[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee (now Mayor and Council) of the Township of North Brunswick: Art. I as indicated in article histories. Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Township of North Brunswick: Art. II et seq. as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Commercial and Multifamily Dwellings
Article II General Provisions
This article shall be known as the "Commercial and Multifamily Dwelling Maintenance Code of the Township of North Brunswick," referred to in this article in the short form as "this code."
[Amended 5-18-1998 by Ord. No. 98-6]
The purpose of this article is to protect the public health, safety and welfare by establishing minimum standards governing the maintenance, appearance and condition of commercial premises, shopping centers and multifamily dwelling; to establish minimum heating requirements for rental dwelling units where furnishing heat is the responsibility of the owner; to fix responsibilities and duties upon owners, operators and occupants; to authorize and establish procedures for the inspection of commercial premises, shopping centers and multifamily dwellings; to fix penalties for the violations of this code; and to provide for the right of access by the agents and employees of the Township to enforce compliance with the provisions hereof whenever necessary. This code is declared to be remedial and essential for the public interest, and it is intended that this code shall be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes as stated herein.
The following terms, wherever used herein, shall have the following meanings, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
- COMMERCIAL PREMISES
- A building or buildings or any part thereof and the lot or tract of land upon which the building or buildings are situated, where commercial activity of any kind takes place. Commercial activity shall include, but is not limited to, gasoline service stations; stores for retail sales; liquor stores, taverns and inns; restaurants, including, but not limited to, drive-in restaurants, snack bars, hot dog, hamburger or ice-cream stands; professional activities, including, but not limited to, medical, dental, legal, architectural, accounting; personal services, including, but not limited to, real estate, insurance, barbershops, hairdressers; repair shops of all kinds; and amusements, including, but not limited to, movies, skating rinks, bowling alleys; whether part of a shopping area or not. Commercial activity shall not include sale of agricultural products produced on the premises.
- EXTERIOR OF THE PREMISES
- Those portions of a building which are exposed to public view and the open space of any premises outside of any building erected thereon.
- Any condition, man-made or natural, which affords a breeding place or hiding place for rodents, insects or other pests.
- The presence of insects, rodents, vermin or other pests on the premises which constitute a health hazard.
- MULTIFAMILY DWELLING
- One or more buildings or parts thereof designed or existing for the temporary or permanent residence, abode or habitation of 10 or more families. Multifamily dwellings shall include, but not be limited to, high-rise or garden apartments, tenements, hotels, motels and rooming houses containing 10 or more units.
- A. Any common-law nuisance or as provided by the laws of the State of New Jersey or the ordinances of the Township of North Brunswick.
- B. Any attractive nuisance which may prove detrimental to the health or safety of children, whether in a building or upon a lot. This includes, but is not limited to, any structurally unsound fences or structures, lumber, trash, fences, debris or vegetation such as poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac, which may prove a hazard for inquisitive minors.
- C. Abandoned vehicles, trailers, carts, wagons, vessels or other things. Any vehicle, trailer, cart, wagon, vessel or other thing which is inoperable, physically or by operation of law, or which remains outside for a period of more than 72 hours in an unfenced area of premises which are not used or maintained for the sale of motor vehicles, trailers, campers or boats, shall be deemed to have been abandoned.
- D. Any physical condition dangerous to human life or detrimental to the health of persons on or near the premises where the condition exists. This includes, but is not limited to: harborage, as defined above; existence or presence of any water or other liquid in which mosquito larvae breed or exist; any deposit or accumulation of trash, litter, garbage, refuse, debris or any organic or inorganic matter which may attract flies and to which flies may have access or in which fly larvae or pupae breed or exist; the existence, presence or maintenance of any brush, weeds, dead and dying trees, stumps, roots, limbs, obnoxious growth, filth, garbage, trash, refuse and debris which is or may become a fire hazard or otherwise detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of persons; the existence or presence of any ragweed, poison ivy, poison sumac or other noxious growth of any kind; the presence, existence or maintenance of any holes, excavations, breaks, projections, obstructions, accumulations of ice, snow or water, and excretion of pets and other animals on paths, walks, driveways, parking lots and parking areas and other parts of the exterior of the premises which are intended for use by persons or which are accessible to and likely to be used by such persons.
- E. The escape into the open air from any stack, vent, chimney or any other entrance to the open air of such quantities of smoke, fly ash, dust, fumes, vapors, mists or gases as endanger or interfere with the health, safety and general welfare of persons.
- F. Any act or maintenance of any condition which causes or threatens pollution, as defined by the laws of the State of New Jersey, of any waters in this township in such a manner as to endanger the health, safety or general welfare of persons upon any premises within this township.
- G. Unsanitary conditions or anything unreasonably offensive to the senses or dangerous to health, in violation of this chapter.
- H. Whatever renders air, food or drink unwholesome or detrimental to the health of human beings.
- I. Fire hazards.
- Any person having actual possession of the premises or any part thereof.
- Any person having charge, care or control of the premises or any part thereof, whether with or without the consent of the owner.
