Local Law – Public Nuisances


Section 1.0 Purpose.
Section 2.0 Definitions.
Section 3.0 Public Nuisances prohibited
Section 4.0 Public Nuisances Declared
Section 5.0 Inspections.
Section 6.0 Abatement of public Nuisances.
Section 7 .0 Costs for Abatements.
Section 8.0 Penalties
Section 9 .0 Severability

Section 1.0 Purpose.

Public nuisances and conditions pose a threat to the peace, good order and safety of the Village of Dering Harbor and its residents, the life and property of the residents of the Village of Dering Harbor, and the roadways, right of ways and public property of the Village of Dering Harbor. The purpose of this Local Law is to prohibit and regulate public nuisances and to provide for a procedure for the ability of the Village of Dering Harbor to act to abate or remove public nuisances in the Village and to assess the costs incurred by the Village in the abatement or removal of the public nuisance to the owner of the property where the public nuisance exists.

Section 2.0 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
POLLUTED WATER; Water in a swimming pool, pond or other body of water containing
bacterial growth, algae, remains of insects or deceased animals, reptiles, rubbish, refuse, debris, papers or any other foreign material constituting an unhealthy, unsafe or unsightly condition.
PREMISES; Any lot or lots and the buildings or structures located thereon.
PROPERTY OWNER; The owner of the premises where a public nuisance is located, as
indicated on the last tax assessment roll.
REFUSE AND WASTE MATTER; Unused or discarded matter having little or no substantial market value, including but not limited to rubble, asphalt, concrete and building .material, plaster, tile, rocks, bricks, soil, crates, cartons, containers, boxes, machinery, or parts thereof, scrap metal, furniture, inoperative vehicles, vehicle bodies or parts thereof, trimmings from plants or trees, cans, bottles and barrels.
STATE OF PARTIAL CONSTRUCTION; Buildings and structures which are partially constructed when the building permit for such construction has expired.

3.0 Public Nuisances Prohibited

No person shall create, maintain or allow any nuisance as declared in this chapter to remain on any premises within the Village of Dering Harbor.

4.0 Public Nuisances declared The following are declared public nuisances:

A. Buildings or structures which are abandoned, partially destroyed or in a state of partial construction.
B. Buildings or structures that have dry rot or warped materials, are infested with termites, or the paint is cracked, peeled or blistered, rendering the building unsightly.
C. Exterior walls, fences, driveways or sidewalks in a condition of deterioration or disrepair which are defective or unsightly.
D. Broken windows, damaged doors or gates which constitute a health or safety hazard or which act as an invitation to trespassers, vagrants, wild or domestic animals or minor children.
E. Parking. or storing construction equipment, machinery or building materials in a residential zone, except during excavation, construction or demolition operations conducted pursuant to a building or grading permit
F. Land graded which causes or may cause eroding, subsidence or surface water or drainage problems and is injurious or potentially injurious to adjacent properties and the public health, safety and welfare.
G. Any excavation, pit, well or hole maintained in a manner that is dangerous to life or limb.
H. Any accumulation of dust, sand, gravel, refuse and waste matter or discarded materials that endangers public health and safety.
I. Outdoor stairs, porches, hand railings, balconies and swings not maintained in accordance with the Uniform Building Code.
J. Any swimming pool, spa pond, foundation or other body of water which is abandoned, unattended, unfiltered or not otherwise maintained resulting in polluted water.
K. Premises so maintained as to cause the accumulation of polluted or stagnant water from any source which may cause a hazardous or unhealthy condition, breeding area for insects or erosion of foundation walls or soil.
L. The use of any spray paint, dye, chalk or similar substance to mark or deface any building, structure, hillside, rock(s), storm channel or any other surface open to public view, which is commonly known as “graffiti.”
M. Violation of any of the zoning or sign ordinances of the Village or any of the uniform codes adopted by the Village including the Uniform Building Code, Uniform Code for the Abatement of Dangerous Buildings, Plumbing Code, Electrical Code, Mechanical Code, Swimming Pool Code, Health Code, and Uniform Housing Code.
N. Maintenance of property so out of harmony or conformity with the maintenance standards of adjacent properties, which causes a substantial diminution in the enjoyment, use or value of adjacent properties.
0. Outdoor burning of any material or structure unless authorized by the Village or authorized representative by issuance of a permit.
P. Permitting any abandoned, unattended or discarded icebox, refrigerator, freezer or other similar container with an airtight door or lid that cannot be readily released from the inside to remain unattended inside or outside any building or structure with door not removed.
Q. Stockpiling fill dirt or other material.
R. Maintenance of grounds, landscape, shrubs, plants or vegetation visible from the public right­ of-way which causes a substantial diminution in the enjoyment, use or value of adjacent properties.
S. Allowing the following to exist on property:

