[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Wenonah 7-24-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-16. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Residential Property Maintenance Code" of the Borough of Wenonah.
It is hereby found and declared that there exists structures and properties in the Borough of Wenonah used for residential purposes which are, or may become in the future, substandard with respect to structural soundness, equipment or maintenance and the Borough recognizes the need to address such property maintenance issues for the purposes set forth herein. It is further found and determined that conditions of such properties, by reason of the lack of maintenance and care, may result in progressive deterioration of such properties and create the potential of establishing blighted conditions which may spread to other properties if such conditions are not curtailed or removed and that such conditions may require the expenditure of public funds to correct and eliminate them and that, by reason of timely regulation and enforcement of the provisions herein, the growth of depressed and blighted areas may be prevented and the public health, safety and welfare protected. It is further found and determined that such prevention will maintain neighborhood and property values, as well as the desirability and amenities of residential uses, all to the public good and welfare.
The purposes of this Residential Property Maintenance Code include:
The protection of the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Borough of Wenonah by establishing minimum standards governing the maintenance, appearance, condition and occupancy of residential property;
To establish minimum standards governing the physical components, conditions and appearance of residential properties to maintain them fit for human habitation and safety;
To fix and establish penalties for the violation of any provisions of this code;
To establish standards that are intended to be remedial and necessary for the public health, safety and welfare, thereby intending this code to be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes as stated herein.
The following terms, whenever used herein or recited within this code, shall have the respective meanings assigned to them unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context.
- Any condition of a building or structure, 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.
- Putrescible animal and/or vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking or consumption of food.
- The presence of insects, rodents, vermin or other pests on the premises which constitute a health hazard either to the occupant of the premises or to surrounding properties or residents.
- A. Public nuisance recognized in the common law or equity jurisprudence or as provided by the Statutes of the State of New Jersey or other ordinances of the Borough of Wenonah; or
- B. Any attractive nuisance which may prove detrimental to the health and/or safety of children whether in a building, structure or at the exterior of a building or structure or upon an unoccupied lot. Attractive nuisances include, but are not limited to: abandoned wells, shafts, basements, excavations, abandoned swimming pools, refrigerators, freezers, structurally unsound fences or structures, lumber, trash, broken window glass, debris or vegetation, including noxious vegetation such as poison ivy, oak or sumac, dead or dying trees, limbs or stumps or natural growth which, by reason of rotting or deteriorating conditions or storm damage, may constitute a safety hazard to persons; or
- C. Physical conditions dangerous to human life or detrimental to the health of persons on or near the premises; or
- D. Inadequate or unsanitary sewage or plumbing facilities in violation of this code or other codes of the Borough or of laws, rules or regulations of the State of New Jersey; or
- E. Unsanitary conditions or anything offensive to the senses or dangerous to health; or
- F. Anything rendering air, food or drink unwholesome or detrimental to the health of human beings; or
- G. Fire hazards or risks which shall include, but not be limited to, the maintenance and/or storage of combustible materials or flammable chemicals and/or the maintenance of an uncontrolled open fire.
- Any person, alone or jointly or severally with others, who shall have legal or equitable title to any residential property, with or without possession thereof, or who shall have charge, care or control of any residential property as an owner or agent of the owner or as executor, administrator, trustee, receiver or guardian of the estate or as a mortgagee in possession, regardless of the means by which such possession was obtained. Additionally, any person who is a tenant, sub-tenant or co-tenant shall be deemed to be an owner with the legal or equitable owner for the purposes of this code.
- Any lot or parcel of land including buildings, structures or other physical improvements thereon.
- PUBLIC OFFICER
- Any officer or employee in charge of any department or branch of government of the Borough of Wenonah or having authority established by the Borough of Wenonah by contract, appointment or employment relating to the health, fire, building regulations, public safety or other activities concerning buildings or structures in the Borough including, but not limited to, the Administrator, Code Enforcement Official, Police Chief, Fire Chief, Fire Code Official, Director of Public Works, Zoning Officer, Building Subcode Official or any other Construction Code Official.
