[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Wenonah 10-10-1985. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This ordinance shall be known as the "Commercial Maintenance Code of the Borough of Wenonah" and is referred to in this chapter in the short form as "this code."
The purpose of this code is to protect the public health, safety and welfare by establishing minimum standards for the maintenance of commercial premises; to fix responsibilities and duties upon owners, operators and occupants; to authorize and establish procedures for the inspection of commercial premises; to fix penalties for the violations of this code; and to provide for the right of access to permit repairs when necessary. This code is hereby declared to be remedial and essential for the public interest, and it is intended that this code be liberally construed to effectuate the purpose as stated herein.
The following terms, wherever used herein, shall have the following meanings, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
- COMMERCIAL PREMISES
- A lot or tract of land on which, or on any part of which, commercial activity of any kind takes place. Commercial activity shall include but is not limited to gasoline stations; parking lots; retail sales; professional activities, including but not limited to medical, dental, legal, architectural, accounting, etc.; personal services, including real estate, insurance, barbershops, hairdressers, etc.; repair shops of all kinds; and amusements, including but not limited to movies, skating rinks, bowling alleys, etc., whether part of a shopping area or not. Commercial activity shall also include the sale of agricultural products produced on the premises, where sales will exceed more than $250 annually. The definition of "commercial premises" shall not include apartments.
- EXTERIOR OF PREMISES
- Those portions of a building which are exposed to public view, and the open space of any premises outside of any building erected thereon.
- Any condition, man-made or natural, which affords a breeding place or hiding place for rodents, insects or other pests.
- A. Any common-law nuisance or as provided by the laws of the State of New Jersey or the ordinances of the Borough of Wenonah.
- B. Any attractive nuisance which may prove detrimental to the health or safety of children, whether in a building or upon a lot. This includes but is not limited to any structurally unsound fences or structures, lumber, trash, fences, debris or vegetation, such as poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac, which may prove a hazard for inquisitive minors.
- C. Physical conditions dangerous to human life or detrimental to the health of persons on or near the premises where the conditions exist.
- D. Unsanitary conditions or anything unreasonably offensive to the senses or dangerous to health in violation of this code.
- E. Whatever renders air, food or drink unwholesome or detrimental to the health of human beings.
- F. Fire hazards.
- Any person having actual possession of the premises or any part thereof.
- Any person who has charge, care or control of the commercial premises or any part thereof, whether with or without the consent of the owner.
- Any person who, alone or jointly or severally with others, shall have legal or equitable title to any commercial premises, with or without accompanying actual possession thereof, or shall have charge, care or control of any commercial premises as owner or agent of the owner or a fiduciary, including but not limited to executor, executrix, administrator, administratrix, 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 commercial premises 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.
- SHOPPING AREA
- One or more buildings or parts thereof designed as a unit, to be occupied by one or more businesses for the conduct of business and conducted as an integrated planned area development.
Every commercial premises and any building situated thereon in the Borough of Wenonah used or intended to be used for commercial occupancy shall comply with the provisions of this code, whether or not such building shall have been constructed, altered or repaired before or after the enactment of this code. This code establishes minimum standards for the initial and continued occupancy and use of all such commercial buildings and does not replace or modify standards otherwise established for the construction, repair, alteration or use of such commercial buildings or premises contained therein. Where there is mixed occupancy with commercial and other uses on the same premises, all such uses shall be nevertheless regulated by, and subject to, the provisions of this code.
In any case where the provisions of this code impose a higher standard than is set forth in any other ordinances of the Borough of Wenonah or under the laws of the State of New Jersey, then the standards as set forth herein shall prevail, but if the provisions of this code impose a lower standard than any other ordinances of the Borough of Wenonah or the laws of the State of New Jersey, then the higher standard contained in any other such ordinance or law shall prevail.
Owners and operators shall have all the duties and responsibilities prescribed in this code, and no owner or operator shall be relieved from any such duty and responsibility nor be entitled to defend against any charge or violation thereof by reason of the fact that the occupant is also responsible therefor and in violation thereof.
Occupants shall have all the duties and responsibilities as prescribed in §§ 17A-13 through 17A-18 of this code, and the occupant shall not be relieved from any such duty and responsibility nor be entitled to defend against any charge of violation thereof by reason of the fact that the owner or operator is also responsible therefor and in violation thereof.
