Township of Evesham, NJ
Burlington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Evesham as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 10-16-2012 by Ord. No. 24-10-2012]

§ 41-1 Public Officer designated.

The Public Officer, charged with the responsibility for identifying abandoned properties and giving notice as set forth in N.J.S.A. 55:19-82, shall be that officer designated by the Manager pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:19-80.

§ 41-2 Duties of Public Officer.

A. 
The Public Officer shall identify all properties within the municipality which are deemed abandoned pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:19-78 et seq. The abandoned properties so identified shall include any and all properties found unfit for occupancy pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 58 of this Code.
[Amended 5-6-2014 by Ord. No. 15-5-2014]
B. 
Each item of abandoned property shall be identified by tax block and lot number, the name of the owner of record (if known), and the street address of the lot.
C. 
Upon identification of abandoned property, the Public Officer shall create and maintain a list of such property to be called the "Abandoned Property List." Properties may be added to the list at any time or deleted from the list at any time the Public Officer finds that the property no longer meets the definition of an abandoned property. An interested party may request that a property be included on the abandoned property list following the procedure set forth in N.J.S.A. 55:19-105.
D. 
An abandoned property shall not be included on the Abandoned Property List if rehabilitation is being performed in a timely manner, as evidenced by building permits issued and diligent pursuit of the rehabilitation work authorized by those permits. A property on which an entity other than the municipality has purchased or taken assignment from the municipality of a tax sale certificate, which has been placed on the Abandoned Property List, may be removed from the list in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 55:19-103. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a property deemed unfit pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 58 of this Code shall be subject to an order setting forth a specific time within which the repair, alteration or improvement of such unfit structure shall be made.
[Amended 5-6-2014 by Ord. No. 15-5-2014]

§ 41-3 Additional duties of Public Officer; notice.

A. 
The Public Officer, within 10 days of the establishment of the abandoned property list, or any additions thereto, shall send a notice, by certified mail, return receipt requested, and by regular mail, to the owner of record of every property included on the list and shall cause the list to be published in the official newspaper of the municipality, which publication shall constitute public notice. The published and mailed notices shall identify the property determined to be abandoned, setting forth the owner of record (if known), the tax lot and block number, and street address. The Public Officer, in consultation with the Tax Collector, shall also send out a notice by regular mail to any mortgagee, servicing organization, or property tax processing organization that receives a duplicate copy of the tax bill pursuant to Subsection d of N.J.S.A. 54:4-64. When the owner of record is not known for a particular property and cannot be ascertained by the exercise of reasonable diligence by the Tax Collector, notice shall not be mailed but instead shall be posted on the property in the manner provided in N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.7. The mailed notice shall indicate the factual basis for the Public Officer's finding that the property is abandoned property as that term is defined in N.J.S.A. 55:19-81, and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, specifying the information relied upon in making such finding. In all cases, a copy of the mailed or posted notice shall also be filed by the public officer in the office of the Burlington County Clerk. This filing shall have the same force and effect as a notice of lis pendens under N.J.S.A. 2A:15-6.
B. 
The Public Officer shall seek reimbursement for the postage costs and search fees associated with providing notice in accordance with Subsection A of this section from the authority (as defined in N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.4), or its subsidiaries, in accordance with procedures and rules promulgated by the Department of Community Affairs.

§ 41-4 Criteria for determination of abandonment.

[Amended 5-6-2014 by Ord. No. 15-5-2014]
A. 
Any property that has not been legally occupied for a period of six months and meets any one of the following criteria, as determined by the Public Officer, may be deemed abandoned:
(1) 
The property is in need of rehabilitation, in the judgment of the Public Officer, and no rehabilitation has taken place during the six-month period;
(2) 
Construction was initiated on the property and then discontinued for a period of at least six months, leaving the building unsuitable for occupancy;
(3) 
At least one installment of real property tax remains unpaid or delinquent; or
(4) 
The property has been determined to be a nuisance pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:19-82.
B. 
A property which contains both residential and nonresidential space may be considered abandoned so long as two-thirds or more of the net square footage of the building was previously legally occupied as residential space and none of the residential space has been legally occupied for at least six months and otherwise meets the criteria of either Subsection A(1) or (4) above.
C. 
Notwithstanding the foregoing, a property shall not be placed on the Abandoned Property List if an entity other than the municipality has purchased a tax sale certificate with respect to the same and the owner of the certificate 1) has continued to pay all municipal taxes and liens on the property in the year when due and 2) has taken action to initiate foreclosure proceedings within six months after the property is eligible for such action and diligently pursues the same. In addition, a property used on a seasonal basis shall not be deemed abandoned unless it meets two of the additional criteria set forth in Subsection A above.

