Borough of Palmyra, NJ
Burlington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Palmyra as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Unsafe or unfit buildings — See Ch. 86.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 121.
Housing standards — See Ch. 142.
Littering — See Ch. 164.
Solid waste — See Ch. 230.
Sidewalk area maintenance — See Ch. 237, Art. II.
Snow and ice removal — See Ch. 237, Art. III.
Storage of tires — See Ch. 252.
Trees — See Ch. 259.
Abandoned vehicles — See Ch. 264.
Public health nuisances — See Ch. 288.
Rodent control — See Ch. 295.
Weed control — See Ch. 300.
[Adopted 4-13-1998 by Ord. No. 1998-6 (Ch. 53A of the 1971 Code)]

§ 203-1 Adoption of standards.

The BOCA National Property Maintenance Code, Fifth Edition, 1996, as published by the Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc., is hereby adopted as the Property Maintenance Code of the Borough of Palmyra in the State of New Jersey for the control of buildings and structures as herein provided, and each and all regulations, provisions, penalties, conditions and terms of said BOCA National Property Maintenance Code are hereby referred to, adopted and made a part hereof as if fully set out in this article, with the additions, insertions, deletions and changes prescribed in § 203-2 of this article. Three copies of the BOCA National Property Maintenance Code, Fifth Edition, 1996, are on file in the office of the Clerk of the Borough of Palmyra.

§ 203-2 Additions, insertions and changes.

