Township of Hopewell, NJ
Mercer County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. #7/15/74; Ord. #408]
The township committee and the township board of health have adopted certain standard codes promulgated by Departments of the State of New Jersey together with stated amendments thereto as hereafter appears. Copies of such codes are filed with the township clerk and may be obtained from the promulgating agency, e.g., Department of Health, Department of Environmental Protection, etc. Except to the extent amended, the full text of the codes and the regulations promulgated thereunder are incorporated herein by reference.
Amendments and supplements to these codes such as may be adopted in the future by the pertinent Departments of the State of New Jersey are also incorporated herein by reference.
[Ord. #444]
There is hereby established in the township a State Uniform Construction Code Enforcing Agency to be known as the Township of Hopewell Building Department, consisting of a construction official, building subcode official, plumbing subcode official, electrical subcode official, fire protection subcode official, and such other subcode officials for such other subcodes as the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, State of New Jersey shall hereafter adopt as part of the State Uniform Construction Code. The construction official shall be the chief administrator of the enforcing agency. The township committee shall by resolution name the construction official and assign or reassign assisting personnel to the construction department to serve as appropriate subcode officials.
In lieu of an appointment of an electrical subcode official or a contract with an electrical on-site inspection agency, the existing electrical inspection authorities may continue to operate as per N.J.A.C. 14:5-71.1 et seq. until the township directly contracts with same, but in no case shall such existing electrical inspection authorities continue after January 1, 1978, except in conformity with Article 35 of the Regulations of the New Jersey Administrative Code.
[Ord. #444]
Each official position created in subsection 11-2.1 hereof shall be filled by a person qualified for such position pursuant to N.J.S.A. 1975, C. 217 as amended and N.J.A.C. 5:23; provided that, in lieu of any particular subcode official, an on-site inspection agency may be retained by contract pursuant to N.J.A.C. 5:23. More than one such official position may be held by the same person.
[Ord. #444]
The public shall have the right to do business with the enforcing agency at one office location except for emergencies and unforeseen or unavoidable circumstances. This office shall be at the Hopewell Township Municipal Building, Scotch Road and Route 546, Hopewell Township, New Jersey.
[Ord. #444]
The fee for a construction permit shall be the sum of the subcode fees listed in the General Ordinances of the Township of Hopewell, Chapter 10, Fees and Permits, as amended.
[Ord. #444]
The establishment of fire limits and the requirements related thereto is hereby deferred pursuant to the enabling legislation to be determined prior to July 1, 1977.
[Ord. #444]
The enforcing agency may adopt rules for its internal governance, not inconsistent with any specific provision of law or the regulations and subject to the approval of the township committee.
[Ord. #7/15/74]
Uniformity in the exterior design and appearance of buildings erected in the same residential neighborhood for occupancy as dwellings adversely affects the desirability of the immediate and neighboring areas for residential purposes and impairs existing residential property in such areas; impairs the stability and value of both improved and unimproved real property, prevents the most appropriate development of such areas, produces degeneration of residential property in such areas with attendant deterioration of conditions affecting the health, safety and morals of the inhabitants thereof and the community at large; deprives the municipality of tax revenue which it otherwise could receive and destroys a proper balance in relationship between the taxable value of real property in such areas and the cost of the municipal services provided therefor. It is the purpose of this chapter to prevent these and other harmful effects of uniformity in the exterior design and appearance of buildings erected in the same residential neighborhood for occupancy as dwellings and thus promote and protect the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the community.
[Ord. #7/15/74]
No building permit shall be issued under this chapter for the erection of any building for occupancy as a dwelling, if it is like or substantially like any neighboring building as hereinafter defined, then in existence or for which a building permit has been issued, in more than three of the following six respects:
a. 
Height of the main roof ridge, or, in the case of a building with flat roof, the highest point of the roof beams, above the elevation of the first floor;
b. 
Height of the main roof ridge above the top of the plate (all flat roofs shall be deemed identical in this dimension);
c. 
Length of the main roof ridge, or, in the case of a building with a flat roof, length of main roof;
d. 
Width between outside walls at the ends of the building measured under the main roof at right angles to the length thereof;
e. 
Relative location of windows in the front elevation or in each of both side elevations with respect to each other and with respect to any door, chimney, porch or attached garage in the same elevation;
f. 
In the front elevation, both:
1. 
Relative location with respect to each other of garage, if attached, porch, if any, and the remainder of the buildings; and
2. 