The exterior of the premises and all structures thereon shall be kept free of all nuisances and any hazards to the safety of occupants, pedestrians and other persons utilizing the premises and free of unsanitary conditions, and any of the foregoing shall be promptly removed and abated by the owner or operator. It shall be the duty of the owner or operator to keep the premises free of hazards, which include but are not limited to the following:
Refuse. "Refuse" means any used or unconsumed substance or waste material which has been discarded, combustible or incombustible, whether made of aluminum, glass, plastic, rubber, paper or other natural or synthetic material, or any combination thereof, including but not limited to any bottle, jar or can, or any top, cap or detachable tab of any bottle, jar or can, any unlighted cigarette, cigar, match or any flaming or glowing material, or any garbage, trash, refuse, debris, rubbish, grass clippings or other lawn or garden waste, newspaper, magazines, glass, metal, plastic or paper containers or other packaging or construction material.
Natural growth. Brush, weeds, ragweeds, stumps, roots and obnoxious growths and dead and dying trees and limbs or other natural growth which, by reason of rotting or deteriorating conditions or storm damage, constitute a hazard to persons in the vicinity thereof. Trees shall be kept pruned and trimmed to prevent such conditions.
Overhangings. Loose and overhanging objects and accumulations of ice and snow which, by reason of location above ground level, constitute a danger of falling on persons in the vicinity thereof.
Ground surface hazards or unsanitary conditions; holes; broken or missing pavement; loose stone excavations, breaks, projections, obstructions, ice, uncleared snow; and excretion of pets and other animals on paths, walks, driveways, parking lots and parking areas and other parts of the premises which are accessible to and used by persons on the premises. All such holes and excavations shall be filled and repaired; walks and steps shall be repaired, and other conditions shall be removed where necessary to eliminate hazards or unsanitary conditions with reasonable dispatch upon their discovery. It shall be the responsibility of owners and operators to take reasonable steps to discover any such hazards or unsanitary conditions which may exist on their premises.
Recurring accumulations of stormwater. Adequate runoff drains shall be provided and maintained to eliminate any recurrent or excessive accumulation of stormwater.
Sources of infestation.
Improved property which is landscaped shall be kept landscaped, and hedges and other shrubbery shall be kept trimmed and prevented from becoming overgrown.
Lawn grass shall be maintained at a maximum height of less than eight inches.
In the event that lawn grass is permitted to exceed eight inches in height, the Construction Code Official shall serve written notice of violation as specified in § 17A-24, except that, from the date of service, the owner shall be given seven days in which to restore the lawn grass to a height of approximately two inches.
If, after the aforesaid seven-day period, the lawn grass has not been restored to the prescribed height, the Construction Code Official may direct the borough to mow the grass, and a fee of $100 per hour [minimum one hour] shall be assessed against the owner of the premises as described in § 17A-23.
Plantings made as a requirement of site plan approval shall be replaced when the same have died.
All signs, pavement markings and printed matter and pictures or illustrations contained thereon, permitted by reasons of other regulations or as a lawful nonconforming use, shall be maintained in good repair.
In order to preserve property value and eliminate safety hazards and protect adjacent properties and the neighborhood from blighting influences, the exterior of every structure or accessory structure, including fences, shall be maintained in good repair, and all surfaces thereof shall be kept painted and whitewashed where necessary for purposes of preservation and appearance, free of broken glass, loose shingles, crumbling stone or brick or excessive peeling paint.
Unsafe exterior facilities. Unsafe exterior facilities include exterior porches, landings, balconies, stairs and fire escapes, all of which shall be kept structurally sound and in good repair and shall be provided with banisters or railings properly designed and maintained.
Signs and billboards. All permanent signs and billboards exposed to public view as permitted by the Zoning Ordinance and regulated by the Building Code or other regulations or as a lawful nonconforming use shall be maintained in good repair. Any sign or billboard which has weathered excessively or faded or the paint on which has excessively peeled or cracked shall, with its supporting members, be removed forthwith or put into a state of good repair. All nonoperative or broken electrical signs shall be repaired or shall, with their supporting members, be removed forthwith.
Windows exposed to public view. All windows exposed to public view shall be kept reasonably clean and free of marks and foreign substances and be unbroken. Except when necessary in the course of changing displays, no storage of materials, stocks or inventory shall be permitted in window display areas ordinarily exposed to public view unless such areas are first screened from view by draperies, Venetian blinds or other means. All screening of interiors shall be maintained in a clean and attractive manner and in a good state of repair.