- Any person who, alone or jointly or severally with others, shall have legal or equitable title to any premises, with or without accompanying actual possession thereof, or shall have charge, care or control of any premises as owner or agent of the owner or as fiduciary, including, but not limited to, executor, executrix, administrator, administratrix, trustee, receiver or guardian of the estate, or as mortgagee in possession regardless of how such possession was obtained. Any person who is a lessee subletting or reassigning any part or all of any premises shall be deemed to be a co-owner with the lessor and shall have joint responsibility over the portion of the premises sublet or assigned by said lessee.
- SHOPPING CENTER
- One or more buildings or parts thereof designed or existing as a unit, occupied or to be occupied by one or more businesses for the conduct of retail sales, with parking space.
All commercial premises, shopping centers and multifamily dwellings and any buildings situated thereon in the Township of North Brunswick shall comply with the provisions of this chapter, whether or not such building shall have been constructed, altered or repaired before or after the enactment of this code. This chapter establishes minimum standards for the initial and continued occupancy and use of all such buildings and premises and does not replace or modify standards otherwise established for the construction, repair, alteration or use of such buildings or premises contained therein. Where there is a mixed occupancy with commercial and other uses on the same premises, all such uses shall be nevertheless regulated by and subject to the provisions of this chapter.
In any case where the provisions of this chapter impose a higher standard than is set forth in any other ordinance of the Township of North Brunswick or under the laws of the State of New Jersey, then the standards as set forth herein shall prevail, but if the provisions of this chapter impose a lower standard than any other ordinances of the Township of North Brunswick or the laws of the State of New Jersey, then the higher standard contained in any such other ordinance or law shall prevail.
Owners and operators shall have all the duties and responsibilities prescribed in this chapter, and no owner or operator shall be relieved from any such duty and responsibility nor be entitled to defend against any charge of violation thereof by reason of the fact that the occupant is also responsible therefor and in violation thereof.
Occupants shall have all the duties and responsibilities as prescribed in §§ 243-12, 243-13, 243-14, 243-15 and 243-16 of this chapter, and the occupant shall not be relieved from any such duty and responsibility nor be entitled to defend against any charge of violation thereof by reason of the fact that the owner or operator is also responsible therefor and in violation thereof.
Upon discovery by an occupant of any condition of the premises which constitutes a violation of this chapter by the owner or operator, the occupant shall report same to the Building Inspector or Health Officer, who shall be responsible for enforcement of the provisions of this chapter.
Premises shall be kept landscaped, and lawns, trees, hedges and bushes shall be kept trimmed and kept from becoming overgrown.
All signs and printed matter and pictures or illustrations contained thereon, permitted by reasons of other regulations or as a lawful nonconforming use, shall be maintained painted in good repair.
The exterior of every structure or accessory structure (including fences, signs and storefronts) shall be maintained free of safety hazards, such as broken windows, loose and falling shingles, roofing or siding and crumbling and falling stone or brick, and fire hazards.
The owner and operator of every shopping center, the owner and operator of every multifamily dwelling and the owner and operator of commercial premises with the capacity of seating, serving or otherwise accommodating 100 or more persons shall furnish, by private contract or otherwise, scavengers for the removal and disposal of refuse and garbage.
Every owner, operator and occupant shall have the duty and responsibility of providing sufficient and suitable receptacles with tight-fitting covers for receiving and holding refuse and garbage; and the receptacles shall be maintained in a manner, with the cover in place, so as to prevent the creation of a nuisance, and shall be kept in an enclosed space separate and apart from sidewalks and other pedestrian areas, except when set out for collection during the hours of a day scheduled for such collection.
The owner, operator and occupant shall maintain paths, walks, driveways, parking lots, parking areas and other parts of the premises which are accessible to and used by persons on the premises, in good repair, free of safety hazards and unsanitary conditions, including, but not limited to, holes, excavations, breaks, projections, obstructions, ice, uncleared snow, litter and excretion of pets and other animals. All such holes and excavations shall be filled and repaired, walks and steps repaired and other conditions removed where necessary to eliminate hazards or unsanitary conditions, with reasonable dispatch upon their discovery. It shall be the responsibility of the owner, operator and occupant to take reasonable steps to discover, remove and abate any such hazards or unsanitary conditions which may exist on the premises.
All parts of the premises under the control of the occupant shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition, and the occupant shall refrain from performing any acts which would render other parts of the premises unclean or unsanitary or which would obstruct the owner or operator from performing any duty required hereunder or maintaining the premises in a clean and sanitary condition.
Every owner, operator and occupant shall be responsible for the elimination of infestation in and on the premises subject to his control.
The exterior of the premises and all structures thereon shall be kept free of all nuisances and any hazards to the safety of occupants, pedestrians and other persons utilizing the premises, and free of unsanitary conditions.
The owner and operator of every shopping center shall be responsible for providing and/or maintaining the following:
A fire lane, at least 12 feet wide, adjacent to the public walkway or sidewalk in front of the entrance to the commercial businesses and running the entire length of the building or buildings occupied by said businesses. Concrete barriers, at least six inches high, shall be erected to prevent vehicles from crossing into the fire lane and parking thereon. The perimeter of the fire lane shall be clearly delineated by lines painted in yellow paint on the road surface, and the words "Fire Lane" shall be painted within the perimeter in twelve-inch letters at least once every 300 feet.
Means of ingress and egress shall be clearly marked by signs; and concrete barriers, at least six inches high, shall be placed on each side of said means of ingress and egress in order to provide a safe method of ingress and egress.
Parking spaces shall be clearly indicated by painted lines, white on dark surfaces or black on light surfaces.
Lanes for the movement of traffic, at least 12 feet wide in each direction, shall be clearly marked, and arrows indicating one-way traffic shall be painted in these lanes at both ends, white on dark surfaces or black on light surfaces.
A covered trash basket with at least a twenty-gallon capacity shall be provided for each 150 feet of store frontage in the shopping area. Such baskets may be placed in the walking or pedestrian area.
Outside storage or display of merchandise or equipment shall be forbidden. However, this subsection shall not apply to outside storage of motor vehicles, trailers, campers, boats or other similar merchandise held for retail sale. This subsection shall apply, but not be limited, to storage of merchandise or equipment in trailers, motor vehicles, shacks, sheds or other outside containers.
Waiver of this provision may be applied for by written request to the Mayor and Council and granted, based on the size and kind of merchandise or equipment, duration and location of the outside storage and the purposes of this article.
[Added 5-18-1998 by Ord. No. 98-6]
Every owner or operator of a dwelling who permits the dwelling to be occupied for rent under any agreement wherein the owner is responsible for furnishing heat, shall comply with the following minimum heating standard:
From September 15 of each year to the next succeeding May 15, every unit of dwelling space and every habitable room therein shall be maintained at a temperature of at least 68° F. between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. and at least 65° F. between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
All buildings and premises subject to this article are subject to inspection from time to time by the Building Inspector, Health Officer or any other township official charged with the duty of enforcing regulations governing any aspect or conduct of the activity housed in the said premises. At the time of such inspections, all parts of the premises must be available and accessible for such inspections, and the owner, operator and occupant are required to provide the necessary arrangements to facilitate such inspections. The above-mentioned inspector, officer and official are hereby authorized and empowered to apply for, obtain and execute a search warrant for any building or premises subject to this article whenever necessary to inspect such building or premises. Such inspections shall be made during daylight hours or during hours when the buildings or premises are open to the public, unless there is reason to believe a violation exists of a character which is an immediate threat to health or safety requiring inspection and abatement without delay.
Whenever any nuisance or any unsanitary or unhealthy condition in violation of this article is found on any premises within the Township of North Brunswick, the Building Inspector or Health Officer shall order the owner, operator or occupant to correct the violation or to remove and abate the nuisance or condition by notice in writing, which shall be served on the owner, occupant or operator in the following manner:
Where the owner resides in the township, or in the case of an operator or occupant, written notice shall be served by delivering a copy to him personally, or by leaving a copy thereof at his dwelling house or usual place of abode with some competent member of his family of the age of 14 years or over then residing therein, or by delivering a copy thereof to a person authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process on his behalf.
Where the owner resides outside the township or where the resident owner or the operator or occupant cannot be served as set forth above, written notice shall be mailed to the owner, operator or occupant by certified mail at his last known address.
Where the owner, operator or occupant cannot be served as set forth above, it shall be sufficient to post a copy of the notice in a conspicuous place on the premises.
Such notice shall be in writing, directing the removal of the unsanitary or unhealthy condition or the abatement of the nuisance at the owner's expense, and shall call for a hearing before the Board of Health of the Township of North Brunswick.
Whenever any nuisance is not removed and abated or any unsanitary or unhealthy condition in violation of this article is not corrected after notice and hearing before the Board of Health, the Building Inspector or Health Officer shall abate and remove such nuisance or correct such unsanitary or unhealthy condition on direction of the said Board of Health.
Where abatement of any nuisance as defined herein or correction of any unsanitary or unhealthy condition requires expenditure of the Township of North Brunswick moneys therefor, in addition to other remedies provided by law, the Building Inspector or Health Officer may present a report of the work accomplished to the governing body of the Township of North Brunswick, along with a summary of the proceedings undertaken to secure compliance, including notices served upon owners, operators or occupants, as the case may be. The governing body may then approve the expenses and costs, whereupon they shall become a lien against the commercial premises, collectible as provided by law. A copy of the resolution approving the said expense shall be certified to the Township Clerk and filed with the Tax Collector of the Township of North Brunswick, who shall be responsible for the collection thereof, and a copy of the report and resolution shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner of the commercial premises.
At the request of the Building Inspector or Health Officer, any officer, agent or employee of the Township of North Brunswick shall assist in the enforcement, interpretation or implementation of any provisions of this article.
[Amended 9-6-1977; 4-17-2006 by Ord. No. 06-06]
Any person violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be punishable by a fine of not more than $2,000 or by imprisonment for a term not to exceed 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the Judge. The continuation of such violation on each successive day shall constitute a separate offense, and the person or persons allowing or permitting the continuation of the violation may be punished as provided above for each separate offense.
[Amended 5-18-1998 by Ord. No. 98-6]
It is hereby found that there exists a need in the Township of North Brunswick for the establishment of minimum standards for the maintenance of building exteriors and outside property areas and to establish minimum heating requirements for rental dwelling units where furnishing heat is the responsibility of the owner. This finding is based upon observance of properties where the lack of maintenance and upkeep has resulted in either the creation of threats of the public health, safety and welfare or the presence of potentially blighting conditions which could negatively affect property values.
The purpose of this article is to protect the public health, safety and welfare by establishing minimum standards to govern the maintenance, appearance and condition of building exteriors and outside property areas for both residential and nonresidential premises.
All residential and nonresidential buildings, structures and premises shall comply with the provisions of this article, regardless of whether such buildings or structures shall have been constructed, altered or repaired before the enactment of this article and irrespective of any permits or licenses which shall have been issued for the use or occupancy of the premises.
This article establishes minimum standards for property maintenance, and the provisions of this article shall not be construed to prevent the enforcement of other ordinances or regulations which may be more stringent.
Nothing in this article shall be deemed to abolish or impair existing remedies available to the township, its officers or agencies relating to the removal or demolition of any buildings or structures which are deemed to be dangerous, unsafe or unsanitary.
Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following terms shall, for the purpose of this article, be defined as follows:
- BUILDING EXTERIOR
- Those portions of a building or structure which are exposed to public view or are visible from adjoining or adjacent properties, including all outside surfaces and appurtenances thereto, and the open space on the premises outside of any building or structure erected thereon.
- The condition of a building structure, or any part thereof, characterized by holes, breaks, rot, crumbling, cracking, peeling, flaking, chipping, rusting or other evidence of physical decay or neglect, lack of maintenance or excessive use.
- ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The Code Enforcement Officer of the Township of North Brunswick.
- The control and elimination of insects, rodents or other pests by eliminating their harborage place; by removing or making inaccessible materials that may serve as their food; by poison-spraying, fumigating or trapping; or by any other approved pest-elimination methods.
- Putrescible animal and vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and consumption of food.
- OUTSIDE PROPERTY AREA
- The open space on any premises located outside of buildings and structures.
- Combustible and noncombustible waste materials, except garbage.
- STAGNANT WATER
- Any accumulation of water, with the exception of approved detention and retention areas, which does not disperse within three days of the last recorded local rainfall.
Depending upon the nature of the violation, the owner and/or tenant of the premises shall be responsible for maintaining the property in compliance with this article.
Outside property areas.
General. All outside property areas shall be maintained in a safe and sanitary condition so as not to adversely affect the public health or safety or result in a blighted appearance.
Drainage. All outside property areas shall be graded and maintained so as to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water thereon or within any structure thereon.
Accessory structures. All accessory structures, including detached garages, fences and walls, shall be maintained structurally sound and without obvious signs of deterioration. Pointed chain link fences shall not be permitted on any property utilized for residential purposes.
Outside storage. Outside storage in the front yard is prohibited. Outside storage of items such as, but not limited to, building materials, tires, windows, bottles, drums, trailers, oil tanks and lawnmowers shall be prohibited unless completely obscured from surrounding property by a solid screen not less than six feet in height. Covering such items with canvas or similar material shall be deemed a violation of this subsection. Firewood may be stored uncovered in any yard area other than the front yard.
Motor vehicle storage.
[Amended 2-18-2003 by Ord. No. 03-2; 3-17-2003 by Ord. No. 05-6]
With the exception of automobile service stations and garages and car dealerships, no more than one unregistered and/or uninspected motor vehicle shall be parked outside of the garage on any property, and such vehicle shall be parked on an improved surface maintained in a weed-free condition. Any such vehicle shall not be utilized for storage of any items and shall be subject to all property maintenance standards applicable to accessory structures. No such vehicle shall remain outside, whether covered or uncovered, in a state of partial disassembly or disrepair or be in the process of being stripped, dismantled or overhauled except in accordance with the provisions of § 330-4. For purposes of this section, the term "improved surface" shall be defined as any paved, graveled, concrete, brick or block surface.
In no event may any unregistered and/or uninspected motor vehicles be parked outside:
On any property utilized for nonresidential purposes; and
Which property is located adjacent to a residential zone or residential use or across the street from a residential zone or residential use; and
Without first obtaining an unregistered/nonoperating vehicle permit from the Division of Code Enforcement. To obtain a permit, a property owner must demonstrate:
The vehicle is owned or leased by the business that owns/occupies the property on which the vehicle is parked;
The vehicle, except for its nonregistered or nonoperating status, is suitable for use by the business that owns/occupies the property on which the vehicle is parked;
The vehicle shall not be parked within 30 feet of any residential zone or property used for residential purposes or any closer to a street that the front building line.
This subsection shall not apply to lawfully operated junkyards.
Disposal of rubbish and garbage. All exterior property areas shall be kept free from any accumulation of rubbish and garbage, and any rubbish or garbage placed in an outside property area more than 24 hours prior to collection shall be placed in covered containers equipped with tight-fitting covers.
Paved areas. All sidewalks, steps, driveways, parking spaces and similar paved areas shall have the surface maintained in a proper state of repair so as to afford safe passage under normal weather conditions. Said areas shall also be kept free of hazardous conditions, such as snow, ice, mud and other debris. If lighted for night use, lights shall not be permitted to cast directly upon nearby dwellings.
Exhaust vents. The construction, maintenance or operation of pipes, ducts, fans or blowers which discharge gases, steam, vapor, hot air, grease, smoke, odors or other gaseous or particulate wastes directly upon abutting properties is prohibited.
Discarded appliances. All outside property areas shall be free from abandoned refrigerators, boilers, hot-water heaters, television sets and other similar major appliances, except for normal placement for solid waste collection.
Overhanging. Loose overhanging objects, whether natural or man-made, including accumulations of ice or snow, shall be removed or repaired so as to eliminate hazards resulting from the objects falling to the ground.
Ground surface hazards. Abandoned, uncovered or structurally unsound wells, shafts and exterior cellar openings shall be appropriately closed and sealed to eliminate the possibility of accidental entry.
Infestation. All outside property areas shall be maintained to be free of rodents, vermin, pest infestations and conditions causing the same.
Loading/Unloading and truck idling restrictions. Any portion of a nonresidential use which lies within 300 feet of either a residential zone or a lot developed for residential use which is not separated from the residential zone or lot developed for residential use by a noise abatement wall which has been approved by the Township in accordance with the provisions of Paragraphs 3 through 6 of a January 23, 2003, consent order in the matter of Church & Dwight v. North Brunswick, Middlesex Superior Court, Docket No. L-6144-01, shall comply with the following restrictions in those portions of the rear or side yard areas which lie within 300 feet of the residential zone or use. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the restrictions against truck idling for more than three minutes contained in Subsection A(13)(c) hereof shall be fully applicable.
[Added 7-6-1993; amended 5-21-2001 by Ord. No. 01-8; 4-14-2003 by Ord. No. 03-9; 11-16-2006 by Ord. No. 06-28]
For the purposes of this section, loading/unloading shall constitute the following:
Loading/Unloading restrictions applicable to all nonresidential uses within the I-1 and I-2 Zones and only to facilities utilized for manufacturing, warehouse and distribution operations in all other zones. Loading/Unloading and the operation of forklifts outside of the building within 300 feet of a residential property line shall be prohibited during the hours of 8:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Monday to Friday and 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Truck idling restrictions. The idling of truck engines for more than three consecutive minutes when the vehicle is not in motion shall be prohibited except for the following:
A motor vehicle at the vehicle operator's place of business where the motor vehicle is permanently assigned may idle for 30 consecutive minutes;
A motor vehicle may idle for 15 consecutive minutes when the vehicle engine has been stopped for three or more hours;
Motor vehicles whose primary and/or secondary power source is utilized in whole or in part for necessary and definitively prescribed mechanical operation other than propulsion, passenger compartment heating or air conditioning;
Motor vehicles while engaged in the process of connection, detachment or exchange of trailers; and
Motor vehicles manufactured with a sleeper berth while being used by the vehicle's operator for sleeping or resting in a nonresidential area located a minimum of 300 feet from a residential property line.
Appropriate signs shall be posted both at the rear of the building and on the buffer located to the rear of the parking lot. Said signs shall indicate the following: "The idling of engines for more than three minutes in a rear or side yard is prohibited and subject to a fine not to exceed $1,000."
Truck access restrictions applicable to warehouse/distribution operations. Truck access to loading/unloading facilities in rear or side yards abutting residential zones shall be restricted during the hours of 8:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Monday to Friday and 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. Saturday and Sunday by the installation of a fence with a gate. Said gate shall remain closed during prohibited hours to keep trucks out of rear or side yard areas. However, trucks stored at the vehicle operator's place of business shall be permitted to be parked overnight in side yard areas subject to truck idling restrictions of this section.
Inside operation of forklifts. The inside operation of forklifts and inside loudspeaker systems between the hours of 8:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Monday to Friday and 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. Saturday and Sunday shall be prohibited unless all overhead doors within 300 feet of a residential use or residential zone remain closed.
Outside loudspeakers prohibited. The installation of outside loudspeakers shall be prohibited.
Motor vehicle for sale.
[Added 2-18-2003 by Ord. No. 03-2]
Residential and nonresidential zones.
Residential zones. For property located in a residential zone, no property owner or occupant shall be permitted to place or display “for sale” or similar signs on more than one vehicle at any one time and not more than twice in one year while parked on street or off street in the Township of North Brunswick. Any such vehicle must be owned for at least three months prior to the display of such "for sale" sign by the resident or member of his or her immediate family. Said vehicle must, at all times such signs are displayed, be physically placed or located on an improved surface. If the vehicle to be sold is parked on a public street, the vehicle must be in front of the seller’s property or, in the alternative, the vehicle to be sold may be parked on the public street in front of an adjacent neighbor’s property, provided that said adjacent neighbor grants the seller permission to do so in writing and not more than twice in one year.
[Amended 5-2-2005 by Ord. No. 05-6; 11-1-2010 by Ord. No. 10-31]
Nonresidential zones. No person shall be permitted to place or display "for sale" or similar signs on more than one vehicle at any one time while parked on-street or off-street in the Township of North Brunswick located in a nonresidential zone unless such vehicle shall be placed or located on an improved surface. Such signs may be placed or displayed on such vehicle only during the hours of the day when the owner of the vehicle is employed by a nonresidential use located on the premises where the vehicle is located, except that the owner of the nonresidential use may be permitted to display such signs overnight on a single vehicle located on an improved surface if owned by the property owner or a member of his or her immediate family.
No more than two "for sale" or similar signs shall be placed or displayed within or on any motor vehicle parked on-street or off-street in the Township of North Brunswick.
"For sale" or similar signs placed or displayed within or on motor vehicles parked on-street or off-street in the Township of North Brunswick shall be no taller or wider than 20 inches by 20 inches.
"For sale" or similar signs shall not stay on the motor vehicle for longer than three continuous months.
This subsection shall not apply to any lawfully operated motor vehicle sales business.
[Added 5-2-2005 by Ord. No. 05-6]
Property owners within close proximity to a stream shall be required to remove any trees and/or vegetation on their property that is determined by the Township to have a high probability of falling into said stream. "Close proximity" shall be defined and understood to be when the distance from the bank of a stream is less than the height of a potentially hazardous tree, or, when vegetation such as bushes, shrubs or underbrush are growing directly into the channel of a stream in a way that will disrupt the natural flow of the stream. Close proximity and a high probability of falling over or into a stream or stream bank shall be determined by the Township in its reasonable discretion and in consultation with either the Township Engineer or his designee; or a certified tree expert; or a certified landscape architect. This includes, but shall not be limited to, trees and/or vegetation that is dead, dying or diseased. If any tree and/or vegetation falls into a stream, the property owner from where the tree and/or vegetation was situated shall immediately remove same to eliminate the possibility of any backup causing the flow of the stream to be disrupted or dammed. The Township shall have the right to cause the removal of any trees and/or vegetation determined to have a high probability or falling into any stream or to cause the removal of any trees and/or vegetation which has fallen into a stream, the sole cost and expense of which shall be borne by the owner in accordance with the provisions of § 243-32, Enforcement provisions, of this article.
If any debris, building material or any other materials used to stabilize a stream bank falls into a stream, the property owner from where the debris or building material fell shall immediately remove said debris, building material or any other materials to eliminate the possibility of such debris, building material or any other materials causing a backup which would cause the flow of a stream to be disrupted or dammed as determined in the reasonable discretion of the Township Engineer or his designee. The Township shall have the right to cause the removal of any such debris, building material or any other materials causing a backup, disruption or damming of a stream, the sole cost and expense of which shall be borne by the owner in accordance with the provisions of § 243-32, Enforcement provisions, of this article.
Sump pump discharges. Drainage from foundations and/or sump pumps shall be discharged to a storm drain, approved watercourse or at grade. When discharged at grade, the point of discharge shall be at least 10 feet from any property line and shall not create a nuisance or safety hazard and shall not discharge at or through the face of any curb, in accordance with the provisions of N.J.A.C. 13.1.5., Foundation Drains. Where sump pumps discharge at grade on unpaved surfaces, the discharge pipe shall extend to a splash block or equivalent, which shall be designed to contain the discharge, reduce its velocity and avoid disturbing adjacent areas. Where necessary, the discharge pipe shall terminate with an elbow to direct the flow along the splash block. Splash blocks shall be at least 24 inches long.
[Added 5-2-2005 by Ord. No. 05-6]
Landscaping. Premises shall be kept landscaped, and lawns, trees, hedges and bushes shall be kept trimmed and kept from becoming overgrown. The overgrowth of grass, brush, hedges, bushes, shrubs, weeds, and other plant life and vegetation; the existence or presence of dead or dying trees, stumps, roots, grass and other dead or dying plant growths on any plot of land, lot, street, highway, right-of-way or any other public or private place which is deemed to be harmful to the public health or safety is hereby declared to be a nuisance and detrimental to the public health, safety and welfare. No owner of any plot of land, lot, street, highway, right-of-way or any other public or private place within the Township of North Brunswick shall cause, allow or permit a nuisance as declared herein to grow or exist thereupon.
[Added 6-2-2008 by Ord. No. 08-14; amended 2-17-2009 by Ord. No. 09-01]
Building and structure exteriors.
General. Every foundation, exterior wall, roof and other exterior surface shall be maintained in a workmanlike state of maintenance and repair.
Street numbers. Each building to which a street number has been assigned shall have the number so assigned displayed in a position easily observed and readable from the public right-of-way. All numbers shall be in Arabic figures at least three inches high and 1/2 inch wide.
Exterior walls. Every exterior wall shall be free of holes, breaks, loose or rotting boards or timbers and any other condition which might admit rain or dampness into the building interior. All exterior surface materials shall be maintained weatherproof and properly surface-coated. Said surface coatings shall not exhibit signs of deterioration, such as flaking, peeling, chipping or crumbling.
Additions and renovations. Structural additions and/or renovations to a building shall not be halted for a period to exceed 120 days if inappropriate surface materials, such as tar paper and plywood, are left exposed to view. Appropriate surface materials shall be applied.
Roofs and drainage. Roof water shall not be discharged in a manner that creates a public nuisance nor a nuisance to occupants of adjacent premises.
Decorative features. All cornices, entablature, belt courses, corbels, terra cotta trim and similar decorative features shall be maintained in good repair, with proper anchorage, and missing pieces shall be replaced.
Signs, canopies and awnings. All canopies, signs and awnings shall be maintained in good repair.
Stairs and porches. Every stair, porch and fire escape, as well as required handrails, shall be maintained free of hazardous conditions and in good repair.
Window and door frames. Every window, door and frame shall be maintained in good repair and in such relation to the adjacent wall construction so as to exclude rain and wind as completely as possible.
Projecting surfaces. Exterior surfaces or parts of buildings or structures containing sharp, rough or projecting surfaces or objects which might cause injury to persons coming in contact therewith shall be removed.
Exterior design and appearance. Any nonresidential use which is adjacent to or located across a local road from any residential use shall be consistent with the residential character of the neighborhood interims of exterior appearance.
Minimum required temperatures in rental dwellings. Every owner or operator of a dwelling who permits the dwelling to be occupied for rent under any agreement wherein the owner is responsible for furnishing heat shall comply with the following minimum heating standard:
From September 15 of each year to the next succeeding May 15, every unit of dwelling space and every habitable room therein shall be maintained at a temperature of at least 68° F. between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. and at least 65° F. between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
[Added 5-18-1998 by Ord. No. 98-6]
[Amended 7-6-1993; 5-21-2001 by Ord. No. 01-8; 2-18-2003 by Ord. No. 03-2; 7-6-2004 by Ord. No. 04-14]
Enforcement officer. It shall be the duty and responsibility of the Director of the Department of Community Development, or his designee, to enforce the provisions of this article as herein provided, except that § 243-31A(13) shall be concurrently enforced by the Director of the Department of Community Development, or his designee, and the Director of the Department of Public Safety or his designee.
[Amended 11-16-2006 by Ord. No. 06-28]
Inspection of premises. Inspections of premises and the issuing of orders in connection therewith under the provision of this article shall be the exclusive responsibility of the Enforcement Officer, as defined herein, or his designee. Whenever, in the opinion of the Enforcement Officer, or his designee, it shall become necessary or desirable to have inspections of any condition performed by another Township department, the Enforcement Officer, or his designee, shall arrange for such inspections to be performed. Orders for the correction of any violations under this article may be issued by the department head of the applicable inspecting department without the need for the express approval of the Enforcement Officer, although the Enforcement Officer shall be notified of the issuance of any such order for correction of any violations under this article by such other Township department.
Authorization to inspect. The Enforcement Officer, his designee, or the applicable Township department, pursuant to § 243-32C is authorized to enter any structure and/or premises at any reasonable time for the purpose of performing inspections under this article, provided that the Enforcement Officer, his designee, or the applicable inspecting party will attempt to secure permission to inspect the structure and/or premises from the owner, operator or occupant of the said structure and/or premises. When attempting to secure such permission, the Enforcement Officer, his designee, or the applicable inspecting party shall advise the owner, operator or occupant of the said structure and/or premises of their right to refuse to grant such permission to inspect. Should the owner, operator or occupant grant the right to inspect all parts of the structure and/or premises must be available and accessible for such inspections, and the owner, operator and occupant are required to provide the necessary arrangements to facilitate such inspections.
Residential properties. In the event there is no one available to give permission to inspect at a residential property or permission to inspect is denied, the Enforcement Officer, his designee, or the applicable inspecting party shall have the authority to enter onto the subject premises to the front and side of any structures on the premises up to the rear line of the primary structure; provided, however, that under no circumstances shall there be any entry onto any section of the premises which is fenced in or any entry into the structure without the consent or appropriate search warrant issued by a court of competent jurisdiction. Such inspections of residential properties shall be made during daylight hours commencing no later than 30 minutes before sunset or during hours when the structure and/or premises are open to the public, unless there is reason to believe that a violation exists of such a character that is deemed to be an immediate threat to the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Township of North Brunswick requiring inspection and abatement without delay.
Commercial properties. In the event there is no one available to give permission to inspect at a commercial property or permission to inspect is denied, the Enforcement Officer, his designee, or the applicable inspecting party shall have the authority to enter onto the subject premises to the front, side and rear of any structures on the premises and shall have the authority to inspect up to the rear line of the property itself; provided, however, that under no circumstances shall there be any entry onto any section of the premises which is fenced in or any entry into the structure without consent or the appropriate search warrant issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Application for search warrant. In the event that permission to inspect is denied, upon request, the Enforcement Officer, his designee, or the applicable inspecting party is hereby authorized and empowered to apply to any court of competent jurisdiction for a search warrant for any structure and/or premises subject to this article whenever necessary to inspect such structure and/or premises.
Whenever the Enforcement Officer determines that there is or has been a violation of any provision of this section, he may give a violation notice of such violation to the person, persons or entities responsible therefor. Such violation notice shall be in writing and shall include a concise statement of the reasons for its issuance. Such violation notice shall be deemed to be properly and sufficiently served if: a) a copy thereof is sent by certified mail and regular mail to the last known address of the person or entity upon which the same is served, as shown by the most recent tax records of the municipality; or b) a copy thereof is handed to said person or persons; or c) a copy thereof is left at the usual place of abode or office of said persons or entities. A violation notice shall be given as aforesaid within or without the municipality.
The violation notice shall also state that, unless the violation is abated, cured, prevented or desisted within the compliance period designated in the violation notice, exclusive of the date of service, the Township may issue a summons for the violation. The Enforcement Officer may extend the period for compliance with the requirements of this section in regard to the violation stated in the violation notice for a period in excess of the compliance period if, in his judgment, the abatement, removal, prevention, cessation or cure of the condition violated cannot reasonably be effected within the compliance period, and in such cases, the Enforcement Officer shall state such reasonably required extended period in the notice, which shall then be applicable instead of the aforesaid compliance period.
Repeat violations. Whenever any violation reoccurs within one year from the prior violation, or said person, persons, or entities violates a similar provision under this section, the Enforcement Officer may issue additional summonses without the necessity of an additional violation notice and cure period, such summons to be in writing and to include a concise statement of the reasons for its issuance. Such summons shall be deemed to be properly and sufficiently served if: a) copy thereof is sent by certified mail to the last known address of the person or entity upon which the same is served, as shown by the most recent tax records of the municipality; or b) a copy thereof is handed to said person or persons; or c) a copy thereof is left at the usual place of abode or office of said persons or entities. The summons shall be served as aforesaid within or without the municipality.
Continued violations. At the discretion of the Enforcement Officer, additional summonses may be served each and every day that the violation continues. Service of such summonses shall be in accordance with the provisions set forth hereinabove.
Abatement of violations by Township. Whenever any violation or nuisance, as defined under this section, is not removed and abated and/or any unsanitary or unhealthy condition in violation of this section is not corrected after notice, summons and hearing before the Municipal Court or Board of Health or other appropriate tribunal, as applicable, the Township may, either with Township equipment and labor or by contract with third parties, undertake to abate and cure such violation, nuisance and/or correct any such unsanitary or unhealthy condition or to generally put the premises in proper condition so as to comply with the requirements of this chapter. The remuneration of the Township's expenditure for such abatement, cure and/or removal shall be in accordance with the provisions of § 243-32F hereof.
Assessment for Township's cost of removal; lien. Where abatement of any nuisance, violation or offense, as defined herein, or correction of any unsanitary or unhealthy condition requires expenditure of the Township of North Brunswick monies therefor, in addition to other remedies provided by law, the Enforcement Officer or the Health Officer may, in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.12f, arrange for the cost of said abatement to be charged against the premises, and the amount thereof shall become a lien upon such lands and shall be added to and become and form part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon such lands, the same to bear interest at the same rate as taxes and shall be collected and enforced by the same officers in the same manner as taxes. Said amount shall bear interest at the same rate and shall be collected and enforced by the same officers and in the same manner as taxes. The Township shall have the right to bring a summary action for collection of such costs incurred in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County.
[Amended 5-2-2005 by Ord. No. 05-6]
Emergency conditions. Whenever the Enforcement Officer finds that an emergency condition in violation of this section exists, which condition requires immediate attention in order to protect the public health or safety, he may issue an order by service of violation notice as set forth in Subsection D, reciting the existence of such an emergency condition and requiring that such action be taken by the violator as soon as is reasonably necessary to meet the emergency. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section to the contrary, such order shall be effective immediately. Failure to abate the emergency condition immediately may result in the municipality exercising its powers under § 243-32E hereof.
Enforcement of loading/unloading and truck-idling restrictions.
Upon receipt of a complaint relative to truck idling during the hours of 8:30 am. to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, the Enforcement Officer or his designee shall respond to the complainant to observe the violation from said location and/or site of the violation itself.
Upon receipt of a formal complaint relative to truck loading/unloading or truck idling during the hours of 4:00 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. Monday to Friday, or on weekends, the Department of Public Safety will respond to the complainant to observe the violation and/or to the site of the violation itself. The Department of Public Safety will prepare and file an incident report as to the violation of this chapter with the Department of Community Development within 48 hours.
All violations of § 243-31A may result in the Enforcement Officer and/or Department of Public Safety issuing a violations notice to the building occupant and/or operator of the vehicle.
Penalties for violations of § 243-31A shall be as follows:
For a first offense, a minimum fine of $100 shall be imposed.
For a second offense, a minimum fine of $500 shall be imposed.
For a third offense, a minimum fine of $1,000 shall be imposed.
Any person or business convicted of violating § 243-31A within one year of the date of a previous violation of the same provision, and who was fined for the previous violation, shall pay an additional fine as a repeat offender. The additional fine imposed by the court upon a person for a repeated offense shall not be less than the minimum or exceed the maximum fine fixed for a violation of this article, but shall be calculated separately from the fine imposed for the initial violation of this article.
[Amended 7-6-2004 by Ord. No. 04-14]
Any person or entity who shall violate any of the provisions of this article or any order promulgated hereunder shall, after a summons is issued under the terms hereof; be punished as follows:
For a first offense, by a fine of not less than $100 and not to exceed $250.
For a second offense within two years of any prior conviction under this chapter, by a fine not less than $250 and not to exceed $500.
For a third offense or any subsequent offenses within 10 years of any prior conviction under this chapter, by a fine of not less than $500 and not to exceed $1,250 or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed 90 days, or both fine and imprisonment. Each violation of any of the provisions of this article and each day that each such violation shall continue shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense.