Borough of Moonachie, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. #72-9, A I; 1970 Code § 11-4.1]
This section shall be known as the Property Maintenance Code of the Borough and may be referred to in this section as the Property Maintenance Code.
[Ord. #72-9, A I; 1970 Code § 11-4.2]
The purposes of this Code shall be:
a. 
To provide for the public health, safety and welfare.
b. 
To avoid, prevent and eliminate the maintenance or creation of hazards to the public health or safety.
c. 
To avoid, prevent and eliminate conditions which, if permitted to exist or continue, will depreciate or tend to depreciate the value of adjacent or surrounding properties.
d. 
To prevent the creation, continuation, extension or aggravation of blight.
e. 
To preserve property values in the Borough.
f. 
To prevent the physical deterioration or progressive downgrading of the quality of housing facilities in the Borough.
g. 
To maintain the value and economic health of the commercial properties and businesses that serve and help to support the Borough and its citizens.
h. 
To prevent and eliminate physical conditions in or on property which constitute nuisances and are thereby potentially dangerous or hazardous to the life, health or safety of persons on or near the premises where such conditions exist.
i. 
To establish minimum standards governing the maintenance and condition of land, buildings, structures and premises in the Borough.
j. 
To fix responsibilities and duties therefor upon owners, lessees, operators and occupants of property.
k. 
To provide for administration and enforcement.
l. 
To fix penalties for the violation of this section.
[Ord. #72-9, AII; 1970 Code § 11-4.3]
As used in this section:
EXTERIOR OF PREMISES
Shall mean those portions of a building or structure which are exposed to public view or are visible from adjoining or adjacent lots, including all outside surfaces and appurtenances thereto; and the open land space of any premises outside of any building or structure erected thereon.
NUISANCE
Shall mean:
a. 
Any public or private condition that would constitute a nuisance according to the statutes, laws and regulations of the State of New Jersey, its governmental agencies or the ordinances of the Borough.
b. 
Any physical condition existing in or on the exterior of any premises which is potentially dangerous, detrimental or hazardous to the life, health or safety of persons on, near or passing within the proximity of premises where the condition exists.
OCCUPANT
Shall mean any person residing, living or sleeping in or on the premises or having actual possession, use or occupancy of a dwelling premises, or rooming unit, or any person or entity in possession of or using any premises, or part thereof, whether or not the owner thereof and regardless of the duration of time of such possession, use or occupancy.
OPERATOR
Shall mean any person, persons, or entity not the owner, who has charge, care or control of a dwelling or premises, or a part thereof, with or without the knowledge, consent or authority of the owner.
OWNER
Shall mean any person, persons, or entity who shall have legal or equitable title in any form whatsoever to any premises or part thereof with or without accompanying actual possession thereof; or who shall have charge, care or control of any lot, premises, building structure or part thereof, as owner or agent of the owner, or as a fiduciary, trustee, receiver, guardian, lessee or mortgagee in possession, regardless of how such possession was obtained. Any person, group of persons, or entity who is a lessee, sub-lessee or assignee of a lessee of any part or all of any building structure or land shall be deemed to be a co-owner with the lessor for the purposes of this section and shall have responsibility over the portions of the premises so sublet, leased or assigned.
PREMISES
Shall mean a lot, plot or parcel of land, right of way or multiples thereof including the buildings or structures thereon.
REFUSE OR RUBBISH
Shall mean all discarded, useless, unusable, unused or worthless solid waste matter or materials, combustible or noncombustible, including but not limited to garbage; trash; ashes; paper; paper goods and products; wrappings; cans; bottles; containers; yard clippings; garden waste; debris; junk; glass; boxes; crockery; wood; mineral matter; plastic; rubber; leather; furniture; household goods; appliances; bedding; scrap lumber; scrap metal; construction material; inoperable machinery or parts thereof; garden or farming implements and supplies; dead or rotting vegetation; tires; abandoned, inoperative or unusable automobiles and vehicles; and solid commercial or industrial waste.
