Township of West Windsor, NJ
Mercer County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Health of the Township of West Windsor 11-1-1974; readopted by the Township Council 4-19-1999 by Ord. No. 99-07; amended in its entirety 12-22-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-22. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Animals — See Ch. 40.
Brush, grass and weeds — See Ch. 48.
Outdoor burning — See Ch. 55.
Retail food establishments — See Ch. 96.
Noise — See Ch. 113.
Sewers — See Ch. 133.
Solid waste — See Ch. 148.

§ 115-1 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to protect and promote the public health through the control, abatement and prevention of nuisances of public health significance. Alleged infractions of the provisions and standards set forth will be investigated by an enforcing official in each case presented. Wherever there is a question as to the significance of an alleged infraction or the factual existence of an alleged infraction, the prudent judgment of the Health Officer will prevail in the determination of a violation.

§ 115-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ABANDON
To desert, ignore, or fail to maintain a property in a safe, habitable condition.
[Added 9-12-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-21]
ACCUMULATION
The gathering together and increasing in amount of items over a period of time.
[Added 9-12-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-21]
BOARD OF HEALTH
The Township Council of the Township of West Windsor.
DWELLING
Shall be 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.; or the New Jersey State Housing Code, N.J.A.C. 5:28-1 et seq., as may be the case.
[Added 9-12-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-21]
ENFORCING OFFICIAL
The Health Officer or other official authorized by the Township to enforce this chapter.
INSECTS
Insects that have public health significance for disease transmission.
[Added 9-12-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-21]
JUNK AND DEBRIS
Includes but is not limited any object which has outlived its usefulness in its original form (notwithstanding the fact that the object may have scrap value or could be reconditioned with substantial repair) where such object, due to its present condition and/or visibility, may reasonably be construed to be unsightly, dangerous, or creating a condition that is detrimental or potentially detrimental to the health and/or safety of the residents of West Windsor Township. As used herein the phrase "junk and debris" does not include inoperable vehicles.
[Added 9-12-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-21]
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.
[Added 9-12-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-21]
PERSON
An individual, firm, corporation, association, society or partnership and its agents or employees.
PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERN
Any matter, 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.
[Added 9-12-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-21]
PUBLIC RESTROOM
A room equipped with toilet facilities unarguably intended for public use in all public facilities and in establishments where commercial activity takes place.
[Added 9-12-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-21]
RODENTS
Rodents that have public health significance for disease transmission.
[Added 9-12-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-21]
TOWNSHIP
The Township of West Windsor, County of Mercer, State of New Jersey.
TRACTOR TRAILER
A cab and/or trailer unit.
USABLE MATERIAL PROPERLY STORED
Nonperishable materials stored for new construction or other items, which are used within 30 days, and are not part of a continuing practice of accumulating items on a property, and which are stored elevated off the ground and maintained in such a manner that does not provide a potential habitat for insects or rodents. Usable materials properly stored on commercial properties are nonperishable materials stored in compliance with West Windsor Township Land Use Regulations and in a manner that does not provide a potential habitat for insects or rodents.
[Added 9-12-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-21]
VERMIN
An animal or insect of public health significance for disease transmission.
[Added 9-12-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-21]

§ 115-3 Nuisances identified.

