Borough of Jamesburg, NJ
Middlesex County
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[Added 9-16-2015 by Ord. No. 07-15]
For purposes of this chapter, the following terms are defined as set forth herein:
MUNICIPAL OFFICER
Shall mean the zoning/housing officer or such official within that department as may be designated by the department head in writing.
OWNER
Shall include the title holder, any agent of the title holder having authority to act with respect to a vacant property, any foreclosing entity subject to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 46:10B-51 (P.L. 2008, c. 127, Sec. 17 as amended by P.L. 2009, c. 296), or any other entity determined by the Borough to have authority to act with respect to the property.
VACANT PROPERTY
Any building used or to be used as a residence which is not legally occupied or at which substantially all lawful construction operations or residential occupancy has ceased, and which is in such condition that it cannot legally be reoccupied without repair or rehabilitation, including, but not limited to, any property meeting the definition of abandoned property in N.J.S.A. 55:19-80 et seq.; provided, however, that any property where all building systems are in working order, where the building and grounds are maintained in good order, or where the building is in habitable condition, and where the building is being actively marketed by its owner for sale or rental, shall not be deemed vacant property for purposes of this chapter.
[Added 9-16-2015 by Ord. No. 07-15]
a. 
Effective immediately, the owner of any vacant property as defined herein shall, within 30 calendar days after the building becomes vacant property or within 30 calendar days after assuming ownership of the vacant property, whichever is later, or within 10 calendar days of receipt of notice by the municipality, file a registration statement for such vacant property with the municipal officer on forms provided by the Borough for such purposes. Failure to receive notice by the municipality shall not constitute grounds for failing to register the property.
b. 
Each property having a separate block and lot number as designated in official records of the municipality shall be registered separately.
c. 
The registration statement shall include the name, street address, telephone number, and e-mail address (if applicable) of a person 21 years of age or older, designated by the owner or owners as the authorized agent for receiving notices of code violations and for receiving process in any court proceeding or administrative enforcement proceeding on behalf of such owner or owners in connection with the enforcement of any applicable code; and the name, street address, telephone number and e-mail address (if applicable) of the firm and the actual name(s) of the firm's individual principal(s) responsible for maintaining the property. The individual or representative of the firm responsible for maintaining the property shall be available by telephone or in person on a twenty-four-hour-per-day, seven-day-per-week basis. The two entities may be the same or different persons. Both entities shown on the statement must maintain offices in the state of New Jersey or reside within the state of New Jersey,
d. 
The registration shall remain valid for one year from the date of registration. The owner shall be required to renew the registration annually, as long as the building remains a vacant property, and shall pay a registration or renewal fee in the amount prescribed in this ordinance, for each vacant property registered. The owner shall pay a registration annually as long as the building remains a vacant property, and shall pay a registration or renewal fee in the amount prescribed in this ordinance, for each vacant property registered.
e. 
The owner shall notify the municipal officer within 30 calendar days of any change in the registration information by filing an amended registration statement on a form provided by the municipal officer for such purpose.
f. 
The registration statement shall be deemed prima facie proof of the statements therein contained in any administrative enforcement proceeding or court proceeding instituted by the Borough against the owners of the building.
[Added 9-16-2015 by Ord. No. 07-15]
The owner of any vacant property registered under this chapter shall provide access to the Borough to conduct exterior and interior inspections of the building to determine compliance with municipal codes, upon reasonable notice to the property owner or the designated agent.
a. 
An owner who meets the requirements of this chapter with respect to the location of his/her residence or workplace in the State of New Jersey may designate himself/herself as agent or as the individual responsible for maintaining the property.
b. 
By designating an authorized agent under the provisions of this section the owner consents to receive any and all notices of code violations concerning the registered vacant property and all process in any court proceeding or administrative enforcement proceeding brought to enforce code provisions concerning the registered building by service of the notice or process on the authorized agent. Any owner who has designated an authorized agent under the provisions of this section shall be deemed to consent to the continuation of the agent's designation for the purpose of this section until the owner notifies the Borough, in writing, of a change of authorized agent or until the owner files a new annual registration statement.
c. 