The BOCA National Property Maintenance Code is amended and revised in the following respects:
A. 
Chapter 1, Administration.
(1) 
Section PM-101.1, Title (page 1, line 2). Insert: "Borough of Palmyra, New Jersey."
(2) 
Section PM-101.1.1, Purpose (page 1), is hereby added as follows:
PM.1.1 Purpose: This code applies primarily to the exterior property and exterior of buildings that present hazardous, unsafe, unsanitary or blighting conditions. This code attempts to address the deficiencies of the old ordinance in responding to the complaints of local residents who find their neighborhoods threatened by properties or buildings that are dangerous, may provide rat harborage and have not been cared for by the property owner. These conditions would typically result from long-standing, intentional neglect by landlords or property owners. This code establishes minimum standards to protect the health, safety and welfare of the residential and business community through delineation of the conditions that create a public nuisance.
(3) 
Section PM-101.1.2, Adoption (page 1), is hereby added as follows:
PM-101.1.2 Adoption: This code has been adopted by the Borough of Palmyra via Ordinance No. 1998-6. Any amendments, revisions or other changes shall be done in accordance will all state and local laws.
(4) 
Section PM-101.7, Application of other codes (page 1, line 5). Add: ", and in accordance with the procedures and provisions pursuant to the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code."
(5) 
Section PM-101.7.1, Conflicts (page 1), is hereby added as follows:
PM-101.7.1 Conflicts: This code is intended to work in conjunction with existing Borough building and firesafety ordinances, and if it conflicts with any existing ordinances, the more stringent requirements shall apply.
(6) 
Section PM-105.1, General (page 2, line 1). Delete in its entirety and replace with:
PM-105.1 General: The Code Enforcement Officer (herein referred to as "code official"), and other duly authorized Borough of Palmyra officials as appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of Borough Council, shall enforce all of the provisions of this code.
(7) 
Section PM-105.8, Organization (page 2, line 7). Add: "The appointing authority shall consist of the Mayor with the advice and consent of Borough Council."
(8) 
Section PM-105.10, Relief from personal responsibility (page 2, line 18). Add: "The official shall be afforded all the rights and protections afforded under Title 59 of the New Jersey statutes."
(9) 
Section PM-106.1, Unlawful acts (page 2, line 2). Add: "It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to create or maintain a public nuisance as defined within or erect ..."
(10) 
Section PM-106.2, Penalty (page 2, line 3). Insert: "not less than $50 nor more than $1,000 or."
(11) 
Section PM-106.2, Penalty (page 2, line 4). Insert: "imprisonment for a term not to exceed 10 days."
(12) 
Section PM-106.4, Payments (page 3), is hereby added as follows:
PM-106.4 Payments: Penalties shall be paid directly to the Borough of Palmyra and applied to the general fund.
(13) 
Section PM-107.2, Form (page 3). Add: "'Reasonable time' is defined as two weeks or 10 business days for vegetation and motor vehicle issues and 30 days for other violations unless otherwise noted. Emergency measures and remedies are not part of this section. See Section PM-109.0, Emergency Measures.
"5.
Include possible penalties and payment procedures;
"6.
Include appeal procedures; and
"7.
Include the signature of the code officer filing the complaint."
(14) 
Section PM-111.2 through Section PM-111.7 (pages 4 and 5). Delete in their entirety and replace with the Borough's current appeal process as administered by the county.
B. 
Chapter 2, Definitions.
(1) 
Section PM-202.0, General Definitions. Under the definition of "dwellings" (page 7) add:
Boardinghouse: A building arranged or used for lodging for compensation, with or without meals, and not to be occupied as a single-family unit.
Motel: A hotel as defined in this code.
Multiple-family dwelling: A building or portion thereof containing more than two dwelling units and not meeting the requirements for a multiple single-family unit.
Multiple single-family dwelling: A building or portion thereof containing more than two dwelling units.
(2) 
Section PM-202.0, General Definitions (page 8). Add:
Motor vehicles: Including but not limited to automobiles, cars, trucks, motorcycles, buses, campers, trailers and boats.
C. 
Chapter 3, General Requirements.
(1) 
Section PM-302.1, General, definition of "occupant" (page 9), amend to read as follows:
Occupant: Any person five years of age or older who is living or sleeping in a building or having possession of a space within a building.
(2) 
Section PM-302.1, General, definition of "premises" (page 9, line 2). Add: ", regardless of zoning, be it residential, commercial or industrial, or any combination thereof."
(3) 
Section PM-302.1, General, definition of "public nuisance" (page 9, line 27). Add:
9.
Any unregistered, unlicensed, uninsured, uninspected or abandoned motor vehicle, including but not limited to cars, trucks, buses, campers, trailers, boats and motorcycles, or any motor vehicle engine, body or replacement part, parked, kept or stored on any premises, public street or Borough-owned property.
10.
Any motor vehicle, including but not limited to cars, trucks, campers, trailers, buses, boats and motorcycles, or any motor vehicle engine, body or replacement part, parked, kept or stored on Borough-owned property without first receiving the Mayor's written authorization, with the advice and consent of Borough Council.
11.
Any stagnant, standing or impounded surface water which exists for more than 48 hours.
12.
Any premises or structure thereon which directs water from the premises onto an adjacent premises and creates a nuisance thereon or creates erosion on the existing premises or adjacent premises.
(4) 
Section PM-303.4, Weeds (page 10, lines 2 and 3). Replace: "10 inches (254 mm)" with "six inches (152.4 mm)."
(5) 
Section PM-303.5.1, Storage of wood (page 10), is hereby added as follows:
Section PM-303.5.1 Storage of wood: All woodpiles, including firewood, which are stored outdoors should be stored on platforms at least eight inches above ground level.
(6) 
Section PM-303.8, Motor vehicles (page 10, lines 1 through 10). Delete in its entirety [see Subsection B(11)]. Replace with Section PM-308.0, Motor Vehicles.
(7) 
Section PM-303.9, Signs (page 10), is hereby added as follows:
PM-303.9 Signs: All signs of a temporary nature must be erected or posted no sooner than 21 days prior to the event and removed no later than two days after the event. In no case will any temporary sign be permitted to be posted or erected for more than 23 days. All signs must contain an address and name of the individual or entity responsible for the placement and removal of the sign.
Excluded: Real estate broker or realtor signs and "for sale by owner" (for buildings only) signs. Also, political signs, provided that they are removed within 10 days following the election.
(8) 
Section PM-304.15, Insect screens (page 11, lines 1 and 2). Insert: "During the period date from January 1 to December 31."
(9) 
Section PM-304.19, Graffiti (page 11) is here added as follows:
PM-304-19 Graffiti: Graffiti caused by any person upon the structure of any building shall be removed by the owner of that building within seven days.
(10) 
Section PM-306.3.2, Containers (page 11, line 5). Add "In addition, each retail sales-oriented commercial establishment shall provide, outside the structure and near the primary entrance, a container as described above.
(11) 
Section PM-308.0, Motor Vehicles (page 12), is hereby added as follows:
Section PM-308.0 Motor Vehicles
PM-308.1 Vehicles not permitted: Any unregistered, unlicensed, uninsured, uninspected or abandoned motor vehicle, or any motor vehicle engine, body or replacement part, parked, kept or stored on any premises, public street or Borough-owned property, whether covered by tarpaulin or not, shall not be permitted and must be removed or properly registered, insured, licensed and inspected, and no vehicle shall at any time be in a state of major disassembly, disrepair or in the process of being stripped or dismantled.
Exceptions:
(a)
Motor vehicles of any type may be parked, kept or stored in garages or similarly enclosed structures or areas and must be out of public view.
(b)
A motor vehicle of any type is permitted to undergo major overhaul, including bodywork, provided that such work is performed inside a garage or similarly enclosed structure or area designed and approved for such purposes.
(c)
One unregistered, unlicensed, uninsured or uninspected vehicle per premises may be situated in the rear of the premises, outside garage or similarly enclosed structure or area designated and approved for such purposes of restoration or maintenance for a maximum of 90 days, provided that the vehicle owner first receives a temporary permit, available from the code official at a cost of $25. This permit will be renewable one time.
PM-308.2 Parking on Borough property: No motor vehicle shall be parked on Borough-owned property without first receiving the Mayor's approval, with the advice and consent of Borough Council. Any vehicle parked in violation of this provision will be removed at the owner's expense. This provision shall not be applied to vehicles parked in the Borough parking lot while the driver of the vehicle is conducting business with the Borough.
D. 
Chapter 4, Light, Ventilation and Occupancy Limitations.
(1) 
Section PM-403.1, Habitable spaces (page 13). Add: "The habitable space window requirements shall not apply to existing structures."
(2) 
Section PM-404.1, Habitable spaces (page 13). Add: "The habitable space window requirements shall not be required of existing structures."
(3) 
Section PM-405.5, Overcrowding, Table PM-405.5, Minimum Area Requirements (page 14), is amended as follows:
Table PM-405.5
Minimum Area Requirements
Space
Minimum Area in Square Feetb
1 to 2 Occupants
3 to 5 Occupants
6 or More
Living rooma
No requirements
100
135
Dining rooma
No requirements
70
90
Kitchen
45
45
50
Bedrooms
Shall comply with Section PM-405.3
NOTES:
a See Section PM-405.6 for combined living room/dining room spaces.
bOne square foot = 0.093 m2.
(4) 
Section PM-405.8, Minimum ceiling heights, exceptions (page 14). Add:
4.
This provision shall not apply to existing structures' ceiling heights at the time of adoption of this code.
(5) 
Section PM-405.9, Minimum room widths (page 14). Add: "This provision shall not apply to existing structures' room widths at the time of adoption of this code."
E. 
Chapter 6, Mechanical and Electrical Requirements.
(1) 
Section PM-602-2.1, Heat supply (page 17, line 5). Insert: "January 1 to December 31."
(2) 
Section PM-602.3, Nonresidential structures (page 17, line 3). Insert: "January 1 to December 31."
(3) 
Section PM-605.2, Receptacles (page 18). Add: "This provision shall not apply to existing structures at the time of adoption of this code."
F. 
Chapter 7, Fire Safety Requirements. Section PM-702.3, Number of exits (page 19), add: "This provision shall not apply to existing structures at the time of adoption of this code."
[Adopted 6-17-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-20]

