Troy City Council extends nuisance property time limit
TROY, N.Y. » The question of how much time should the city have to call for a hearing on nuisance properties had City Council members in debate at their last meeting.
In Troy, points are assigned to properties for city code, and other law violations. After a certain number of points are accrued, the properties are deemed nuisances and the mayor can issue orders against them.
Before the June 7 City Council meeting, “Section 1. Article III Chapter 205, Section 205-24,” allowed the city to call for a hearing on said properties within 60 days.
Mayor Patrick Madden, and Troy Corporation Counsel James Caruso asked the council to double that time limit.
Ultimately the Council voted 4-3 in favor of amending the ordinance to give the city 120 days, but not without some discussion.
“I’m proposing this based on recommendations by the Troy Police Department, City Codes, and the Corporation Counsel’s office,” Madden said. “The 60 day window sometimes doesn’t give us enough time to get through the entire process, and it ties our hands to a short time frame. We’d like a longer timeframe so we can get the process completed.”
Council members asked if the city had lost any cases owing to the time limit. Madden said not under his administration, that he’s aware of, however there have been times where the city’s attorney’s wished they had a longer timeframe.
“I don’t see how this is good for the residents of the city of Troy,” said Councilman Mark McGrath. “You’re going from 60 days to 120 days with a private property. The neighbors around these private properties, they want (the problem solved) the next day, which we know we can’t do. So now we’re going from 60 to 120 days?”
He said the added time would only prolong bad situations.
Attorney Rick Morrissey, who acts on behalf of corporation counsel, said the majority of these matters are resolved within the 60 days, and without a hearing, however, extending the time limit would allow the city to supervise a property for a longer period, making sure the owner complies with whatever remedy they’d agreed to.
“The purpose isn’t to give recalcitrant landowners more time,” Morrissey said.
An attempt to split the difference was made by Councilman Jim Gulli who motioned to amend the request so that it gave the
city 90 days. He, McGrath, and Council President Carmella Mantello voted in favor of the amendment, while Council members TJ Kennedy, Coleen Paratore, Anasha Cummings, and David Bissember voted it down. When it came time to vote on the original request, Gulli, McGrath, and Mantello voted no while the others voted yes.