Ordinance No. 3-08
Introduced: February 7, 2008
Public Hearing: March 6, 2008
An ordinance re-adopting Chapter 39, Property Maintenance Code, of the Revised Ordinances of the Township of Randolph, Morris County New Jersey
WHEREAS, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:48-1, a municipality may make, amend, repeal and enforce Ordinances to manage, regulate and control the repair of buildings and structures within the municipality, as well as provide for the removal or destruction of any building, wall or structure which is or may become dangerous to life or health; and
WHEREAS, the Township of Randolph (“Township”) received complaints about the exterior maintenance conditions of numerous rental properties within the Township, including, but not limited to; deteriorated roofs, overgrowth of weeds and vegetation, unsafe stairs, handrails, and walkways utilized to access the dwelling, lack of siding or siding in need of repair, and accumulation of rubbish and has confirmed their existence; and
WHEREAS, in response to those complaints, the Township adopted Ordinance No. 16-04 on June 3, 2004, which supplemented the Revised Ordinances of the Township of Randolph, Morris County, New Jersey by the addition of Chapter 39, Property Maintenance Code; and
WHEREAS, Chapter 39, Property Maintenance Code, of the Revised Ordinances of the Township of Randolph, Morris County, New Jersey, expired on December 31, 2005; and
WHEREAS, the Township of Randolph desires to re-adopt Chapter 39, Property Maintenance Code, of the Revised Ordinances of the Township of Randolph, Morris County, New Jersey, and provide for a new expiration date of December 31, 2011.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED, by the Governing Body of the Township of Randolph, County of Morris, State of New Jersey as follows:
SECTION ONE. Chapter 39, Property Maintenance Code, of the Revised Ordinances of the Township of Randolph, Morris County, New Jersey is hereby deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following:
CHAPTER 39 - PROPERTY MAINTENANCE CODE
Section 39-1. Findings and declarations.
It is hereby found that there exist in the Township non-owner occupied rental premises which are or may become in the future substandard with respect to structure, equipment or maintenance or further that conditions exist, such as structural deterioration, infestation, lack of maintenance, fire hazards and unsanitary conditions that constitute a menace to the health, safety, morals, welfare and reasonable comfort of the residents of the Township. It is further found and declared that, by reason of such lack of maintenance and because of progressive deterioration, certain properties have the effect of creating blighting conditions that, if the same are not curtailed and removed, these conditions will grow and spread and will necessitate the expenditure of large amounts of public funds to correct and eliminate them. It is also found that if there is a timely implementation of the regulations and restrictions contained herein, the growth of blight may be prevented and property values maintained, the desirability of the Township’s neighborhoods enhanced and the public health, safety and welfare protected.
Section 39-2. Purpose and applicability.
(a) The purpose of this chapter is to protect the public health, safety and welfare by establishing minimum standards governing the maintenance, appearance and condition of non-owner occupied rental premises. It fixes certain responsibilities upon owners, operators, occupants and other persons. It fixes penalties for the violation of this chapter and provides procedures for correcting violations in those cases requiring Township action. This chapter is hereby declared to be remedial, protective, preventive and essential for the public interest, and it is intended that this chapter be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes as stated herein.
(b) Every non-owner occupied rental structure and the premises on which it is situated in the Township, used or intended to be used for dwelling, commercial, business or industrial occupancy, shall comply with the provisions of this chapter whether or not such structure shall have been constructed, altered or repaired before or after the enactment of this chapter, and irrespective of any permits or licenses which shall have been issued for the use or occupancy of the structure or for the installation or repair of equipment or facilities prior to the effective date of this chapter. This chapter establishes minimum standards for the maintenance of all buildings and does not replace or modify standards otherwise established for the habitability, construction, repair, alteration or use of the building, equipment or facilities contained therein.
Section 39-3. Definitions.
The following terms, wherever used herein or referred to in this chapter, shall have the respective meanings assigned to them, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLE—Any unlicensed or unregistered motor vehicle that is not capable of operation or has been in an inoperable state for more than seven calendar days.
DETERIORATION—The condition of a building or part thereof characterized by holes, breaks, rot, crumbling, peeling, rusting or other evidence of physical decay or neglect, lack of maintenance or excessive use.
