Town of Wilson, NY
Niagara County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Wilson 7-16-2008 by L.L. No. 1-2008.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Unsafe buildings — See Ch. 54.
Fire prevention and building code — See Ch. 71.
Mobile homes — See Ch. 90.
Recycling — See Ch. 107, Art. I.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former Chapter 102, Property Maintenance, adopted 5-6-2002 by L.L. No. 1-2002.
A. 
The Town Board of the Town of Wilson hereby finds that the outdoor storage, accumulation, deposit and placement of abandoned, junked, discarded, wholly or partially dismantled or unlicensed or unregistered motor vehicles, rubbish, debris, or solid waste upon private property threatens the health, safety and welfare of the Town residents. Outdoor storage, accumulation, deposit or placement of such items creates a significant fire hazard, endangers the environment and groundwater, leads to infestation by insects, vermin or rodents, depreciates property values and has a deteriorating and blighting effect upon the neighborhood and community.
B. 
The Town Board hereby determines that the outdoor storage, accumulation, deposit or placement of abandoned, junked, discarded, wholly or partially dismantled or unlicensed or unregistered motor vehicles, rubbish, debris or solid waste upon private property constitutes a public nuisance.
A. 
As used herein, the following terms shall have the following definitions:
BRUSH
Low woods, undergrowth, seasonal growth and chopped-off tree branches, except trees or shrubbery intended and actually used for landscaping, fencing, shade or decoration, and tree branches piled near the structure intended for use as firewood.
DEBRIS
Includes all materials resulting from the construction, excavation, renovation, equipping, remodeling, repair or demolition of structures, property or roads as well as materials consisting of vegetation resulting from land clearing and grubbing, utility line maintenance and seasonal and storm-related cleanup. Such materials include, but are not limited to, bricks, concrete and other masonry materials, soil, rock, wood, wall coverings, plaster, drywall, plumbing fixtures, insulation, roofing shingles, asphaltic pavement, glass, window frames, electrical wiring and components, plastics, carpeting, foam padding, linoleum, metals or any combination thereof which are incidental to construction, excavation, renovation, equipping, remodeling, repair or demolition.
GARBAGE
Includes all putrescible animal and vegetable waste resulting from processing, marketing and preparation of food items, including the container in which packaged.
MOTOR VEHICLE
Includes all vehicles as defined by New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law § 125. The term "motor vehicle" as used in this chapter shall also include all-terrain vehicles as defined by New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law § 2281 and snowmobiles as defined by New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law § 2221, and shall further include any vehicle intended for operation on land by means other than muscle power. This term "motor vehicle" shall also include campers and trailers generally found in use over the highway.
OUTDOORS
Includes anything not housed in a fully enclosed building.
OWNER
The owner as identified on the current assessment roll.
RUBBISH
Includes all nonputrescible solid wastes consisting of both combustible and noncombustible wastes, including but not limited to paper and paper products, rags, wrappings, cigarettes, cardboard, tin cans, yard clippings, wood, glass, metals, plastics, tires, bedding, cloth, crockery, furniture, appliances and similar items.
SOLID WASTE
Includes all putrescible and nonputrescible materials and substances having served their original intended use or being spent, useless, worthless or in excess to the owner, including but not limited to household and commercial garbage, industrial waste, rubbish, debris, garbage, litter and ashes.
WEEDS
Vegetation that grows in profusion in an uncultivated state and which is allowed to exceed 12 inches in height. For the purposes of this chapter, the term "weeds" shall not include vegetation such as growing crops, trees, bushes or shrubs used for landscaping purposes around or near a structure.
A. 
No person, as owner, occupant, lessee or agent or in any capacity, shall store, deposit, place, maintain or cause or permit to be stored, deposited, placed or maintained or grown outdoors any abandoned, junked, discarded, wholly or partially dismantled, unlicensed or unregistered motor vehicle or any solid waste, rubbish, or debris upon any private property within the Town.
B. 
This section shall not apply to:
(1) 
Any solid waste, rubbish or debris temporarily stored or placed in containers for collection or disposal.
