The Village of Silver Creek’s earliest pioneer settlers were Abel Cleveland and David Dickinson who arrived from Massachusetts in 1802. Due to the advantages at the time of black walnut trees and the availability of the waters of Silver Creek and Walnut Creek, they purchased 172 acres of land from the Holland Land Company in 1803. Later that year they were joined by John Howard, also from Massachusetts. The men first built a grist mill for grinding corn and later a sawmill. Later, Cleveland and Dickinson left to go into Ohio. John Howard built and lived in the first log cabin which is situated on the bank of Silver Creek on what is now Howard Street. Eventually, with the arrival of other pioneers, the little community grew and became know as the settlement of “Fayette”. On July 7, 1848, it had become large enough to be officially incorporated as a village and was renamed “Silver Creek.” The origin of the village’s name is unrecorded in the archives. It has been speculated that it was named after an early post office in the area called “Silver Creek”, but this is undocumented.
From the 1820’s onward, Silver Creek became an important transportation port for the Lake Erie shipping, an era which ended in the 1850’s with the arrival of the railroad system and still later with the routing of the Greyhound Bus lines through Silver Creek. It was a prosperous era for the village during the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s due to its location at the intersection of State Routes 5 and 20. Later, with the construction of New York State I-90, the Thruway, much interstate traffic was diverted from Silver Creek.
Today, signs of Silver Creek’s earlier past can be seen in its numerous original mid-Victorian and late-Victorian style homes. The Village’s two main landmarks are the Skew Arch on Jackson Street and the Walnut Tree monument located on upper Main Street. The Skew Arch, built by the railroad in 1869, is of unique design and is reportedly one of only two of its kind in the world.
The Walnut Tree monument consists of the original millstone used by the first settlers and marks the spot where a famous giant walnut tree once stood. After it was blown down in a windstorm in the 1800’s, it was hollowed out and used as a small store before being sold and exhibited in Buffalo, New York, and later in London, England, where it was finally burned in a museum fire.
Today, although Silver Creek’s population does not vary much, it can still hold it’s own with other small towns of it’s size.
Over the years, the Village of Silver Creek has passed through a process of legislative change common to many American communities. While only a few simple laws were necessary at the time of the establishment of the village, subsequent growth of the community, together with the complexity of modern life, has created the need for new and more detailed legislation for the proper function and government of the village. The recording of local law is an aspect of municipal history, and as the community develops and changes, review and revision of old laws and consideration of new laws, in the light of current trends, must keep pace. The orderly collection of these records is an important step in this ever-continuing process. Legislation must be more than mere chronological enactments reposing in the pages of old records. It must be available and logically arranged for convenient use and must be kept up-to-date. It was with thoughts such as these in mind that the Board of Trustees ordered the following codifications of the village’s legislation.
Contents of Code
The various chapters of the Code contain all currently effective legislation (local laws, laws and certain resolutions) of a general and permanent nature enacted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Silver Creek, including revisions or amendments to existing legislation deemed necessary by the Board of Trustees in the course of the codification.
Division of Code
The Code is divided into parts. Part I, Administrative Legislation, contains all village legislation of an administrative nature, namely, that dealing with the administration of government, that establishing or regulating municipal departments and that affecting officers and employees of the municipal government and it’s departments. Part II, General Legislation, contains all other village legislation of a regulatory nature. Items of legislation in this part generally impose penalties for violation of their provisions, whereas those in Part I do not.
Grouping of Legislation and Arrangement of Chapters
The various items of legislation are organized into chapters, their order being an alphabetical progression from one subject to another. Wherever there are two or more items of legislation dealing with the same subject, they are combined into a single chapter. Thus, for example, all legislation pertaining to the regulation of streets and sidewalks may be found in Part II, in the chapter entitled “Streets and Sidewalks.” In such chapters, use of Article or Part designations has preserved the identity of the individual items of legislation.
