Township of Middle, NJ
Cape May County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Middle as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Unsafe buildings — See Ch. 100.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 112.
Fire lanes — See Ch. 141.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 193.
Fees — See Ch. A285.
[Adopted 10-3-1985 by Ord. No. 512-85; amended in its entirety 9-19-2005 by Ord. No. 1206-05]
Pursuant to § 11 of the Uniform Fire Safety Act (P.L. 1983 c.383), the New Jersey Uniform Fire Code (N.J.A.C. 5:70-1 et seq.) shall be locally enforced within the established limits of Middle Township Fire District No. 1, Middle Township Fire District No. 2, Middle Township Fire District No. 3 and Middle Township Fire District No. 4.
The local enforcing agency shall be the Boards of Fire Commissioners of Middle Township Fire District No. 1, Middle Township Fire District No. 2, Middle Township Fire District No. 3 and Middle Township Fire District No. 4, each within the limits established by official Township action through its Bureau of Fire Prevention, which is hereby created therein. Each Bureau of Fire Prevention shall hereinafter be known as the local enforcing agency.
A. 
The local enforcing agency shall enforce the New Jersey Uniform Fire Safety Act (P.L. 1983, c.383), The New Jersey Uniform Code (N.J.A.C. 5:70-1 et seq.) and this article in all buildings, structures, and premises within the established boundaries of their respective fire districts within the Township of Middle, other than owner-occupied dwellings used exclusively for dwelling purposes of the owner, and buildings, structures, and premises owned or operated by the federal government, interstate agencies or the state.
B. 
The local enforcing agency shall faithfully comply with the requirements of the Uniform Fire Safety Act, the Uniform Fire Code and this article.
C. 
The Boards of Fire Commissioners in the respective fire districts shall designate a Fire Official who shall be charged with the administration and enforcement of the Fire Code within the boundaries of the Fire District. The respective Boards of Fire Commissioners shall annually appropriate and raise sufficient funds to support the operations of the enforcing agency. Each Fire District shall provide the municipal government with an employee handbook for approval by the Township Committee for use in each local enforcing agency.
A. 
Each Bureau of Fire Prevention established by § 142-2 of this article shall be under the direct supervision and control of a Fire Official who shall be charged with the administration and enforcement of the code within the boundaries of the Fire District. The Fire Official shall report to the Boards of Fire Commissioners in the respective fire districts.
B. 
The Bureau of Fire Prevention shall have an appropriate number of certified fire inspector(s) necessary to carry out the required inspection activity in the local enforcing agency. The Fire Official and all other local enforcing agency personnel shall be considered public employees.
A. 
Appointment and qualifications of the Fire Official. The Fire Official shall be certified by the state and appointed by the Board of Fire Commissioners in the respective fire districts.
B. 
Appointment and qualifications of inspectors and other employees. Inspectors and other employees of the enforcing agency shall be appointed by each Fire District upon recommendation of the Fire Official. Inspectors and other employees shall be under the direct control of the Fire Official. All inspectors shall be certified by the state. The workload of inspectors and other employees of the enforcing agency will be set by the Fire Official.
C. 
Appointment of legal counsel. The Fire Districts shall specifically appoint and provide legal counsel to assist the agency in enforcing the Uniform Fire Code.
D. 
Term of office. The Fire Official shall serve for a term of four years. A formal review and evaluation of the Fire Official's performance shall be on an annual basis. Any vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term.
E. 
Removal from office. Fire Officials, fire inspectors and other employees of the agency shall be subject to removal by the governing body of the appropriate fire district for inefficiency or misconduct. Before removal from office, all persons shall be afforded an opportunity to be heard by the governing body or a hearing officer designated by the same. All discharges will be in accordance with federal and state laws, including the New Jersey Civil Service Act.
The Bureau of Fire Prevention established by § 142-2 of this article shall carry out the periodic inspections of life-hazard uses required by the Uniform Fire Code on behalf of the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.
A. 
In addition to the registrations required by the Uniform Fire Code, the following non-life-hazard uses shall register with the Bureau of Fire Prevention. These uses shall be inspected once per year and pay an annual registration/inspection fee. (The following fee schedule for non-life hazard use in the local enforcing agency's jurisdiction shall be included in Sub-Chapter 2 of the Uniform Fire Code. These fees are not to be used for life-hazard uses as defined in the Uniform Fire Code.)
[Amended 2-21-2018 by Ord. No. 1552-18]
(1) 
A - Assembly.
