[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners (now City Council) of the City of Atlantic City as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Adoption of Public Health Nuisance Code of New Jersey (1953)
Article II Nuisance Properties: Excessive Consumption of Municipal Services
[Adopted 1-28-1971 by Ord. No. 3-1971]
A code defining and prohibiting certain matters, things, conditions or acts and each of them as a nuisance; prohibiting certain noises or sounds; requiring the proper heating of apartments; prohibiting lease or rental of certain buildings; prohibiting spitting in or upon public buildings, conveyances or sidewalks; authorizing the inspection of premises by an enforcing official; providing for the removal or abatement of certain nuisances and recovery or expenses incurred by the City of Atlantic City in removing or abating such nuisances; and prescribing penalties for violations is hereby established pursuant to Chapter 188 of the Laws of 1950. A copy of said code is annexed hereto and made a part hereof without the inclusion of the text thereof herein.
The code established and adopted by this chapter is described and commonly known as the "Public Health Nuisance Code of New Jersey (1953)."
Three copies of said Public Health Nuisance Code of New Jersey (1953) have been placed on file in the office of the Clerk of the City of Atlantic City upon the introduction of this chapter and will remain on file there for the use of and examination by the public.
[Amended 11-25-2008 by Ord. No. 104-2008]
Any person who violates or neglects to comply with any provision of this article or code established herein or notice issued pursuant thereto shall, upon conviction thereof, be liable to a penalty of not less than $5 nor more than $2,000 for each violation.
[Adopted 8-17-2016 by Ord. No. 38-2016]
The governing body of the municipality finds and declares that there are properties located within the community where nuisances exist and other activities occur which have resulted in the excessive consumption of municipal services.
The governing body finds and declares that the cost of the excessive consumption of municipal services relating directly to these nuisance properties should be paid by the property owner and, if applicable, the responsible tenant or occupant, and not by the public at large through taxes.
It is the purpose and intent of these regulations to identify these nuisance properties and provide for the timely payment of the cost of the excessive consumption of municipal services through summary proceedings pursuant to the due process requirements set forth in this article.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates that a different meaning is intended. Those terms not defined herein shall have the meaning attributed to them in other provisions in the municipal code:
- EXCESSIVE MUNICIPAL SERVICES
- Any qualifying calls made to a property while that property is on probationary nuisance status shall constitute excessive municipal services.
- HEARING OFFICER
- The Director of Licensing and Inspections shall be the hearing officer for matters as required in this article.
- NUISANCE PROPERTY
- Properties on which activities occur that result in qualifying calls for municipal services during any sixty-day period in excess of the number of such calls shown on the schedule in § 190-9 shall be considered nuisance properties and shall be subject to the penalties and procedures as described in this article.
- PROBATIONARY NUISANCE STATUS
- Probationary nuisance status shall apply to a property during the twelve-month period beginning on the date of notice that the public officer has determined that the property has received the requisite number of qualifying calls within a sixty-day period and during which, depending on the outcome of a hearing, the property owner and tenant/occupant, if applicable, shall be liable to the City for user charges for each qualifying call.
- QUALIFYING CALLS
- Calls resulting from violations of state or local laws, regulations or ordinances shall be considered qualifying calls for purposes of the provisions of this article. The list below is not exhaustive, and the hearing officer is authorized to determine if any calls for violations not specifically identified below shall also constitute a qualifying call. However, calls for permitting, licensing, inspections or similar administrative functions shall not be considered qualifying calls. Qualifying calls are calls for violations of any law, regulation or ordinance relating to;
- A. The sale, service or consumption of alcoholic beverages;
- B. Disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, littering, or excessive noise;
- C. Damage to property or injury to a person;
- D. Improperly parking of a vehicle or any motor vehicle violation on private property;
- E. Possession of a barking, howling, biting or dangerous animal;
- F. Possession, distribution or usage of a controlled dangerous substance;
- G. Prostitution;
- H. Public urination, defecation or indecent exposure;
- I. Criminal activity; or
- J. City codes, including Property Maintenance, Zoning and Health violations.
- USER FEE
- The user fee shall be a fee of $300 for each additional qualifying call made to the subject property within the twelve-month period following the date that a complaint is issued for the excessive consumption of municipal services.
The Director of the Mercantile Office can be someone else, just not Director of Licensing since he is the hearing officer or his/her designee(s) is hereby designated as the public officer authorized to follow the procedures as set forth in this article.
Each department of municipal government providing municipal services to properties is responsible for keeping and maintaining records detailing information regarding the municipal services provided, including the following information:
The exact location of the subject property;
The name and address of the property owners and tenants, if known and applicable;
The date and the nature of the call and services;
The nature of the violation or violations;
The name of each public employee providing the municipal services.
The department of municipal government providing the excessive municipal services to the subject property shall coordinate its responsibilities under this article with the public officer responsible for enforcing these regulations.
