TOWN OF RIVERHEAD NOTICE OF ADOPTION
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that that the Town Board of the Town of Riverhead adopted a local law amending the Chapter 301 entitled “Zoning and Land Development” of the Riverhead Town Code, at its regular meeting held on September 5, 2018.
Be it enacted by the Town Board of the Town of Riverhead as follows:
Zoning and Land Development
It is the purpose and intent of the Town Board to establish a process to limit and reduce the amount of deteriorating properties located within the Town, which property is subject to a mortgage which is in default. It is the Town Board’s further intent to specifically establish a defaulted mortgage registration program as a mechanism to protect neighborhoods from becoming blighted through the lack of adequate maintenance and security of abandoned properties subject to a mortgage or properties subject to mortgages which are in default.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the content clearly indicates a different meaning:
Any real property that is under a current notice of default and/or notice of mortgagee’s sale, pending tax assessor’s lien sale and/or properties that have been the subject of a foreclosure sale where the title was retained by the beneficiary of a mortgage involved in the foreclosure and any properties transferred under a deed in lieu of foreclosure or sale.
Any full-time law enforcement officer, building inspector, fire marshal, zoning inspector, or code enforcement officer employed within the Town.
Any condition that, on its own, or combined with other conditions present, would lead a reasonable person to believe that the property is vacant. Such conditions may include, but not be limited to, overgrown and/or dead vegetation, electricity, water or other utilities turned off, stagnant swimming pool, statements by neighbors, passers-by, delivery agents or government agents, among other evidence that the property is vacant.
The process by which a property, placed as security for a mortgage loan, after a judicial process is to be sold at an auction to satisfy a debt upon which the borrower has defaulted.
Any building or structure shall be deemed to be vacant if no person or persons actually currently conducts a lawfully licensed business, or lawfully resides or lives in any part of the building as the legal or equitable owner(s) or tenant-occupant(s), or owner-occupant(s), or tenant(s) on a permanent, nontransient basis.
This article shall be considered cumulative and not superseding or subject to any other law or provision for same, but shall rather be an additional remedy available to the Town above and beyond any other state, county and/or local provisions for same. This article relates to property subject to a mortgage which has been determined by the mortgagee to be in default.
Any person, corporation, or entity who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter or who shall fail to comply therewith or with any of the requirements thereof shall be guilty of a violation and, upon conviction thereof, a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $1,000 must be imposed or a term of imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days may be imposed, or both, for conviction of a first offense; for conviction of a second offense, both of which were committed within a period of five years, shall be guilty of a violation, and upon conviction a fine not less than $1,000 nor more than $2,500 must be imposed, or a term of imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days may be imposed, or both; and, upon conviction for a third or subsequent offense, all of which were committed within a period of five years, shall be guilty of a violation, and a fine not less than $2,500 nor more than $5,000 must be imposed, or a term of imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days may be imposed, or both.
- If the property is occupied but remains in default, it shall be inspected by the mortgagee, or said mortgagee’s designee, monthly until the mortgagor or other party remedies the default.
- Within 10 days of date that the mortgagee declares its mortgage on a particular parcel of real property to be in default, the mortgagee shall inspect and register the real property with the Town’s mortgage-in-default registry. The mortgagee shall include in the registration if the property is vacant or occupied.
- Mortgage-in-default registration. Registration pursuant to this section shall contain the name of the mortgagee and mortgage servicer; the direct mailing address of the mortgagee and servicer, e-mail address and telephone number; the name and address, e-mail, and telephone number of a local property manager who shall be responsible for the inspection, security and maintenance of the property. The local property manager named in the registration shall be located and available within Suffolk and Nassau Counties Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., holidays and lunch hours excepted, to be contacted by the Town.
- A semiannual nonrefundable registration fee in the amount of $200 per property shall accompany the mortgage-in-default registration form(s). Subsequent semiannual registrations of defaulted properties and fees in the amount of $200 are due within 10 days of the expiration of the previous registration.
- This section shall also apply to properties that have been the subject of foreclosure sale where the title was transferred to the beneficiary of a mortgage involved in the foreclosure and any properties transferred under a deed in lieu of foreclosure/sale.
- Properties subject to this section shall remain under the semiannual mortgage-in-default registration requirement, inspection, security, and maintenance standards of this section as long as they remain in default.
- Any person or other legal entity that has registered a property under this section must report any change of information contained in the registration within 10 days of the change.
- Failure of the mortgagee and/or property owner of record to properly register or to revise from time to time the registration to reflect a change of circumstances as required by this article is a violation of the Town Code and may result in a citation by the Town’s code enforcement division.
- Properties subject to this article shall be kept free of weeds, overgrown brush, dead vegetation, trash, junk, debris, building materials, any accumulation of newspapers, circulars, flyers, notices, except those required by federal, state, or local law, discarded personal items, including, but not limited to, furniture, clothing, large and small appliances, printed material or any other items that give the appearance that the property is abandoned or not being properly maintained.
- The property shall be maintained free of graffiti or similar markings by removal or painting over with an exterior grade paint that matches the color of the exterior structure.
- Yards shall be landscaped and maintained pursuant to the standards previously established in this Code.
- Pools and spas shall be kept in working order so that pool and spa water remains free and clear of pollutants and debris. Pools and spas shall comply with the enclosure requirements and any other requirements of this Code and the New York State Building Code and New York State Property Maintenance Code, as amended from time to time.
- Failure of the mortgagee and/or property owner of record to properly maintain the property is a violation of the Town Code and may result in citation by the Town’s code enforcement division.
- Properties subject to this article shall be maintained in a secure manner so as not to be accessible to unauthorized persons.
- A “secure manner” shall include, but not be limited to, the closure and locking of windows, doors, gates and other openings of such size that may allow a child to access the interior of the property and/or structure. Broken windows shall be secured by reglazing or boarding of the window.
- If a mortgage on property is in default and has become vacant, the local property manager or mortgagee must perform weekly inspections to verify compliance with the requirements of this section and any other applicable laws or Town ordinances.
- Failure of the mortgagee and/or property owner of record to properly inspect and secure the property, and post and maintain the signage noted in this section, is a violation of this Code and may result in a citation by the Town’s code enforcement division.
Whoever opposes, obstructs or resists any enforcement officer, zoning inspector, building inspector, fire marshal, or any person authorized by the code enforcement division, in the discharge of duties as provided in this article, upon conviction may be punished as provided in § 1-21B of the Town Code, or New York State Penal Code § 195.05.
Any enforcement officer, or any person authorized by the Code Enforcement Officer, shall be immune from prosecution, civil or criminal, for reasonable, good faith entrance upon real property while in the discharge of duties imposed by this article.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall have authority to require the mortgagee and/or owner of record of any property affected by this section to implement additional maintenance and/or security measures, including, but not limited to, securing any and all doors, windows or other openings, employment of an on-site security guard, or other measures as may be reasonably required to prevent a decline of the property.
Nothing contained in this article shall prohibit the Town from enforcing its codes by any other means, including, but not limited to, abatement as otherwise provided by the Town Code.
- Overstrike represents deletion(s)
- Underscore represents addition(s)
Dated: Riverhead, New York
September 5, 2018
BY THE ORDER OF THE TOWN BOARD OF THE TOWN OF RIVERHEAD
DIANE M. WILHELM, TOWN CLERK