[Adopted 11-1-2005 by Ord. No. 05-9]
This article shall be cited and may be referred to herein as the "Visual Road Obstruction Ordinance."
The Township Committee of the Township of Independence does hereby find and determine that road obstructions such as shrubbery, hedges, trees, vegetation, rock walls and fences create a hazard by interfering with vision and proper sight distance along certain roads, streets and ways and at corners and intersections. It is the aim of the Township to reduce such road hazards caused by the above and similar objects which are responsible for causing property damage, personal injury and fatalities due to vehicular accidents.
No shrubbery, hedge or other natural growth or fence (except a transparent fence, such as chicken wire, in which the solid area is not more than 5% of the total area of fence) or wall over two feet higher than the apex at the center line of the street shall be located within the triangular area shown shaded in Sketch A at the intersection of two roads, nor shall the limbs or foliage on any tree obstruct vision or be permitted to grow nearer to the ground than 10 feet where such limbs or foliage overhang or are over or upon land within the triangular area as shown in Sketch A. It is the intention that there shall be no visual obstruction, as herein defined, at the intersection of any two roads on both sides of either roadway.
This article shall be administered and enforced by the Independence Township Police Department with the assistance of the Independence Township Department of Public Works as set forth below:
Upon the determination of the Police Department that a violation exists, pursuant to the provisions of § 342-24 hereof, it shall send a written notice specifying the violations and requiring compliance within 10 days thereafter. Such notice shall be served upon any occupant of the premises not under the age of 16 years, of suitable discretion, in charge of the subject premises and by mailing a copy thereof addressed to the owner of record of such land if he is other than the person served at the address shown on the last preceding tax assessment roll. If said land is vacant and there is no one available to be served on said property, then a certified mailing, return receipt requested, of such violation notice to the owner of record shall be sufficient.
In the event that the notice specified in Subsection A of this section is not complied with after a period of 10 days from the date of service, then the Police Department may issue a summons.
In addition to any other penalty provided under the law for noncompliance, the Township Committee may, in its legislative discretion, authorize the Township Department of Public Works to remove the visual obstruction.
The expenses incurred by the Township Department of Public Works pursuant to Subsection C of this section shall be paid by the owner or occupant of the premises or by the person who caused or maintained such obstruction. The Director of Public Works shall file among his records a certification stating with fairness and accuracy the items of expense incurred in removing said obstruction. The Township may institute a suit to recover expenses against any person liable for such expenses or may cause such expenses to be charged against the property as a lien enforceable in the same manner as delinquent real estate taxes.
To effectuate the purpose and objectives of this article, the Police Department shall cooperate with and assist the Department of Public Works in the enforcement of any of the measures or work it is empowered to perform under the provisions of this article.
Any person who shall violate any provisions of this article shall, in addition to such other penalties as may be prescribed in this article, be subject to a fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment in the county jail for a term not exceeding 90 days, or both, in the discretion of the Municipal Court Judge before whom such conviction shall be had.