[Ord. #72-9, A III; 1970 Code § 11-4.4]
a. 
Compliance of All Residential and Nonresidential Buildings, Structures, Lots and Premises. Every residential and nonresidential building, structure, lot and the premises or part of the premises on which it is situated in the Borough, previously or presently used or intended to be used for dwelling, commercial, business, recreational, service, transportation, institutional, religious, charitable, quasi-public, professional or industrial occupancy and uses accessory thereto, shall comply with provisions of this section, whether or not any such building or structure shall have been constructed, altered, or repaired before or after the enactment of this section, and irrespective of any permits or licenses which may have been issued for the use of occupancy of such building, or for the installation or repair of equipment or facilities prior to October 26, 1972. Vacant lots, lands and premises are also required to comply with the provisions of this section.
b. 
Interpretation of Standards. In any case where the provisions of this section impose a higher or stricter standard than set forth in any other ordinance or regulation of the Borough or under the laws or regulations of the State of New Jersey or any of its agencies, then the standards as set forth herein shall prevail, but if the provisions of this Code impose a lower or lesser standard than any other regulation or ordinance of the Borough or of the laws and regulations of the State of New Jersey, or any of its agencies, then the higher standard contained in any such other ordinance, regulation, or law shall prevail.
c. 
Compliance with Other Ordinances. Compliance with this section shall not constitute a defense against any violation of any other ordinance of the Borough applicable to any structure or premises, nor shall any one act of compliance constitute a defense against any subsequent or other violation of this Code.
d. 
Responsibilities of Owner, Operator and Occupant. Owners, operators and occupants shall have all the duties, obligations and responsibilities prescribed in this section, and no such person or entity shall be relieved of any duty, obligation or responsibility hereunder, nor re-entitled to assert as a defense against any charge made against him or them for violation of this section, the fact that another owner, operator or occupant or any other third person or entity is also responsible therefor and in violation thereof.
e. 
Application of Building Code. Any alterations to buildings, structures or appurtenances thereto, or changes of use therein, which may be caused directly or indirectly by the enforcement of this section shall be done in accordance with all applicable sections of the State Uniform Construction Code.
f. 
Application of Zoning Law. Nothing contained in this section or any requirement of compliance herewith shall be deemed to alter, impair or affect the application of the provisions of the Zoning Chapter or zoning laws of the Borough.
g. 
Existing Remedies. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to abolish or impair existing remedies of the Borough or its officers or agencies relating to the removal or demolition of any buildings or structures which are deemed to be dangerous, unsafe or unsanitary.
[Ord. #72-9, AIV; 1970 Code § 11-4.5]
In furtherance of the purposes of this section, it shall be the duty and responsibility of the owner, operator or occupant of premises to comply with any or all of the requirements and standards of this section, to keep the premises free of conditions which constitute violations hereof, and to promptly remove, prevent or abate such conditions.
[Ord. #72-9, A V; 1970 Code § 11-4.6]
The exterior of all premises shall be kept free of the following matter, materials or conditions:
a. 
Refuse, as defined herein.
b. 
Rubbish, as defined herein.
c. 
Abandoned, uncovered or structurally unsound wells, shafts, towers, exterior cellar openings, basement hatchways, foundations or excavations.
d. 
Abandoned iceboxes, refrigerators, boilers, hot water heaters, television sets and other similar major appliances.
e. 
Structurally unsafe or unsound buildings, structures or fences.
f. 
Rodents, vermin, pest infestations or rodent harborages.
g. 
Animal excrement.
h. 
Hidden or uncovered ground or surface hazards, such as holes, sudden depressions, sharp or jagged projections or obstructions.
i. 
Buried rubble, refuse or rubbish.
j. 
Stagnant surface or ground water accumulations which create or are likely to create mosquito or other insect breeding areas.
k. 
Nuisances, as defined herein.
l. 
Vehicles or parts thereof, including boats and trailers, motorized or not, licensed or unlicensed, registered or unregistered, which vehicles or parts thereof are or have been junked, abandoned, dismantled or are in a state of visible disrepair.
m. 