(2) 
The maintenance of a mulch pile used for on-premises gardening or landscaping confined to an area to the rear of a residence and not exceeding 50 square feet.
(3) 
The temporary storage on a premises of a single motor vehicle meeting New York State inspection requirements, which is unlicensed or unregistered but which is not dismantled, abandoned, junked or discarded. This exception shall only apply where the vehicle is stored on a stone or paved surface not closer to the street than the front facade of the building.
(4) 
The maintenance of any motor vehicle on a duly licensed automobile repair or sales business lot, properly zoned, while said vehicle is being repaired or sold, provided that this exception shall not permit storage of vehicles which will not pass a New York State vehicle inspection on any premises for a period in excess of 30 days.
(5) 
The maintenance or storage of farm equipment or materials used in a farming or agricultural operation on a premises in actual use for agricultural purposes.
(6) 
The maintenance or storage of operable farm equipment, business equipment or construction equipment for sale or in connection with a legally operating business.
C. 
For purposes of this chapter, every owner and occupant shall be strictly liable and fully responsible and shall be deemed to have permitted any condition on the premises he or she owns or occupies.
D. 
Inspection and notice. Whenever it shall appear that the provisions of this chapter are violated, the Code Enforcement Officer or his designated representative is authorized to make an inspection of the property involved, at any reasonable hour. The right of entry shall not be limited in any way by the existence or lack of existence of a request, authorization, license, or other consent or approval of entry, inspection or removal and disposal. When the Code Enforcement Officer or his designated representative deems it necessary, he shall notify by regular mail and by conspicuously posting a legal notice on a structure or at the front of said property, any such persons that they are in violation of this section. This notice shall direct the person so served, regardless of ownership, that the motor vehicle, solid waste, rubbish or debris determined to be in violation of this chapter be removed from the property on or before 10 days after the service or mailing of such notice.
E. 
Issuance of appearance ticket; penalties for offenses.
(1) 
In the event of noncompliance with the provisions of this chapter, after 10 days have elapsed from the service of notice as provided by § 102-3D, the Code Enforcement Officer may issue an appearance ticket returnable in the Town of Wilson Justice Court on a date and time as specified on the appearance ticket. The appearance ticket shall specify the alleged local law violation and date and time involved, a copy of which shall be forwarded to the Town Justice with information detailing the violation amid the attempts made by the Code Enforcement Officer to achieve compliance.
(2) 
A violation of § 102-3A of this chapter is a violation punishable by a fine of up to $250 and/or imprisonment for up to 15 days. Each additional week of continuous violation of the terms of this chapter constitutes a separate violation.
A. 
Cutback requirements. Every person in charge or control of any building or lot of land within the Town of Wilson, New York, whether as owner, tenant, occupant, lessee or otherwise, shall cut and remove any growth of weeds, grass or other rank vegetation or brush in accordance with § 102-4A(1) and (2) of the Town Code as follows:
(1) 
Any tract or parcel of land containing 1 1/2 acres or less shall be cut in its entirety to a length of 12 inches or less.
(2) 
Any tract or parcel of land, regardless of lot size, containing a residential or business structure shall, within 100 feet of said structure, be cut to a length of 12 inches or less.
B. 
Poisonous plants. It shall be unlawful for any such person or persons to cause, suffer or allow poison ivy, ragweed or other poisonous plant or plants detrimental to health to grow on the part of any such lot or land required to be cut in accordance with § 102-4A(1) and (2) of this chapter, or to allow the seed, pollen or other particles or emanations therefrom to be carried throughout the air into any public place.
C. 
Health, safety and character of community regulations. Notwithstanding any specific cutback requirements imposed by § 102-4A of this chapter, the Code Enforcement Officer may determine a property a public nuisance should he determine the brush, grass, or weeds:
(1) 
Are or may become dangerous or unsafe to the general public;
(2) 
Pose a threat to public health;
(3) 
Act or could act as a potential threat to lives and property from fire;
(4) 
Are an attractive nuisance to children;
(5) 
Act as a substantial deterrent to the aesthetic environment of the surrounding area;
(6) 
Substantially contribute to blight or to the rundown character of a neighborhood;
(7) 
Are or may become a place of rodent infestation; or
(8) 
Present any other danger to health, safety, morals, or general welfare.
