Borough of Somerdale, NJ
Camden County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Somerdale as Ch. 47 of the 1973 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Numbering of buildings — See Ch. 88.
Certificates of compliance — See Ch. 97.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 103.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 135.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 197.
Tax abatement for home improvements — See Ch. 233, Art. I.
Vacant/abandoned properties — See Ch. 245.
Public health nuisances — See Ch. 273.
[Amended 12-12-2010 by Ord. No. 2010:12]
The Mayor, Administrator and Borough Code Officials are designated as the public officers to exercise the powers prescribed by this Ordinance.
For the purpose of this chapter, the Camden County Health Department may determine that a dwelling is unfit for human habitation if it finds that conditions exist in such dwelling which are dangerous or injurious to the health or safety of the occupants of such dwelling, the occupants of neighboring dwellings or other residents of the Borough of Somerdale. Such conditions may include the following, without limiting the generality of the foregoing:
A. 
Defects therein increasing the hazards of fire, accident or other calamities.
B. 
Lack of adequate ventilation, light or sanitary facilities.
C. 
Dilapidation.
D. 
Disrepair, structural defects or uncleanliness.
Pursuant to the provisions of P.L. 1946, c. 21, N.J.S.A. 40:49-5.1, the New Jersey State Uniform Construction Code Act, N.J.S.A. 52:27D-119 et seq., is hereby accepted, adopted and established as a standard to be used as a guide in determining the fitness of a building for human habitation, occupancy or use. A copy of the New Jersey State Uniform Construction Code Act is annexed to this chapter, and three copies of the same have been placed on file in the office of the Clerk of the Borough of Somerdale and are available to all persons desiring to use and examine the same.
[Amended 12-28-2011 by Ord. No. 2010:12]
Whenever a petition is filed with the public officer by a public authority or by at least five residents of the municipality charging that any building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use of whenever it appears to the public officer (on his own motion) that any building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use, the public officer shall, if his preliminary investigation discloses a basis for such charges, issue and cause to be served upon the owner of any parties in interest in such building a complaint stating the charges in that respect and containing a notice that a hearing will be held before the public officer (or his designated agent) at a place therein fixed not less than seven days nor more than 30 days after the serving of said complaint; that the owner and parties in interest shall be given the right to file an answer to the complaint and to appear in person, or otherwise, and give testimony at the place and time fixed in the complaint; and that the rules of evidence prevailing in courts shall not be controlling in hearings before the public officer.
[Amended 12-12-2010 Ord. No. 2010:12]
That if, after such notice and hearing, the public officer determines that the building under consideration is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use he shall state in writing his findings of fact in support of such determination and shall issue and cause to be served upon the owner hereof and parties in interest an order:
A. 
Requiring the repair, alteration or improvement of the said building to be made by the owner, within a reasonable time, which time shall be set forth in the order or at the option of the owner to vacate or have the said building vacated and closed within the time set forth in the order; and
B. 
If the building is in such a condition as to make it dangerous to the health and safety of persons on or near the premises, and the owner fails to repair, alter or improve the said building within the time specified in the order, then the owner shall be required to remove or demolish the said building within a reasonable time as specified in the said order of removal.
C. 
That, if the owner fails to comply with an order to repair, alter or improve or, at the option of the owner, to vacate and close the building, the public officer may cause such building to be repaired, altered or improved, or to be vacated and closed; that the public officer may cause to be posted on the main entrance of any building so closed, a placard with the following words: "this building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use; the use of occupation of this building is prohibited and unlawful"..
D. 
That, if the owner fails to comply with an order to remove or demolish the building, the public officer may cause such building to be removed or demolished or may contract for the removal or demolition thereof after advertisement for, and receipt of, bids therefore.
E. 