EXPOSED TO PUBLIC VIEW—Any premises or any part thereof or any building or any part thereof which may be lawfully viewed by the public.
EXTERIOR OF THE PREMISES—The open space on the premises and on adjoining premises under the control of the owners or operators on the outside of the premises.
EXTERMINATION—The control and elimination of insects, rodents or other pests by eliminating their harborage places, by removing or making inaccessible materials that may serve as their food by poison, spraying, fumigating, trapping or by any other approved pest elimination methods.
GARBAGE—Putrescible animal and vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and consumption of food. (See also “refuse” and “rubbish.”)
INFESTATION—The presence, within or contiguous to the structure or premises, of insects, rodents, vermin or other pests.
JUNK—Any old, discarded or unused waste iron or other metal or substance, glass, paper, used lumber, rags, machine parts, accessories, machinery, machines, unregistered motor vehicles which are unfit for operation, used parts of motor vehicles and any material commonly known and generally referred to as “junk” in the ordinary and accepted meaning of the word.
A. Any public nuisance as defined by statute or ordinance or at common law.
B. Any unattractive nuisance which may prove detrimental to the health or safety of children, whether in a building, on the premises of a building or upon an unoccupied lot. This includes but is not limited to abandoned motor vehicles, abandoned cesspools, abandoned wells, shafts, basements, excavations, abandoned refrigerators, any structurally unsound fences or structures, used lumber, trash, junk, debris or vegetation, such as poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac, which may prove hazardous.
C. Physical conditions dangerous to human life or detrimental to the health of persons on or near the premises where the conditions exist.
D. Insufficient ventilation or illumination in violation of this chapter.
E. Inadequate or unsanitary sewage or plumbing facilities in violation of this chapter.
F. Unsanitary conditions or anything offensive to the senses or dangerous to health, in violation of this chapter.
G. Whatever renders air, food or drink unwholesome or detrimental to the health of human beings.
H. Fire hazards.
OCCUPANT—Any person living or sleeping in a building; or having possession of a space within a building.
OPERATOR—Any person who has charge, care or control of a dwelling or premises or a part thereof, whether with or without the knowledge and consent of the owner.
OWNER—Any person or entity who, alone or jointly or severally with others, shall have legal or equitable title to any premises, with or without accompanying actual possession thereof, or shall have charge, care or control of any dwelling unit as owner or as executor, executrix, administrator, administratrix, trustee, receiver or guardian of the estate or as a mortgagee in possession, regardless of how such possession was obtained. Any person who is a lessee subletting or reassigning any part or all of any dwelling or dwelling unit shall be deemed to be a co-owner with the lessor and shall have joint responsibility over the portion of the premises sublet or assigned by said lessee.
PREMISES—A lot, plot or parcel of land, including the buildings or structures thereon. For the purpose of this chapter, a vacant lot shall be defined as a “lot.”
REFUSE—All putrescible and nonputrescible solid waste, except body wastes, including but not limited to garbage, rubbish, ash, street cleanings, dead animals, abandoned motor vehicles and solid and industrial wastes. (See also “garbage” and “rubbish.”)
RUBBISH—Nonputrescible solid wastes consisting of both combustible and noncombustible wastes, such as paper, wrappings, cigarettes, cardboard, tin cans, yard clippings, leaves, wood, glass, bedding, crockery and similar materials. (See also “garbage” and “refuse.”) Yard clippings, leaves, and wood shall be excluded from the definition of rubbish if they are properly composted in accordance with generally accepted practices or located in a wooded area within the property.
Section 39-4. Conflict with other provisions.
In any case where the provisions of this chapter impose a higher standard than set forth in any other local ordinance or under the laws of the state, then the standards as set forth herein shall prevail, but if the provisions of this chapter impose a lower standard than any other local ordinance or the laws of the state, then the higher standard contained in any such other ordinance or law shall prevail.
Section 39-5. Violation of other provisions.
No license, permit or other certification of compliance with this chapter shall constitute a defense against any violation of any other local ordinance applicable to any structure or premises, nor shall any provision herein relieve any owner, operator or occupant from complying with any such other provision nor any official of the Township from enforcing any such other provision.
