Township of Cinnaminson, NJ
Burlington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Cinnaminson 11-8-1955 (Sec. 2.48 of the 1995 Code); amended in its entirety 9-17-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-13. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Vacant buildings — See Ch. 193.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 220.
Housing standards — See Ch. 315.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 405.
The following terms whenever used or referred to in this chapter shall have the following respective meanings for the purpose of this chapter unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
BUILDING
Any building or structure or part thereof used and occupied for human habitation or intended to be so used, and includes any appurtenances belonging thereto or usually enjoyed therewith.
GOVERNING BODY
The Township Committee of the Township of Cinnaminson.
OWNER
The holder of the title in fee simple, or the agent in charge of the collection of the rents, issues or profits for said owner.
PARTIES IN INTEREST
All individuals, associations and corporations who have interest in buildings and any who are in possession thereof, including but not limited to the person or entity named on the Tax Assessor list of property owners or the person who is charged with the responsibility for the payment of property taxes.
[Amended 1-24-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-2]
Any building which now exists or which thereafter may exist which is unfit for human habitation due to dilapidation, defects increasing the hazards of fire, accidents or other calamities, lack of ventilation, light or sanitary facilities or due to other conditions rendering such dwelling unsafe or unsanitary or dangerous or detrimental to the health or safety or otherwise inimical to the welfare of the residents of the Township of Cinnaminson shall be repaired, closed or demolished in accordance with the provisions herein provided.
[Amended 1-24-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-2; 2-4-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-3; 2-23-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-1]
The Construction Code Official, the Zoning Official and/or the Superintendent of Public Works for the Township of Cinnaminson are hereby designated as the public officers and shall have the authority to exercise the powers herein provided.
[Amended 2-4-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-3; 2-23-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-1]
A. 
Whenever a petition is filed with either the Construction Code Official, the Zoning Official or the Superintendent of Public Works by a public authority or by a least five residents of the municipality charging that any building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use, or whenever it appears to the Construction Official, the Zoning Officer or the Superintendent of Public Works on their own motion, that any building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use, the Construction Official, the Zoning Officer or the Superintendent of Public Works shall, if the preliminary investigation discloses a basis for such charges, issue and cause to be served upon the owner of and parties in interest in such building a complaint stating the charges in that respect and containing a notice that a hearing will be held before the Construction Official, the Zoning Officer or the Superintendent of Public Works at a place therein fixed not less than seven days nor more than 30 days after the service of said complaint; that the owner and parties in interest shall be given the right to file an answer to the complaint and to appear in person or otherwise and give testimony at the place and time fixed in the complaint; and that the rules of evidence prevailing in the court of the State of New Jersey shall not be controlling in hearings before the Construction Official, the Zoning Officer or the Superintendent of Public Works.
B. 
If, after such notice and hearings, the Construction Official, the Zoning Officer or the Superintendent of Public Works determines that the building under consideration is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use, he or she shall state the findings of fact in support of such determination and shall issue and cause to be served upon the owners thereof and parties in interest an order requiring the repair, alteration or improvement of said buildings to be made by the owner, within a reasonable time, which time shall be set forth in the order, or, at the option of the owner, to vacate or have said building vacated and closed within the time set forth in the order; and if the building is in such a condition as to make it dangerous to the health and safety of persons on or near the premises and the owner fails to repair, alter or improve said building within the time specified in the order, then the owner shall be required to remove or demolish said building within reasonable time as specified in said order of removal.
C. 
If the owner fails to comply with an order to repair, alter or improve or, at the option of the owner, to vacate and close the building, the Construction Official, the Zoning Officer or the Superintendent of Public Works may cause such building to be repaired, altered or improved or to be vacated and closed. The Zoning Officer or the Superintendent of Public Works may cause to be posted on the main entrance of any building so closed a placard with the following words: "THIS BUILDING IS UNFIT FOR HUMAN HABITATION OR OCCUPANCY OR USE; THE USE OR OCCUPATION OF THIS BUILDING IS PROHIBITED AND UNLAWFUL."
D. 
If the owner fails to comply with an order to remove or demolish the building, the Construction Official, the Zoning Officer or the Superintendent of Public Works may cause such building to be removed or demolished or may contract for the removal or demolition thereof after advertisement for and receipt of bids thereof.
E. 