Properties on which activities occur that result in qualifying calls for municipal services during any sixty-day period that exceed the number indicated on the schedule below shall be considered nuisance properties and shall be subject to the penalties and procedures as described in this article:
Residential properties consisting of a one through four dwelling units: five qualifying calls;
Convenience, grocery, liquor and retail stores: 10 qualifying calls;
Restaurants, bars and adult entertainment establishments: 30 qualifying calls;
Casino hotels: 200 qualifying calls as a base amount plus an additional 30 qualifying calls for each food or beverage outlet and 10 qualifying calls for each retail store within the property;
All other properties not specifically identified in this schedule: 10 qualifying calls.
Whenever the public officer shall determine that any property has become a nuisance property by its consumption of excessive municipal services, the public officer shall prepare a complaint and summons setting forth the location of the property and the allegation as to the excessive use of municipal services, and a notice of hearing setting forth the date, time and place of the hearing. The complaint shall also provide notice:
That the property is on probationary nuisance status for the 12 months following the date of the complaint;
That during such probationary nuisance status period, any additional qualifying calls made to the property shall result in an obligation for a user fee of $300 per call;
Specifying the types and dates of qualifying calls made to the subject property; and
Of the City's demand for the abatement of the activities resulting in the qualifying calls.
The complaint and notice of hearing shall be served upon the property owner and, if a requisite number of qualifying calls involve the same tenant or occupant on the property, also the tenant or occupant. Service shall be made personally or by regular and certified mail, return receipt requested, by mailing the complaint and notice of hearing to the last known address of such person.
If the whereabouts of the property owner or the tenant/occupant are unknown and cannot be ascertained in the exercise of reasonable diligence, then service of the pleadings on such person shall be made as follows:
Whenever an individual dwelling unit within a multifamily dwelling has received five qualifying calls within a sixty-day period, the public officer shall notify the property owner and tenant/occupant, in the same manner as provided in Subsection B and C above, of the fact so that the property owner can take appropriate action to abate the nuisance. This notification shall be made even though the multifamily dwelling has not received the required number of qualifying calls within a sixty-day period which would trigger a notice of violation.
The public officer shall present evidence and testify at the hearing and may produce witnesses in support of the allegations contained in the complaint. The property owner and any party of interest shall have the right to appear at the hearing and testify, produce witnesses, and be represented by an attorney.
The Director of Licensing and Inspections, acting as hearing officer, shall determine at the hearing whether the subject property received qualifying calls during the subject sixty-day period in excess of that as indicated in § 190-9 for the type of property being considered. If so, the hearing officer shall confirm that the property was on probationary nuisance status from the date of the complaint. If the Director of Licensing and Inspections also finds that there were qualifying calls made to the subject property during the time that the property was on probationary nuisance status, the Director shall so state in his findings and enter an order against the property owner or, if a requisite number of qualifying calls involve the same tenant or occupant on the property, against the owner and each involved tenant/occupant, as follows:
The Director shall determine the time that the subject property was on probationary nuisance status;
The Director shall determine the number of qualifying calls made to the subject property during that probationary nuisance status period; and
The Director shall assess a reasonable cost for the litigation against the property owner to include an administrative fee of $100. He/she shall also assess a user fee of $300 for each qualifying call made to the property during the sixty-day period in excess or the qualifying amount shown on the schedule in § 190-9 herein, which user fee shall be entirely assessed against the property owner unless a requisite number of qualifying calls involve the same tenant or occupant on the property, in which case the user fee shall be divided and assessed, in equal parts, against the owner and each involved tenant/occupant.
The order shall also indicate that each qualifying call made to the property subsequent to the date of the hearing but within 12 months from the date of the complaint shall be a further violation of this article and the property owner and tenant/occupant, if applicable under the conditions of Subsection B(3) above, shall be liable for a user fee of $300 for each such violation. In the case of a casino hotel property, the order shall indicate that each qualifying call made to the property subsequent to the date of the hearing but within 12 months from the date of the complaint, that is greater than a reasonable baseline number as determined by the Director, shall be a further violation of this article and shall be liable for a user fee of $300 for each such violation. A summons and complaint for a proceeding in the Atlantic City Municipal Court shall be issued in connection with each such subsequent qualifying call, each being a separate violation. The penalty to be imposed upon a finding or plea of guilty to each such violation shall be the required payment of the user fee of $300 by the appropriate party(ies).
A copy of the order shall be served on the property owner and, if applicable, tenant and occupant, personally or by regular and certified mail, return receipt requested, by mailing the order to their last known address.
If the whereabouts of the property owner, tenant or occupant cannot be ascertained in the exercise of reasonable diligence, then service of the order shall be made on such person as follows:
Upon the failure to comply with the terms of the order for the payment of money owed to the municipality by any owner of property against which costs, fee or penalties was assessed in accordance with the provisions of this article, the total cost established is hereby assessed as a lien against the subject property. The assessment shall be collected and the lien may be enforced in the same manner as real estate tax amounts and liens are assessed, collected and enforced. Such enforcement of unpaid moneys due under this article shall include the right by the municipality to revoke, suspend or not issue or renew municipal licenses or permits related to the subject property in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:52-1.2.
Any person aggrieved by an order issued by the Director of Licensing and Inspections under this article may file an appeal with the New Jersey Superior Court, Law Division, within 45 days from the date of the adoption of the resolution in accordance with Rule 4:69 of the New Jersey Rules of Court.