Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.13 et seq., it is hereby found to be necessary and expedient for the preservation of the public health, safety and general welfare and the elimination of fire hazards to remove brush, weeds, dead and dying trees, stumps, roots, obnoxious growths, filth, garbage, trash and debris from lands within the Township of Middle under the direction of a properly designated officer of the Township of Middle as more fully set forth in this article.
In every case where the public officer determines that the described material is present upon lands covered by this article, he shall direct a written notice to the owner of such lands to remove the described material within 10 days, and said notice shall further advise said owner that if the material is not removed within the ten-day period, the Township of Middle will proceed to have it removed and assess the cost of removal as a lien upon the lands.
All premises and exterior property shall be maintained free from weeds or noxious plant growth in excess of six inches. All noxious weeds shall be prohibited. Weeds shall be defined as all grasses, annual plants and vegetation, other than trees or shrubs; provided, however, this term shall not include cultivated flowers and gardens. This subsection shall not apply to undeveloped wooded tracts. Upon failure of the owner or agent having charge of a property to abate a violation by cutting grass and weeds within 10 calendar days, he or she shall be subject to prosecution in accordance with the penalties section of the Middle Township Code, and as prescribed by the authority having jurisdiction. Upon failure to comply with the notice of violation, any duly authorized employee of the jurisdiction or contractor hired by the jurisdiction shall be authorized to enter upon the property in violation and cut and destroy the weeds, grass growing thereon, and the costs of such removal plus an administrative fee of $100 shall be paid by the owner or agent responsible for the property.
Each separate twenty-four-hour period during which a violation continues shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct violation of this article.
Pursuant to the authority contained in N.J.S.A. 40:48-2-26 et seq., it is hereby declared to be illegal for the owner or tenant of any lands lying within the Township of Middle to permit brush, hedges, trees or other plant life to grow to a height greater than 2 1/2 feet within 10 feet of any roadway and within 25 feet of the intersection of any two or more roadways.
If said owner or tenant fails or refuses to correct the violation within said ten-day period, the required cutting or trash removal or other work specified in a violation and order to correct notice shall be performed under the direction of the designated officer and/or Superintendent of Public Works, who shall certify the cost thereof to the Township Committee, and shall cause the cost as shown thereon to be charged against said lands or, in the event that such cost is excessive, to cause the reasonable cost thereof 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 rate as other taxes, and shall be collected and enforced by the same officers and in the same manner as taxes, and such charge shall be in addition to any fine or penalties imposed under this article.
Any buyer who accepts title to real property containing violations of the Property Maintenance Code shall assume the obligation to correct said violations.