Either:
(a) 
Height of any portion of the building located outside the limits of the main roof, measured from the elevation of the first floor to the roof ridge, or, in the case of a flat roof, the highest point of the roof beams; or
(b) 
Width of the portion of the building if it has a gable in the front elevation, otherwise length of said roof ridge or said flat roof in the front elevation.
[Ord. #7/15/74]
Buildings shall be deemed to be like each other in any dimension with respect to which the difference between them is not more than two feet. Building between which the only difference in relative location of elements is end to end or side to side reversal of elements shall be deemed to be like each other in relative location of such elements. In relation to the premises with respect to which the permit is sought, a building shall be deemed to be a neighboring building if the lot upon which it or any part of it has been or will be erected is any one of the following lots, as shown on the tax map of the Township of Hopewell:
a. 
Any lot on the street upon which the building to be erected on the premises would front which is the first or the second lot next along the street in either direction from the premises, without regard to intervening street lines;
b. 
Any lot any part of the street line frontage of which is across the street from the premises or from a lot referred to in paragraph a of this subsection;
c. 
Any lot any part of the street line frontage of which faces the end of, and is within the width of the street, if there are less than two lots between the premises and the end of the street;
d. 
Any lot on another street which adjoins the premises on such other street; or
e. 
Any lot any part of the street line frontage of which is across such other street from the premises or from a lot referred to in paragraph d of this subsection.
Notwithstanding any of the foregoing provisions of this section, no building shall be deemed to be a neighboring building in relation to the premises if its rear elevation faces the street upon which the building to be erected on the premises would front.
[Ord. #7/15/74]
In any case in which the construction official shall deny an application for a building permit solely or partly because of the provisions of subsection 11-3.2, he shall promptly send to the applicant, by certified mail, or by personal delivery, addressed to the address of the applicant set forth in the application, a notice of his action which shall specify the ground or grounds upon which the same is based.
[Ord. #7/15/74]
Any person aggrieved may appeal to the board of adjustment from the action of the construction official in accordance with the Municipal Land Use Law.
[Ord. #7/15/74]
In accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.3, it is hereby found and declared that there are or may be in the future the existence, occupation or use of buildings which are so old, dilapidated, dangerous, unsanitary, a menace to the health, morals, safety and general welfare and have become so out of repair to such an extent that they are unfit for human habitation, or occupancy or use, and are inimical to the general welfare and dangerous and injurious to the health and safety of the people of the township and that a public necessity exists for the vacation, removal, repair or demolition of such building or buildings.
[Ord. #7/15/74; Ord. #625-83]
As used in this chapter.
a. 
GOVERNING BODY – Shall mean the township committee of the Township of Hopewell, Mercer County.
b. 
Appointment of Public Officers. The township committee shall, by resolution, appoint seven persons who may be members of the township boards, committees, or commissions who are designated the public officers to exercise the powers described herein.
c. 
Terms of Public Officers. The terms of public officers shall be for one year.
[Ord. #7/15/74]
The public officers defined above or any of them, are hereby designated and appointed to exercise the powers set forth in this chapter. In the event of inability to act, then the township committee may by resolution designate and appoint any person to act in its place and stead.
[Ord. #7/15/74; Ord. #564-80]
Whenever a petition is filed with a public officer, by an officer in charge of any department of the township relating to health, fire, building regulations or activities concerning buildings within the township, or by at least five residents of the township, charging that any building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use or whenever it appears to the public officer (on his own motion) or to any of the persons who are or may be designated to exercise the powers set forth in this chapter that any building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use, the public officer or such designated person shall, if his preliminary investigation discloses a basis for such charges, issue and cause to be served upon the owner of and 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 such 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 the complaint; that the owner and parties in interest shall be given the right to file an answer to the complaint with the township clerk and to appear in person or otherwise, and give testimony at the time and place fixed in the complaint. The rules of evidence prevailing in the courts of law shall not be controlling before such public officer, or his designated agent.
[Ord. #7/15/74]
After such notice and hearing, if said public officer or his designated agent 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 thereof and parties in interest and order:
a. 
Requiring the repair, alteration or improvement of 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 and remove or have the said building vacated and closed within the time set forth in the order; and
b. 
If the building is in such 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 building within the time specified in the order, then the owner shall be required to remove or demolish the building within a reasonable time as specified in the said order of removal.
c. 