Table of Contents
The Table of Contents details the alphabetical arrangement of material by chapter as a means of identifying specific areas of legislation. Wherever two or more items of legislation have been combined by the editor into a single chapter, titles of the several Articles or Parts are listed beneath the chapter title in order to facilitate location of the individual item of legislation.
Space has been provided in the Code for the convenient insertion, alphabetically, of later enactments. In the Table of Contents such space appears as chapters entitled “(Reserved).” In the body of the Code, reserved space is provided by breaks in the page-numbering sequence between chapters.
A unique page-numbering system has been used, in which each chapter forms an autonomous unit. One hundred pages have been allotted to each chapter, and the first page of each is the number of that chapter followed by the numerals “01.” Thus, Chapter 6 begins on page 601, Chapter 53 on 5301, etc. By use of this system, it is possible to add or to change pages in any chapter without affecting the sequence of subsequent pages in other chapters, and to insert new chapters without affecting the existing organization.
Numbering of Sections
A chapter-related section-numbering system is employed, in which each section of every item of legislation is assigned a number, which indicates both the number of the chapter in which the legislation is located and the location of the section within that chapter. Thus, the first section of Chapter 6 is 6-1, while the fourth section of Chapter 53 is 53-4. New sections can then be added between existing sections using a decimal system. Thus, for example, if two sections were to be added between 53-4 and 53-5, they would be numbered as 53-4.1 and 53-4.2.
The Scheme is the list of section titles which precedes the text of each chapter. These titles are carefully written so that, taken together, they may be considered as a summary of the content of the chapter. Taken separately, each describes the content of a particular section. For ease and precision of reference, the Scheme titles are repeated as section headings in the text.
At the end of the Scheme in each chapter is located the legislative history for that chapter. This History indicates the specific legislative source from which the chapter was derived, including the enactment number (e.g., local law number, bylaw number, resolution number, etc.), if pertinent, and the date of adoption. In the case of chapters containing Parts or Articles derived from more than one item of legislation, the source of each Part or Article is indicated in the History. Amendments to individual sections or subsections are indicated by histories where appropriate in the text.
Codification Amendments and Revisions
New chapters adopted during the process of codification are specifically enumerated in chapter Histories with reference to “Ch. 1, General Provisions,” where the legislation adopting this Code and making such revisions will appear after final enactment. Sections amended or revised are indicated in the text by means of Editor’s Notes referring to the chapter cited above.
Certain forms of local legislation are not of a nature suitable for inclusion in the main body of the Code but are of such significance that their application is community-wide or their provisions are germane to the conduct of municipal government. The appendix of this Code is reserved for such legislation and for any other material that the community may wish to include.
The Disposition List is a chronological listing of legislation adopted since the publication of the Code, indicating its inclusion in the Code or the reason for its exclusion. The Disposition List will be updated with each supplement to the Code to include the legislation reviewed with said supplement.
The Index is a guide to information. Since it is likely that this Code will be used by persons without formal legal training, the Index has been formulated to enable such persons to locate a particular section quickly. Each section of each chapter has been indexed. The Index will be supplemented and revised from time to time as new legislation is added to the Code.
Instructions for Amending the Code
All changes to the Code, whether they are amendments, deletions or complete new additions, should be adopted as amending the Code. In doing so, existing material that is not being substantively altered should not be renumbered. Where new sections are to be added to a chapter, they can be added at the end of the existing material (continuing the numbering sequence) or inserted between existing sections as decimal numbers (e.g., a new section between 45-5 and 45-6 should be designated 45-5.1). New chapters should be added in the proper alphabetical sequence in the appropriate division or part (e.g., Part I, Administrative Legislation, or Part II, General Legislation), utilizing the resolved chapter numbers. New chapter titles should begin with the key word for the alphabetical listing (e.g., new legislation on abandoned vehicles should be titled “Vehicles, Abandoned” under “V” in the table of contents, and a new enactment on coin-operated amusement devices should be “Amusement Devices” or “Amusement Devices, Coin-Operated” under “A” in the table of contents). Where a reserved number is not available, an “A” chapter should be used (e.g., a new chapter to be included between Chapters 45 and 46 should be designated Chapter 45A). New Articles may be inserted between existing Articles in a chapter (e.g., adding a new district to the Zoning Regulations) by the Articles XVI and XVII should be designated Article XVIA). The section numbers would be as indicated above (e.g., if the new Article XVIA contains six sections and existing Article XVI ends with 45-30 and Article XVII begins with 45-31, Article XVIA should contain 45-30.1 through 45-30.6).