Awnings or marquees. Any awning or marquee and its accompanying structural members which extend over any street, sidewalk or other portion of the premises shall be so maintained as to not constitute a nuisance or safety hazard. In the event that any such awning or marquee is not properly maintained in accordance with the foregoing, it shall, together with its supporting members, be removed forthwith. In the event any such awning or marquee is made of cloth, plastic or of similar materials, said materials, where exposed to public view, shall be maintained in good condition and shall not show evidence of excessive weathering, discoloration, ripping, tearing or other deterioration. Nothing herein shall be construed to authorize any encroachment of an awning, marquee or its accompanying structural members on streets, sidewalks or other parts of the public domain.
Temporary scaffolding or equipment. No temporary painting scaffold or other temporary equipment used for construction, repair or maintenance shall be permitted to remain in place beyond a period necessary to reasonably complete the purpose for which such equipment was intended to be used, without permission of the public officer.
Store fronts. All store fronts shall be maintained in good repair, and all surfaces thereof shall be kept painted when necessary for purposes of preservation and appearance. In the event repairs to a portion of a store front are made, such repairs shall be performed with materials identical or compatible with the materials used in the area not undergoing repair, to the end that the appearance of the store front shall be uniform and attractive and shall not constitute a blighting factor depreciating adjoining properties.
Unoccupied buildings. All unoccupied buildings, including those areas visible by the public from the public street or sidewalk, must be maintained in broom-clean condition and free of litter.
Outside storage or display of merchandise or commercial or industrial material or equipment shall be forbidden. However, this section shall not apply to outside storage of motor vehicle products, horticulture or agricultural products or equipment or other similar merchandise held for retail sale. This section shall apply but not be limited to storage of merchandise or equipment in trailers, motor vehicles, shacks, sheds or other outside containers.
Waiver of this provision may be applied for by written request to the Borough Council and granted based upon the size and kind of merchandise or equipment, duration and location of the outside storage and the purpose of this code.
Parking lots or parking areas, including the entrances and exits thereto, shall be kept in a good state of repair and maintained so as to comply with § 174-7 hereof. Signing of ownership and use restrictions shall be maintained in good repair, clearly visible to potential parkers. Striping, where appropriate, shall indicate spaces, direction of flow and entrances and exits and be maintained so as to assure visibility.
The owner, operator and occupant shall have the duty and responsibility of removing refuse and garbage as may be reasonably required to protect the public health, safety and welfare of the community. Such pickups of trash shall be carried out on such time schedule as required to see that there is not an overflow of garbage and refuse and to eliminate any odors or infestation which may occur as a result of an inadequate schedule of removal of such garbage and refuse.
It shall be the duty of the owner, lessee, tenant, occupant or person in charge of any structure to clean, and cause to be kept clean, the sidewalk and curb abutting the building or structure and to maintain them free from obstruction or nuisances of every kind and to keep areaways, backyards, courts and alleys free from rubbish and other offensive material. No person shall sweep into or deposit, in any gutter, street, catch basin or other public place, any accumulation of litter from any public or private sidewalk or driveway. Every person who owns or occupies property shall keep the sidewalk in front of his or her premises free of rubbish. All sweepings shall be collected and properly containerized for disposal.
Upon discovery by an occupant of any condition of the premises which constitutes a violation of this ordinance by the owner or operator, the occupant shall report same to the Police Department, Construction Code Official or Health Officer, who shall be responsible for enforcement of the provisions of this chapter.
All parts of the premises under the control of the occupant shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition, and the occupant shall refrain from performing any acts which would render other parts of the premises unclean or unsanitary or which would obstruct the owner or operator from performing any duty required hereunder or maintaining the premises in a clean and sanitary condition.
Every operator and occupant shall be responsible for the elimination of infestation in and on the premises subject to his control.
No person shall deposit any litter on the ground in any commercial premises. In order to eliminate litter, owners, operators and/or occupants shall supply such trash containers as shall comply with this ordinance. All such containers shall be closed at all times and shall be placed on ground surfaces which are paved, grassed or properly maintained for the purpose of the placement of these containers.
The owner and operator of every shopping area shall be responsible for providing, maintaining and policing the following:
Means of ingress and egress shall clearly be marked by signs.
Parking spaces shall be clearly indicated by painted lines.