1. Lumber, junk, refuse and waste matter or abandoned, discarded or unused objects or equipment such as furniture, appliances and play equipment, which is visible from the public right­ of-way.
2. Attractive nuisances, such as abandoned or broken equipment _and machinery, hazardous pools and excavations.
3. Materials stored on rooftops which are visible from the public right-of-way.
4. Trash containers or plastic bags causing offensive odors or a breeding place for flies.
5. Gasoline, oil, grease, water or other materials :flowing on to a right-of-way or an accumulation of refuse, waste, grease and oil on any surface, including but not limited to surfaces such as improved or unimproved ground, rights-of-way, buildings, structures, walls or fences.
6. Any tree, shrubbery or plant growing onto or over the public right-of-way which impairs pedestrian or vehicular traffic or prevents drivers from clearly observing safety signs and signals.
7. Dead, decayed, diseased or hazardous trees, hedges, weeds, shrubs and overgrown vegetation likely to harbor rats or vermin or constitute an unsightly appearance or fire hazard.3

T. Dumping refuse and waste matter upon the following:

1. Any public or private highway or road.
2. Private property where the public is admitted by easement or license.
3. Private property with or without the consent of the property owner.
4. Any public property not designated for such purpose.

U. Dumping or placing any rocks or dirt upon private property without the consent of the state or local agency retaining jurisdiction over such highway or property.
V. Repairing, storing or otherwise working on any motor vehicle or parts thereof not belonging to the person residing on the premises in any residential area within the Village, unless:

1. Such activities are completely enclosed and not visible from the public right-of-way; or
2. Such activities constitute emergency repairs, provided that such repairs do not exceed seventy­ two (72) hours.

W. Parking a vehicle in public view when a failure to maintain its exterior causes such vehicle to constitute an eyesore. Vehicles shall be deemed unsightly when body parts rust or become corroded, paint becomes faded, chipped
chipped or peeled or the vehicle exterior becomes otherwise dilapidated.
X. Sanding or painting a vehicle anywhere in a residential zone.
Y. Failure to obscure vehicles and equipment which are stored in a residential zone out of public view.
Z. Storage of any item in a residential zone in a manner which endangers public health and safety.
AA. Any offensive or unwholesome business or establishment operated in a manner dangerous to the public health, safety and welfare.
BB. Those offenses declared a nuisance anywhere in the Code of the Village or the statutes of the State of New York or known at common law as nuisances when the same exist within the jurisdiction of the Village.
CC. A condition of erosion, decay or undermining of soil, roadway or foundation which causes decay, undermining, instability or other damage to adjoining properties or public properties, roadways or right of ways.

Section 5.0 Inspections.

A. Authorized representative. The Mayor and the Building Inspector or their representative(s) are authorized to make inspections and take such actions as may be required by this chapter to provide for the abatement of public nuisances.
B. Right of entry. Whenever there is reasonable cause to believe that a condition, activity or use of property exists which constitutes a public nuisance, the Mayor or Building Inspector or their representative(s) may enter the premises at a reasonable time for the purpose of inspection. If such premises is occupied, entry shall be requested and proper credentials shall be presented. If such premises is unoccupied, a reasonable effort shall be made to locate the property owner. If entry is refused or if the property owner cannot be located after a reasonable time, a twenty-four-hour written notice of intent to inspect shall be left at the premises. The notice shall state that the property owner has the right to refuse entry, and if such entry is refused, the Village may seek assistance from a court of competent jurisdiction to obtain entry to inspect the premises.

Section 6.0 Abatement of public Nuisances.

