City of Camden, NJ
Camden County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Camden 9-10-1992 as Ord. No. MC-2792.
Editor's Note: This ordinance passed at a public referendum held 11-3-1992.
Amendments noted where applicable.]

Urban enterprise zones — See Ch. 106.

Taxation — See Ch. 510.

Zoning and land use — See Ch. 577.

§ 309-1

§ 309-2

§ 309-3
Creation of district. 

§ 309-4

§ 309-5
Designated district management corporations. 

§ 309-6
Regulation of vending. 

§ 309-7
Annual budget, hearing and assessments. 

§ 309-8
Annual audit of district management corporation. 

§ 309-9
Annual report to municipality. 

§ 309-10
Municipal powers retained. 

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

An entity incorporated pursuant to Title 15A of the New Jersey statutes and designated by municipal ordinance to receive funds collected by a special assessment within the special improvement district, as authorized by this chapter and amendments thereto.
SPECIAL IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT (sometimes also referred to as "district")
An area within the City of Camden designated by this chapter as an area in which a special assessment on property within the district shall be imposed for the purposes of promoting the economic and general welfare of the district and the municipality.

The city finds that:


It is in the best interest of the municipality and the public to create a special improvement district and to designate a district management corporation.


A district management corporation shall provide administrative and other services to benefit the businesses, employees, residents and consumers in the special improvement district. Also, the management corporation will assist the City of Camden in promoting economic growth and employment in the special improvement district.


A special assessment may be imposed and collected by the Tax Collector with the regular property tax payment or payment in lieu of taxes or otherwise, and all such payments shall be transferred to the district management corporation to effectuate the purpose of this chapter and to exercise the powers given to it by this chapter.


The business community should be encouraged to provide self-help and self-financing programs to meet local business needs, goals and objectives.


All of the property owners within the special improvement district area have indicated their affirmative support for the creation and designation of the district.


The governing body, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:56-68 and the provisions of this chapter, shall, by ordinance, designate certain areas as a special improvement district for the benefit of said district. The special improvement districts shall be specifically described in the enabling ordinance by lot and block numbers. The special improvement district shall be subjected to special assessments on all affected property.


All business properties within the special improvement district, including all private, nonresidential assessed properties, are deemed included in the assessing and taxing provisions of this chapter and are expressly subject to a potential tax or assessment made for special improvement district purposes.


All properties within the special improvement district that have not agreed to the payment of a service charge in lieu of taxes, that are tax exempt or that are used exclusively for residential purposes are deemed excluded from the assessing and taxing provisions of this chapter and are expressly exempt from any tax or assessment made for special improvement district purposes; provided, however, that this shall not preclude persons or entities otherwise exempt from taxation from entering into binding agreements to contribute to the cost of maintaining the special improvement district.


Operation and maintenance of district. Annual operation and maintenance costs relating to services particular to the district, as distinguished from services normally provided by the City of Camden, will provide benefits primarily to the properties included within the district rather than to the City of Camden as an entirety. These annual costs shall be assessed and taxed to the benefited properties pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and N.J.S.A. 40:56-65 et seq.


Development, construction or acquisition costs. All costs of development, construction and acquisition relating to improvements to the district shall be financed and assessed to properties especially benefited thereby.  The city may, by separate ordinance or by amendment to this chapter, provide that improvements and facilities hereinafter acquired or developed shall be operated and maintained and the costs taxed to the benefited properties.

Nonprofit organizations may be designated as the district management corporation for SID Districts. This management corporation, in addition to acting as an advisory board to the Mayor and Council, shall have all powers necessary and requisite to effectuate the purposes of this chapter and the district, including but not limited to the power to:


Adopt bylaws for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business and to prescribe rules, regulations and policies in connection with the performance of its functions and duties.


Employ such persons as may be required and to fix and pay their compensation from funds available to the corporation.


Apply for, accept, administer and comply with the requirements respecting an appropriation of funds or a gift, grant or donation of property or money.


Make and execute agreements which may be necessary or convenient to exercise the powers and functions of the corporation, including contracts with any person, firm, corporation, governmental agency or other entity.


Administer and manage its own fund and accounts and to pay its own obligations.


Borrow money from private lenders for periods not to exceed 180 days and from governmental entities for that or longer periods.


Fund the improvement of the exterior appearance of properties in the district through grants or loans.


Fund the rehabilitation of properties in the district.


Accept, purchase, rehabilitate, sell, lease or manage property in the district.


Enforce the conditions of any loan, grant, sale or lease made by the corporation.


Provide security, sanitation and other services to the district supplemental to those provided normally by the municipality.


Undertake improvements designated to increase the safety or attractiveness of the district to businesses which may wish to locate there or to visitors to the district, including but not limited to litter cleanup and control, landscaping, parking areas and facilities and recreational and rest areas and facilities, pursuant to pertinent regulations of the City of Camden.


