Township of Clark, NJ
Union County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Clark as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Affordable housing — See Ch. 66.
Building design — See Ch. 99.
Unfit buildings — See Ch. 108.
Certificate of continued occupancy — See Ch. 114.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 122.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 161.
Land use and development — See Ch. 195.
[Derived from Secs. 15-1 to 15-11 of the 2002 Revised General Ordinances, adopted 12-16-2002 by Ord. No. 02-27]
A. 
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
NEW JERSEY STATE HOUSING CODE
That certain code approved by the State Department of Conservation and Economic Development and the State Department of Health and Senior Services and filed in the office of the Secretary of State on January 31, 1962, prescribing the standards to guide the public officer of a municipality authorized by the ordinance adopting the code to enforce the same in determining the fitness of a building for human habitation, use or occupancy.
B. 
Whenever the following words, terms or phrases are used in the New Jersey State Housing Code, they shall have the following meanings:
MUNICIPALITY
The Township of Clark.[1]
PUBLIC OFFICER
The Construction Code Official of the Township or his/her designated representative.
[1]
Editor's Note: The original definition of "Board of Health," which immediately preceded this definition, was deleted at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
C. 
Except as otherwise modified by the provisions of this section, the words, terms or phrases used in this article and defined in Section 2 of the New Jersey State Housing Code shall have the meanings given therein.
A. 
Adoption of code. Pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:49-5.1 et seq., the New Jersey State Housing Code is hereby adopted and established as constituting the standards to be used in determining whether dwellings in the Township are safe and sanitary and fit for human habitation, use, rental or occupancy.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
Compliance with code required. No person shall occupy, as owner or occupant, or rent to another for occupancy any dwelling or dwelling unit for the purpose of living therein which does not conform to the applicable provisions of the New Jersey State Housing Code.
C. 
Incorporation by reference. The New Jersey State Housing Code is hereby incorporated herein by reference and made a part hereof as though it had been set forth herein at length.
D. 
Copies on file for public use. Three copies of the New Jersey State Housing Code have been placed on file in the office of the Township Clerk and in the office of the Construction Code Official for the use and examination of the public.
The purpose of this article shall be to protect the public health, safety and welfare in buildings used for dwelling purposes, as hereinafter provided, by:
A. 
Establishing minimum standards for basic equipment and facilities for light, ventilation, space, heating and sanitation; for safety from fire; for space, use and location; for safe and sanitary maintenance; and for cooking equipment in all dwellings and multifamily dwellings now in existence.
B. 
Fixing the responsibilities of owners, agents, operators and occupants of all dwellings and multifamily dwellings.
C. 
Providing for administration, enforcement and penalties.
A. 
Statement of minimum standards. The provisions of this article shall apply to all structures used for human habitation which are now, or may become in the future, substandard with respect to structure, protection against fire hazard, equipment or maintenance, inadequate provisions for light and air, lack of proper heating, unsanitary conditions and overcrowding or are otherwise deemed to constitute a menace to the safety, health and welfare of their occupants, except as provided in Subsection D. The existence of such conditions, factors or characteristics adversely affect public safety, health and welfare and lead to the continuation, extension and aggravation of urban blight. Adequate protection of the public, therefore, requires the establishment and enforcement of these minimum housing standards.
B. 
Construction Code. Any alterations to buildings, or changes of use therein, which may be caused directly or indirectly by the enforcement of this article shall be done in accordance with applicable sections of the New Jersey State Uniform Construction Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 122, Construction Codes, Uniform.
C. 
Conflict with other ordinances. Except as provided in Subsection D, in any case where a provision of this article is found to be in conflict with a provision of any zoning, building, fire, safety or health ordinance or code of the Township, the provisions best providing for the safety and health of the people shall prevail. In any case, where a provision of this article is found to be in conflict with a provision of any other ordinance or code of the Township which establishes a lower standard for the promotion and protection of the safety and health of the people, the provisions of this article shall prevail, and such other ordinances or codes are hereby declared to be repealed to the extent that they may be found in conflict with this article.
D. 
Existing buildings. This article establishes minimum requirements for the initial and continued occupancy of all buildings, including commercial, used for human habitation and shall not replace or modify requirements otherwise established for the construction, repair, alteration or use of buildings, equipment or facilities, except as provided in this article.
E. 
Existing remedies. Nothing in this article shall be deemed to abolish or impair existing remedies of the Township or its officers or agencies relating to the removal or demolition of any buildings which are deemed to be dangerous, unsafe or unsanitary.
A. 
Construction Code Official. The Construction Code Official, or his/her authorized representative, shall be and is hereby designated as the officer to exercise the powers prescribed by this article and to enforce the provisions thereof. The Construction Code Official shall serve in such capacity without any additional salary.