Dangerously loose and overhanging objects, including but not limited to, dead trees or tree limbs, accumulations of ice, or any object, natural or man- made, which could threaten the health and safety of persons if caused to fall, or other similar dangerously loose and overhanging objects, which by reason of their location above ground level constitute an actual hazard to persons or vehicles in the vicinity thereof.
n. 
Inadequate or unsafe foundation walls, piers and columns, and other similar structurally unsound, damaged or defective load bearing components which are incapable of bearing imposed loads safely at all points.
o. 
Structurally unsound, loose, dangerous, crumbling, missing, broken, rotted, or unsafe exterior portions of buildings or structures, including but not limited to porches, landings, balconies, stairways, hand rails, steps, walls, overhangs, roofs, fences, supporting members, timbers, abutments, fire escapes, signs, loose, crumbling or falling bricks, stones, mortar or plaster.
p. 
Exterior surfaces or parts of buildings or structures containing sharp, rough or projecting surfaces or objects which might cause injury to persons coming in contact therewith.
q. 
Broken glass or windows; rotted, missing or substantially destroyed window frames and sashes, door frames, exterior doors or other major exterior component parts of buildings or structures.
r. 
Weeds or plant growth which are noxious or detrimental to public health and safety. This includes but is not limited to poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac and ragweed growth.
Without limitation by the foregoing, it shall also be the duty and responsibility of owners, occupants or operators to keep the exterior of all premises structurally sound, in good general repair and sufficiently maintained, to an extent so as to prevent and avoid conditions that violate the purposes of this section.
[Ord. #72-9, A VI; 1970 Code § 11-4.7; New; Ord. #2008-5; Ord. #2011-2]
a. 
Enforcement Officer. The Construction Official of the Borough, Property Maintenance Official, Department of Public Works Superintendent, Police Department and/or their agents are designated as the officers charged with the enforcement of this section and are hereinafter referred to as the enforcement officers under this section.
b. 
Enforcement Procedure. Whenever the enforcement officer determines that there is or has been a violation of any provision of this section, he shall give notice of the violation to the person responsible therefor under this section. Notice shall be in writing and shall include a concise statement of the reasons for its issuance. Such notice shall be deemed to be properly and sufficiently served if a copy thereof is sent by registered or certified mail to the last known address of the person upon which the same is served, as shown by the most recent tax lists of the Borough or a copy thereof handed to that person or a copy thereof left at the usual place of abode or office of that person. Notice shall be given as aforesaid within or without the Borough. The notice shall also state that unless the violation is abated, removed, cured, prevented or desisted from within 10 days of the date of service of such notice (exclusive of the date of service) a summons shall be issued for such violation. The enforcement officer may, at the time he issues the notice, extend the period for compliance with the violation stated in this notice for a period in excess of 10 days if, in his judgment, the abatement removal, prevention, cessation of or cure of the condition violated cannot reasonably be effected within the ten-day period. In such cases the enforcement officer shall state a reasonably required extended period in the notice, which shall then be applicable instead of the aforesaid 10 days. In the event the violation is not abated, removed, cured, prevented, or destroyed from or otherwise fully remedied within the ten-day period or within such extended period as set forth in the notice a summons shall then be issued against the person so notified.
c. 
Emergency Conditions. Whenever the enforcement officer finds that an emergency condition in violation of the section exists, which condition requires immediate attention in order to protect the public health or safety, he may issue an order by service of notice as set forth in paragraph b of this subsection, reciting the existence of an emergency condition and requiring that action be taken by the violator as soon as is reasonably necessary to meet the emergency. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, such order shall be effective immediately. Any person to whom such an order is directed shall comply therewith immediately. Upon objection in writing to the enforcement officer, any such person shall be afforded a hearing before the Borough Council as soon as is reasonably possible. After such a hearing and decision by the Council as to the existence or nonexistence of the emergency condition, the Council may continue such order in effect, or modify or withdraw it, subject to issuance of a summons for violation thereof, if such order is continued.
