the Building Inspector that any building or structure or portion thereof is in violation of this chapter, the Building Inspector may issue an appearance ticket to the builder and/or property owner setting forth the provision or provisions of this chapter that are deemed violated.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to construct, alter, repair, move, remove, demolish, equip, use, occupy or maintain any building or structure or portion thereof in violation of any provision of this article or to fail in any manner to comply with a notice, directive or order of the Building Inspector or to construct, alter or use and occupy any building or structure or part thereof in a manner not permitted by an approved building permit or certificate of occupancy.
Any person who shall fail to comply with a written order of the Building Department within the time fixed for compliance therewith and any owner, builder, architect, tenant, contractor, subcontractor, construction superintendent or their agents or any other person taking part or assisting in the construction or use of any building who shall knowingly violate any of the applicable provisions of this article or any lawful order, notice, directive, permit or certificate of the Building Department made thereunder shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $500 or 30 days in jail, or both. Each day that a violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense.
Except as provided otherwise by law, such violation shall not be a crime, and the penalty or punishment imposed therefor shall not be deemed for any purpose a penal or criminal penalty or punishment and shall not impose any disability upon or affect or impair the credibility as a witness or otherwise of any person convicted thereof.
Any appeals seeking relief to the requirements and provisions of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code shall be transmitted to the appropriate Board of Review as described in 19 NYCRR 440.
Appropriate actions and proceedings may be taken at law or in equity to prevent unlawful construction or to restrain, correct or abate a violation or to prevent illegal occupancy of a building, structure or premises or to prevent illegal acts, conduct or business in or about any premises, and these remedies shall be in addition to the penalties prescribed in the preceding section.