A-1
Eating establishment under 50
$72
A-2
Take-out food service (no seating)
$48
A-3
Church or synagogue under 50
$30
A-4
Recreation centers, multipurpose rooms, etc. (less than 100)
$72
A-5
Condominium centers less than 100
$72
A-6
Senior citizen centers less than 100
$72
(2) 
B - Business/professional.
B-1
1 and 2 story less than 500 square feet per floor
$60
B-2
1 and 2 story more than 500 square feet less than 2,000 square feet per floor
$72
B-3
1 and 2 story more than 2,000 square feet less than 3,000 square feet per floor
$84
B-4
1 and 2 story more than 3,000 square feet less than 5,000 square feet per floor
$96
B-5
1 and 2 story more than 5,000 square feet per floor
$120
B-6
3 to 5 story less than 1,000 square feet per floor
$72
B-7
3 to 5 story more than 1,000 square feet less than 5,000 square feet per floor
$180
B-8
3 to 5 story more than 5,000 square feet per floor
$240
(3) 
M - Mercantile (retail).
M-1
1 and 2 story less than 2,000 square feet per floor
$60
M-2
1 and 2 story more than 2,000 square feet less than 4,000 square feet per floor
$72
M-3
1 and 2 story more than 4,000 square feet per floor
$120
M4
3 to 5 story less than 2,000 square feet per floor
$90
M-5
3 to 5 story more than 2,000 square feet less than 5,000 square feet per floor
$120
M-6
3 to 5 story over 5,000 square feet per floor
$150
(4) 
F - Factory (manufacturing).
F-1
1 and 2 story less than 5,000 square feet per floor
$96
F-2
1 and 2 story more than 5,000 square feet less than 10,000 square feet per floor
$120
F-3
1 and 2 story more than 10,000 square feet per floor
$180
F4
3 to 5 story less than 5,000 square feet per floor
$120
F-5
3 to 5 dory more than 5,000 square feet less than 10,000 square feet per floor
$240
F-6
3 to 5 story over 10,000 square feet per floor
$300
(5) 
S - Storage (moderate and low hazard/per building).
S-1
1 and 2 story less than 3,000 square feet per floor
$60
S-2
1 and 2 story more than 3,000 square feet less than 5,000 square feet per floor
$90
S-3
1 and 2 story more than 5,000 square feet per floor
$120
S-4
3 to 5 story less than 3,000 square feet per floor
$210
S-5
3 to 5 story more than 3,000 square feet less than 5,000 square feet per floor
$240
S-6
3 to 5 story over 5,000 square feet per floor
$300
(6) 
R - Residential (motels, hotels, multiple dwelling and rental units). Fee is for each building or structure.
RM-1
1 to 4 units
$72
RM-2
4 to 10 units
$84
RM-3
10 to 20 units
$108
RM-4
21 to 50 units
$142
RM-5
for each additional unit
$12
Common area (each building):
RC-1
1 and 2 story less than 5,000 square feet per floor
$72
RC-2
1 and 2 story more than 5,000 square feet less than 10,000 square feet per floor
$96
RC-3
1 and 2 story more than 10,000 square feet per floor
$120
RC-4
3 to 5 story less than 5,000 square feet per floor
$150
RC-5
3 to 5 story more than 5,000 square feet less than 10,000 square feet per floor
$180
RC-6
3 to 5 story over 10,000 square feet per floor
$240
B. 
Annual registration/inspection fees for non-owner-occupied (R3 and R4 as defined by the Uniform Fire Code) single units or duplex units shall be $60.
[Amended 2-21-2018 by Ord. No. 1552-18]
C. 
Uses not classified above that are subject to the Uniform Fire Code will be classified as business/professional uses. Annual inspections will establish that the occupancy has not been changed unless the structure has been upgraded to the new use as required under N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.6(b).
D. 
Uses required to register with the state as life-hazard uses shall not be required to register under this section.
E. 
Vacant buildings or spaces will be charged and inspected according to the previous use of the building at the discretion of the Fire Official. Life-hazard uses no longer in business will revert to a non-life-hazard use fee (Business/Professional) and be inspected at the discretion of the Fire Official.
F. 
All residential uses of § 142-7A(6) shall be inspected in the common areas each year, with the dwelling units inspected at the minimum on a cyclical inspection schedule.
G. 
Each structure designated as self-storage facilities shall be inspected with the exception of individual-occupied and self-locked units. Said fee will be as indicated in § 172-7A(5) above, with the exception that each additional building on the premises be 1/4 of the designated fee structure. A legal business operated from a storage unit shall be inspected and charged as per use. This in no manner limits the Bureau from inspecting individual units in the storage structure with just cause or under circumstances deemed necessary by the Fire Official. The owner of the self-storage facility shall provide immediate access to the individual units if necessary. The owner of the facility and each individual utilizing the facility shall provide a written and signed statement that there are no hazardous materials placed in storage prior to having use of the unit.
