[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Burlington as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Nuisances on Private Property
Article II Public Nuisances
[Adopted 10-23-1990 (Sec. 5:8 of the 1975 General Ordinances)]
No person, firm, corporation, partnership or individual, whether he is a tenant or property owner, shall allow a condition to exist on real property owned or leased by him within the Township of Burlington which is in violation of the ordinances of the Township of Burlington, laws of the State of New Jersey, laws of the United States of America, and any regulations promulgated thereunder, and/or allow any condition to exist on the property which constitutes a nuisance which adversely affects the public health, safety and welfare of the Township of Burlington and its inhabitants.
The enforcement official charged with the duty of enforcing the provisions of this article shall be the Director of the Department of Licensing and Inspections, or his designee, for the Township of Burlington.
In determining whether a condition exists upon property within the Township of Burlington which is prohibited under the provisions of this article, the enforcement official shall, in addition to the conditions listed in § 366-1, consider the general size of the property, its relationship to surrounding residential, industrial and commercial entities, and the probability that the conditions on the property constitute a nuisance which would affect the pubic health, safety and welfare of the Township of Burlington and its inhabitants.
It shall be the duty of the enforcement official referred to in § 366-2 above to investigate all conditions that are brought to its attention or of which they have knowledge which may be prohibited under the provisions of § 366-1 above. For this purpose, the enforcement official shall have the authority to enter upon the property and premises for the purpose of making such investigations, provided that such entries shall be in such a manner as to cause the least possible inconvenience to the persons in possession.
If after the investigation referred to in § 366-4 above the enforcement official shall believe that the conditions prohibited in § 366-1 above exist upon properties within the Township of Burlington, said enforcement official shall cause notice to be served upon the record owner of said premises that it is believed that conditions prohibited under § 366-1 exist upon lands and properties owned by the person so served. The notice shall specify the nature of the conditions deemed to be in violation of this article, the location of the property upon which the suspected conditions exist, a statement that failure to abate the conditions or seek an appeal from the notice shall subject the property owner to the penalties elsewhere referred to in this article, and shall specify that the owner of the property shall have 10 days from the date of service to either abate the conditions referred to in the notice or request a hearing before the enforcement official to show cause why the conditions are not prohibited under the provisions of this article. In the event that said hearing is not requested or an abatement does not occur, said notice shall be deemed to constitute an order which the property owner has failed to obey.
The enforcement official shall cause a hearing to occur with the property owner within five days of the receipt of a request from the property owner. At a hearing, testimony and evidence shall be taken concerning the suspected violation of this article. Subsequent to this hearing, the enforcement official shall issue an order which may confirm, modify or rescind the requirements established and referred to in § 366-5 above. Said order may, in addition, specify additional time in which to abate the conditions complained of. Said order shall be served upon the property owner. Failure to comply with the order so issued shall constitute a violation of this article.
In the event the property owner fails to comply with the order from the enforcement official as set forth above, Township Council shall cause the question of said order to be placed upon its agenda at a regularly scheduled public meeting, at which time it shall adopt a resolution to confirm, modify or rescind the order issued by the enforcement official. In the event that the property owner shall fail to abate the condition complained of, he shall be subject to a violation of this article.
Penalties. In the event that any person, firm, corporation, partnership or individual shall violate the provisions of this article, he shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $2,000, imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days or a period of community service not exceeding 90 days, or any combination thereof, for each day that a violation of this article shall be deemed to continue.
[Amended 9-23-2008 by Ord. No. 08-OR-025]
Abatement. In the event that any person, firm, corporation, partnership or individual shall fail to abate the conditions complained of in any order or notice which has the effect of an order and/or the resolution adopted by Township Council, the Township Council shall have the right to cause the condition complained of to be abated. All costs incurred in the abatement of said conditions shall be certified by the person or individual causing the abatement to the Tax Collector of the Township of Burlington and the costs forthwith become a lien upon such land and shall be added and become part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon such lands and premises, the same to bear interest at the same rate as other taxes and shall be collected and enforced by the same officers in the same manner as taxes.