Supplementation of the Code will follow the adoption of new legislation. New legislation or amendments to existing legislation will be included and repeals will be indicated as soon as possible after passage. Supplemental pages should be inserted as soon as they are received and old pages removed, in accordance with the Instruction Page which accompanies each supplement.
The assistance of the village officials is gratefully acknowledged by the editor. The codification of the legislation of the Village of Silver Creek reflects an appreciation of the needs of a progressive and expanding community. As in many other municipalities, officials are faced with fundamental changes involving nearly every facet of community life. Problems increase in number and complexity and range in importance from everyday details to crucial areas of civic planning. It is the profound conviction of General Code Publishers Corp. that this Code will contribute significantly to the efficient administration of local government. As Samuel Johnson observed, “The law is the last result of human wisdom acting upon human experience for the benefit of the public.”
Chapter 1 General Provisions
Adoption of Code
§1-1. Legislative intent.
§1-2. Continuation of existing provisions.
§1-3. Repeal of enactments not included in Code.
§1-4. Enactments saved from repeal; matters not affected.
§1-6. Copy of Code on file.
§1-7. Amendments to Code.
§1-8. Code book to be kept up-to-date.
§1-9. Sale of Code book; supplementation.
§1-10. Penalties for tampering with Code.
§1-11. Changes in previously adopted legislation; new provisions.
§1-12. Incorporation of provisions into Code.
§1-13. When effective.
§1-15. General word usage.
§1-16. Specific word usage.
§1-17. Penalties for offenses.
Interpretation with State Law
§1-18. Supersession of Village Law.
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Silver Creek: Art. I, 9-3-1996 as L.L. No. 1-1996; Art. II, 2-7-1983 as §§ 1.2B and 1.3 of the 1983 Code; Art. III, 2-7-1983 as §1.10 of the 1983 Code; Art. IV, 2-7-1983 as §1.14 of the 1983 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Adoption of Code
[Adopted 9-3-1996 as L.L. No. 1-1996]
§1-1. Legislative intent. In accordance with Subdivision 3 of §20 of the Municipal Home Rule Law, the local laws, ordinances and certain resolutions of the Village of Silver Creek, as codified by General Code Publishers Corp., and consisting of Chapters 1 through 215, together with an Appendix, shall be known collectively as the “Code of the Village of Silver Creek,” hereafter termed the “Code.” Wherever reference is made in any of the local laws, ordinances and resolutions contained in the “Code of the Village of Silver Creek” to any other local law, ordinance or resolution appearing in said Code, such reference shall be changed to the appropriate chapter title, chapter number, Article number or section number appearing in the Code as if such local law, ordinance or resolution had been formally amended to so read.
§1-2. Continuation of existing provisions. The provisions of the Code, insofar as they are substantively the same as those of local laws, ordinances and resolutions in force immediately prior to the enactment of the Code by this local law are intended as a continuation of such local laws, ordinances and resolutions and not as new enactments, and the effectiveness of such provisions shall date from the date of adoption of the prior local law, ordinance or resolution. All such provisions are hereby continued in full force and effect and are hereby reaffirmed as to their adoption by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Silver Creek, and it is the intention of said Board that each such provision contained within the Code is hereby reaffirmed as it appears in said Code. Only such provisions of former local laws and ordinances as are omitted from this Code shall be deemed repealed or abrogated by the provisions of §1-3 below.