- All putrescible and nonputrescible solid waste, including, but not limited to, garbage, rubbish, ashes, street cleanings, dead animals, abandoned vehicles and solid market or industrial waste and construction material waste.
- Nonputrescible solid waste consisting of both combustible and noncombustible wastes such as paper, wrapping, cardboard, metal products, yard waste, leaves, wood, glass, construction waste material, wire, pipe and similar materials.
- Anything that is built or constructed and permanently fixed, or intended to be fixed, on or under the ground or upon another structure or building including all accessory buildings and fences.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to abrogate or impair the authority of the Borough of Wenonah to enforce any provisions of its ordinances or regulations or prevent or punish violations thereof with the authority conferred by this chapter to be in addition and supplemental to the authority conferred by any other law or ordinance.
The term "multiple dwelling" shall have the same meaning as set forth at length in N.J.S.A. 55:13A-3(K) and any amendments or supplements thereto. The aforesaid definition of "multiple dwelling" is hereby incorporated herein by reference.
Residential property maintenance for multiple dwellings shall be regulated and governed by the Regulation of Maintenance of Hotels and Multiple Dwellings (N.J.A.C. 5:10-1, et seq.), which regulations are hereby adopted by the Borough of Wenonah and incorporated herein by reference.
All residential structures and premises in the Borough of Wenonah shall be free of all of the following conditions:
Refuse, rubbish, trash and debris.
Dead or dying trees, limbs, stumps, or other natural growth which, by reason of rotting or deteriorating conditions or storm damage, constitutes a hazard to humans. Trees shall be kept reasonably pruned and trimmed to prevent such conditions.
Nuisances as defined herein or other public nuisance recognized by the common law, equity jurisprudence or laws of the State of New Jersey.
Infestation as defined herein.
Deterioration as defined herein.
Ground surface hazards or unsanitary conditions such as holes, excavations, breaks, projections, obstructions, icy conditions, uncleared snow or ice, excretion of animals on sidewalks, paths, walks, curbs, driveways, or parking areas or other parts of premises which are accessible to and used by persons on the premises or the public rights-of-way immediately adjacent to residential premises. Trees or limbs overhanging walkways, sidewalks, curbs or cartway portion of streets of the Borough or County rights-of-way shall be kept trimmed, for safe passage by pedestrians, to a height not less than eight feet measured from the lowest hanging growth to surface grade.
Construction waste not enclosed within movable waste containers for disposal off-premises shall be removed from the premises not less than three calendar days after the placement thereof on the premises. All such construction waste not stored in such containers shall be prohibited from placement or storage at a location on the premises visible from the public street or be placed or stored within the front yard setback area of any structure, accessory structure or building on the premises.
Construction materials intended for installation, attachment to or use in the construction of buildings or structures shall not be stored for any duration of time or in any other manner as to constitute a nuisance or attractive nuisance as defined within this chapter. Any such construction materials stored or placed outside of buildings or structures under construction shall be prohibited from storage on the premises for any duration in excess of 30 days unless reasonably required to facilitate or serve the purpose of the orderly construction, reconstruction or repair of structures or buildings on the premises during pendency of an open construction permit. Without limitation, construction materials such as wood, masonry products, glass, pipe, metal, shingles, drywall and similar materials shall be stored in a manner that shall not constitute a hazard to any persons that may be upon the premises or in a manner that may constitute a fire hazard or any other public hazard, including, but limited to, constituting a potential source of infestation (defined herein).
No operator or owner of any residential premises shall cause, permit or maintain any refuse, rubbish, construction waste, or litter to accumulate on premises under construction, reconstruction or repair at any time before, during, or immediately following completion of any construction or demolition project on the premises. It shall be the duty, obligation and requirement that any operator or owner to store, or cause to be stored, such materials in containers adequate to cause such materials to be removed from the premises. All such containers shall be of a design to accommodate debris that may be discharged or removed from such containers by wind and otherwise in a manner to prevent spillage therefrom.
Exteriors of residential structures, accessory structures or buildings, including fences, shall be maintained in good repair and free of deterioration.