Publicize the district and the businesses included within the district boundaries.


Recruit new businesses to fill vacancies in and to balance the businesses mix of the district.


Organize special events in the district.


Provide special parking arrangements for the district.


Provide temporary decorative lighting in the district.


Conduct public hearings concerning proposed regulations within the district.


Propose regulations to City Council governing:


The distribution and location of movable furniture, such as sculpture or pedestrian traffic control devices, and landscaping which are not otherwise located and fixed by the plans and specifications for the district.


The uses to be permitted on the district property by occupants of abutting property, any transit or telephone utility, outdoor restaurants, sidewalk sales, concessionaires, vendors and other uses serving the convenience and enjoyment of pedestrians and the location of such uses.


The issuance of permits to conduct any special activity consistent with the broad purpose of the district.


The operation of lighting, heating or other facilities in the district, replacing landscaping and maintaining the furniture and facilities on the district property.

Persons operating outdoor restaurants, conducting sidewalk sales or engaging in hawking, peddling or vending of any foods, beverages, confections, goods, wares, merchandise or commodities of any nature or description on the streets, sidewalks, parks and public rights-of-way within the City of Camden's special improvement districts shall conform to rules and regulations formally adopted by City Council, in accordance with the standards enunciated in N.J.S.A. 40:56-65 et seq.


The fiscal year of the district and of the management corporation shall be January 1 to December 31. The district management corporation shall submit, no later than December 15 of each year, a detailed annual budget for approval by Council. The budget shall be processed and adopted by the Council of the City of Camden in accordance with the procedures set forth in N.J.S.A. 40:56-84.


The budget shall be submitted with a report which explains how the budget contributes to goals and objectives for the special improvement district. The budget shall be reasonably itemized and shall include a summary of the categories of cost properly chargeable as follows:


The amount of such costs to be charged against the general funds of the municipality, if any.


The amount of costs to be charged and assessed against properties benefited in the district in proportion to benefits which shall be the aggregate of costs of annual improvements to be made in the district during the ensuing year.


The amount of costs to be charged and assessed against properties benefited in the district.


Each year, when the Council shall have acted on the estimated costs and/or on the budget, the Municipal Assessor shall prepare an assessment roll setting forth separately the amounts to be specially assessed against the benefited and assessable properties in the district. Descriptions of such properties and the names of the then-current owners of such properties, so far as names are available, shall be included in each annual assessment roll. The assessment roll, when so prepared, shall be filed in the office of the Municipal Clerk and be there available for inspection. The Council shall annually meet to consider objections to the amount of such special assessments at least 10 days after a notice of hearing has been published once in the official newspaper and mailed to the named owners of all tracts, parcels and lots of property proposed to be assessed. The notice shall set forth the time and place of the meeting and set forth the purpose of such meeting, but may refer to the assessment roll for further particulars.  When the governing body shall have approved the amounts of the special assessments set forth therein, or as may be changed by it, the Municipal Clerk shall forthwith certify a copy of the assessment roll, with such changes, if any, to the Camden County Board of Taxation.


For the purpose of this section, "annual improvement" shall mean and include any reconstruction, replacement or repair of trees and plantings and/or other facilities of the special improvement district and the furnishing of any other local improvement which benefits properties within the district.


For the purpose of this chapter, "costs" shall, with respect to annual improvements to and operation and maintenance of the special improvement district, mean costs of annual improvements and all other costs, including planning costs, incurred or to be incurred in connection with annual improvements to and operation and maintenance of the district.


Moneys may be appropriated and collected on account of annual improvement costs and costs of operating and maintaining a special improvement district during any fiscal year, though not specifically provided for by line item or other category in an approved estimate for such fiscal year, if in its discretion, it shall be deemed necessary to provide for such annual improvements or operation or maintenance prior to the succeeding fiscal year and so long as the total amount of the account as approved for that year is not exceeded by that expenditure. Any balances to the credit of the account and remaining unexpended at the end of the fiscal year shall be conserved and applied towards the financial requirements of the succeeding year.


In the event that costs are charged and assessed against properties located in a district, the city shall pay over any such funds collected to the management corporation quarterly on the first day of January, April, July and October of each year.

The district management corporation shall cause an annual audit of its books, accounts and financial transactions to be made and filed with the Mayor and Council, and for that purpose the corporation shall employ a certified public accountant of New Jersey. The annual audit shall be completed and filed with the governing body within four months after the close of the fiscal year of the corporation, and a certified duplicate copy of the audit shall be filed with the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs within five days of the filing of the audit with the Mayor and Council.

The district management corporation shall, within 30 days after the close of each fiscal year, make an annual report of its activities for the preceding fiscal year to the Mayor and Municipal Clerk of the City of Camden.

Notwithstanding the creation of a special improvement district, the City of Camden expressly retains all its powers and authority over the area designated within as the special improvement district.