Borough of Rockleigh, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[1973 Code § 69-1]
a. 
The words, terms or phrases listed below, for the purposes of this chapter, are hereby defined and shall be interpreted as follows:
BUILDING
Shall mean any building, structure or part thereof, whether used for human habitation or otherwise, including any outbuildings and appurtenances belonging thereto or usually enjoyed therewith.
DETERIORATION
Shall mean the condition of a building, or part thereof, characterized by holes, breaks, rot, crumbling, cracking, peeling, rusting or other evidence of physical decay or neglect, lack of maintenance or excessive use.
GARBAGE
Shall mean animal, vegetable and other organic waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and consumption of food or other products.
INFESTATION
Shall mean the presence, on or within the premises, of any insects, rodents, vermin or other pests.
OWNER
Shall mean the holder or holders of the title to the premises in fee simple, or having charge, care or control of any dwelling unit, as owner or agent of the owner, or as executor, executrix, administrator, administratix, trustee, receiver or guardian of the estate or as a mortgagee in possession, regardless of how such possession was obtained. Any person who is a lessee subletting or reassigning any part or all of any building or building unit shall be deemed to be a co-owner with the lessor and shall have joint responsibility over the portion of the premises sublet or assigned by said lessee.
PREMISES
Shall mean a lot, plot or parcel of land, including the buildings or structures thereon.
PUBLIC OFFICER
Shall mean the Construction Official of the Borough of Rockleigh is hereby designated as the "public officer" to exercise the powers prescribed by this chapter.
REFUSE
Shall mean all putrescible and nonputrescible solid wastes, except body wastes, including but not limited to garbage, rubbish, ashes, street cleanings, dead animals, abandoned automobiles and solid market and industrial waste, brush weeds, broken glass, stumps, trash, building materials and debris of any description.
RUBBISH
Shall mean nonputrescible solid wastes consisting of both combustible and noncombustible wastes, such as paper, wrappings, cigarettes, cardboard, tin cans, yard clippings, leaves, wood, glass, bedding or similar materials.
STRUCTURE
Shall mean an assembly of materials forming a construction, including but not limited to buildings, platforms, open sheds, bins, shelters, fences and display racks and signs. See also the definition of "building."
b. 
Whenever, in describing or referring to any person, party, matter or thing, any word importing the singular number or masculine gender is used, the same shall be understood to include to and to apply to several persons or parties as well as to one (1) person, and to females as well as males, and to bodies corporate as well as individuals, and to several matters and things as well as one (1) matter or thing. The word "shall" shall be applied retroactively as well as prospectively.
[1973 Code § 69-2]
Every residential, commercial, business or industrial occupancy shall comply with the provisions of this chapter, regardless of whether or not such dwelling or other structure shall have been constructed, altered or repaired before or after the enactment of this chapter and irrespective of any permits or licenses which shall have been issued for the use or occupancy thereof, or for the construction or repair of same, or for the installation or repair of equipment or facilities prior to the effective date of this chapter. Furthermore, this chapter shall similarly apply to vacant parcels of land, irrespective of any condition existing thereon prior to the date of the enactment of this chapter or any permit or license issued for the same.
[1973 Code § 69-3]
Whenever the provisions of this chapter impose a higher standard than set forth in any other local ordinances or under laws of the State of New Jersey, then the standards as set forth herein shall prevail, but if the provisions of this chapter shall impose a lower standard than any other local ordinances or than the laws of the State of New Jersey, then the higher standards contained in any such other ordinances or laws of the State of New Jersey shall prevail.
[1973 Code § 69-4]
No license or permit or other certification of compliance with this chapter shall constitute a defense against any violation of any other local ordinances applicable to any structure or premises, nor shall any provision herein relieve any owner from complying with any such other provision or any official of the Borough of Rockleigh from enforcing any such other provision.
[1973 Code § 69-5]
Every foundation, floor, wall, building, door, window, roof or other part of a building shall be kept in good repair and capable of the use intended by its design, and any exterior part of parts thereof subject to corrosion or deterioration shall be kept well painted or otherwise provided with a protective treatment sufficient to prevent deterioration. All such structures shall be maintained free of broken glass, loose shingles, crumbling stone or brick, excessive peeling paint or other condition indicative of deterioration or inadequate maintenance. The outside building walls shall not have any holes, loose boards or broken, cracked or damaged finish which admits rain, cold air, dampness, rodents, insects or vermin. All parts of the premises shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition and shall be maintained so as to prevent infestation.
[1973 Code § 69-6; Ord. No. 2012-7; Ord. No. 2015-5]
a. 
All vacant lands, lots and premises with or without buildings thereon, regardless of the use or permitted use of the tract or tracts, shall be clean and free from garbage, refuse, rubbish, stagnant water, piles of rock or soil, glass and unsightly natural growth and from any and all conditions which might result in a hazard to the public health and safety. Any grass, hedges, shrubbery and plants situated on premises shall be kept trimmed and shall not be permitted to become overgrown and unsightly. No owner or occupant of property shall place any bamboo plantings within ten (10) feet of the edge of pavement of any adjoining right-of-way. In addition, a property owner shall be required to contain bamboo plantings on its property and shall prevent such plantings from intruding onto adjoining properties. All fences surrounding vacant or occupied lands herein described shall be kept in good repair.
b. 
Violations and Penalties.
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any of the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction, be liable for the penalty established in Chapter 1, Section 1-5 of the Borough Code. Each violation of any of the provisions of this section, and each day the same is violated, shall be deemed and taken to be a separate and distinct offense.
[1973 Code § 69-7]
The owner or occupant shall be responsible for the maintenance of the area abutting such property between the street property line and the street or roadway, including landscape ground cover, sidewalk and curb or monolithic curb and gutter.