The amount of the cost of the filing of legal papers, expert witnesses' fees, search fees and advertising charges, incurred in the course of any proceedings taken under this chapter determined in favor of the municipality, and the cost of such repair, alterations or improvements, or vacating and closing or removal or demolition, if any, or the amount of the balance thereof remaining after deduction of the sum, if any, realized from the sale of material derived from such building or from any contract for removal or demolition thereof, shall be a municipal lien against the real property upon which such cost was incurred. If the building is removed or demolished by the Construction Official, the Zoning Officer or the Superintendent of Public Works, he or she shall sell the materials of such building. There shall be credited against the cost of removal or demolition thereof, including the clearance and, if necessary, leveling of the site, the proceeds of any sale of such materials or any sums derived from any contracts for the removal or demolition of the building. If there are no such credits or if the sum total of such costs exceeds the total of such credit, a detailed statement of aforesaid costs and the amount so due shall be filed with the Municipal Tax Assessor or other custodian of the records of tax liens, and a copy thereof shall be forthwith forwarded to the owner by registered mail. If the total of the credit exceeds such cost, the balance remaining shall be deposited in the Superior Court by the Construction Official, the Zoning Officer or the Superintendent of Public Works and shall be secured in such a manner as may be directed by such Court, and shall be disbursed according to the order or judgment of the Court to the person found to be entitled thereto by final order or judgment of such Court. Any owner or party in interest may, within 30 days of the date of the filing of the lien certificate, proceed in a summary manner in the Superior Court to contest the reasonableness of the amount or the accuracy of the costs set forth in the municipal lien certificate.
F. 
If an actual and immediate danger to life is posed by the threatened collapse of any fire-damaged or other structurally unsafe building, the Construction Official, the Zoning Officer or the Superintendent of Public Works may, after taking such measures as may be necessary to make such building temporarily safe, seek a judgment in summary proceedings for demolition thereof. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to impair or limit in any way the power of the municipality to define and declare nuisances and to cause their removal or abatement, by summary proceedings or otherwise, nor is anything in this chapter intended to limit the authority of the enforcing agency or Construction Official under the State Uniform Construction Code Act, N.J.S.A. 52:27D-119 et seq., or any rules and regulations adopted thereunder.
[Amended 2-4-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-3; 2-23-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-1]
The Construction Code Official, the Zoning Officer or the Superintendent of Public Works may determine that a building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use if it finds that conditions exist in such building which are dangerous or injurious to the health and safety of the occupants of such buildings, the occupants of neighboring buildings or other residents of the Township of Cinnaminson; such conditions may include the following without limiting the generality of the foregoing: defects increasing the hazards of fire, accident or other calamities; lack of adequate ventilation, light or sanitary facilities; dilapidation; disrepair; structural defects; unseemliness; failure to comply with the requirements of the Building Code or the certificate of occupancy.
[Amended 2-4-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-3; 2-23-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-1]
Complaints and orders issued by the Construction Code Official, the Zoning Officer or the Superintendent of Public Works pursuant to this chapter shall be served upon persons either personally or by registered mail, but if the whereabouts of such person is unknown and the same cannot be ascertained by the Zoning Officer or the Superintendent of Public Works in the exercise of reasonable diligence, and the Construction Code Official, the Zoning Officer or the Superintendent of Public Works shall make an affidavit to that effect, then the serving of such complaint or order upon such person may be made by publishing the same in a newspaper printed and published in the municipality or, in the absence of such newspaper, in one printed and published in the county and circulating in the municipality in which the buildings are located. A copy of such complaint or order shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises affected by the complaint or order. A copy of such complaint or order shall be duly recorded or lodged for record with the County Clerk of Burlington County.
[Amended 2-4-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-3; 2-23-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-1]
Any owner or party in interest aggrieved by an order issued by the Construction Code Official, the Zoning Officer or the Superintendent of Public Works under this chapter may, within 10 days after the posting and service of such order, file an appeal to the Township Committee of the Township of Cinnaminson seeking to vacate, amend or modify the order of the Construction Code Official, the Zoning Officer or the Superintendent of Public Works. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the right of any person to bring an action for injunctive relief as provided in § 189-8.
[Amended 2-4-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-3; 2-23-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-1]
Any person aggrieved by an order issued by the Construction Code Official, the Zoning Officer or the Superintendent of Public Works under this chapter may, within 30 days after the posting and service of such order, bring an action for injunctive relief to restrain the Construction Code Official, the Zoning Officer or the Superintendent of Public Works from carrying out the provisions of the order and for any other appropriate relief. The Court may proceed in the action in a summary manner or otherwise. The remedy herein provided shall be exclusive, and no person affected by an order of the Construction Code Official, the Zoning Officer or the Superintendent of Public Works shall be entitled to recover any damages for action taken pursuant thereto or because of noncompliance of any person with any order of the Construction Code Official, the Zoning Officer or the Superintendent of Public Works.
The Township of Cinnaminson is hereby authorized to make appropriations for equipment, personnel or supplies necessary for periodic examination and investigation of buildings in the Township for the purpose of determining the fitness of such buildings for human habitation and for the enforcement and administration by the provisions of this chapter from its revenues as it may deem necessary for this purpose and may accept and apply grants or donations to assist it in carrying out the provisions of this chapter.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to abrogate or impair the powers of any department or official of the Township of Cinnaminson to enforce any provision of its Charter or its ordinances or regulations nor to prevent or punish violations thereof, and the powers conferred by this chapter of the Township of Cinnaminson or the statutes of the State of New Jersey.