H. 
All campground/resort rental or lease units with solid exterior walls shall pay a registration fee as per § 142-7A(6).
I. 
Non-life-hazard uses and other uses stated above will comply with the requirements of the New Jersey Uniform Fire Safety Act (P.L. 1983, c.383) and the New Jersey Uniform Fire Code (N.J.A.C. 5:70-1 et seq.)
A. 
Subsequent owners or those succeeding to control over a premises listed in § 142-7 (Non-life-hazard uses) above shall be responsible for correcting unabated violations and for the payment of outstanding fees and/or penalties whether or not they have requested a certificate of fire code status. The owner, contract purchaser, transferee or the authorized agent of any of them shall request the issuance of a certificate stating if any of the above conditions exist.
(1) 
The cost for the issuance of a certificate of fire code status shall be $72.
[Amended 2-21-2018 by Ord. No. 1552-18]
B. 
Before any Use Group R-3 or R4 structure is sold, leased, or otherwise made subject to a change of occupancy for residential purposes, the owner or the authorized agent of the owner, shall apply for a certificate of smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm compliance (CSDCMAC). The application for a CSDCMAC will be on a certified form provided by the enforcing agency. The application shall be accompanied by the appropriate fee. The enforcing agency may accept the certified form in lieu of inspection. The fees for a CSDCMAC follow:
[Amended 2-21-2018 by Ord. No. 1552-18]
(1) 
Request for a CSDCMAC received more than 10 business days prior to settlement will be $60.
(2) 
Request for a CSDCMAC received four to 10 business days prior to settlement will be $90.
(3) 
Request for a CSDCMAC received fewer than four business days prior to settlement will be $161.
(4) 
(Reinspection fees will be 50% of the original application fee)
C. 
Special event requirements for public assembly to include trade shows, displays, musical concerts, outdoor events and tents or canopies used as a place of temporary assembly will comply with N.J.A.C. 5:70-1 et seq.
(1) 
Permits required
SE1
Tent or canopy, 600 to 1,200 square feet
Type 1
SE2
Tent or canopy, over 1,200 square feet
Type 2
SE3
Flammable liquids, each event
Type 1
SE4
LPG (propane), storage and use (single event)
Type 1
SE5
LPG (propane), storage and use (annual)
Type 2
SE6
Open flame, single event
Type 1
SE7
Open flame, annual event
Type 2
SE8
Placing or constructing temporary kiosks, display booths or concession equipment in any public building
Type 1
SE9
Fireworks, indoor/outdoor
Type 3
(2) 
All permits will be required to comply with N.J.A.C. 5:70-1 et seq., and any information bulletins of the Bureau of Fire Prevention.
D. 
The application fees for the permits listed in N.J.A.C. 5:70-2.7(b) and § 142-8C of this article shall be as follows:
[Amended 2-21-2018 by Ord. No. 1552-18]
Type 1
$54
Type 2
$214
Type 3
$427
Type 4
$641
E. 
All requirements of § 142-8 of this article will comply with the requirements of the New Jersey Uniform Fire Safety Act (P.L. 1983, c.383) and the New Jersey Uniform Fire Code (N.J.A.C. 5:70-1 et seq.)
A. 
In buildings equipped with or required to be equipped with fire detection or fire suppression systems or equipment, the Fire Official shall require a key box to be purchased and installed at the expense of the owner or occupant of the structure in an accessible location to be approved by the Fire Official.
B. 
The key box shall be of a type approved by the Fire Official and shall be installed in a manner approved by the Fire Official.
C. 
The key box shall contain the following items:
(1) 
Updated keys necessary for access to all portions of the premises.
(2) 
Keys to fire alarm control panels, keys necessary to operate or service fire alarm control panels and keys necessary to operate or service fire protection systems.
(3) 
Electronic entry cards.
(4) 
Elevator and emergency information.
(5) 
Any other pertinent information which may be needed in an emergency or as required by the Fire Official.
D. 
Access to key boxes shall be available only to authorized personnel and only by the master key. The master key shall be locked up in a self-contained unit that secures the master key in the emergency vehicle and shall be inaccessible until authorized personnel enter their pin code into a decoder permitting access to the master key. By the close of business on the next business day following the opening of a key box, the Fire Official, or his designee, shall verify the replacement of the items listed in Subsection C herein with the owner or occupant of the premises.
E. 