A. Dangerous buildings. The Uniform Code for the Abatement of Dangerous Buildings shall apply and preempt the provisions of this chapter whenever the public nuisance to be abated constitutes a dangerous building as defined in the Uniform Code for the Abatement of Dangerous Buildings.
B. Notice of public nuisance. Upon determination that a public nuisance exists, a written notice shall be issued to the property owner. The notice shall read ”Notice of public Nuisance,” in letters not less than one (I) inch in height. The written notice shall direct abatement of the nuisance, identify the nuisance by referring to this chapter, and contain a general description of the property sufficient to identify the location of the public nuisance.
C. Service of notice. The notice of public nuisance may be served by one {l) of the following methods:

(1) Personal service; or
(2) Certified mail and regular mail;
(3) Posting the notice at a conspicuous place on the premises where the nuisance is located or at the abutting public right-of-way in addition to personal service or service by certified mail.

D. Time to abate. Public nuisances shall be abated by the property owner no more than twenty ­one (21) days from the date of personal service OT mailing the notice of public nuisance, or, if a public nuisance constitutes an immediate fire or other hazard, within five (5) days of personal service or mailing the notice of public nuisance.
E. Summary abatement. Whenever a public nuisance exists which constitutes an emergency presenting imminent danger to life or serious injury to persons or property, an authorized representative of the Village may, without notice or judicial action, order the immediate abatement of the public nuisance.
F. Appeal procedure. Within ten (10) days from the date of personal service OT mailing the notice of public nuisance, the property owner may appeal the determination that a public nuisance exists to the Village Planning Board. The appeal shall be in writing and filed with the Village Clerk. At a regular meeting not more than thirty (30) days thereafter, the Planning Board shall proceed to hear and pass upon the appeal. The Planning Board’s decision may be appealed within ten (10) days of the decision by written request to the Village Clerk. The Village Board of Trustees shall hear the appeal at a regular meeting not more than thirty (30) days from the date of request.
G. Failure to abate. If a public nuisance is not voluntarily abated after notification, the following shall apply:

(1) Prosecution. Failure to abate shall constitute an infraction of this chapter. Each violation of this chapter shall be a separate violation.
(2) Village to abate. The Village may cause the public nuisance to be abated. The manner of abatement and costs incurred by the Village to abate the public nuisance shall be reported to the Village Board of Trustees by the Building Inspector immediately following abatement.
(3) Judicial action. The Village may commence a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to cause abatement of the public nuisance. Reasonable attorney’s fees and costs may be collected from the property owner by the Village in any action to abate a public nuisance.

7.0 Costs of Abatement

A. Responsibility for costs. if the Village abates a public nuisance pursuant to this local law the cost of abatement including administrative, legal, engineering, professional and other costs may be assessed as a lien against the property. Administrative costs shall be not less than twenty-five percent (25%) of the actual costs of the abatement of the nuisance.
B. Hearing on assessment. To determine if the cost of abatement shall be assessed as a lien against the property, a hearing shall be held by the Village Board of Trustees. The Village Clerk shall schedule the hearing for the first regular meeting that is held at least seven (7) days following the filing of the Building Inspector’s report on the costs and manner of abating the public nuisance pursuant to this local law. The property owner shall be served written notice advising him or her of the date, time and location of the hearing by personal service or certified and regular mail. A property owner may pay the assessment to the Village Clerk prior to the hearing to avoid a lien being placed against the property. The Village Board of Trustees shall consider any objections to the assessment at the hearing. If the Village Board of Trustees determines that the cost of abatement shall be assessed as a lien against the property, a resolution shall be adopted by the Village Board of Trustees stating the amount of the assessment The Village Clerk shall prepare and file a certified copy of the resolution with appropriate authority.
C. Assessment and collection. The assessment shall be collected at the same time and in the same manner as ordinary municipal taxes are collected. If payment is delinquent, the assessment shall be subject to the same penalties and procedure and sale as provided for ordinary municipal taxes.

8.0 Penalties for Offenses

The penalties for a violation of any provision of this Chapter shall be a fine of up to five thousand dollars ($5,000). Each day that an offense shall exist shall constitute a separate offense and violation of this Local Law.

9.0 Severability

In the event that any section or sections of this local law should be deemed invalid, the remaining sections of the local law shall remain in full force and effect.