Additional powers. Nothing herein contained shall be deemed to limit, modify or abrogate any right, either in law or in equity, which the Township of Burlington shall have in order to correct the conditions complained of or prohibited in this article.
[Adopted 6-22-2010 by Ord. No. 10-OR-012]
The purpose of this article is to protect and promote the public health through the control, abatement and prevention of nuisances which may present a public health concern. Alleged infractions of the provisions and standards set forth herein will be investigated by an appropriate enforcing official. Wherever there is a question as to the significance of an alleged infraction or the factual existence of an alleged infraction, the existence of a violation will be based upon the prudent judgment of the enforcing official.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- To desert, ignore, and fail to maintain a property in a safe, habitable condition.
- The gathering together and increasing in amount over a period of time.
- The residue from the burning of wood, coal or other combustible materials.
- ATTRACTIVE NUISANCE
- A potentially harmful object on, or condition of the land that, by its features, tends to lure children or others.
- BOARD OF HEALTH
- The County Board of Health.
- As defined in the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code, N.J.A.C. 5:23-1 et seq.
- BUILDING CODE
- The New Jersey Uniform Construction Code, N.J.A.C. 5:23-1 et seq.
- COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY
- Any activity which is not a residential use or activity and includes, but is not limited to, gasoline stations, retail sales, professional activities including but not limited to medical, dental, legal, architectural, accounting, engineering and the like; personal services including real estate, insurance, barbershops, hairdressers, nail salons, and the like; nurseries, landscaping businesses, farm stands, repair shops of all kinds, and amusements including, but not limited to, movies, skating rinks, bowling alleys, and the like, regardless of location, and any other nonresidential use or activity.
- COMMERCIAL PREMISES
- Any real property on which a commercial activity of any kind is conducted.
- A person engaged in any business or service, including construction, repairing, refurbishing, remodeling or the demolition of buildings or grounds within the Township.
- DEVELOPED PROPERTY
- Any real property upon which a structure has been erected or other improvements have been made.
- Defined as specified in the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code, N.J.A.C. 5:23-1 et seq.; Regulations for the Maintenance of Hotels and Multiple Dwellings, N.J.A.C. 5:10-1 et seq.; Regulations Governing Rooming and Boarding Houses, N.J.A.C. 5:27-1 et seq.; New Jersey State Housing Code, N.J.A.C. 5:28-1 et seq., as may be the case.
- ENFORCING OFFICIALS
- Means and includes the Director of the Department of Licensing and Inspection, health inspector, registered environmental health specialist, animal control officer, zoning officer, construction official, fire official, police or other official authorized by the Township Council to enforce this section and including employees and officials of the County of Burlington providing enforcement pursuant to a shared services or similar agreement between the Township and the County of Burlington.
- EXTERIOR PROPERTY
- Any space located between property boundary lines of the tax lot in question or the boundaries of any contiguous tax lots and any structure on the property.
- The control and elimination of insects, mice, rats and other pests by removing or otherwise destroying their harborage places; by removing or making inaccessible materials that serve as their food; by poison spraying, fumigating, and trapping or by any other approved pest elimination methods.
- GOOD REPAIR
- The structure is maintained in such a manner that there is no evidence of deterioration, or damaged or loose elements, and where appropriate, is capable of preventing the elements (rain, snow, wind) and rodents from entering the interior areas.
- HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
- Wastes presenting a danger to health and safety by reason of their pathological, explosive, radiological or toxic characteristics.
- The presence, within or contiguous to a structure or premises, of insects, mice, rats, vermin or other pests in quantities large enough to constitute a health threat.
- Those insects that have public health significance for disease transmission, property damage or which can present a nuisance.
- Defined by statute, administrative regulations and as defined in Township ordinances.
- NONRESIDENTIAL USER
- Any type of commercial, industrial or similar activity, whether or not operating for a profit, within the Township.
- NOXIOUS WEEDS
- Any plant designated by a federal, state or county government as injurious to public health, agriculture, recreation, wildlife or property. A noxious weed may be native or nonnative, invasive or noninvasive and may also be commonly defined as a plant that grows out of place and is competitive, persistent, and pernicious. Examples include but are not limited to ragweed, poison ivy or oak, thistle, and multiflora rose.