Any owner who fails to register vacant property under the provisions of this chapter shall further be deemed to consent to receive, by posting on the building, in plain view, and by service of notice at the last known address of the owner of the property on record with the Borough by regular and certified mail, any and all notices of code violations and all process in an administrative proceeding brought to enforce code provisions concerning the building.
[Added 9-16-2015 by Ord. No. 07-15]
a. 
The registration and annual renewal fee for each building shall be as follows:
Vacant Property Registration Fee Schedule
Initial registration
$500
First renewal
$1,000
Second renewal
$1,000
Subsequent renewal
$3,000
b. 
At least 20% of all fee income resulting from the application of this chapter shall be used for the sole purpose of carrying our municipal activities with respect to vacant and distressed properties, including, but not limited to, code enforcement, abatement of nuisance conditions, stabilization, rehabilitation, and other activities designated to minimize blight and further productive reuse of properties.
[Added 9-16-2015 by Ord. No. 07-15]
The owner of any building that has become vacant property, and any person maintaining or operating or collecting rent for any such building that has become vacant shall, within 30 days thereof:
a. 
Enclose and secure the building against unauthorized entry as provided in the applicable provisions of the Borough Code, or as set forth in the rules and regulations supplementing those codes; and
b. 
Post a sign affixed to the building indicating the name, address and telephone number of the owner or the owner's authorized agent, for the purpose of service of process, and the person responsible for the day-to-day supervision and management of the building, if such person is different from the owner holding title or authorized agent. The sign shall be of a size no smaller than 18 inches by 24 inches and shall include words "To report problems with this building call…" and placed in such a location, so as to be legible from the nearest public street or sidewalk, whichever is nearer; and
c. 
Secure the building from unauthorized entry and maintain the sign until the building is again legally occupied or demolished, or until repair or rehabilitation of the building is complete; and
d. 
Make provisions for the cessation of electric or gas utility services to the property, other than buildings with a fire sprinkler system; and
e. 
Make provisions for winterizing of the property by the cessation of water service to the property and the draining of water lines, other than buildings with a fire sprinkler system; and
f. 
Make provisions for the cessation of the delivery of mail, newspapers and circulars to the property, including having the property listed on the exclusion list maintained by the Borough of Jamesburg for the delivery of circulars and advertisements to the property; and
g. 
Make provision for the maintenance of the lawn and yard, including regular grass cutting as required by the applicable provisions of the Code of the Borough of Jamesburg; and
h. 
Ensure that the exterior grounds of the structure, including yards, fences, sidewalks, walkways, rights-of-way, alleys, retaining walls, attached or unattached accessory structures and driveways, are well-maintained and free from debris, loose litter, and grass and weed growth; and
i. 
Continue to maintain the structure in a secure and closed condition, keep the grounds in a clean and well-maintained condition, and ensure that the sign is visible and intact until the building is again occupied, demolished, or until repair and/or rehabilitation of the building is complete.
[Added 9-16-2015 by Ord. No. 07-15]
The municipal officer may issue rules and regulations for the administration of the provisions of this chapter. Such administratively promulgated rules and regulations shall be in writing and shall be provided to the owners of properties registered under this chapter or their designated agents within 30 calendar days of their effective date.
[Added 9-16-2015 by Ord. No. 07-15]
a. 
Any person who violates any provisions of this chapter or of the rules and regulations issued hereunder shall be fined not less than $500 and not more than $1,000 for each offense. Every day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct offense. Fines assessed under this chapter shall be recoverable from the owner and shall be a lien on the property.
b. 
For purposes of this section, failure to file a registration statement within 30 calendar days after a building becomes vacant property or within 30 calendar days after assuming ownership of a vacant property, whichever is later; or within 10 days of receipt of notice by the municipality, and failure to provide correct information on the registration statement, failure to comply with the provisions of §§ 19-2 through 19-6 of this chapter, or such provisions contained therein shall be deemed to be violations of this chapter.