VILLAGE OF STAMFORD
LOCAL LAW NO. 5 OF 2016

BE IT ENACTED by the Village Board of the Village of Stamford as follows:

SECTION 1.              TITLE.

This local law shall be known as the “Village of Stamford Lawn and Tree Maintenance Law”.

SECTION 2.  AUTHORITY; FINDINGS; PURPOSE; AND INTENT

This Local Law is enacted pursuant to §10 of the Municipal Home Rule Law to provide for the health, safety, appearance and general welfare of the public, the residents of the Village of Stamford and the owners of real property located  within the Village of Stamford.

The Village Board finds that properties on which the lawns are not adequately maintained tend to diminish or lessen the appearance thereof or detract from the appearance of adjoining properties which may lead to the progressive deterioration of a neighborhood. In addition, the Board finds that properties on which trees and bushes have been allowed to overhang or otherwise adversely affect public streets or rights-of-ways within the Village can pose a hazard or threat to the public and the residents of the Village of Stamford.

SECTION 3.  APPLICABILITY.

This Local Law applies to all lots, plots or parcels of land on which residential, nonresidential or mixed-use buildings are located, regardless of whether they are vacant, unoccupied or abandoned. In addition, this Local Law applies to all trees and bushes owned by any person or entity other than the Village of Stamford.

The provisions of this Local Law shall supplement the Property and Maintenance Code of New York State. When a provision of this Local Law is found to be inconsistent with any provision of any other local law code or regulation of the Village or State, the provision or requirement which is the more restrictive or which   establishes the higher standard shall prevail.

SECTION 4.  DEFINITIONS.

As used in this local law, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

LAWN: Exterior portion of property which includes grass, ground cover, weeds and/or other similar plant growth and vegetation. This term shall not, for purposes of this law, include cultivated flowers and gardens.

OWNER:  The owner of record of a tract, lot, or parcel.

PERSON IN CONTROL: The owner, tenant, occupant, trustee in bankruptcy, referee of foreclosure, real estate broker, managing agent or any other person exercising implied or express control of the premises, to be determined on a case-by-case basis.

SECTION 5 PROPERTY AND LANDSCAPING MAINTENANCE.

The owner, occupant, tenant, operator or person in control, as the case may be, of any property subject to this local law shall maintain his/her lawn trimmed to a height of no greater than ten (10’’) inches.

SECTION 6 TREE MAINTENANCE AND REMOVAL.

  1. The owner, occupant, tenant, operator or person in control, of any tree or bush overhanging or otherwise adversely affecting any public street or right-of-way within the Village shall, at his/her own expense, maintain such tree or bush so that it shall not obstruct the light from any street lamp, create a traffic safety hazard or obstruct or hinder passage on any street or sidewalk.
  1. The owner, occupant, tenant, operator or person in control, shall remove, at his/her own expense, all dead, diseased or dangerous trees or bushes, broken or decayed limbs or branches which constitute a danger to the safety of the public.

SECTION 7 ENFORCEMENT.

  1. Enforcement Official: The Zoning Enforcement Officer is hereby designated to administer and to enforce this local law.
  1. Compliance Orders:
  • The Zoning Enforcement Officer is authorized to order, in writing, the remedying of any condition or activity found to exist in, on or about any premises in violation of this Local Law. Upon finding that any such condition or activity exists, the Zoning Enforcement Officer shall issue a compliance order
  • The Zoning Enforcement Officer shall cause the compliance order, or a copy thereof, to be served by at least one of the following methods
  • Personal service upon the owner, tenant, occupant, managing agent or person in control of the property or premises;
  • Mailing by registered or certified mail to the owner, tenant, occupant, managing agent or person in control of the property or premises; or
  • Posting a copy of the compliance order upon the front portion of the property or upon the main structure or bush or tree and mailing a copy of such notice by certified or registered mail to the owner of the property at the address shown on the current assessment records of the Village.
  • The compliance order shall:
  • Be in writing;
  • Be dated and signed by the officer;
  • Specify the condition or activity that violates this local With respect to alleged violations of Section 6 above, said notice shall identify the tree or bush and public street or right-of-way that is being adversely affected and provide a basis for the Villages determination that the tree or bush constitutes a hazard to life or property within the Village;
  • Specify the provision or provisions of this local law which is/are violated by the specified condition or activity.
  • Specify that such violation must be corrected or abated within fourteen (14) days of the date of service; and
  • State the appropriate consequence for failure to correct or abate the condition or activity within the specified period of time.
  • The date of service of a compliance order issued pursuant to this section shall be the date of personal service or ten days following the date of mailing, whichever is applicable.
  1. Compliance; Correct ion or Removal by Village.
  • Any owner, tenant, occupant, managing agent or person in control of any property or premises which has been determined to be in violation of the requirements of this Local Law shall cure, abate, correct or remove such violation, when ordered to do so by the Zoning Enforcement Officer, within fourteen (14) days of the service of written notice as provided in Section 7(B) above.
  • In the event that the property owner, tenant, occupant, managing agent or person in control of any such premises shall fail to comply with the compliance order, as set forth in Section 7(B)(1) the Zoning Enforcement Officer shall make an inspection of the property and report his or her findings to the Village Board.
  • The Village Board, after review of the report may take any, or all of the following action(s):
  • Provide authorization to the Zoning Enforcement Officer and/or the Attorney to the Village to institute appropriate legal action in a court of competent seek civil and/or criminal remedies for the violation(s);
  • Take all necessary steps to correct or remove the violation, either by Village of Stamford employees, or by the Village’s designee or agent, including a private contractor to mow or trim the lawn or mow the ground cover, which violate the provisions of this local law.
  • The person in control of the property shall be responsible to reimburse the Village of Stamford for costs and expenses incurred in abatement of the In the event of failure to reimburse the Village for such costs, the following shall apply:
  • The Village may seek recovery of such costs by action venued in a court of appropriate jurisdiction.
  • Alternatively, and at the sole discretion of the Village, a default in reimbursement of costs incurred by the Village may be remedied by charging such sums against the real property which is the subject of the violation, by adding that charge to, and making it a part of the next annual real property tax assessment for the Village. Such charges shall be levied and collected at the same time and in the same manner as Village assessed taxes and shall be paid to the Village, to be applied in reimbursing the fund from which the costs were defrayed for the corrective or abatement action. Prior to charging such assessments, the owner(s) of the real property shall be provided written notice to their last known address of record by certified mail, return receipt requested, of an opportunity to be heard and object before the Village Board to the proposed real property assessment, at a date and time to be designated in the notice, which shall be no less than thirty (30) days after its mailing.
  • The removal or correction of any violation by the Village or its agents shall not operate to excuse such person in control from property maintaining the property or premises as required by this Local Law in the future.

SECTION 8.  SEVER-ABILITY

If any provision of this local law is held invalid for any reason by a court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions of this Local Law.

SECTION 9.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This Local Law shall become effective immediately upon its filing in the Office of the New York State Department of State.