[Adopted 2-27-1985 by Ord. No. 1-85 (Ch. 65 of the 1969 Code)]
The purpose of this article is to protect the public health, safety and general welfare in or upon premises in the Township of Morris, as hereinafter set forth, by:
Establishing minimum maintenance standards for premises in the Township of Morris.
Affixing the responsibilities of owners, tenants, operators and occupants of such premises.
Providing for proper notification for violation of this article.
Providing for collection of costs incurred by the municipality.
Providing for penalties for violations of this article.
The presence on land lying within the Township of brush piles, ragweed, poison ivy, dead trees, uprooted tree stumps, uprooted roots, obnoxious growths, filth, garbage, automobile bodies and/or body parts, automobile parts, junk, discarded items, such as furniture, machines, appliances or parts thereof, metal, trash, piles of unstacked firewood or lumber, new or used, and other debris is hereby declared to be a nuisance and detrimental to the public health, safety and general welfare. The owner or tenant of lands lying within the Township is hereby required to remove from such lands any of the items, vegetation or materials set forth above within 10 days after receipt of a written notice in accordance with the provisions of this article. This subsection shall not apply to the storage of automobiles or automobile parts by an automobile junkyard licensed and operated in accordance with Chapter 310, Article I, Automobile Junkyards, of this Code.
The exterior of the premises, the exterior of structures and the condition of accessory structures shall be maintained so that the appearance of the premises and structures shall not constitute a blighting factor on adjoining property owners, including the following:
Storage of commercial and industrial material. There shall not be stored or used at any location equipment or materials relating to commercial or industrial use, unless permitted under Chapter 95, Zoning, for the premises.
Landscaping. Premises with landscaping, lawns, hedges or bushes shall be kept from becoming overgrown and unsightly.
General maintenance. The exterior of every structure or accessory structure, including fences, shall be maintained in good repair. The same shall be maintained free of broken window glass, loose shingles, crumbling stone or excessive peeling paint or other condition reflective of deterioration or inadequate maintenance to the end that the property itself may be preserved, safety or fire hazards eliminated, or adjoining properties protected from blighting influences.
Vermin control. All parts of the premises shall be maintained as to prevent infestation from insects, rodents and other vermin and pests.
The owner or tenant of lands lying within the Township is hereby required to remove from such lands or destroy such items, materials and vegetation as set forth in § 385-9A above, and to comply with the requirements of § 385-9B above, within 10 days after receipt by such owner or tenant of a written notice in accordance with the provisions of this article.
The notice required to be given under this article shall be mailed by the Township Health Officer, Registered Environmental Health Specialist, Zoning Officer or other officer designated by the Township to said owner or tenant by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to his or her last known address or, if unknown, in the case of an owner, to his address as the same appears on the tax records of the municipality, or in the case of a tenant, to the property address. Notice may be served by hand delivery, as long as service is witnessed.
The period of time for compliance set forth in § 385-10 shall commence on the date of the return receipt obtained by the postal authorities for delivery of such notice or, if undelivered, on the date of the return thereof to the Township. If notice is hand delivered, the period of time shall commence upon service of notice.
Every such notice shall, in addition to requiring compliance with this article, warn the owner or tenant that failure to effect such removal within the time stated in said notice will result in such removal by the Township of Morris, and the cost of such removal will be charged to the owner. In the event that service of notice is made upon the owner, the cost of such removal shall forthwith become a lien upon the lands and shall be added to and become a part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon the same, to bear interest at the same rate and to be collected in the same manner as taxes, as hereinafter provided.
In all cases where materials are removed from any lands under this article by or under the direction of a Township officer, to effect such removal, such officer shall certify the cost thereof to the Township Committee, who shall examine the certificate and, if found correct, shall cause the cost as shown thereon to be charged against said lands. The amount so charged shall forthwith become a lien upon such 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 rates as taxes, and shall be collected and enforced by the same officers and in the same manner as taxes. The above costs of removal shall be additional to any other penalties which may be imposed under this article.
Any person convicted of a violation of any provision of this article or any supplement thereto may, in the discretion of the court by which he was convicted, for each offense, be punishable by a fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment in the Morris County Jail for a term not exceeding 90 days, or both.
In default of the payment of any fine imposed hereunder, the person convicted may, at the discretion of the court by whom convicted, be imprisoned in the Morris County Jail for a term not exceeding 90 days.
Each day during which a violation of this article continues shall be deemed a new and separate offense.
Nothing in this article shall be deemed to modify or repeal the provisions of any existing ordinance of the Township of Morris.