D. 
Violation and notice. When the Code Enforcement Officer or his designated representative deems it necessary, he shall notify by regular mail and by conspicuously posting a legal notice on a structure or at the front of said property any such persons that they are in violation of this section. Said notice shall be substantially in the following form:
TO THE OWNER AND OCCUPANTS OF PROPERTY
IN THE
TOWN OF WILSON
Please take notice that you are hereby required to cut and remove all grass, weeds, and other rank, poisonous, and harmful vegetation on the property owned or occupied by you and to comply with the local law of the Town of Wilson relative to the removal of brush, grass and weeds. In the event of your failure to remove such brush, grass and weeds, the Code Enforcement Officer or his designated representative may cause such brush, grass and weeds to be cut and removed, and the cost thereof shall thereupon become and be a charge and lien upon your property and shall be collected the same as other taxes upon your property.
E. 
Failure to comply with notice.
(1) 
If the provisions of the foregoing Subsections A through D are not complied with within 10 days of the date of the mailing and posting of the notice hereinbefore provided for, the Code Enforcement Officer may cause brush, grass and weeds on such lot or land to be cut and removed. The actual cost of such cutting and removing, plus $200 for inspection and other additional costs in connection therewith, shall be billed to the property owner. Thirty days after the billing date, all unpaid charges will become a lien upon the property upon which said brush, grass, and weeds were located and shall bear interest at the same rate as taxes and shall be collected and enforced by the same officer and in the same manner as taxes levied and assessed against such property, or the same may be collected by suit against the owner or owners in the name of the Town.
(2) 
Any person who shall fail, neglect or refuse to comply with the provisions of any notice herein provided for, or who shall resist or obstruct the Code Enforcement Officer, his designated representative or any employee of the Town of Wilson in, the cutting and removing of brush, grass and weeds shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a penalty as hereinafter provided.
F. 
Issuance of appearance ticket; penalties for offenses.
(1) 
Upon noncompliance with notice from the Code Enforcement Officer as identified in § 102-4E(2) of this chapter, said Code Enforcement Officer may issue an appearance ticket returnable in the Town of Wilson Justice Court on a date and time as specified on the appearance ticket. The appearance ticket shall specify the alleged local law violation and date and time involved, a copy of which shall be forwarded to the Town Justice with information detailing the violation amid the attempts made by the Code Enforcement Officer to achieve compliance.
(2) 
The penalties for violation of any provision of this section shall be as follows: a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $250 or imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both. Said penalties shall be in addition to those charges levied under § 102-4E(1) of this chapter for the actual cost of such cutting and removing, plus $200 for inspection and other additional costs in connection therewith.
(3) 
The continuation of any violation for each successive week shall constitute a separate offense, and the person allowing or permitting the continuation of a violation may be punished as above provided for each separate offense.
A. 
Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the Town from entering onto private property to remove any solid waste, motor vehicle, appliance, rubbish, debris or any other hazard whenever there exists an imminent threat to the life or safety of persons. Municipal authority pursuant to this section may only be exercised where there is a direct necessity to protect life and safety. Any municipal action taken pursuant to this section must be reasonably calculated to alleviate or prevent the crisis condition and must be limited to those actions necessary to eliminate the emergency situation.
B. 
A property owner shall be given notice and an opportunity to be heard prior to any costs and expenses incurred by the Town in removal pursuant to § 102-5A being placed on the property's tax bill.
A. 
The Town may seek injunctive relief in a court of competent jurisdiction and shall be entitled to a judgment for any expenses incurred, including reasonable attorney fees.
B. 
All remedies set forth in this chapter are alternative and cumulative, and the Town may enforce this chapter utilizing any remedy or combination thereof.