A. 
Matters, things, conditions or acts which after proper investigation by the Health Officer or other enforcing official are deemed to be injurious, detrimental or a menace to the public health or are deemed to be an annoyance or interfere with the comfort or well-being of the inhabitants of the Township are hereby declared to be nuisances and shall include the following:
(1) 
Pollution or the existence of a condition or conditions which cause or threaten pollution of any waters of the Township.
(2) 
The escape into the open air from any stack, vent, chimney or any entrance to the open air of quantities of smoke, fly ash, dust, fumes, vapors, mists or gases as to cause or threaten injury or detriment or endanger the health or safety of the inhabitants of the Township.
(3) 
The open burning of any material, including but not limited to brush, weeds, grass, leaves, vegetative cuttings, discarded building materials, chemicals, agricultural waste products or any other material except as otherwise permitted by ordinance or state law.
(4) 
The growth, existence or presence of ragweed of 12 inches in height or greater, or in such a quantity so as to create a public health concern, on any plot of land, lot, highway, street, sidewalk, right-of-way or any other public or private place within 200 feet of an occupied dwelling.
(5) 
The growth, existence or presence of poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac within 20 feet of any property line of a residential or commercial property, highway, street, sidewalk, or right-of-way.
(6) 
The growth, existence or presence of any brush, weeds, or noxious growth, 12 inches in height or greater, in such a quantity so as to create a public health concern, dead and dying trees or limbs on any land within 100 feet of a dwelling or within 50 feet of a residential property line. Conservation easements, environmentally constrained areas, established greenbelts and woodlands are exempted from this provision. Property owners are responsible to maintain the property and right-of-way abutting the property, up to and including the gutter line, free from overgrown brush, weeds and noxious growth.
[Amended 9-12-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-21]
(7) 
The presence on any plot of land, highway, street, right-of-way or any other public or private place of any refuse, rubbish, garbage, trash, junk, filth or debris, or unused accumulated materials, whether putrescible or nonputrescible, and including but not limited to paper, wood, glass, cloth, metal, liquid wastes, chemicals, dead animals, manure, vegetative cuttings and building and industrial wastes, animal waste, stone, concrete, plastic, ashes, tires, appliances, furniture, equipment, and electronics, but excluding usable materials properly stored. The practice of composting shall not fall within the meaning of this subsection, provided that such compost pile, mound or area is maintained on one's own private property and is properly maintained so as not to present offensive odors, the breeding of flies or any other public health nuisance. Refuse disposed of in compliance with the standards established in Chapter 148 of West Windsor Township Code is exempt for this subsection.
[Amended 9-12-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-21]
(8) 
Depositing, dumping, accumulating, maintaining or otherwise allowing any matter or thing which serves as food for insects, rodents, or other animals, or to which they may have access or which serves or constitutes a breeding place or harborage for insects, rodents or other animals of a public health significance in or on any land, premises, building or other place.
(9) 
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. The meaning of this subsection shall not apply to ponds where fish are adequately maintained so as to preclude the breeding of mosquitoes.
(10) 
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.
(11) 
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 the inhabitants of the Township or of the public at large, including the following:
(a) 
Any vacant building which is not adequately sealed, boarded up or otherwise secured so as to preclude the entry of inquisitive minors.
(b) 
Any excavation, depression, hole, shaft, abandoned or unused well or other abandoned subsurface structure or object which is of such depth or dimension so as to present a hazard in terms of one falling into or being entrapped therein. This includes but is not limited to abandoned or dilapidated well pits, cisterns, dry wells, septic tanks, pump tanks, seepage pits, cesspools, or storage tanks.
[Amended 9-12-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-21]
(c) 
Any discarded refrigerator, cabinet, automobile or other piece of equipment, machinery, device or material which may offer or present an enclosure and a hazardous attraction to children.
(d) 
Any dead or dying trees or limbs in such proximity to a dwelling, building, street, sidewalk, pathway, right-of-way, thoroughfare, driveway, park, playground or other frequented area where the falling of the tree or part thereof would endanger life, threaten injury or damage property.
(e) 
Any trees, plants, bushes, vines, or other vegetation which cover, lay upon or overhang any pedestrian or bicycle passageway such as a sidewalk, street, alley, or other public way or which grows in such a manner as to obstruct or impede the full use of the passageway. This provision shall not apply to materials which have been gathered for municipal yard waste collection in accordance with the standards established by Chapter 150, Article VI.
(f) 
Any open, uncovered or otherwise unsecured dumpster, trash container, recycling container or similar receptacle which contains waste materials that can be dispersed by wind or other means or which may serve as an attractant to animals or insects.
[Amended 9-12-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-21]
(12) 
The willful abandonment of any domestic animal within the boundaries of the Township.
(13) 
The maintenance of a public restroom in poor repair or unsanitary condition. Toilet facilities provided for public use shall be maintained in a clean condition and good repair. Restrooms shall be provided with toilet tissue, trash receptacles, hot and cold running water, hand soap, and paper towels or a hand-dryer device.
(14) 
The discharge or ponding of sewage on the surface of the ground or into waterways of the Township or potable water wells.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to commit, maintain or allow any nuisance as declared and described in this section.

