[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Atlantic City 2-6-1992 by Ord. No. 13-1992. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The City of Atlantic City.
- CODE OFFICIAL
- Any City official or employee authorized to issue and enforce orders pursuant to any statute, code, ordinance or regulation.
- Any window, door or other point or means of access to the interior of a structure.
- OPEN VACANT STRUCTURE
- Any building or other enclosure, which has remained unoccupied for a period of six months or more and which, in the official opinion of the applicable code official, is inadequately secured to prevent entry and/or intrusion of the elements into any portion thereof.
- The holder of title to any real property as reflected in the records of the Tax Assessor's office.
- PARTIALLY BOARDED BUILDING
- Any building or other enclosure where the boards are uncut to fit the openings, unpainted (or covered with exterior weathertight material) and do not comply with established and industry-approved design standards, which has remained unoccupied for a period of six months or more and which is, in whole or in part, boarded up for a period of six months or more and which, in the official opinion of the applicable Code Official, is a public nuisance and an unfit building inimical to the welfare of the citizens of Atlantic City as it diminishes neighboring property values, constitutes an attractive nuisance, is a forum for crime, a breeding ground for vermin, or is in any other respect dangerous or injurious to the health and safety of the people of the City of Atlantic City. Such a building shall be deemed, for all purposes of the Code of the City of Atlantic City, a vacant building subject to abatement or demolition pursuant to Chapter 108, § 108-3.1, of the Code of the City of Atlantic City.[Added 4-11-2012 by Ord. No. 2-2012]
- Any structure in which all openings have been boarded and locked in accordance with the terms of this chapter so as to prevent unauthorized access by persons or intrusion by the elements.
- VACANT BUILDING
- Any building or other enclosure which has remained unoccupied
for a period of six months or more and which lacks the habitual presence
of human beings who have a legal right to be on the premises, whether
or not boarded up, and which, in the official opinion of the applicable
code official, is a public nuisance and an unfit building inimical
to the welfare of the citizens of Atlantic City as it diminishes neighboring
property values, constitutes an attractive nuisance, is a forum for
crime, a breeding ground for vermin or is in any other respect dangerous
or injurious to the health and safety of the people of the City of
Atlantic City.[Added 10-6-2010 by Ord. No. 70-2010]
A code official shall have the authority to direct that an owner of any open vacant structure secure all openings in such structure in the manner and according to the standards set forth in this chapter.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit or infringe upon the exercise by a code official of any other lawful power or authority of such official.
Notice to secure. Upon a determination by a code official that a structure is an open vacant structure, that official shall serve notice upon the owner of such structure ordering said owner to secure the structure. The form of notice, manner of service and right to appeal shall be as set forth in the particular code under which such code official is authorized to proceed.
Completion of work. In the event that an owner fails to complete all work required to secure a structure within 30 days after the end of the applicable period for the owner to appeal the code official's determination, then the City shall have the authority to secure the subject structure itself or by agreement with a third party. The costs incurred by the City in so proceeding, including reasonable administrative charges, shall be assessed against and be a lien upon the subject property.
Permits and inspections. No work shall be undertaken pursuant to this chapter unless the proper construction permits shall first have been obtained from the Atlantic City Division of Construction. Such work shall be subject to all inspections and other requirements as set forth in the Uniform Construction Code or any other relevant law, ordinance or regulation.
Standards applicable to all structures. All openings shall be secured utilizing one of the following methods:
Seal all openings with brick or block and mortar.
Cover all openings with five-eighths-inch exterior grade sheathing plywood. Such plywood shall either be cut to fit the exact size of the opening or shall rest on window or door ledge and shall overlap the window frame for at least two inches on each side and the top. When no ledge exists, the plywood shall overlap on the bottom for at least two inches. One two-by-four shall be placed on the exterior cut to the width of the plywood, and one two-by-four shall be placed on the interior cut to a length that shall cause it to overlap for a length of eight inches beyond the window frame on either side. The two-by-fours shall be held in place by inserting at least one five-eighths-inch steel carriage bolt or two three-eighths-inch carriage bolts through the two-by-fours and the plywood. The bolt(s) shall be inserted from the exterior, and the securing nut shall be located on the interior. When the height of the plywood covering the opening exceeds 20 inches, at least two two-by-fours shall be located on both the exterior and the interior. All lumber used to secure structures shall be painted at the exterior with exterior paint or stain which, as closely as practicable, matches the predominant characteristics of the structure, as approved by the Construction Official pursuant to an application for construction permit submitted by or on behalf of the owner of a subject structure.
Access openings. One opening in any structure may be utilized to access the structure for repairs, inspection or other necessary purposes. Such opening shall be secured in the same fashion as other openings, as set forth herein, except that an access opening may be constructed with hinge-operated hardware or an acceptable substitute as determined by the Construction Official. All such operable openings shall be equipped with an approved locking device and shall face and be readily visible from the adjoining street or roadway.
[Added 6-11-2014 by Ord. No. 29-2014]
An owner is required to complete all work pursuant to this chapter. Where the owner fails to comply with the requirements of this chapter, the Director of Licensing and Inspections, or his designee, shall certify the cost thereof to the City Council, which shall examine the certificate, and if it shall be found correct, the City Council shall cause the cost as shown thereon, with an additional administrative fee of $100, to be charged against the lands from which the work required to the abandoned building shall have been completed; and the amount so charged shall forthwith become a lien upon the lands and shall be added to and become and form part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon such lands, the same to bear interest at the same rate as taxes, and shall be collected and enforced by the same officers and in the same manner as taxes.