[Ord. #72-9, A VII; 1970 Code § 11-4.8; Ord. #86-13, § 1]
No person, firm, or corporation owning, renting or leasing land within the Borough shall allow paper, paper products, bottles, tin cans, containers, junk, garbage, discarded furniture, tires, drums, debris or any other waste matter whatsoever, whether or not expressly defined herein, to remain on the property or allow weeds, undergrowth, cattails, or other vegetation to grow, thereby causing an unsightly appearance.
The Borough Administrator or Borough Clerk or other designated enforcement officer, upon receiving a report through his designated agents that a violation of the above exists, shall notify the owner and possessor of the lands, in writing, either personally or by registered or certified mail, to take such steps as will effectively remove the violation from the land within seven days after receipt of the notice.
[Ord. #72-9, A VII; 1970 Code § 11-4.8; Ord. #86-13, § 1]
Any person, firm, or corporation convicted of a violation of any of the provisions of this section shall be subject to a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000 per event, or imprisonment not to exceed 90 days or both per event, in the discretion of the Municipal Judge.
[Ord. #96-15, § 1]
In case with the property maintenance or other on-site conditions which in the determination of the Property Maintenance Official represents a danger, hazard or detriment to the health, safety and general welfare of the people of Moonachie, the same shall be removed under the direction of the working foreman or other authorized personnel, and the cost of correction, as nearly as can be ascertained, shall be certified by the working foreman or authorized personnel to the Director of Finance. The Borough Council shall examine the certification and if found to be correct, shall cause the cost to be charged against the real estate abutting or shall become a lien and a tax in the way and manner as the taxes next to be levied and assessed upon the premises, and shall bear interest and be enforced and collected by the same officers and in the same manner as other taxes. The imposition and collection of a fine or any other penalty for violation of any of the provisions of this section shall not constitute any bar to the right of the Borough to collect the cost, as certified, for the correction of landscaping in the manner herein authorized.
[Ord. #69-14; 1970 Code § 4-5.1]
The owner, occupant or tenant of premises abutting or bordering on any street in the Borough shall remove all snow and ice from the abutting sidewalks of such street or the abutting right-of-way actually used by the public, or in the event of ice which may be so frozen as to make removal impractical, shall cause the same to be thoroughly covered with sand or ashes, within 12 hours of daylight after the same shall fall or be formed thereon.
The owner, occupant or tenant of premises used by the public or business invitees shall remove all snow and ice from the sidewalks, streets, right-of-ways and parking areas used by the public in the transaction of business thereat, and in the event of ice which may be so frozen as to make removal impractical, shall cause the same to be thoroughly covered with sand or ashes, within 12 hours of daylight after the same shall fall or be formed thereon.
[Ord. #69-14; 1970 Code § 4-5.2]
No owner, tenant or occupant of any premises abutting on any street shall throw, place or deposit snow or ice into or on any street, it being the intent and purpose of this provision to prohibit all persons from throwing, casting, placing or depositing snow and ice which accumulates within the private property belonging to that person on the sidewalks or streets of the Borough.
[Ord. #69-14; 1970 Code § 4-5.3]
In case snow or ice shall not be removed from the sidewalks or shall be cast, deposited or placed on the sidewalks or the street by the owner, tenant or occupant of any premises, the same shall be removed under the direction of the working foreman or authorized personnel, and the cost of removal, as nearly as can be ascertained, shall be certified by the working foreman or authorized personnel to the Director of Finance. The Borough Council shall examine the certification and if found to be correct, shall cause the cost to be charged against the real estate abutting or bordering upon such sidewalks. The amount so charged shall become a lien and a tax in the way and manner as the taxes next to be levied and assessed upon the premises, and shall bear interest and be enforced and collected by the same officers and in the same manner as other taxes. The imposition and collection of a fine or any other penalty for violation of any of the provisions of this section shall not constitute any bar to the right of the Borough to collect the cost, as certified, for the removal of snow or ice in the manner herein authorized.