§ 203-3 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
OWNER
Includes 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; 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 a vacant property for purposes of this article.

§ 203-4 Registration.

Effective September 1, 2013, 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 Borough Clerk on forms provided by the Borough Clerk for such purposes. Failure to receive notice by the municipality shall not constitute grounds for failing to register the property.
A. 
Each property having a separate block and lot number as designated in the official records of the municipality shall be registered separately.
B. 
The registration statement shall include the name, street address, telephone number, and e-mail address (if applicable) of a person 18 years 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.
C. 
The registration shall remain valid for one year from the date of registration except for the initial registration time which shall be prorated through December 31. 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 § 203-7 of this article, for each vacant property registered. 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 § 203-7 of this article, for each vacant property registered.
D. 
The annual renewal shall be completed by January 1 each year. The initial registration fee shall be prorated for registration statements received less than 10 months prior to that date.
E. 
The owner shall notify the Clerk within 30 calendar days of any change in the registration information by filing an amended registration statement on a form provided by the Clerk for such purpose.
F. 
The registration statement shall be deemed prima facie proof of the statements therein contained in any administrative enforcement or court proceeding instituted by the municipality against the owner or owners of the building.

§ 203-5 Access to vacant properties.

The owner of any vacant property registered under this article 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. Such inspections shall be carried out on weekdays during the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., or such other time as may be mutually agreed upon between the owner and the Borough.

§ 203-6 Responsible owner or agent.

A. 
An owner who meets the requirements of this article with respect to the location of his or her residence or workplace in the State of New Jersey may designate him or 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 has consented to the continuation of the agent's designation for the purposes of this section until the owner notifies the Borough of Palmyra 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 article 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 within the Borough of Palmyra 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.

§ 203-7 Fee schedule.

The initial registration fee for each building shall be $500. The fee for the first renewal is $1,500, and the fee for the second renewal is $3,000. The fee for any subsequent renewal beyond the second renewal is $5,000.
Vacant Property Registration Fee Schedule
Initial registration
$500
First renewal
$1,500
Second renewal
$3,000
Subsequent renewal
$5,000

§ 203-8 Requirements of owners of vacant property.

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 of Palmyra 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, 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 and placed in such a location so as to be legible from the nearest public street or sidewalk, whichever is nearer, but shall be no smaller than eight inches by 10 inches; 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. 
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 trash, debris, loose litter, and grass and weed growth; and
E. 
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.

§ 203-9 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Any person who violates any provision of this article or the rules and regulations issued hereunder shall be fined not less than $100 and not more than $1,000 for each offense and may be incarcerated for up to 90 days in jail. Every day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct offense. Fines assessed under this article 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 calendar days of receipt of notice by the municipality, and failure to provide correct information on the registration statement, or failure to comply with the provisions of such provisions contained herein shall be deemed to be violations of this article.