§ 41-5 Options for enforcement by municipality.

[Added 5-6-2014 by Ord. No. 15-5-2014]
The Public Officer may, as appropriate and in the discretion of the Public Officer, proceed to obtain repair, alteration, improvement or demolition of a property on the Abandoned Property List, including those deemed unfit for occupancy, pursuant to either the provisions authorized by N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.3 et seq. as implemented by Chapter 58 of this Code or as authorized by N.J.S.A. 55:19-54 through 55:19-59 and N.J.S.A. 55:19-78 through 55:19-107, as set forth below. Pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 55:19-82, a property determined by the Public Officer to be a nuisance under the provisions of Subsection 82[1] of the statute shall be subject to the notice provisions of Chapter 58.
[1]
Editor's Note: So in original.

§ 41-6 Remedies available under Abandoned Properties Rehabilitation Act.

[Added 5-6-2014 by Ord. No. 15-5-2014]
The Public Officer shall have all of the powers available to the municipality, its agents, servants and employees, under the Abandoned Properties Rehabilitation Act (N.J.S.A. 55:19-78 et seq.). Specifically, the Public Officer may:
A. 
When the owner or party in interest has failed to submit or initiate a rehabilitation plan, bring a summary action in Superior Court to transfer possession and control of the property to the municipality for the development of such a plan. Upon being granted possession and control, in addition to adopting a rehabilitation plan, the municipality may commence and maintain further actions to:
(1) 
Conserve, protect or dispose of the property;
(2) 
Recover costs and expenses of the rehabilitation; and
(3) 
If owner does not apply for reinstatement of control as providedfor by N.J.S.A. 55:19-92, sell the property as directed by the court.
B. 
After filing a notice of intent to take control of the property pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:19-86, enter onto the property as provided for in Subsection c of this section of the statute in order to inspect, secure, stabilize or repair the property for purposes of preparing a rehabilitation plan.
C. 
Upon a proper showing to the court, seek to obtain title to the property or sell same with the proceeds of such transaction to be distributed, in the following priority, for:
(1) 
The costs and expenses of sale;
(2) 
Other government liens;
(3) 
Repayment to the municipality for any borrowing or indebtedness granted priority lien status pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:19-98;
(4) 
A reasonable development fee to the municipality consistent with the standards established by the Department of Community Affairs or New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency for rehabilitation programs;
(5) 
Other valid liens and security interests in accordance with their priority; and
(6) 
The owner.
D. 
With the approval of the court, place a lien on the property to cover the costs of proceeding under the chapter and N.J.S.A. 55:19-78 et seq.

§ 41-7 Additional powers available to municipality.

[Added 5-6-2014 by Ord. No. 15-5-2014]
In addition to those powers set forth above, the municipality may proceed to tax sale on the property pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:19-56, designate a qualified rehabilitation entity to act on behalf of the municipality in rehabilitating the property, borrow funds to facilitate the powers given to the municipality under the law and seek priority lien status for such borrowings. The purpose of this chapter is to provide the municipality with all powers granted to it by the legislature under N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.3 et seq., N.J.S.A. 55:19-54 et seq., and N.J.S.A. 55:19-78 et seq., which are incorporated herein and made a part hereof.

§ 41-8 Additional notice required.

[Added 9-16-2014 by Ord. No. 27-9-2014]
Notice of violations of property maintenance, building or other property codes for any property declared vacant and abandoned pursuant to this chapter shall be given to a foreclosing creditor pursuant to the procedures of § 58-5.2 of this Code as required by P.L. 2014, c. 35.