§1-3. Repeal of enactments not included in Code. All local laws and ordinances of a general and permanent nature of the Village of Silver Creek in force ON THE DATE OF THE ADOPTION OF THIS LOCAL LAW AND NOT CONTAINED IN SUCH Code or recognized and continued in force by reference therein are hereby repealed from and after the effective date of this local law.
§1-4. Enactments saved from repeal; matters not affected. The repeal of local laws and ordinances provided for in §1-3 of this local law shall not affect the following classes of local laws, ordinances, rights and obligations, which are hereby expressly saved from repeal:
•A. Any right or liability established, accrued or incurred under any legislative provision of the Village of Silver Creek prior to the effective date of this local law or any action or proceeding brought for the enforcement of such right or liability.
•B. Any offense or act committed or done before the effective date of this local law in violation of any legislative provision of the Village of Silver Creek or any penalty, punishment or forfeiture which may result therefrom.
•C. Any prosecution, indictment, action, suit or other proceeding pending or any judgment rendered prior to the effective date of this local law, brought pursuant to any legislative provision of the Village of Silver Creek.
•D. Any franchise, license, right, easement or privilege heretofore granted or conferred by the Village of Silver Creek.
•E. Any local law or ordinance of the Village of Silver Creek providing for the laying out, opening, altering, widening, relocating, straightening, establishing grade, changing name, improvement, acceptance or vacation of any right-of-way, easement, street, road, highway, park or other public place within the Village of Silver Creek or any portion thereof.
•F. Any local law or ordinance of the Village of Silver Creek appropriating money or transferring funds, promising or guaranteeing the payment of money or authorizing the issuance and delivery of any bond of the Village of Silver Creek or other instruments or evidence of the village’s indebtedness.
•G. Local laws or ordinances authorizing the purchase, sale lease or transfer or property, or any lawful contract or obligation. •H. The levy or imposition of special assessments or charges.
•I. The annexation or dedication of property.
•J. Any legislation relating to salaries.
•K. Any local law or ordinance amending the Zoning Map.
•L. Any legislation adopted subsequent to January 1, 1995.
•M. Any ordinance relating to or establishing a pension plan or pension fund for municipal employees.
§1-5. Severability. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section, Article, chapter or part of this local law or any local law, ordinance or resolution included in this Code now or through supplementation shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof but shall be confined in it’s operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section, Article, chapter or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered.
§1-6. Copy of Code on file. A copy of the Code, in loose-leaf form, has been filed in the office of the Village Clerk of the Village of Silver Creek and shall remain there for use and examination by the public until final action is taken on this local law; and, if this local law shall be adopted, such copy shall be certified by the Village Clerk of the Village of Silver Creek by impressing thereon the Seal of the Village of Silver Creek, and such certified copy shall remain on file in the office of said Village Clerk to be made available to persons desiring to examine the same during times while said Code is in effect. The enactment and publication of this local law, coupled with the availability of a copy of the Code for inspection by the public, shall be deemed, held and considered to be due and legal publication of all provisions of the Code for all purposes.
§1-7. Amendments to Code. Any and all additions, deletions, amendments or supplements to any of the local laws, ordinances and resolutions known collectively as the “Code of the Village of Silver Creek” or any new local laws or resolutions, when enacted or adopted in such form as to indicate the intention of the Board of Trustees to be a part thereof, shall be deemed to be incorporated into such Code so that references to the Code shall be understood and intended to include such additions, deletions, amendments or supplements. Whenever such additions, deletions, amendments or supplements to the Code shall be enacted or adopted, they shall thereafter be printed and, as provided hereunder, inserted in the loose-leaf book containing said Code as amendments and supplements thereto. Nothing contained in this local law shall affect the status of any local law, ordinance or resolution contained herein, and such local laws, ordinances or resolutions may be amended, deleted or changed from time to time as the Board of Trustees deems desirable.