Windows and doors shall be maintained in good repair and free of deterioration and except in the case of emergencies such as vandalism, weather damage, fire damage or abandonment shall not be boarded up. In such cases of emergency, windows and doors may be boarded up for only such period of time reasonably necessary to secure the structure until repairs or replacements may be accomplished. No boarded up windows or doors shall be maintained, in any circumstances or for any purposes for a duration in excess of 120 days.
No motorized vehicles including automobiles, trucks, motorcycles or similar motorized vehicles shall be placed or parked upon front lawn areas or placed for sale upon such areas not improved with driveways.
All brush, shrubs, grass and trees shall be maintained so as not obstruct public access to sidewalks and roadways. Lawn grass shall be trimmed and maintained to not exceed a height of eight inches from surface grade.
Receptacles for storage of garbage, recyclables and refuse shall be stored out of the sight of public on the premises. Owners or occupants of corner lots shall store such in backyard areas only. Exceptions to the provisions of this subsection shall be the placement or storage of such materials in public view in locations to accommodate public pickup and removal of such materials as otherwise provided by the Code of the Borough of Wenonah.
All parts of residential premises shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition, free of nuisances and any other health, safety and fire hazards.
The provisions of this chapter may be enforced by any one or more Public Officers of the Borough of Wenonah as such are defined herein.
Whenever any Public Officer determines, after investigation, that there exists a violation of any provision of this chapter, he/she shall provide written notice of such violation to the owner or operator of the premises. Such notice shall include a statement of the reasons for the issuance of the notice and shall be deemed to be properly served if a copy thereof is served upon such person personally or to the registered agent of an entity not a natural person, or sent by certified mail to the last known address or address listed on the most current tax duplicate records of the Borough of Wenonah. Such notice, shall state that unless, within seven calendar days from service of the notice a condition or violation is abated, a complaint will be issued through the Municipal Court and thereby subject the occupant or owner to fines or penalties as set forth within this chapter. A copy of all such notices shall be provided to the Borough Clerk. If notice shall be given by personal service, the Public Officer shall maintain a record of the date, time and place of notice and the name of the person served. If notice is provided by certified mail, the date of service shall be deemed the postmarked date on the certified mail return card.
[Added 11-18-2010 by Ord. No. O-2010-16]
Should the owner or occupants of any lot or tract of land, including any property upon which any home or other building is constructed, situate within the Borough of Wenonah fail, neglect or refuse to cut, mow and/or remove any such grass, brush, weeds, vegetation, underbrush, leaves or other combustible material within seven calendar days after written notice as herein provided, it shall be the duty of the Public Works Superintendent under the direction and authorization of the Borough Council to cause the same to be done, and the expense thereof shall be charged to the owner or owners of the said lot or tract of land, the costs of same shall be certified to Council, including any property upon which any home or other building is constructed, and a lien to cover all costs of such remediation and removal shall be filed against said lot or tract of land, in the manner prescribed by law, and form a part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon such land and shall bear interest at the same rate as all other taxes.
[Amended 11-18-2010 by Ord. No. O-2010-16]
Any person who shall violate the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a fine of $150 for each separate violation or sentenced to a period of community service not exceeding five days, or both, for a first offense; a fine of $300 or a period of community service not exceeding 10 days, or both, for a second offense; and a fine of $750 or a period of community service not exceeding 30 days, or both, for a third or subsequent offense. After expiration of the notice period provided by the Public Officer as provided herein, each day of a continued violation shall constitute a separate offense subject to the penalties provided herein.
[Amended 11-18-2010 by Ord. No. O-2010-16]
All ordinances of the Borough of Wenonah inconsistent with the provisions of this ordinance be and are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency.
[Amended 11-18-2010 by Ord. No. O-2010-16]
All existing ordinances not inconsistent with the provisions of this ordinance be and hereby saved from repeal. Should any section, clause, sentence, phrase or provision of this ordinance be declared unconstitutional, unlawful or unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, all other parts or provisions of this ordinance shall be severable and deemed lawful and enforceable.
[Amended 11-18-2010 by Ord. No. O-2010-16]
This ordinance shall take effect immediately upon passage, publication and as otherwise provided by law.