Section 39-6. Responsibilities of owners, operators and occupants.
(a) Owners and operators shall have all the duties and responsibilities described in this chapter, and no owner or operator shall be relieved from any such duty and responsibility nor be entitled to defend against any charge or violation thereof by reason of the fact that the occupant is also responsible therefor and in violation thereof.
(b) Occupants shall have all the duties and responsibilities as prescribed in this chapter and all the regulations promulgated thereto, and the occupants shall not be relieved from any such duty and responsibility and be entitled to defend against any charge or violation thereof by reason of the fact that the owner or operator is also responsible therefor and in violation thereof.
(c) Unless expressly provided to the contrary in this chapter, the respective obligations and responsibilities of the owner and operator on one hand and the occupant on the other shall not be altered or affected by any agreement or contract by and between any of the aforesaid or between them and other parties.
Section 39-7. Exterior maintenance.
(a) Appearance of exterior of premises and structures. The exterior of every structure or accessory structure, including fences, shall be maintained in good repair with a finished appearance of the standard quality and appearance commensurate with the character of the properties in the same block and on both sides of the street on which the premises fronts. The same shall be maintained free of broken glass, loose shingles, crumbling stone or brick, peeling paint or other conditions reflective of deterioration or inadequate maintenance to the end that the property itself may be preserved, safety and fire hazards eliminated and adjoining properties protected from blighting influences.
(b) Sanitation. 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.
(c) Sidewalks and driveways. All sidewalks, walkways, stairs, driveways, parking spaces and similar areas shall be kept in a proper state of repair and maintained free from hazardous conditions.
(d) Exhaust vents. Pipes, ducts, conductors, fans and blowers shall not discharge gases, steam, vapor, hot air, grease, smoke, odors or other gaseous or particulate wastes directly upon abutting or adjacent public or private property or that of another tenant.
(e) Accessory structures. All accessory structures, including detached garages, fences and walls, shall be maintained structurally sound and in good repair.
(f) Exterior painting. All wood and metal surfaces, including but not limited to window frames, doors, door frames, cornices, porches and trim shall be maintained in good condition. Peeling, flaking and chipped paint shall be eliminated and surfaces repainted.
(g) Structural members. All structural members shall be maintained free from deterioration and shall be capable of safely supporting the imposed dead and live loads.
(h) Foundation walls. All foundation walls shall be maintained plumb and free from open cracks and breaks and shall be kept in such condition so as to prevent the entry of rodents.
(i) Exterior walls. All exterior walls shall be free from holes, breaks, loose or rotting materials; and maintained weatherproof and properly surface coated, where required, to prevent deterioration.
(j) Defects that admit rain. Roof drainage shall be adequate to prevent dampness or deterioration in the walls or interior portion of the structure. Roof drains, gutters and down spouts shall be maintained in good repair and free from obstructions. Roof water shall not be discharged in a manner that creates a public nuisance.
(k) Decorative features. All cornices, belt courses, corbels, terra cotta trim, wall facings and similar decorative features shall be maintained in good repair with proper anchorage and in a safe condition.
(l) Overhang extensions. All canopies, marquees, signs, metal awnings, fire escapes, stand pipes, exhaust ducts and similar overhang extensions shall be maintained in good repair and be properly anchored so as to be kept in a sound condition. When required, all exposed surfaces of metal or wood shall be protected from the elements and against decay or rust by periodic application of weather-coating materials, such as paint or similar surface treatment.
(m) Stairways, decks, porches and balconies. Every exterior stairway, deck, porch and balcony, and all appurtenances attached thereto, shall be maintained structurally sound, in good repair, with proper anchorage and capable of supporting the imposed loads.
(n) Chimneys and towers. All chimneys, cooling towers, smoke stacks and similar appurtenances shall be maintained structurally safe and sound and in good repair. All exposed surfaces of metal or wood shall be protected from the elements and against decay or rust by periodic application of weather-coating materials, such as paint or similar surface treatment.
(o) Handrails and guards. Every handrail and guard shall be firmly fastened and capable of supporting normally imposed loads and shall be structurally sound and in good condition.