B. 
Rules and regulations. The Construction Code Official is hereby authorized and empowered to make, adopt and enforce such written rules and regulations as he/she may deem necessary for the proper enforcement of the provisions of this article; provided, however, that such rules and regulations shall not be in conflict with the provisions of this article, nor in any way alter, amend or supersede any of the provisions hereof. The Construction Code Official shall file a certified copy of all rules and regulations which he/she may adopt in his/her office and in the office of the Township Clerk.
A. 
Inspections. The Construction Code Official is hereby authorized and directed to make inspections to determine the condition of dwellings, dwelling units, rooming units and premises located within the Township in order that he/she may perform his/her duty of safeguarding the health and safety of the occupants of dwellings and of the general public.
B. 
Notice. For the purpose of making the inspections referred to in Subsection A, the Construction Code Official is hereby authorized to enter, examine and survey, at all reasonable times, all dwelling units, rooming units or premises, provided that 24 hours' notice is given to the owner or occupants of such dwellings, dwelling units, rooming units or premises, if the owner or occupants can be located.
C. 
Right of entry. The owner or occupant of every dwelling, dwelling unit and rooming unit, or the person in charge thereof, shall give the Construction Code Official free access to such dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit or premises at all reasonable times for the purpose of such inspection, examination and survey.
Every occupant of a dwelling or dwelling unit shall give the owner thereof, or his/her agent or employee, access to any part of such dwelling or dwelling unit, or its premises, at all reasonable times for the purpose of making such repairs or alterations as are necessary to effect compliance with the provisions of this article or with any lawful rule or regulation adopted or any lawful order issued pursuant to the provisions of this article.
A. 
Service. Whenever the Construction Code Official determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a violation of any provision of this article, or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, he/she shall give notice of such alleged violation to the person or persons responsible, as provided herein.
B. 
Effect of notice. Any notice served pursuant to this section shall automatically be deemed and become an order unless a written petition for a hearing is filed in the office of the Township Clerk within 10 days after such service of notice, as provided in § 189-9A.
C. 
Contents of notice.
(1) 
Notice of violations given pursuant to Subsection A shall:
(a) 
Be in writing;
(b) 
Contain a statement of the alleged violation or violations; and
(c) 
Specify a reasonable time in which the violation or violations shall be abated, corrected or eliminated.
(2) 
At the option of the Construction Code Official, the notice of violation or violations may contain an outline of remedial action which, if taken, will abate, correct or eliminate the violation or violations alleged in the notice.
D. 
Service of notice. A copy of the notice of violation shall be served upon the owner, or his/her agent, or the occupant, as the case may require, personally or by certified mail, addressed to him/her at his/her last known address, or by posting a copy in a conspicuous place in or about the dwelling affected by such notice, or by any other method authorized or required by the laws of this state.
A. 
Right to hearing. Any person given notice pursuant to § 189-8 of a violation of this article, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant hereto, shall be entitled to a hearing upon the matter before the Construction Code Official if a written petition, briefly setting forth the grounds for a hearing, is filed in the office of the Township Clerk within 10 days of the service of the notice.
B. 
Time for hearing. Upon receipt of the petition, the Construction Code Official shall fix a time and place for the hearing, but not later than 10 days after the filing of the petition, and shall give the petitioner written notice thereof. On application of the petitioner and a showing of good cause, the Construction Code Official may grant a postponement thereof to a fixed date which he/she deems reasonable under the circumstances.
C. 
Rights at hearing. At the hearing, the petitioner shall be given an opportunity to be heard and to show why such notice should be modified or withdrawn.
D. 
Decision. The Construction Code Official, after the hearing, shall sustain, modify or withdraw the notice in accordance with his/her findings as to whether the provisions of this article and of the rules and regulations adopted pursuant hereto have been complied with. If the Construction Code Official sustains or modifies such notice, it shall be deemed to be and have the effect of an order.
E. 
Record of decision. The proceedings at such hearing, including the findings and decision of the Construction Code Official, shall be summarized and reduced to writing and entered as a matter of public record in the office of the Township Clerk. Such record shall also include a copy of every notice or order issued in connection with the matter.
Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Construction Code Official may seek relief therefrom in any court of competent jurisdiction as provided by the laws and court rules of this state.
A. 
Determination of emergency. Whenever the Construction Code Official finds that, in any dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit or premises located within the Township, a condition exists in violation of this article, or the rules and regulations adopted pursuant hereto, which presents such immediate and serious threat to the health and safety of the occupants thereof or of the general public as to require emergency action for their protection, he/she shall, without notice or hearing, issue and cause to be served an order in the manner specified in § 189-8, reciting the existence of the conditions creating the emergency and requiring that such corrective action be taken as he/she deems necessary to meet the emergency and as specified in the order. Notwithstanding any other provision of this article to the contrary, such order shall be effective immediately upon service.