If the owner thereof shall fail to comply with the order to repair, alter or improve or, at the option of the owner to vacate and close the building the public officer (or his designated agent) may cause such building to be repaired, altered or improved, or to be vacated and such building to be repaired, altered or to be vacated and closed; that the public officer or his designated agent may cause to be posted on the main entrance and elsewhere on any such 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."
[Ord. #7/15/74]
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 he may contract for the removal or demolition thereof, after advertisement for the receipt of bids therefor.
[Ord. #7/15/74]
The amount of the cost of filing of legal papers, expert witness' fees, search fees and advertising charges in the course of any proceeding taken under this section determined in favor of the township aforesaid and such cost of repairs, alterations and improvements, or vacating and closing, or removal or demolition, if any, or the amount of the balance 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 or structure.
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 township tax assessor or other custodian of the records of tax liens and a copy thereof shall be forwarded forthwith to the owner by registered mail. The amount so found to be due shall be collected in the same manner as other taxes are collected and at the same rate of interest for nonpayment. If the total of the credits exceed such costs, the balance remaining shall be deposited in the Superior Court of New Jersey by the public officer, shall be secured in such manner as may be directed by such court, and shall be disbursed and paid out 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; provided, however, that nothing in this section shall be construed to impair or limit in any way the power of the township to define and declare nuisances and to cause their removal or abatement, by summary proceedings or otherwise.
[Ord. #7/15/74; Ord. #564-80]
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 of New Jersey to contest the reasonableness of the amount or accuracy of the costs set forth in the municipal lien certificate.
[Ord. #7/15/74]
A public officer or his designated agent, may determine that a building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use if he finds that conditions exist in such building which are dangerous or injurious to the health and safety of the occupants of such building, the occupants of neighboring buildings or other residents of the township, such conditions may include the following (without limiting the generality of the foregoing): defects therein increasing the hazards of fire, accident or other calamities, lack of adequate ventilation, light or sanitary facilities, dilapidation, disrepair, structural defects, uncleanliness and failure to have included in said building running water.
[Ord. #7/15/74; Ord. #564-80]
Complaints or orders issued by any public officer, or designated agent pursuant to this section, shall be served upon persons either personally or by registered or certified mail, but if the whereabouts of such person is unknown and the same cannot be ascertained by the public officer or his designated agent in the exercise of reasonable diligence, and the public officer, or his agent 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 circulating within the municipality. A copy of such complaint or order shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises affected by the complaint or order. A copy of such complaint or order shall be duly recorded or lodged for record with the clerk of the County of Mercer.
[Ord. #7/15/74; Ord. #564-80]
The public officer, or his designated agent, may exercise under this section such powers as may be necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of the chapter, including but not limited to the following powers in addition to the others herein granted:
a. 
To investigate the building conditions in the municipality in order to determine which buildings therein are unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use;
b. 
To administer oaths, affirmations, examine witnesses and receive evidence;
c. 
To enter upon premises for the purpose of making examinations and inspections; provided that such entries shall be made in such manners to cause the least possible inconvenience to the persons in possession;
d. 
To appoint and fix the duties of such officers, agents and other employees as may be deemed necessary to carry out the purpose of this section.
e. 
To delegate any of his functions and powers under this section to such officers and agents as he may designate.
f. 
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.
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 act intended to limit the authority of the enforcing agency or construction official under the "State Uniform Construction Code Act", P.L. 1976, c.217 (c.52:27D-119 et seq.) or any rules or regulations adopted thereunder.
[Ord. #7/15/74; Ord. #564-80]
If any person is aggrieved by an order issued by any of the foregoing public officers under this section, he may within 30 days after the posting and service of such order, bring an action for injunctive relief to restrain and enjoin the public officer from carrying out the provisions of the order and for any other appropriate relief in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40-48:2.3 et seq.
[Ord. #7/15/74]
The remedy herein provided shall be exclusive and no persons affected by the order of any of the aforementioned public officials, or their or his designated representative shall be entitled to recover any damages for action taken pursuant thereto, or because of noncompliance by any person with any order of the aforementioned public officers.
[Ord. #7/15/74]
It shall be unlawful for any person to remove or cause to be removed the placard referred to in subsections 11-4.5c or 11-4.9 without express written consent for any of the public officers hereinbefore mentioned.
[Ord. #7/15/74]
Any owner or lessee in possession, who fails to comply with any order or notice to vacate and who fails to repair, alter or improve said building in accordance with any notice or order as provided in this section shall be guilty of a violation hereof.