§1-8. Code book to be kept up-to-date. It shall be the duty of the Village Clerk to keep up-to-date the certified copy of the book containing the Code of the Village of Silver Creek required to be filed in the office of the Village Clerk for use by the public. All changes in said Code and all local laws and resolutions adopted by the Board of Trustees subsequent to the enactment of this local law in such form as to indicate the intention of said Board to be a part of said Code shall, when finally enacted or adopted, be included therein by temporary until such changes, local laws or resolutions are printed as supplements to said Code book, at which time such supplements shall be inserted therein.
§1-9. Sale of Code book; supplementation. Copies of the Code may be purchased from the Village Clerk of the Village of Silver Creek upon the payment of a fee to be set by resolution of the Board of Trustees, which Board may also arrange by resolution for procedures for the periodic supplementation thereof.
§1-10. Penalties for tampering with Code. Any person who, without authorization from the Village Clerk, changes or amends, by additions or deletions, any part or portion of the Code of the Village of Silver Creek or who alters or tampers with such Code in any manner whatsoever which will cause the legislation of the Village of Silver Creek to be misrepresented thereby or who violates any other provision of this local law shall be guilty of an offense and shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.) or imprisonment for a term of not more than fifteen (15) days, or both.
§1-11. Changes in previously adopted legislation; new provisions.
•A. In compiling and preparing the local laws, ordinances and resolutions for publication as the Code of the Village of Silver Creek, no changes in the meaning or intent of such local laws, ordinances and resolutions have been made, except as provided for in Subsection B hereof. In addition certain grammatical changes and other minor nonsubstantive changes were made in one (1) or more of said pieces of legislation. It is the intention of the Board of Trustees that all such changes be adopted as part of the Code as if the local laws, ordinances and resolutions had been previously formally amended to read as such.
•B. Nomenclature changes. •(1) Throughout the Code, the term “Building Inspector” is hereby changed to “Code Enforcement Officer.” •(2) Throughout the Code, the term “Police Chief” is hereby changed to “Chief of Police.” •(3) Throughout the Code, the terms “Water Superintendent” and “Sewer Superintendent” are hereby changed to “Water and Sewer Superintendent.” •(4) Throughout the Code, the term “Highway Superintendent” is hereby changed to “Street Superintendent.” •(5) Throughout the Code, “State Building Construction Code” is hereby amended to “New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.”
•C. In addition, the following amendments and/or additions are made herewith, to become effective upon the effective date of this local law as set forth in Schedule A attached hereto and made a part hereof (chapter and section number references are to the local laws, ordinances and resolutions as they have been renumbered and appear in the Code).1
§1-12. Incorporation of provisions into Code. The provisions of this local law are hereby made Article I of Chapter 1 of the Code of the Village of Silver Creek, such local law to be entitled “General Provisions, Article I Adoption of Code,” and the sections of this local law shall be numbered 1-1 to 1-13, inclusive.
§1-13. When effective. This local law shall take effect immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State of the State of New York. [A local law making certain substantive changes to existing laws and local laws, adopting certain new pieces of legislation and providing for the adoption of this Code as the “Code of the Village of Silver Creek” is presently proposed before the Board of Trustees. Upon final adoption, it will be included here as Article I of this chapter.]
Terminology [Adopted 2-7-1983 as §§1.2B and 1.3 of the 1983 Code]
§1-15. General word usage. All words used in this Code and not otherwise specifically defined shall be construed as prescribed in the General Construction Law or, if not defined therein, in the manner that they normally used unless the context or subject matter requires otherwise; but words that have acquired a technical meaning in law and are so used shall be construed and understood in accordance with such meaning.
§1-16. Specific word usage.
•A. Word used in the present tense includes the future tense.
