The City of Lackawanna Department of Code Enforcement works closely with all departments within City government. The Code Enforcement Officer dedicates his time to enforcing Ordinances and New York State Statutes. But more importantly, the Code Enforcement Officer promotes education and cooperation between community partners and the citizens we serve. Through enforcement and education we hope to preserve and improve the quality of life and public safety for all who work, live in and visit our community.
As Code Enforcement Officers, this position is to enforce the City of Lackawanna Municipal Code and the New York State Uniform Codes, particularly as it relates to land use, property maintenance and building construction. Through the efforts of Code enforcement we can improve the quality of our neighborhoods, protect property values and the environment and keep Lackawanna a safe and desirable community. Specifically, the Code Enforcement Officer concentrates on the investigation and abatement of complaints involving land use (zoning), housing conditions (substandard structures), abandoned vehicles, signs, pools, fences and general public nuisances. Code enforcement also serves the Building Department, which enforces ordinances pertaining to new construction, reconstruction, additions, demolitions and storm water and floodplain regulations.
A structure is considered substandard when it does not meet the standards or specifications established in the New York State Property Maintenance Code. The New York State Property Maintenance Code enables the City of Lackawanna to require repair, maintenance or demolition of structures that may endanger the life, health and safety and welfare of occupants or the public. This code also requires owners to maintain their structures and to prevent infestation of insects and rodents.
Junked Motor Vehicles
The City of Lackawanna follows guidelines set forth by state law concerning Junked Motor Vehicles. Junked Motor Vehicles are visible from a public place or public right-of-way are detrimental to the safety and welfare of the general public, tend to reduce the value of private property, invite vandalism, create fire hazards and harm the economic welfare of the city. A Junked Motor Vehicle is one that either has both an expired license plate and expired safety inspection sticker, and is wrecked, dismantled or partially dismantled, or discarded, or has remained inoperable for more than 30 consecutive days. This provision does not include completely enclosed vehicles.
Section 302.1 of the NYS Property Maintenance Code simply states that “All exterior property and premises shall be maintained in a clean, safe and sanitary condition. The occupant shall keep that part of the exterior property which such occupant occupies or controls in a clean and sanitary condition”. Typical violations of this ordinance include accumulation of trash, wood debris, building and fencing materials, indoor furniture, appliances, tires, car parts, and other related materials. Residents are asked to bring their properties into compliance by removing such items within a designated time frame. If the problem is not resolved, legal action could be taken in Municipal Court.
It shall be unlawful for the owner or occupant of a building, structure, or property to utilize the premises of such residential property for the open storage of the following items, including but not limited to, ice box, refrigerator, stove, glass, carpet, upholstered furniture, tires, auto parts, building rubbish or other similar items. It shall be the duty and responsibility of every such owner or occupant to keep the premises of such property clean and in compliance with this section. Also garbage MUST be kept in closed containers. Lackawanna Code §190-5 states, “Garbage shall be placed in a galvanized or plastic cans or receptacles which are airtight and watertight to prevent leakage. Ash, rubbish and refuse shall be placed in separate containers of a like or similar nature. No grass shall be co-mingled in any such containers. Maximum size of any waste receptacles entitled to City pickup is 32 gallons, provided, however, the City will not pick up any dumpster or dumpster’s regardless of its size or location anywhere in the City.
High Weeds and Grass
High weeds and grass can become a breeding place for mosquitoes and rodents, not to mention the slum and blight appearance. Consequently, grass or weeds higher than 8 inches are not in compliance with the City of Lackawanna ordinances. Owners of properties in violation of the grass and weeds ordinance may be issued a ticket or may receive a notice allowing 10 days to bring the property into compliance. If the property is vacant the City of Lackawanna may send a contractor to cut the high grass and weeds and issue a bill consisting of mowing fees and administrative service fee to the property owner. A lien will be placed against the property.