- Defined as specified in the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code, N.J.A.C. 5:23-1 et seq.; Regulations for Maintenance of Hotels and Multiple Dwellings, N.J.A.C. 5:10-1 et seq.; Regulations Governing Rooming and Boarding Houses, N.J.A.C. 5:27-1 et seq.; New Jersey State Housing Code, N.J.A.C. 5:28-1 et seq., as may be the case.
- Defined as specified in the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code, N.J.A.C. 5:23-1 et seq.; Regulations for Maintenance of Hotels and Multiple Dwellings, N.J.A.C. 5:10-1 et seq.; Regulations Governing Rooming and Boarding Houses, N.J.A.C. 5:27-1, et seq.; New Jersey State Housing Code, N.J.A.C. 5:28-1 et seq.; New Jersey Uniform Fire Code, N.J.A.C. 5:70 et seq., as may be the case.
- Means and includes an individual, firm, corporation, association, society, partnership, and their agents or employees.
- A house or buildings, together with its land and outbuildings.
- PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERN
- Any matters, conditions or things that cause worry, solicitude, or anxiety for the health, safety and welfare of the public due to their dangerous or unsanitary nature.
- PUBLIC RESTROOM
- A room equipped with toilet facilities intended for public use in all public facilities and in commercial establishments.
- Any person occupying or maintaining a place of residence within the Township.
- RESIDENTIAL USE
- A dwelling unit, such as a home, condominium, trailer or a multifamily dwelling of two or more units.
- Those rodents that have public health significance for disease transmission and/or property damage.
- SOLID WASTE
- Any trash, garbage, junk, rubbish, refuse, litter, debris and other materials that when dumped, deposited, accumulated or abandoned create, or have the potential of creating, a condition or conditions which may threaten the public health. This term shall include any animal or vegetable waste solids resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking or consumption of foods; discarded materials, including but not limited to, glass, wood, yard debris, grass/brush clippings, stone, concrete, plastic, ashes, cloth, rags, paper, metal, tires, street cleanings, dead animals, manure, appliances, furniture, equipment, automobiles, solid market wastes, construction materials, industrial wastes, chemical wastes, recyclable materials and containers, and all discarded appliances.
- The Township of Burlington, County of Burlington and State of New Jersey.
- USABLE MATERIALS
- Properly stored nonperishable materials intended for new construction, or other items intended to be used within 30 days, which are stored above ground and maintained in such a matter that they do not provide a habitat for insects or rodents.
- WATER DRAINAGE AND ACCUMULATION
- The runoff, discharge or drainage of water from any premises or building which results in the accumulation of stagnant water other than water retention areas and/or reservoirs approved by the Township Engineer.
- The growth, existence or presence of any noxious weeds of any height or the growth, existence or presence of any other weeds or plant growth in excess of 10 inches. Weeds shall be defined as all grasses, annual plants and vegetation, other than trees or shrubs; provided, however, this term shall not include cultivated flowers, landscaped areas and gardens.
Any of the following matters, which after investigation by an enforcing official is deemed to be injurious, detrimental or a menace to the public health or environment, or is deemed to be an annoyance, or threatens to interfere with the comfort or well-being of the inhabitants of the Township, is hereby declared to be a prohibited nuisance:
A condition or discharge, or release, which causes or threatens pollution of any surface water or subsurface water of the Township.
The escape or entrance into open air/outdoor environment from any stack, vent, chimney, process or from any fire of such quantities and duration of smoke, fly ash, dust, fumes, vapors, mists, or gases that tend to be injurious to human health or welfare, animal or plant life or property, or would unreasonably interfere with the enjoyment of life or property throughout the Township.
The growth, existence or presence of poison ivy in such quantity so as to cause damage or injury to adjacent properties or to be a public health concern. This shall not apply to any wooded public property.
The presence on any plot of land, highway, street, right-of-way or any other public or private place of any solid waste. Composting shall not fall within the meaning of this subsection if the compost pile, mound or area is properly maintained on private property so as not to present offensive odors, the breeding or harborage of flies or other insects, rodents, vermin or any other public health nuisance.