B. 
Compliance; hearing.
(1) 
The person to whom the order referred to in Subsection A is directed shall comply therewith immediately, but, upon petition in writing to the Construction Code Official, shall be afforded a hearing as soon as possible for the purpose of reviewing such order. At the conclusion of such hearing, the Construction Code Official, depending upon his/her findings as to whether the provisions of this article, and of the rules and regulations adopted pursuant hereto, have been complied with, shall continue the order in effect or modify it, including, but not by way of limitation, the time for compliance therewith, or rescind it.
(2) 
A record of the proceedings of such hearing shall be taken and entered, as provided in § 189-9.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be liable to the penalty stated in Chapter 1, Article III, General Penalty.
[1]
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
[Adopted 6-15-2009 by Ord. No. 09-19]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BEDROOM
Any room in a dwelling used principally for sleeping purposes, irrespective of whether the room may be utilized for other purposes as well, and being in full compliance with § 189-14, Bedroom requirements.
DWELLING UNIT
One or more rooms designed to be occupied or intended as separate living quarters, with one kitchen and sleeping and sanitary facilities provided completed within the dwelling unit for the exclusive use of a single family.
HABITABLE SPACE
A space used for living or sleeping, with kitchens, bathrooms, toilet rooms, closets, halls, storage and utility areas being considered nonhabitable spaces for the purposes of this article.
OCCUPANT
Any individual above six years of age living or sleeping in a building or portion thereof which is the individual's primary residence.
A. 
A bedroom, as the same is defined hereinabove, must provide minimum living space of 80 square feet for the first occupant of the bedroom and an additional 60 square feet for each additional occupant. The area requirements referenced herein shall be calculated as habitable space only as the same is defined herein. Nonhabitable areas shall not be included in calculating the minimum square footage required hereunder.
B. 
Bedrooms shall comply with the requirements of N.J.A.C. 5:23 of the Uniform Construction Code and its adopted standards and must include sufficient light, ventilation, heating, electrical requirements, means of ingress and means of emergency escape requirements and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as required by local, state or federal laws or regulations.
C. 
Bedrooms must not constitute the only access to other bedrooms or habitable spaces and shall not serve as the only means of ingress from other habitable spaces; provided, however, that in units that contain not more than three bedrooms, access to another bedroom or habitable space and egress from the habitable space may be accomplished through not more than one bedroom.
A. 
Prohibited occupancy. Spaces within a unit determined to be nonhabitable areas shall not be used for sleeping purposes, and no person shall occupy a space for sleeping or living purposes other than habitable space as defined herein.
B. 
Overcrowding. Dwelling units shall not be occupied by more persons than may be permitted by the minimum area requirement of § 189-14 hereof.
C. 
Any tenant that permits a prohibited occupancy and the overcrowding of a habitable area as defined herein shall be in violation of this article.
D. 
Any landlord who permits, suffers or allows the tenancy or overcrowding of any bedroom as defined herein shall be guilty of a violation of this article.
The Construction Code Official and the Fire Official/Fire Marshal/Fire Code Official shall be responsible for the enforcement of the provisions of this article.
A. 
The person or entity violating the terms and conditions of this article shall be subject to a minimum fine of $500 for the first violation and $1,000 for each violation occurring thereafter. Each day a violation is permitted to continue shall constitute a separate violation within the terms hereof.
B. 
In addition to the penalties provided for hereinabove, the Township of Clark, upon a finding of a violation of this article, shall have the right to bring an action in the Superior Court of New Jersey to abate the violation in a summary fashion, and all fees and expenses in connection with any such application shall become a lien on the property which is the subject of the litigation. Prior to the filing of any such litigation, the Construction Code Official or Fire Official/Fire Marshal/Fire Code Official shall give written notice to the tenant and landlord of the Township's intention to proceed, unless the tenant or landlord causes the violation to be abated within 30 days of the date of such notice. The notice shall contain a statement setting forth:
(1) 
The address and apartment number at which the violation exists;
(2) 
The name and address of the owner of the property;
(3) 
The name and address of the tenant of the property;
(4) 
A statement describing the violation;
(5) 
That said violation is to be corrected or abated within 30 days from the date of said notice; and
(6) 
If such violation is not abated, the Township will bring a summary action in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Union County, to abate the same and for counsel fees and costs which shall be charged as a lien against the property.
C. 
Each day that a violation occurs or is committed shall constitute a separate offense.
D. 
In a circumstance where either the landlord and/or tenant knowingly violates or suffers the violation of this article by failing to take appropriate action to cause the same to be complied with, both the landlord and the tenant shall be subject to the penalties heretofore provided.