[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Westville 8-13-1935 (Ch. 43 of the 1974 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Commercial property — See Ch. 137.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 142.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 175.
Housing standards — See Ch. 197.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 258.
Rental property — See Ch. 272.
Public health nuisances — See Ch. 400.
Editor's Note: See also N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.29 through 5:23-2.38.
Any building, wall or structure erected on a plot, lot or parcel of land in the Borough of Westville which, on account of lack of repairs or by reason of dilapidated condition or for any other cause, becomes dangerous to life or health or might tend to extend a conflagration, shall constitute a nuisance.
Whenever the Construction Official, Chief of the Fire Department, Inspector of the Board of Health or designated Borough inspection representative shall determine that any building or other structure is, for lack of repairs or by reason of dilapidated condition or for any other reason, detrimental to the health or safety of the public or is unusually liable to take fire or to cause any other building or structure in its vicinity to take fire or is uninhabitable, it shall be the duty of the officer making such determination to make a complaint in writing to the Borough Council of the Borough of Westville, setting forth the existing conditions. Said complaint shall state whether or not, in the opinion of the officer making the same, the condition complained of can be remedied by making repairs to the building or structure or whether the same should be demolished. If it is the judgment of such officer that the existing condition can be remedied by the making of certain repairs, the complaint should set forth in detail the nature of the repairs to be made.
The Borough Council, immediately upon the receipt of the complaint required to be made under the provisions of § 117-2 above, shall proceed to consider such complaint, and if, in the judgment of the majority of the members of Borough Council present at any regular, adjourned or special meeting at which any such complaint is considered, it is deemed advisable and for the best interests of the public that any building, wall or structure described in said complaint should be removed or destroyed, the Council shall declare such building, wall or structure dangerous to life or health by the adoption of a resolution containing such a declaration and authorizing and instructing the Borough Clerk of the Borough of Westville to give notice of the contemplated removal or destruction of any such building, wall or structure to the owner or owners of any land affected thereby.
Such notice shall contain a description of the property affected, sufficiently definite in terms to identify the same, as well as a description of the manner in which such removal or destruction is to be carried out, and the said notice shall further contain a statement that unless such building, wall or structure is removed or destroyed within 30 days after the service of such notice, the Borough of Westville will proceed with such removal or destruction or cause same to be proceeded with pursuant to the statutes of this state in such case made and provided and will charge the costs and expenses thereof against said property.
Such notice may be served upon the owner or owners resident in the Borough of Westville, in person or by leaving the same at their usual place of residence with a member of their family above the age of 14 years. In case any such owner shall not reside in the Borough of Westville, notice may be served upon him personally or mailed by registered letter to the last known post office address, or it may be served upon the occupant of the property or upon the agent of the owner in charge thereof. In case the owner of any such property is unknown or service cannot for any reason be made as above directed, notice thereof shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the property affected and shall be published at least once, not less than 30 days before the proposed removal or destruction, in a newspaper circulating within the Borough of Westville. There may be inserted in said advertisement, notice to the owner or owners of several different parcels of land. Notice to infant owners or owner or owners of unsound mind shall be served upon their guardians. Where lands are held in trust, service shall be made upon the trustee. Where lands are held by two or more joint tenants, tenants in common or tenants by the entirety, service upon one of such owners shall be sufficient and shall be deemed and taken as notice to all.
Proof of service of such notices shall be filed within 10 days thereafter with the Collector of Taxes of the Borough of Westville, but failure to file the same shall not invalidate the proceedings if service has actually been made as herein provided.
In the event that the owner or agent of said building, wall or structure fails to remove or destroy such building, wall or structure in compliance with said notice and within the time stated therein, the Construction Official and/or designated Borough inspection representative shall report such failure to the Borough Council, and the Borough Council shall immediately upon receipt of such report have full power and authority to effect the removal or destruction of said building, wall or structure in such manner, through such agency and by such means as said Borough Council may determine by resolution. Said resolution shall state specifically how such nuisance shall be abated and may provide that the Borough Clerk shall advertise for bids in order that a contract for the abatement may be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder.
After the abatement of said nuisance, the Construction Official and/or designated Borough inspection representative shall render unto the Borough Council, in writing, an actual account of the cost and expense thereof, together with a description of the land or lot or lots whereon the same was abated, also the name of the owner or owners of said land, lot or lots or the agent in charge thereof, and when such report and account is approved by the governing body, a copy thereof under oath or affirmation shall be filed by the Construction Official and/or designated Borough inspection representative in the office of the Borough Clerk, and the said Borough Clerk shall file a certified copy thereof with the Collector of Taxes, and from the time of the filing of such copy with the Collector of Taxes, the cost and expenses of abating such nuisance shall be a lien on the land or lot or lots whereon any such nuisance has been abated hereunder, and said lien shall be enforced and collected in the same manner as other municipal liens are now enforced and collected in the Borough of Westville.
Any property owner who desires to appeal from any action taken under this chapter shall, within 10 days from the date of such action, file in the Borough Clerk's office an application in writing for review and revocation or modification of said action. The Borough Council shall grant said property owner a hearing at such time and upon such notice as it shall determine. After such hearing, the property owner shall be notified in writing as to the action taken by the governing body and shall, within five days from the date said notice is mailed, take the necessary steps to fully comply with the original notice as affirmed or modified.
Whenever it shall come to the attention of the governing body that, due to conditions existing on any lot or plot of land or in or about any building or buildings within the Borough of Westville, a nuisance is created or maintained that is or may be detrimental to the safety, health and general welfare of the community or may tend to create or extend a conflagration, the said governing body may pass a resolution declaring that the conditions complained of constitute a nuisance within the meaning of this chapter and providing for the abatement thereof in the same manner as provided herein.
It shall be the duty of the Borough Clerk of the Borough of Westville to keep a book in which he shall record and file all proceedings required to be taken hereunder.
All work in connection with the repairing, altering, fireproofing, removing or destroying of any building, wall or structure pursuant to the terms of this chapter shall be in the charge of the Construction Official with the approval and authorization of the Borough Council; provided, however, that the Chiefs of the several Fire Departments or any of them may be specifically authorized by the Borough Council to take full charge of all work in eliminating or removing any condition that may tend to create or extend a conflagration.
[Amended 9-13-1977; 2-9-2000]
Any person violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punishable as set forth in Chapter 1, Article I, § 1-15, General penalty. The continuation of such violation for each successive day shall constitute a separate offense.
Any person who is convicted of violating the provisions of this chapter within one year of the date of a previous violation of the same chapter and who was fined for the previous violation shall be sentenced by the court to an additional fine as a repeat offender. The additional fine imposed by the court for a repeated offense shall not be less than the minimum or exceed the maximum fine fixed for a violation of this chapter, but shall be calculated separately from the fine imposed for the original violation of this chapter. The continuation of such violation for each successive day shall constitute a separate offense.