The accumulation and maintenance by depositing, dumping or otherwise of any matter or thing which serves as food for insects or rodents and to which they may have access, or which serves or constitutes a breeding place or harborage for insects, rodents or pigeons, thereby creating a public health nuisance.
The existence or presence of any water or other liquid in which mosquito eggs, larvae or pupae exist or of any condition which allows water to lie, pond, stand or otherwise accumulate so as to provide a breeding environment for mosquitoes. This section shall not apply to fountains or swimming pools which maintain adequate circulation or to natural lakes, ponds, streams, and detention or retention basins.
The keeping of any animal or animals in such a manner as to cause or present a source of foulness, odors or breeding of insects, rodents or other vermin.
The existence or maintenance of any condition which may reasonably constitute a safety hazard, an attractive nuisance or otherwise present a threat to the safety and well-being of any person, such as:
Any vacant building which is not adequately secured so as to preclude unlawful entry.
Any excavation, depression, hole, shaft, abandoned or unused well, which is of such depth or dimension so as to present a hazard to any person as a result of a lack of, or inadequate, fencing or sealing.
Any improperly secured discarded refrigerator, cabinet, automobile or other piece of equipment or machinery which may present a hazardous attraction to children or others.
The willful abandonment of any domestic animal within the boundaries of the Township.
Accumulation and storage of solid waste for 14 or more days on any private or commercial property without the approval of the Director of Public Works.
Providing shelter and/or feeding feral cats or wildlife on any public or private property.
Permitting sewage to flow onto any private or public property.
It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to commit, maintain or allow any nuisance.
All premises and property, both developed and undeveloped, shall be subject to inspection by an enforcing official if that official has reasonable cause to believe that there exists a violation of this article.
It shall be unlawful for any person to hinder, obstruct, delay, resist or prevent an enforcing official, upon presentation of proper identification, from gaining access to any property or premises upon which a violation is suspected. In the event that entry to any property or premises is denied by any owner or tenant, the enforcing official shall obtain an appropriate warrant for entry through the municipal court.
Notice of violation.
Whenever a nuisance is determined by an enforcing official to exist, a notice of violation, when possible, shall be personally given to the owner, in writing, to remove or abate the same within such time as shall be specified therein, but no less than five days from the date of service. Notice to the owner shall be deemed complete as of the date it is served personally on the property owner. When personal service is not possible, notice to the owner, of the violation and the time to abate, shall be deemed complete three days after the date of the violation notice, if served by regular first class mail, or posted at or on the subject premises.
If the owner resides out of state, and no other person has been designated by the owner to accept service of notice, such notice shall be left at the premises with the tenant or occupant or posted on the premises, and mailed to the owner, and such action shall be considered proper notification to owner, tenant and/or occupant. Notice to the owner, tenant or occupant, of the violation and the time to abate, shall be deemed complete as of the date of the violation notice, if served personally on the tenant or occupant. Notice, of the violation and the time to abate, shall be deemed complete three days after the date on the violation notice, if served by regular first class mail, or posted at or on the subject premises.
The cost of abatement shall be borne by the property owner.
If any person fails to comply with such notice within the time specified therein, the enforcing official may remove, abate or cause the cleanup of the nuisance.
Whenever the owner, tenant or occupant has failed to comply with the notice to abate the nuisance, and the nuisance has been abated or removed under the direction of the enforcing official, any cost or expense incurred for abating or removing the nuisance or condition may be recovered by appropriate judicial action, or upon certification of the actual costs, the tax collector may impose a lien against the property. Regardless of how costs are actually recovered, they shall be in addition to, and shall not affect the imposition of, any penalties.
The provisions of this article shall be enforced by the enforcing officials in the municipal court and all proceedings shall be summary and in accordance with the Penalty Enforcement Law (N.J.S.A. 2A:58-1 et seq.). Penalties may be imposed in accordance with the general penalty provisions set forth in §§ 1-19 and 1-20.
Editor's Note: See now N.J.S.A. 2A:58-10 et seq.