Borough of Hawthorne, NJ
Passaic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Municipal Council of the Borough of Hawthorne 7-16-2008 by Ord. No. 1945-08. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fees — See Ch. 220.
Housing standards — See Ch. 280.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 370.
Zoning — See Ch. 540.
The following terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings:
BOARDING HOUSE
Any building together with related structures, accessory buildings and land appurtenant thereto, and any part thereof, which contains two or more units of dwelling space arranged or intended for single-room occupancy, exclusive of any unit occupied by the owner, and wherein personal or financial services are provided to the residents, including any residential hotel or congregate living arrangement, but excluding any resource family home, community residence for the developmentally disabled, or mentally ill, adult family home, nursing home, assisted living facility or an owner-occupied one-family residential dwelling made available for occupancy by not more than six guests where the primary purpose of the occupancy is to provide charitable assistance to the guest where the owner derives no income from the occupancy. For purposes of this chapter, owner-occupied shall include a dwelling owned or occupied by a religious or charitable organization and is used as the principal residence of the minister or employee of that organization.
OPERATOR
The individual or individuals responsible for daily operations of the boarding or rooming house.
ROOMING HOUSE
A boarding house where no personal or financial services are provided to the residents.
SINGLE-ROOM OCCUPANCY
An arrangement of dwelling units which does not provide a private, secure dwelling space arranged for independent living, which contains both the sanitary and cooking facilities required in dwelling spaces as defined at N.J.S.A. 55:13A-1 et seq.
UNIT OF DWELLING SPACE
Any room, rooms, suite or portion thereof, whether furnished or not, which is occupied or intended, arranged and designed to be occupied for sleeping or dwelling purposes by one or more persons.
A. 
As of the effective day of this chapter, no property or portion thereof and no structure or building may be used as a rooming house or a boarding house.
B. 
Nothing contained herein shall prevent or be deemed to prohibit use of any property or structure as a family resource home, community home for the developmentally disabled or mentally ill, adult family home, assisted living facility, nursing home or home designed for charitable assistance as defined herein, subject, nevertheless, to any other statute, regulation or ordinance pertaining to such use.
C. 
Any rooming house or boarding house existing as of the effective date of this chapter shall be deemed a nonconforming use and may continue in use only in conformity with this chapter.
No person may operate a rooming house or boarding house in any preexisting location in the Borough of Hawthorne without first obtaining a license therefor issued through the office of the Borough Clerk.
All licenses issued shall expire on the last day of each calendar year and shall be renewable annually. The fee for renewal shall be as set forth in Chapter 220, Fees.
A. 
All applications for renewal of a license shall be subject to inspection of the premises by the Health Officer, Chief of the Fire Department and Building Inspector for inspection and report. No license shall be renewed absent certification that no violations of the Health Code, Fire Code, Building Code or other applicable code exist.
B. 
The Health Officer, Fire Chief, Fire Inspector and Building Inspector, or their respective authorized agents, are authorized to make periodic inspections to determine the condition of any rooming house or boarding house, including inspection of the house and each individual room. Free access shall be permitted by the owner and any occupant at all times.
The Municipal Council of the Borough of Hawthorne may, after reasonable notice and on opportunity to be heard, revoke or suspend any license issued hereunder for failure of the owner or operator of the premises to comply with any requirements of this chapter. Nothing, however, shall prevent any duly authorized health, life safety or building officer from taking immediate action to protect the health or safety of persons or property.
No person shall occupy, nor shall any owner or operator permit occupancy of any premises not having a current license and not meeting all applicable health, life safety or building codes. In addition, any boarding or rooming house must meet the following minimum requirements:
A. 
Every room used for sleeping purposes shall contain no less than 100 square feet for one person and an additional 60 square feet for each additional occupant. No more than four persons shall occupy any one unit.
B. 
Rooms shall be arranged so that each has a separate entrance from a common access point and none are accessed solely from another room or bathroom facility. Each room shall have access to either a separate bathroom facility within the room or a shared bathroom facility accessible from a common access point.
C. 
Each room used for sleeping purposes shall have a height of not less than seven feet. Each such room and bathroom shall have at least one window facing directly outdoors, easily opened and closed, and of dimension sufficient to permit emergency egress.
D. 
No basement may be used as habitable space.
E. 
No attic may be used as habitable space.
F. 
A toilet and hot and cold running water shall be made available at all times to each occupant.
G. 
No cooking facilities shall be provided and no cooking may take place in any rented room.
H. 
Clean towels and bed linens shall be provided to each room upon occupancy and at least twice per week thereafter.
I. 
Handicapped accessibility shall be provided in accordance with law.
The operator of any boarding or rooming house shall keep a record of all occupants, including a name, most recent address, forwarding address and emergency notification information during occupancy and for at least two years thereafter. Such shall be made readily available to the Health Officer, Fire Chief, Building Inspector or their respective designees at all times.
This chapter may be enforced by all persons designated herein as well as any police officer of the Borough of Hawthorne.
Nothing herein shall apply to any apartment house containing two or more units, each having a separate and individual bathroom facility and kitchen, and each designed for one-family occupancy.
Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction, in addition to any other penalty or remedy authorized, be subject to payment of a fine not to exceed $2,000 or imprisonment of a term not to exceed 90 days or the requirement to perform community service for not more than 90 days or any combination thereof. Such shall not preclude prosecution under any other statute or ordinance for any other offense related to the occupancy of a dwelling unit.