§ 115-4 Proper heating of rental buildings.

It shall be unlawful for the owner of any rental building which is to be occupied as a residence, business, commercial or industrial establishment to fail to supply heat from the first day of October in each year to the first day of May of the succeeding year.
A. 
In buildings occupied as a residence, heat shall be provided in such manner that the temperature of all occupied rooms shall not be permitted to fall below 68° F. at any time between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m., and 65° F. between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., unless the tenant by the tenant's own volition so chooses and is able to adjust the heat to a lower desired temperature.
B. 
In buildings occupied as business, commercial or industrial establishments, heat shall be provided as for residential buildings, except:
(1) 
Where the New Jersey State Department of Labor and Industry or the United States Occupational Safety and Health Act provides otherwise.
(2) 
Where there is a legal contract between the operator of the business and the owner of the building, provided that the contract does not preclude the provision of heat in the minimum prescribed degree above for office and clerical personnel.
(3) 
Where the regular working hours for all the employees of a particular business in a particular building is a partial twenty-four-hour day, heat shall be provided in such manner that the temperature of all occupied rooms shall not be permitted to fall below 68° F. at any time during regular working hours.
(4) 
Where in certain industries or occupations maintenance of temperatures below the prescribed 68° F. is essential or inherent to the particular industry or occupation.

§ 115-5 Prohibition of certain noises.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person or entity to make, cause or suffer or permit to be made or caused upon any premises owned, occupied or controlled by said person or entity or upon any public street, alley or thoroughfare in this Township any unnecessary noises or sounds by means of the human voice or by any other means or methods which are physically detrimental to persons or so harsh or so prolonged or unnatural or unusual in their use, time and place as to occasion physical discomfort or which are injurious to the lives, health, peace and comfort of any or all of the inhabitants of this Township.
B. 
Idling during certain hours prohibited; loading and unloading. In all business zone districts within the Township, no tractor trailers or refrigeration units of any motor vehicle shall be left with engines or refrigeration units running or idling between the hours of 9:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. when located within 1,000 feet of any residential zoning district within the Township, or at any other time, except while actively loading or unloading at a designated unloading area. Nor shall any tractor trailer or other commercial motor vehicle engage in any loading or unloading activity between the hours of 9:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. when such activity is within 1,000 feet of any residential zoning district within the Township.

§ 115-6 Prohibited lease or rental of certain buildings.

It shall be unlawful for any person to rent, lease or otherwise permit the occupancy of any building as a residence which:
A. 
Is not adequately and properly ventilated.
[Amended 9-12-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-21]
B. 
Is not provided with potable water at sufficient pressure (minimum 20 pounds per square inch) and quantity for each family unit from a public supply approved by the State Department of Health or a private or semipublic supply approved by the enforcing official.
C. 
Does not have fixtures consisting of a kitchen sink, bathtub or shower, lavatory and flush toilet connected to the potable water supply.
D. 
Does not have facilities for the discharge of all household liquid wastes into a public sewerage system approved by the State of New Jersey or into a private sewerage system approved by the enforcing official.
E. 
Is not provided with hot water at a temperature of at least 100° F.

§ 115-7 Spitting prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any person to spit upon any public sidewalk or upon any part of the interior or exterior of any public building or public conveyance.

§ 115-8 Smoking restricted.