[1973 Code § 69-8]
The Construction Official of the Borough of Rockleigh is hereby designated as the Public Officer charged with exercising the powers and performing the duties set forth in this chapter. He may, subject to the approvals of the Mayor and Council, appoint or designate such other public officials or employees of the Borough to perform such duties as may be necessary for the enforcement of this chapter, including the making of inspections and the holding of hearings. The Public Officer is authorized and directed to make or cause to be made inspections in order to determine compliance with Sections 10-5, 10-6 and 10-7 hereof in order that he may perform his duty of safeguarding the public health, safety and welfare.
[1973 Code § 69-9]
a. 
The Public Officer may determine that any structure is injurious to the health and safety of the occupants thereof or of other residents of the Borough when such structure exhibits conditions that include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. 
Structural deterioration;
2. 
Infestation;
3. 
Uncleanliness;
4. 
Inadequate or unsanitary sewerage or plumbing facilities; or
5. 
Any other condition detrimental to the health, safety and well-being of the general public.
b. 
When land, either vacant or occupied, exhibits conditions violative of Section 10-6, that may impair the public health, safety and welfare of the residents of the Borough, the Public Officer may determine that such conditions are violative of the provisions of this chapter.
[1973 Code § 69-10]
Whenever a petition is filed with the Public Officer by a public authority as defined in N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.4 or by at least five (5) residents of the Borough, or it appears to the Public Officer that any building is in a state of structural deterioration, disrepair, uncleanliness, infestation, existence of fire hazards and unsanitary conditions, or conditions exist which are deleterious to the well-being of the general public with reference to vacant or occupied land not properly maintained as required by this chapter, the Public Officer shall, if his preliminary investigation discloses the above, issue and cause to be served upon the owner of the premises in question, either personally or by certified mail, a complaint stating the charges and the basis thereof and containing a notice that a hearing will be held before the Public Officer or his designated agent at a place then fixed, not less than ten (10) days nor more than thirty (30) days after the serving of the complaint, and that the owner of the premises in question shall be given the right to file an answer to the complaint and to appear in person or by counsel and give testimony concerning the charges. The rules of evidence prevailing in the courts of the State of New Jersey shall not be controlling in hearings before the public officer.
[1973 Code § 69-11]
a. 
If, after the notice and hearing provided for herein, the Public Officer determines that the building is in a state of structural deterioration, disrepair, uncleanliness, infestation, existence of fire hazards and insanitary conditions; or conditions deleterious to the well-being of the general public with reference to vacant land not properly maintained as required by this chapter, 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 thereof an order requiring the repair, alteration or improvement of the building or the removal of any debris located on any land, whether vacant or occupied, that is found by the Public Officer as constituting a violation of this chapter. Within such order there shall be a provision setting forth a reasonable time for correction of all violations existing on the premises.
b. 
At the option of an owner of any structure wherein is found a condition in violation of the provisions of this chapter, where such violation is limited exclusively to the building and not to any land appurtenant thereto, said owner may cause the structure to be vacated and closed within the time set forth in the order.
c. 
If the building is in such a condition as to make it dangerous to the health and safety of person on or near the premises and the owner fails to repair, alter or improve the building within the time specified in the order, then the owner shall be required to remove or demolish said building within a reasonable time as specified in said order of removal.
d. 
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, in which latter event 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 or occupation of this building is prohibited and unlawful."
e. 
If an owner fails to comply with an order to repair or improve a structure, or to demolish the same if required by an order of removal, or fails to rectify conditions existing on land, either vacant or occupied, that constitute a violation of this chapter within the time set forth in an order issued by the Public Officer, then the Officer may cause such building to be repaired, improved or demolished or may cause such conditions, existing on land to be corrected after advertisement for and receipt of bids therefor, in accordance with the Local Public Contracts Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 et seq.
[1973 Code § 69-12]
The amount of 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 chapter determined in favor of the municipality, and such costs of such repair, 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 Public Officer, he shall sell the materials of such building. There shall be credited against the cost of the removal or demolition thereof 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 copy thereof shall be forthwith forwarded to the owner by certified mail. If the total of the credits exceeds such costs, the balance remaining shall be deposited in the Superior Court by the Public Officer, shall be secured in such a manner as may be directed by such Court and shall be disbursed according to the order or judgment of such Court; provided, however, that 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. Any owner or party-in-interest may, within sixty (60) 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.
[1973 Code § 69-13]
The Public Officer shall exercise such powers as may be necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this chapter, including the following powers in addition to others herein granted:
a. 
To administer oaths and affirmations, examine witnesses and receive evidence.
b. 
To implement all rules and regulations adopted by resolution of the Mayor and Council necessary for the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter; provided, however, that such rules and regulations shall not be in conflict with the provisions of this chapter, nor in anyway alter, amend or supersede any of the provisions thereof.
c. 
To enter upon premises for the purpose of making examinations, provided that such entries shall be made in such a manner as to cause the least possible inconvenience to the persons in possession, and provided that any entrance without the permission of the occupant shall be consistent with the laws and Constitution of the State of New Jersey and of the United States.
[1973 Code § 69-14]
Any person, firm or corporation aggrieved by any act of the Public Officer may appeal in writing such act of the Public Officer to the Governing Body within thirty (30) days of such act of the Public Officer and request a hearing thereon by the Governing Body. The Governing Body shall hold a hearing on said appeal within thirty-one (31) days after the filing of the notice of appeal. At the hearing, the appellant may be represented by counsel. The Governing Body is empowered to vacate any finding in whole or in part of the Public Officer.
[1973 Code § 69-15; New]
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be liable for the penalty established in Chapter 1, Section 1-5. 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.