A self-contained unit that locks up a master key will have audit trail capability for downloading key release data to a computer. This information shall be downloaded monthly and kept on file by the Fire Official. Authorized personnel will fill out a key release form no later than the next business day after key release and submit same to the Fire Official. The Fire Official monthly will compare the audit information with the submitted forms.
F. 
The owner or occupant of the premises shall maintain the key box.
G. 
Any building owner or occupant who fails to install a key box thereby violating this section, after receiving due notice by the Fire Official, is guilty of a violation of this section and subject to a minimum fine of $100. Each and every day that the violation continues shall be considered a separate offense.
H. 
In those buildings required to have a key box that are occupied prior to the adoption of this article, the owner and/or occupant of the building shall have 90 days from the date of the adoption of this article or 30 days from the date of the next annual fire inspection to install the appropriate key box in accordance with this article.
A. 
The Fire Official shall require and designate public or private fire lanes and fire apparatus access roads necessary for the efficient and effective operation of the apparatus and fire-fighter safety within the jurisdiction. Fire lanes and fire apparatus access roads shall be considered a part of the fire protection system for structures.
B. 
Proposed fire lanes and fire apparatus access roads shall not conflict with prior approvals issued by the planning and/or zoning boards with written documentation to support said claim. This does not exclude the Fire Official from designating additional fire lanes as required for efficient and effective operation of fire apparatus and fire-fighter safety within the jurisdiction.
C. 
Fire lanes and fire apparatus access roads, whether public or private, shall be a minimum of 20 feet in width with a thirteen-foot-six-inch vertical clearance, paved with an approved material, and have the ability to support the imposed weights of fire apparatus, which is currently 70,000 pounds. The inside turning radii for all lanes and access roadways that may be used by the Fire Department for access to a structure shall be no less than 33 feet. The easement or tract width shall be as designated by Middle Township requirements. The right-of-way and fire apparatus access roads shall be of sufficient width to accommodate any future development.
D. 
The surface of fire lanes and fire apparatus access roads, whether public or private, shall be maintained year round in a first class condition, accessible at all times, free of potholes and other nonapproved obstructions.
E. 
Fire apparatus access roads shall be required for every building when any portion of an exterior wall of the first story is located more than 150 feet from a dedicated public roadway, and shall be required to have an approved turnaround for Fire Department apparatus.
F. 
A single-family residence served by an independent single driveway longer than 150 feet in length, with approval of the Fire Official, shall have a minimum cartway width of 16 feet with a traveled way width of 14 feet.
G. 
When two single-family residences are served by an independent shared single driveway longer than 150 feet in length, that driveway shall have a minimum cartway width of 20 feet with a traveled way width of 18 feet.
H. 
When three single-family residences are served by an independent shared single driveway longer than 150 feet in length, that driveway shall have a cartway width of 22 feet with a traveled way width of 20 feet.
I. 
Not more than three single-family lots shall abut or touch any portion of the shared driveway and not more than three single-family units may access a shared driveway. Each lot abutting a shared driveway must access off the shared driveway and provide four on-site parking spaces with no parking allowed on the shared driveway.
J. 
Four or more single-family lots shall be required to have a minimum cartway width of 28 feet with a traveled way width of 21 feet plus one parking lane and shall not be considered a private shared driveway.
K. 
No person shall, at any time, park a nonemergency motor vehicle or in any other manner obstruct a fire lane or fire apparatus access road. Active loading and unloading is permitted as long as the vehicle is attended at all times and can be immediately moved. Waiting in a vehicle is not considered active loading and unloading and is not permitted.
L. 
Parking in or obstructing fire lanes or fire apparatus access roads will be penalized by fines as established by local traffic control laws, as follows: Unless anther penalty is expressly provided by New Jersey statute, every person convicted of a violation of parking or obstructing a fire lane or fire apparatus access road or any supplement thereto shall be liable to a penalty of not more than $100 or imprisonment for a term not to exceed 15 days, or both.
M. 
The Middle Township Police Department shall have jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of this section of the article.
N. 
All designated fire lanes and fire apparatus access roads shall be marked in one of the following manners:
(1) 
Vertical curbs shall be painted yellow on the top and side, extending the length of the designated fire lane. The pavement adjacent to the painted curbs shall be marked with minimum 18 inches in height block lettering with a minimum three-inch brush stroke reading: "NO PARKING-FIRE LANE." Lettering shall be white in color and spaced no more than 50 feet apart.
(2) 
Rolled curbs or surface without curbs shall have a yellow six-inch wide stripe painted extending the length of the designated fire lane. The surface adjacent to the stripe shall be marked with a minimum l8 inches in height block lettering with a minimum three-inch brush stroke reading: "NO PARKING - FIRE LANE," Lettering shall be white in color and spaced no more than 50 feet apart.