(p) Defacement of property. No person shall willfully or wantonly damage, mutilate or deface any exterior surface of any structure or building on any private or public property by placing thereon any markings, carving or graffiti. It shall be the responsibility of the owner to restore said surface to an approved state of maintenance and repair.
(q) Accumulation of rubbish, garbage, or junk. All exterior property and premises shall be free from any accumulation of rubbish, garbage, or junk.
Section 39-8. Landscaping.
Landscaping of all premises shall be properly maintained, with lawns, hedges and bushes kept trimmed and from becoming overgrown and unsightly where exposed to public view and where the same constitutes a blighting factor depreciating adjoining property.
Section 39-9. Enforcement.
(a) Code Enforcement Officer. The duty of enforcing the provisions of this chapter is hereby conferred upon the Health Official, who shall be designated as the Code Enforcement Officer and shall have all powers conferred upon that person by this chapter or as may reasonably be implied.
(b) Notice. Whenever the Code Enforcement Officer determines that there is or has been a violation of any provision of this chapter, notice of the violation shall be given. Such notice shall:
(1) Be in writing.
(2) Include a description of the property sufficient for identification.
(3) Include a statement of the violation or violations and why the notice is being issued.
(4) Include a correction order allowing a reasonable time to make the repairs and improvements required to bring the property into compliance with the provisions of the Code.
(5) Inform the property owner, operator, or occupant of the right to appeal.
(c) Method of Service. Such notice shall be deemed to be properly served if a copy thereof is:
(1) Delivered personally to the owner, operator, or occupant; or
(2) Sent by certified mail or first class mail addressed to the last known address of the recipient; or
(3) If the notice is returned showing that the letter was not delivered, a copy thereof shall be posted in a conspicuous place in or about the structure on the premises affected by such notice.
(d) Time for Compliance. The Code Enforcement Officer may, in the Officer’s discretion, extend the time period for compliance if, in his/her judgment, it is believed that the alleged violation cannot reasonably be completely corrected within the prescribed time period. In such case written notification of the extension shall set forth the length of the time provided to cure the violation.
(e) Issuance of Summons. In the event that the alleged violation is not fully remedied within the time period stated in the notice of violation, or such additional time as the Code Enforcement Officer may afford, then a summons shall be issued against the person, persons or entities so notified. Should the same alleged violation continue unabated the Code Enforcement Officer may issue additional summons or summonses without the need to serve a notice of violation anew. Each day of noncompliance will be deemed a separate offense without the need for the Code Enforcement Officer to issue a daily summons.
(f) Certificates of Habitability. In the event that the alleged violation is not fully remedied within the time period stated in the notice of violation, or such additional time as the Code Enforcement Officer may afford, then no further certificates of habitability shall be issued. Upon corrections being made, certificates of habitability shall be issued.
(h) Transfer of ownership. It shall be unlawful for the owner of any dwelling unit or structure who has received a notice of violation or summons to sell, transfer, mortgage, lease or otherwise dispose of to another until the provision of the notice of violation or summons have been complied with, or until such owner shall first furnish the grantee, transferee, mortgagee or lessee a true copy of any notice of violation or summons issued by the Code Enforcement Officer and shall furnish to the Code Enforcement Officer a signed and notarized statement from the grantee, transferee, mortgagee, or lessee, acknowledging the receipt of such notice of violation or summons and fully accepting the responsibility without condition for making the corrections or repairs required by notice of violation or summons.
Section 39-10. Additional remedies.
Nothing contained herein shall limit the power of the Code Enforcement Officer to take such further action under the criminal and civil laws of this State through any court of competent jurisdiction as may be necessary to remove or abate any nuisance.
Section 39-11. Compliance inspection.
Upon issuance of a notice of violation pursuant to this chapter, the property owners, operators or occupants shall correct the condition and notify the Code Enforcement Officer that said condition has been corrected. A compliance inspection shall then be made. Should full compliance not be achieved at the time of the inspection, the Township shall be reimbursed for cost of all re-inspections by the property owner. Failure to reimburse the Township shall result in a lien for said cost being placed against the property.
Section 39-12. Costs of removal of debris.