That the amount of:
(1) 
The cost of the filing of legal papers, expert witnesses' fees, search fees and advertising charges, incurred in the course of any proceeding taken under this act determined in favor of the municipality; and
(2) 
Such cost of such repairs, alterations or improvements, or vacating and closing, or removal or demolition, if any, or the amount of the balance thereof remaining after deduction of the sum, if any, realized from the sale of materials derived from such building or from any contract for removal or demolition thereof, shall be a municipal lien against the real property upon which such cost was incurred. If the building is removed or demolished by the pubic officer, he shall sell the materials of such building. There shall be credited against the cost of the removal or demolition thereof, including the clearance and, if necessary, leveling of the site, the proceeds of any sale of such materials or any sum derived from any contract for the removal or demolition of the building. If there are no such credits or if the sum total of such costs exceeds the total of such credits, a detailed statement of the aforesaid costs and the amount so due shall be filed with the municipal Tax Assessor or other custodian of the records of tax liens and a copy thereof shall be forthwith forwarded to the owner by registered mail. If the total of the credits exceed such costs, the balance remaining shall be deposited in the Superior Court by the pubic officer, shall be secured in such manner as may be directed by such court, and shall be disbursed according to the order or judgment of the court to the persons found to be entitled thereto by final order or judgment of such court. Any owner or party in interest may, within 30 days from the date of the filing of the lien certificate, proceed in a summary manner in the Superior Court to contest the reasonableness of the amount or the accuracy of the costs set forth in the municipal lien certificate.
(3) 
If an actual and immediate danger to life is posed by the threatened collapse of any fire damaged or other structurally unsafe building, the public officer may, after taking such measures as may be necessary to make such building temporarily safe, seek a judgment in summary proceedings for the demolition thereof.
(4) 
Nothing in this section shall be construed to impair or limit in any way the power of the municipality to define and declare nuisances and to cause their removal or abatement, by summary proceedings or otherwise, nor is anything in this chapter intended to limit the authority of the enforcing agency or Construction Official under the State Uniform Construction Code Act, (N.J.S.A. 52:27D-119 et seq.) or any rules or regulations adopted thereunder.
[Amended 9-12-1990 by Ord. No. 90:09]
[Amended 9-12-1990 by Ord. No. 90:09]
Complaints or orders issued by the Board of Health of the Borough of Somerdale or the Camden County Health Department pursuant to this chapter shall be served upon persons either personally or by registered mail, but if the whereabouts of such persons is unknown and the same cannot be ascertained by said Board of Health of the Borough of Somerdale or the Camden County Health Department in the exercise of reasonable diligence, and said Board of Health of the Borough of Somerdale or the Camden County Health, Department shall make an affidavit to that effect, then the serving of such complaint or order upon such persons may be made by publishing the same once in a newspaper printed and published in the County of Camden. A copy of such complaint or order shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises affected by the complaint or order, and a copy of such complaint or order shall be duly recorded or lodged for record with the county recording officer of the county in which the dwelling is located.
The Mayor, Administrator and Borough Code Officials are designated as the public officers to exercise the powers prescribed by this Ordinance:
A. 
Investigate the dwelling conditions in the Borough of Somerdale in order to determine which dwellings therein are unfit for human habitation.
B. 
Administer oaths and affirmations, examine witnesses and receive evidence.
C. 
Enter upon the premises for the purpose of making examination, provided that such entries shall be made in such a manner as to cause the least possible inconvenience to the persons in possession.
D. 
Appoint and fix the duties of such officers, agents and employees as it deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
E. 
Delegate any of its functions and powers under this chapter to such officers and agents as it may designate.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to abrogate or impair the power of the Borough of Somerdale or any officer or department to enforce any other provisions or any other ordinances or regulations nor to prevent or punish violations thereof, and the powers conferred by this chapter shall be in addition and supplemental to the powers conferred upon the municipality by any other law or ordinance.
[Amended 9-12-1990 by Ord. No. 90:09]
No person shall occupy as owner-occupant or rent to another for occupancy any dwelling or dwelling unit for the purpose of living therein which does not conform to the provisions of the New Jersey State Uniform Construction Code established hereby as the standard to be used in determining whether a dwelling is safe, sanitary and fit for human habitation.
In addition to the remedies already provided above, the enforcing authorities may file an appropriate complaint in the Municipal Court of the Borough of Somerdale.
[Amended 9-12-1990 by Ord. No. 90:09]
A. 
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to any combination of the following:
(1) 
A fine of not less than $100 nor more than one $1,000.
(2) 
A term of imprisonment not exceeding 90 days.
(3) 
A period of community service not exceeding 90 days.
B. 
Each violation of any of the provisions of this chapter and each day the same is violated shall be deemed and taken to be a separate and distinct offense, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:49-5.