•B. The singular number includes the plural.2
•C. The term “person” or “persons” or any pronoun referring to a “person” shall be deemed to include one (1) or more persons of either sex, natural persons, corporations, partnerships, associations, joint-stock companies, societies and all other entities capable of being sued. [Added 9-3-1996 by L.L. No. 1-1996]
•D. “May” is permissive; “shall” is mandatory. [Added 9-3-1996 by L.L. No. 1-1996]
General Penalty [Adopted 2-7-1983 as §1.10 of the 1983 Code]
§1-17. Penalties for offenses.
•A. When no specific penalty is prescribed in any chapter contained in this Code, rule or regulation of the village or in any other provision of law for any act which is prohibited or for the failure to do any act which is required and is made or declared to be unlawful, the violation therof shall be punishable by a fine not less than fifty dollars ($50.) nor more that five hundred dollars ($500.) or by imprisonment for not more than fifteen (15) days, or both such fine and imprisonment. [Added 9-3-1996 by L.L. No. 1-1996]
•B. In all cases, the Board of Trustees may enforce obedience of any provisions of this Code by injunction.
Interpretation with State Law [Adopted 2-7-1983 as §1.14 of the 1983 Code]
§1-18. Supersession of Village Law. In case any provision of the Village of Silver Creek Code is inconsistent with any provision of the Village Law, pursuant to the authority contained in Subdivision 1e(3) of §10 of the Municipal Home Rule Law, the Village Law is modified and superseded in it’s application to the Village of Silver Creek to the extent and only to the extent that the Village Law is inconsistent with any provision of the Village of Silver Creek Code. SILVER CREEK CODE ARTICLE V Legislation Enacted During Codification [During the process of codification, certain new pieces of legislation or changes and/or additions to various existing pieces of legislation were approved by the Board of Trustees for inclusion in the Code of the Village of Silver Creek. Such amendments and new enactments are noted in the histories of individual chapters as “…amended (adopted) during codification; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. V.” Upon final enactment, a complete enumeration of all chapters and sections in the Code involved in such enactments will be included in this Article, along with specific dates of adoption. The listing below sets forth each chapter and, where applicable, each Article affected by any such legislation adopted during codification. The complete text of such amendments is on file in the office of the Village Clerk where it may be inspected during regular office hours.] Adoption Chapter/Article Date Legislation A219, Fees 9-3-1996 Resolution 1 Editor’s Note: In accordance with §1-11C, the chapters, parts and sections which were added, amended, adopted or deleted by this local law are indicated throughout the Code by a footnote referring to Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article I. During routine supplementation, footnotes indicating amendments or additions will be replaced with the following history: “Amended (added) 9-3-1996 by L.L. No. 1-1996.” Schedule A, which contains a complete description of all changes, is on file in the village offices. 2 Editor’s Note: Former Subsection 3, dealing with masculine gender-specific word usage, which immediately followed this subsection, was deleted at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. 1.
Chapter 3 Administration of Government
§3-1. Failure of officers or employees to perform duties.
§3-2. Authority of deputies and assistants.
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Silver Creek 2-7-1983 as §§1.11 and 1.12 of the 1983 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.
GENERAL REFERENCES Defense and indemnification-See Ch. 19. Code of Ethics-SeeCh. 25.
§3-1. Failure of officers or employees to perform duties. The failure of any officer or employee of the village to perform an official act imposed by this Code shall not be an offense and shall not subject such officer or employee to the penalty imposed for the violation of any provision of this Code unless a penalty is specifically provided therefore.
§3-2. Authority of deputies and assistants.
•A. Wherever any officer of the village is granted certain powers or duties or is designated as the enforcement officer of a specific chapter or portion thereof, it shall also be construed to include the deputies, assistants and representatives of such officer as may be designated, delegated or authorized by such officer to exercise such powers or duties.
B. While acting within the scope of their employment, it shall be presumed that all acts performed by such deputies, assistants and representatives were duly delegated and authorized.