Where abatement of any nuisance as defined herein was accomplished and the premises brought into compliance with this chapter through the expenditure of Township funds, such costs shall be assessed against the premises cited as a lien in the same manner as real estate taxes if ordered by the court and enforced by the same officers and in the same manner as taxes.
Section 39-13. Demolition.
(a) General. The Code Enforcement Officer shall order the owner of any premises upon which is located any structure, which in the Code Enforcement Officer(s judgment is so old, dilapidated, or has become so out of repair as to be dangerous, unsafe, unsanitary, or otherwise unfit for human habitation or occupancy, and such that it is unreasonable to repair the structure, to demolish and remove such structure; or if such structure is capable of being made safe by repairs to repair and make safe and sanitary or to demolish and remove at the owner(s option; or where there has been a cessation of normal construction of any structure for a period of more than two years, to demolish and remove such structure.
(b) Notice and Summonses. All notices and summons shall comply with Section 39-9.
(c) Failure to comply. If the owner of the premises fails to comply with the demolition order within the time prescribed, the Code Enforcement Officer shall cause the structure to be demolished and removed, whether through an available public agency or by contract or arrangement with private person, and the cost of such demolition and removal shall be charged against the real estate upon which the structure is located and shall be a lien upon such real estate.
(d) Salvage Material. When any structure has been ordered demolished and removed, the governing body or other designated officer under said contract or arrangement aforesaid shall have the right to sell the salvage and valuable materials at the highest price obtainable. The net proceeds of such sale, after deducting the expenses of such demolition and removal, shall be promptly remitted with a report of such sale or transaction, including the items of expense and the amounts deducted, for the person who is entitled thereto, subject to any order of a court. If such a surplus does not remain to be turned over, the report shall so state.
Section 39-14. Violations and penalties.
In addition to enforcement of and liability for compliance with procedures provided for previously in this chapter, any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine of not less than One Hundred dollars ($100) nor more than One Thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in the County Jail for a term not exceeding ninety (90) days, or by a period of community service not exceeding ninety (90) days, or any combination thereof, for each violation. Each day a particular violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
Section 39-15. Expiration.
This Ordinance shall expire on December 31, 2011, at which time the Governing Body of the Township shall revisit the efficiency of the Ordinance provisions, however, all summonses issued prior to January 1, 2012 shall be enforced and prosecuted by the Township irrespective of whether the Ordinance is reinstated.
SECTION TWO. All Ordinances of the Township of Randolph which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Ordinance are hereby repealed as to the extent of such inconsistency.
SECTION THREE. If any section, subsection, clause, or phrase of this Ordinance is for any reason held to be unconstitutional or invalid by any Court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the remaining portions of this Ordinance.
SECTION FOUR. This Ordinance shall take effect as provided by law.
Donna Marie Luciani, Township Clerk
TOWNSHIP OF RANDOLPH
Allen M. Napoliello
TOWNSHIP OF RANDOLPH, COUNTY OF MORRIS
ORDINANCE NO. 3-08
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that an Ordinance entitled “An Ordinance Re-Adopting Chapter 39, Property Maintenance Code, Of The Revised Ordinances Of The Township Of Randolph, Morris County New Jersey” was submitted in writing at a regular meeting of the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, held on February 7, 2008 and was introduced, read by title and passed on first reading. A Statement of Purpose of the Ordinance is contained below. The Governing Body of the Township of Randolph will further consider the Ordinance for second reading and final passage thereof at their regular meeting to be held on March 6, 2008 at 8 p.m. prevailing time, at the Municipal Building, 502 Millbrook Avenue, Randolph, New Jersey 07869, at which time and place a public hearing will be heard thereon by the Governing Body and all parties in interest and citizens shall have an opportunity to be heard concerning said Ordinance.
Statement of Purpose of Ordinance
The purpose of the above Ordinance is to re-adopt Chapter 39, Property Maintenance Code, of the Revised Ordinances of the Township of Randolph, Morris County, New Jersey, which expired on December 31, 2005.
A copy of the full Ordinance is available to any member of the general public, without cost, at the Township of Randolph, Municipal Building, Millbrook Avenue, Randolph, New Jersey, at the Office of the Township Clerk, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Donna Marie Luciani, Township Clerk
Township of Randolph
County of Morris, State of New Jersey