The smoking of cigarettes, pipes or cigars is hereby prohibited in the following places and/or functions in the Township:
A. 
All public meetings sponsored by the Township or any of its official boards, departments, commissions or committees.
B. 
All public theaters in the seating area.
C. 
All public transportation licensed by the Township for operation in the Township and operated for the use of the public at large.
D. 
Smoking shall be restricted in all Township buildings.

§ 115-9 Inspection for violations; denial of entry; warrant.

All places and premises in this Township shall be subject to inspection by the Health Officer or the enforcing official if that official has reason to believe that any section of this chapter is being violated. In the event that entry to any place or premises is denied by any owner or tenant, the enforcing official shall obtain the appropriate warrant for entry through the local magistrate.

§ 115-10 Abatement of nuisances.

A. 
Whenever a nuisance as declared by § 115-3 of this chapter is found on any plot of land, lot, right-of-way or any other private premises or place, notice, in writing, shall be given to the owner to remove or abate the same within such time as shall be specified therein, but not less than five days from the date of service thereof. A duplicate of the notice shall be left with one or more of the tenants or occupants of the premises or place. If the owner cannot be notified speedily, the notices shall be left at that place or premises with the tenant or occupant thereof or posted on the premises, and such action shall be considered proper notification to the owner, tenant or occupant. Notice to the owner 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.
[Amended 9-12-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-21]
B. 
Whenever a nuisance as declared by § 115-3 of this chapter is found on any public property or on any highway or any other public premises or place, notice, in writing, shall be given to the person in charge to remove or abate the same within such time as shall be specified therein. If such person fails to comply with the notice within the time specified therein, the Health Officer or designee may remove or abate the nuisance in the manner as hereinafter provided in the case of a like condition existing on a private premises or place.
C. 
Whenever a nuisance exists on a vacant and abandoned property which is in a foreclosure process, the foreclosing creditor shall be responsible for the care, maintenance, security, and upkeep of the exterior of the property, and if located out-of-state, shall be responsible for appointing an in-state representative or agent to act for the foreclosing creditor. The full name and contact information of the in-state representative or agent shall be provided to the Township Clerk within 10 days of serving the summons and complaint of foreclosure.
D. 
The Township Health Officer, or designee, shall have the right to issue notices to any foreclosing creditor for a property found to be in violation of § 115-3 of this chapter. Such notice shall require the person or entity to correct the violation within 30 days of receipt of the notice, or within 10 days of the receipt of the notice if the violation presents an imminent threat to the public's health and safety. Written notice of the violation shall be provided to the foreclosing creditor or a designated agent. If the foreclosing creditor or designated agent cannot be notified speedily, the notices shall be posted on the premises, and such action shall be considered proper notification. Notice to the foreclosing creditor 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.
[Amended 9-12-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-21]
E. 
If the owner, foreclosing creditor, tenant or occupant, upon being notified as provided by this section, shall not comply with the notice within the time specified and fails to remove or abate the nuisance, the Health Officer or designee shall proceed to abate the nuisance or may cause it to be removed or abated in a summary manner by such means as the Health Officer or designee shall deem proper.

§ 115-11 Recovery of costs.

The Township may institute an action at law to recover costs incurred by it in the removal or abatement of any nuisance as declared by § 115-3 of this chapter from any person who shall have caused or allowed such nuisance to exist or from any owner, foreclosing creditor, tenant or occupant of a premises who, after notice and notification as hereby provided, shall fail to remove and abate the same within the time specified in the notice.

§ 115-12 Enforcement.

The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by the Health Officer or other enforcing official as defined in § 115-2.

§ 115-13 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Penalties for violation of this chapter shall be as provided in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article II, Penalty, § 1-4. The following exceptions apply:
(1) 
A foreclosing creditor found to be in violation of this chapter shall be subject to a fine of up to $1,500 per day.
(2) 
An out-of-state creditor, in violation of the requirement to appoint an in-state representative or agent as stipulated in § 115-10C of this chapter, shall be subject to a fine of $2,500 per day.
B. 
Except as otherwise provided, each and every day in which a violation of any provision of this chapter continues shall constitute a separate violation.