[Ord. #7/15/74]
Building permits shall be valid for a period of one year. Thereafter, the same may be renewed only in the following manner:
a. 
First Renewal. Subject to the prior approval of the township committee, the construction official may renew the permit for a term of one year upon payment of a renewal fee based upon the total estimated cost of completion and in accordance with section 11-2.4 and section 10-3. The estimated cost of completion shall be fixed by the construction official. The township committee may, as a condition of the first renewal, impose such reasonable restrictions upon the permit as will facilitate prompt completion of the structure and reduce the deleterious effect of the uncompleted structure and building activities associated therewith upon neighboring properties.
b. 
Second Renewal. Subject to the approval of the township committee the construction official may renew the permit in the same manner and upon similar conditions as are set forth in paragraph a including the payment of a fee based upon the estimated cost of completion. No second renewal shall issue however except upon the posting of a performance guarantee, by the permittee, in an amount sufficient to cover the total estimated cost of completion and fulfillment of such conditions as may have been imposed by the township committee. The performance guarantee shall be subject to the approval of the township attorney.
[Ord. #7/15/74]
In the event the structure is not completed upon expiration of the period of the second renewal or in the event that the conditions imposed by the township committee shall not have been followed or fulfilled, the said bond shall be forfeited forthwith and the construction official is authorized to receive bids to effect the completion of the structure for occupancy. Any cost or expense incurred by the township in connection with the completion of the structure, including costs to enforce the within chapter shall, if in excess of the amount of the performance guarantee, be due and owing to the township by the owner or person to whom the second renewal permit was granted.
[Ord. #7/15/74]
Every officer, board, department or commission of the township charged with the duty of preparing specifications, or awarding or entering into contracts for the design or construction of public structures, including additions to existing structures, shall cause to be incorporated in such a structure fallout protection for at least its normal anticipated population sufficient to meet or exceed the minimum space and fallout protection criteria recommended by the Office of United States Department of Defense, unless exempted from such shelter requirement.
[Ord. #7/15/74]
The township committee may exempt public structures from this requirement where it finds that the incorporation of a fallout shelter will create an additional net cost in the construction of a structure in excess of 1 1/2% of the estimated cost without a shelter so incorporated, or that other factors exist which make unnecessary or impracticable the incorporation of fallout shelter in a structure.
[Ord. #7/15/74]
It shall be the policy of the township that fallout shelters be incorporated in all public buildings of the township to the fullest extent practicable, in order to provide protection against radiation for the greatest number of people in the event of nuclear emergency.
[Ord. #94-991]
a. 
Purpose. The purpose of this section shall be to require the clear display of dwelling and other building numbers from public streets in order to assist the general public, mail delivery services, and emergency authorities in identifying any property, in the course of normal business and in case of emergencies.
b. 
System of Numbering Established. There is hereby established a uniform numbering system for numbering all dwellings and other buildings along the streets within the township.
c. 
Numbers Assigned. The numbering of dwellings and other buildings on each street shall begin at the intersection of the center lines of roadways or as directed by the township assessor.
d. 
House Numbers for New Buildings. Whenever a house, building or structure shall be erected or located in the township after the establishment of the numbering system, it shall be the obligation of the owner to procure the correct number or numbers as designated by the township assessor for the property and to immediately post such number or numbers so assigned to the buildings as provided for in this section. Any structure erected, repaired, altered or modified after the effective date of this section, shall have final approval withheld by the construction official until permanent and proper numbers have been affixed.
e. 
Height of Numbers. The numbers shall be a minimum of three inches in height, clearly visible on the background to which attached and located in a prominent place on the property to be visible from the street. Such numbers shall be procured and affixed at the owner's expense.
f. 
Notification of Assigned Number. Upon notification of assigned number, any person, now the owner of any interest in a building, or who may hereafter acquire any such interest, shall comply with the provisions of this section and take all steps necessary to change to the number so assigned. In the case of conflict as to the proper number to be assigned to any building, the township assessor shall determine the number of such building and this decision shall be final. The owner of any lot upon which a building is located shall display or cause to be displayed the number assigned thereto in conformity with the provisions of this section within 30 days of receipt of the newly assigned number. It shall be unlawful to use, in any manner, any number inconsistent with this system and the number so assigned, if such use is continued for a period of 30 days following notification of a number different than the one so used.
g. 
Violation. Any person who shall violate any of the terms or provisions of this section, shall, upon conviction, be liable to the penalty contained in Chapter 3.