(3) 
Fire lane signs shall be installed per the following:
(a) 
The sign shall be no less than 12 inches wide and 18 inches high.
(b) 
The lettering and the background for the lettering shall be reflective in nature.
(c) 
It shall have red letters on a white background.
(d) 
The words "NO PARKING" shall have the lettering no less than three inches in height.
(e) 
The words "FIRE LANE" shall have the lettering no less than two inches in height.
(f) 
The violation ordinance number will be on all fire lane signs.
(g) 
The signs shall be mounted on either pressure treated four-inch by four-inch wooden posts or on an approved metal post.
(h) 
The signs shall be mounted so the bottom of the sign is no less than seven feet above the ground and spaced no more than 50 feet apart and shall be placed on or immediately next to the curb.
A. 
The Fire Official shall review any site or subdivision plan for the purpose of fire prevention as to the location and size of Fire Department access roads, fire lanes, zones and areas, water mains, drafting locations, fire hydrants, and any other such information as the Board of Fire Commissioners and/or its designated agents may deem necessary or required. Said submission of plans to the Bureau of Fire Prevention shall include any plans submitted to the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment for the development, construction or improvement of properties in the Township. Said reviews shall include, but not be limited to, any construction or improvement of any use group, as defined in Chapter 3 (use and occupancy classification) of the International Building Code, New Jersey Edition, adopted by the State of New Jersey, as amended. Prior to the issuance of any building permit, the above projects must receive Fire Official approval.
B. 
Each applicant shall pay the following fees to the Bureau of Fire Prevention for review of any site or subdivision plans:
[Amended 2-21-2018 by Ord. No. 1552-18]
(1) 
Minor site plan: $60.
(2) 
Major site plan: $96.
(3) 
Minor subdivision: $120.
(4) 
Major subdivision: $156.
(5) 
Resubmission and review: $36 (only after the initial application and the review process has been completed).
C. 
The Fire Official shall provide to the appropriate individuals, company, agencies and the water company the location or relocation of new or existing fire hydrants upon public lands.
D. 
The Fire Official shall provide to the appropriate individuals, company or agencies the location or relocation of new or existing fire hydrants upon private lands.
E. 
Each application for a certificate of occupancy (as required by the Uniform Construction Code) shall be reviewed for proper Fire Department access roads/lanes and approved by the Fire Official before any certificate of occupancy may be issued.
A. 
The Fire Official shall investigate, or cause to be investigated, every reported fire or explosion occurring within the jurisdiction that involves the loss of life or serious injury or causes destruction or damage to property as per N.J.A.C. 5:71-3.3(a)25.
B. 
As used in this section, "false alarm" shall mean the transmission either directly or indirectly of any fire alarm, smoke alarm, fire sprinkler water flow alarm, or carbon monoxide alarm that was not caused by a fie, a smoke condition or such other condition that is beyond the control of the owner, that causes a response of the Fire Company.
C. 
Upon the occurrence of a fire alarm or false alarm; a response of Fire Bureau personnel may occur to all occupancies, other than owner-occupied one- and two-family dwellings, unless requested to respond to an owner-occupied one- and two-family dwelling by the Fire Chief or his or her duly authorized representative.
D. 
The Fire Company shall report all false alarms to the Fire Bureau, which shall investigate and determine the cause of the false alarm. The Fire Bureau shall maintain a list of all false alarms. Said list shall identify the locations of the false alarms and the number of false alarms at the location during the calendar year.
E. 
After two false alarms in any calendar year, the Fire Official may issue the owner or lessee of such alarm a penalty fee of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 or as provided by the Uniform Fire Code (N.J.A.C. 5:70-1 et seq.).
(Reserved)
Pursuant to §§ 15 and 17 of the Uniform Fire Safety Act, any person aggrieved by any action of the local enforcing agency shall have the right to appeal to the county construction board of appeals.
A. 
Enforcement, violations and penalties shall be managed in conformity with the Uniform Fire Safety Act, the Uniform Fire Code and all other laws of the State of New Jersey.
B. 
If a penalty order has not been satisfied after its issuance, the local enforcing agency may institute a civil penalty action by a summary proceeding under the New Jersey Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999 (N.J.S.A. 2A:58-10 et seq.) in the Superior Court or Municipal Court.
[Adopted 3-15-1994 by Ord. No. 884-94]
Any zero-clearance fireplace hereinafter installed in any premises situate in the Township of Middle shall utilize a noncombustible base.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 142-9 was redesignated § 142-16 9-19-2005 to accommodate the amendment of Art. I of this chapter by Ord. No. 1206-05.