Lanes for the movement of traffic in each direction shall be indicated by arrows indicating one-way traffic which shall be painted in these lanes at both ends.
A trash basket with at least a twenty-gallon capacity shall be provided for each 150 of storage frontage in the shopping area. These baskets shall be placed in the walking or pedestrian area and shall be provided with tight-fitting covers fitted with hinged doors and shall not be allowed to overflow.
Fire zones should be kept clear of all vehicular traffic and parking, as designated by the Fire Marshal of the Borough of Wenonah.
It shall be the duty of owners and operators, where parking spaces and lanes are provided for their customers, to see that all parking is done in conformity with the spaces provided and that the flow of traffic conforms to the directional arrows painted in the lanes between the parking spaces.
All buildings and premises subject to this code are subject to inspection from time to time by the Construction Code Official, Health Officer, Police Department or any other borough official charged with the duty of enforcing regulations governing any aspect or conduct of the activity housed in said premises. At the time of such inspections, all parts of the premises must be available and accessible for such inspections, and the owner, operator and occupant are required to provide the necessary arrangements to facilitate such inspections. Such inspections shall be made during the hours of the business occupying said premises unless there is reason to believe a violation exists of a character which is an immediate threat to health or safety requiring inspection and abatement without delay.
Where the violation or condition existing on the premises is of such a nature as to constitute an immediate threat to life and limb unless abated without delay, the Police Department, Construction Code Official or Health Officer may order the owner, operator or occupant to correct the violation or condition within the period of time consistent with the hazard involved and with the measures necessary to remove the hazard, and, upon the failure of the operator, owner or occupant to correct said condition, the Police Department, Construction Code Official or Health Officer shall abate said condition immediately thereafter.
Where abatement of any nuisance, as defined herein, or correction of a defect on the premises or the maintenance of the premises in a proper condition to conform to applicable ordinances of the Borough of Wenonah or the laws of the State of New Jersey requires expenditure of the Borough of Wenonah's moneys therefor, the Police Department, Construction Code Official or Health Officer shall present a report of the work accomplished to the governing body of the Borough of Wenonah, along with a summary of the proceedings undertaken to secure compliance, including notice served upon owners, operators, occupants or their agents, as the case may be, by telephone, telegram, etc. The governing body shall then approve the expenditures made and assess the same against the premises collectible as provided by law. A copy of the resolution approving said expenses shall be certified by the Borough Clerk and filed with the Tax Collector of the Borough of Wenonah, who shall be responsible for the collection thereof, and a copy of the report and resolution shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner.
Except as provided in § 17A-22 hereof, where violations of this code or the regulations hereunder are found to exist, a written notice from the Construction Code Official shall be served on the person or persons responsible for the correction thereof.
Notice shall be served personally or by certified mail, addressed to the last known address of the person to be served. In the case of an occupant, notice may be posted upon the main entrance door of the building, and, in the case of an owner who does not reside within the Borough of Wenonah, the last known address shall be the address of the owner as shown in the office of the Tax Collector.
The notice shall specify the violation or violations committed, what must be done to correct the same, a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 30 days, to abate the violation, the right of the person served to request a hearing and that the notice shall become an order of the Construction Code Official in 10 days after service unless a hearing is requested pursuant to these provisions.
Within 10 days of the date of service of a notice, the notice shall constitute a final order unless any person affected by the notice requests a hearing thereon by serving a written request within the ten-day period in or by certified mail on the Construction Code Official. Such request for a hearing shall set forth briefly the reasons for which the request for a hearing is made and the factual matters contained in the notice of violation for which the hearing is requested. The Construction Code Official, upon receipt of the request for hearing, shall, within 30 days therefrom and upon five days' notice to the parties so requesting, conduct a hearing.
At the hearing provided hereunder, the Construction Code Official shall hear all parties, and determination shall be made within 10 days from the completion of the hearing. He shall then issue an order incorporating the determinations and directions contained in the notice, modifying said notice if he so deems necessary. The Construction Code Official may extend the time for correction of the violations where he deems necessary.
In the event that the violation is not abated, removed, cured or otherwise fully remedied within the time period prescribed in the initial notice or extended time period as permitted by the Construction Code Official, a summons shall then issue against such person or persons charged with the violation.
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter or any order promulgated hereunder shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine not to exceed $500 or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment, and each violation of any of the provisions of this chapter and each day that such violation shall continue shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense.