Borough of Mountain Lakes, NJ
Morris County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Mountain Lakes 11-12-2002 by Ord. No. 27-02.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Unsafe buildings — See Ch. 95.
Environmental factors — See Ch. 102.
Fertilizer — See Ch. 115.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 120.
Hazardous materials — See Ch. 128.
Littering — See Ch. 142.
Solid waste — See Ch. 200.
Shade trees — See Ch. 223.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also superseded former Ch. 182, Property Maintenance, which consisted of the following: Art. I, Cutting of Brush and Hedges, adopted 6-23-1980 as Sec. 3-9 of the 1980 Code; and Art. II, Property Maintenance Code, adopted by Ord. No. 4-90, as amended by Ord. No. 16-95.

§ 182-1 Duty of owner or tenant.

The owner or tenant of lands lying within the limits of the Borough shall keep all brush, hedges and other plant life growing within 10 feet of any roadway and within 25 feet of the intersection of two or more roadways cut to a height of not more than 2 1/2 feet, where the Borough Manager shall deem it necessary and expedient for the preservation of public safety.

§ 182-2 Notice to owner or tenant.

After a determination by the Borough Police Chief or the Code Enforcement Official that it is necessary and expedient for the preservation of public safety to cut brush, hedges or other plant life, 10 days' notice shall be given by the Borough Police Chief or the Code Enforcement Official, in writing, by mail or personal service, to the owner or tenant, notifying him of the determination.

§ 182-3 Removal by Borough; costs established as a lien.

A. 
If the owner or tenant shall fail to cut the brush, hedges or other plant life within 10 days after the giving of notice, the cutting shall be done by the Department of Public Works.
B. 
The Director of Public Works shall certify the cost thereof to the Borough Manager at its next regular meeting thereafter. The Manager shall examine the certificate and, if found to be correct, shall cause the cost, as shown thereon, to be charged against the lands. In the event such cost is found to be excessive by the Manager, the Manager shall cause a reasonable cost therefor to be charged against the lands. The amount so charged shall forthwith become a lien on the lands and shall be added to and become and form a part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon the lands and shall bear interest at the same rate as other taxes and be collected and enforced by the same officers and in the same manner as taxes.

§ 182-4 Title.

This article shall be known as the "Property Maintenance Code" of the Borough of Mountain Lakes.

§ 182-5 Findings; declaration of policy.

It is hereby found and determined that there exist in the Borough of Mountain Lakes structures used for residential and nonresidential use which are or may become in the future substandard with respect to structure, equipment or maintenance. It is further found that conditions of the above-described property, including but not limited to structural deterioration, lack of maintenance and appearance of the exterior of premises, infestation, lack of essential heating, plumbing, storage of refrigeration equipment, lack of maintenance or upkeep of essential utilities and facilities, existence of fire hazards, inadequate provisions for light and air, unsanitary conditions and overcrowding, constitute a menace to the health, safety, morals, welfare and reasonable comfort of the citizens and inhabitants of the Borough of Mountain Lakes. The Borough Council of the Borough Mountain Lakes further finds and declares that, by reason of lack of maintenance and the existence of progressive deterioration, certain properties have the further effect and/or the further potential effect of creating blighted conditions that, if the same are not curtailed and removed, the aforesaid conditions will grow and spread and will necessitate in time the expenditure of large amounts of public funds to correct and eliminate the same and that, by reason of timely regulation and restrictions as herein contained, the growth of depressed areas, slums and blight may be prevented. It is further found that such prevention will maintain neighborhood and property values, as well as the desirability and amenities of residential and nonresidential uses; and it is further found that such prevention will protect and foster the public health, safety and welfare.

§ 182-6 Purposes.

The purposes of this Property Maintenance Code are as follows:
A. 
To protect the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Mountain Lakes by establishing minimum standards governing the maintenance, appearance, conditions and occupancy of property.
B. 
To authorize and establish procedures for the enforcement of this code.
C. 
To fix certain responsibilities and duties upon owners and operators and distinct and separate responsibilities and duties upon occupants; to authorize and establish procedures for the inspection of residential and nonresidential premises.
D. 
To fix penalties for the violations of this code.

§ 182-7 Definitions.

The following terms, wherever used herein or referred to in this code, shall have the respected meanings assigned to them, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context. All definitions of the BOCA Basic Building Code are hereby included.
DETERIORATION
The condition of a building or structure or part thereof characterized by holes, breaks, rot, crumbling, cracking, peeling, rusting or other evidence of physical decay or neglect, lack of maintenance or excessive use.
EXPOSED TO PUBLIC VIEW
Any premises or any part thereof of any building or structure or any part thereof which may be lawfully viewed by the public or any member thereof.
EXTERIOR OF THE PREMISES
Open space on the premises outside of any building located thereon.
EXTERMINATION
The control and elimination of insects, rodents and vermin.
GARBAGE
Putrescible and vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and/or consumption of food. (See also "refuse" and "rubbish.")
HABITABLE ROOMS
Rooms used or designed for use by one or more persons for living or sleeping or cooking and eating, but not including bathrooms, water-closet compartments, home laundries, serving and storage pantries, corridors, foyers, vestibules, cellars, heater rooms, boiler rooms or utility rooms. Other rooms or spaces that are not used frequently or for an extended period of time or have less than 50 square feet of interior floor area shall not be considered as habitable rooms.
INFESTATION
The presence of insects, rodents, vermin or other pests on the premises which constitute a health hazard either to the occupants of the premises and/or to surrounding properties and/or residents.
MIXED OCCUPANCY
Any building containing one or more dwelling units or rooming units and also having a portion thereof devoted to non-dwelling uses or as a motel.
A. 
Any public nuisance recognized in common law or in equity jurisprudence or as provided by the statutes of the State of New Jersey or the ordinances of the Borough of Mountain Lakes.
B. 
Any attractive nuisance which may prove detrimental to the health or safety of children, whether in a building, on the exterior of premises or upon an unoccupied lot. Attractive nuisances include but are not limited to: abandoned wells, shafts, basements, excavations, abandoned swimming pools, abandoned ice boxes and/or refrigerators, motor vehicles, any structurally unsound fences or structures, lumber, trash, fences, debris or vegetation such as poison ivy, oak or sumac which may prove hazardous for inquisitive minors.
C. 
Physical conditions dangerous to human life or detrimental to the health of persons on or near the premises where the conditions exist.
D. 
Overcrowding of a room with occupants in violation of the State Fire Code.
E. 
Inadequate or unsanitary sewage or plumbing facilities in violation of this code.
F. 
Unsanitary conditions or anything offensive to the senses or dangerous to health in violation of this code.
G. 
Whatever renders air, food or drink unwholesome or detrimental to the health of human beings.
H. 
Fire hazards, which shall include but not be limited to the maintenance and/or storage of combustible materials, the maintenance and/or storage of flammable chemicals and/or the maintenance of an uncontrolled open fire.
OPERATOR
Any person who has charge, care or control of a dwelling or premises or any part thereof, whether with or without the knowledge and consent of the owner.
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 who shall have charge, care or control of any dwelling unit as owner or agent of the owner or as executor, executrix, administrator, administrative trustee, receiver or guardian of the estate or as a mortgagee in possession, regardless of how such possession was obtained. Any person who is a lessee subletting or assigning any part of any dwelling or dwelling unit 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.
PARTIES IN INTEREST
All individuals, associations and corporations who have interest of record in a building and any who are in actual possession thereof.
PREMISES
A lot, plot or parcel of land, including the buildings or structures thereon.
PUBLIC OFFICER
Any officer who is in charge of any department or branch of the government of the Borough of Mountain Lakes, County of Morris or State of New Jersey, relating to health, fire, building regulations or to other activities concerning buildings in the Borough. Includes but not limited to Borough Manager, Code Enforcement Official, Police Chief, Health Officer and Construction Official.
REFUSE
All putrescible and nonputrescible solid waste (except body waste), including but not limited to garbage, rubbish, ashes, street cleanings, dead animals, abandoned automobiles and solid market and industrial wastes. (See also "garbage" and "rubbish.")
RUBBISH
Nonputrescible solid waste consisting of both combustible and noncombustible wastes, such as paper, wrappings, cigarettes, cardboard, tin cans, yard clippings, leaves, wood, glass, bedding, crockery and similar materials. (See also "garbage" and "refuse.")
VEHICLE
A machine propelled by other than human power, designed to travel along the ground by use of wheels, treads, runners or slides and to transport persons or property or pull machinery, including an automobile, truck, trailer, motorcycle, tractor, buggy, wagon, lawn mower and boats.

§ 182-8 Effect on other ordinances and regulations.

Nothing in this article shall be construed to abrogate or impair the powers of the Borough of Mountain Lakes to enforce any provisions of its ordinances or regulations or prevent or punish violations thereof, and the power conferred by this article shall be in addition to and supplemental to the powers conferred by any other law or ordinance.

§ 182-9 Multiple dwellings.

A. 
The term "multiple dwelling" shall have the same meaning as set forth at length in N.J.S.A. 55:13A-3(k), and the aforesaid definition of "multiple dwelling" is incorporated herein by reference.
B. 
Property maintenance for multiple dwellings shall be regulated and governed by the Regulations for Maintenance of Hotels and Multiple Dwellings, N.J.A.C. 5:10-1.1 et seq., which regulations are hereby adopted by the Borough of Mountain Lakes and incorporated herein by reference.
C. 
Copies of the Regulations for Maintenance of Hotels and Multiple Dwellings shall be on file in the offices of the Borough Clerk and the Board of Health and shall be available for inspection upon request.
D. 
The procedures governing the inspection of multiple dwellings and the enforcement of violations shall be as set forth in the Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Law, N.J.S.A. 55:13A-1 et seq., and the Regulations for Maintenance of Hotels and Multiple Dwellings, N.J.A.C. 5:10-1.1 et seq.

§ 182-10 Property other than multiple dwellings.

A. 
All structures and premises in the Borough of Mountain Lakes shall be kept free of all the following conditions:
(1) 
Broken glass, excessive brush, weeds, stumps and roots, obnoxious growth, filth, garbage, trash, refuse and debris.
(2) 
Dead and dying trees, limbs or other natural growths which by reason of rotting, deteriorating conditions, storm damage or weathering constitute a hazard to persons in the vicinity thereof. Trees shall be kept pruned and trimmed to prevent such conditions.
(3) 
Loose and overhanging objects and accumulations of ice and snow which by reason of location above ground level constitute a danger of falling on persons in the vicinity thereof.
(4) 
Holes, excavations, breaks, projections, obstructions, icy conditions and other safety hazards of walks, driveways, parking lots, parking areas and other parts of the premises which are accessible to and used by persons on the premises. All such holes and excavations shall be filled and repaired, walks and steps replaced and other conditions removed where necessary to eliminate safety hazards or unsanitary conditions.
(5) 
Sources of infestation or potential infestation by rodents, mosquitoes, flies and other harmful vermin.
B. 
The exterior of every structure or accessory structure, including fences, shall be maintained in good repair, and all surfaces thereof shall be kept painted and finished where necessary for purposes of preservation and appearance. The same shall be maintained free of broken glass, loose shingles, crumbling stone or brick, excessive peeling of paint or other conditions reflecting weathering, deterioration or inadequate maintenance, to the end that the property itself may be preserved, safety and fire hazards eliminated and adjoining properties in the neighborhood protected from blighting influences.
C. 
There shall not be stored or used, at a location visible from the sidewalk, streets or other public areas, equipment and materials relating to commercial or industrial uses unless permitted under Chapter 245, Zoning, of this Code for the particular premises.
D. 
Natural vegetation, landscaping, lawns, hedges and bushes shall not be allowed to become overgrown and unsightly where exposed to public view.
E. 
Receptacles for garbage and recyclables shall be stored in the back or side yards. They may be stored in the garage and placed in front of the garage on the day of the regularly scheduled pickup. Receptacles are not to be placed at the curb of Borough roadways.
F. 
All parts of the premises shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition, free of nuisances and free of health, safety and fire hazards.
G. 
Adequate runoff drains shall be provided and maintained to eliminate any recurrent or excessive accumulations of stormwater.
H. 
Vehicles and other items of personal property stored outdoors shall be maintained free of broken glass, excessive peeling of paint, or other conditions reflecting excessive weathering, deterioration, or inadequate maintenance. These items shall be stored in such a manner that safety and fire hazards are eliminated and adjoining properties in the neighborhood are protected from blighting influences.
[Added 10-12-2016 by Ord. No. 08-16]

§ 182-11 Enforcing agent.

The provisions of this article shall be enforced by the Borough Health Officer, Construction Official, Police Chief and Code Enforcement Official, who shall be referred to herein as the "enforcing agent."

§ 182-12 Enforcement procedure.

A. 
Where a violation of this article or the regulations hereunder is found to exist, a written notice from the enforcing agent shall be served upon the owner responsible for correcting such condition. The notice shall contain the following:
(1) 
An identification of the conditions constituting the violation.
(2) 
The necessary corrective actions.
(3) 
A reasonable time period, not to exceed 10 days, to correct or abate the violation.
B. 
The enforcing agent may extend the time for correction and abatement of any violation of this article for a period, not to exceed 30 days, except where major capital improvement or renovations are involved, in which case the time for completion may be extended for such a period of time as the enforcing officer may deem reasonably adequate.
C. 
Any owner or occupant to whom the enforcement of the provisions of this article presents an extreme hardship may, upon receipt of the notice of violation pursuant to Subsection A, apply in writing to the Borough Manager for a waiver of the provisions of this article.

§ 182-13 Violations and penalties.

A. 
A violation of this article by failure to comply with an order entered by the enforcing agent pursuant to § 182-12 shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 for each violation committed hereunder. Each violation of a different section of this code shall constitute a separate and distinct violation independent of any other section. Each day's failure to comply with any provision of this code shall constitute a separate violation.
B. 
After initial notification, any subsequent violation of any subsection of the article will be considered to be in violation and shall be subject to a summons without further notification. All notifications are considered for a two-year period after the initial notification.