[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Florence as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Animals — See Ch. 41.
Brush, grass and weeds — See Ch. 56.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 64.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 76.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 79.
Housing — See Ch. 87.
Land development — See Ch. 91.
Littering — See Ch. 95.
Public health nuisances — See Ch. 104.
Soil removal — See Ch. 120.
Solid waste — See Ch. 122.
Article I Standards and Inspections
Article II Property Maintenance by Creditors
[Adopted 5-1-1991 by Ord. No. 1991-7]
This chapter shall be known as the "Property Maintenance Code of the Township of Florence" and may be referred to in this chapter as the "Property Maintenance Code."
The purpose of this chapter is to:
Protect the public health, safety and welfare by establishing minimum standards governing maintenance, appearance, condition and occupancy of rental units and residential resale properties, commercial and industrial properties.
Avoid, prevent and eliminate maintenance or creation of hazards to the public
Prevent the creation, continuation, extension or aggravation of blight.
Prevent and eliminate physical conditions in or on property which constitute nuisances and are potentially dangerous or hazardous to the life, health or safety of persons on or near the premises where such conditions exist.
Establish minimum standards governing the maintenance and condition of land, buildings, structures and premises in the township.
Fix responsibility and duties upon owners, lessees, operators and occupants of property.
Provide enforcement and administration and fix penalties.
All existing dwelling units, commercial and industrial properties not covered by resale and rental unit inspections will be included for exterior inspections only.
The following terms, wherever used herein, shall have the respective meanings assigned them hereunder unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
- ACCESSORY STRUCTURE
- A building or use that is on the same lot as, subordinate to, under the same ownership as or control of and used for the purpose customarily incident to the use of the main structure.
- Any building which contains one (1) or more dwelling units used, intended or designed to be built, used, rented, leased, let or hired out to be occupied or which are occupied for living purposes.
- DWELLING UNIT
- A single unit providing complete independent living facilities for one (1) or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation.
- EXPOSED TO PUBLIC VIEW
- Any premises or any part of any premises which may be lawfully viewed by the public or any member thereof.
- EXTERIOR OF THE PREMISES
- Those portions of a building which are exposed to public view or are visible from adjoining or adjacent lots and the open space of any premises outside of any building erected thereon.
- The control and elimination of insects, rodents and vermin.
- An individual or two (2) or more persons related by blood, marriage or law, living together in a dwelling unit. Servants having common housekeeping facilities with a family consisting of an individual or two (2) or more persons related by blood, marriage or law are a part of the family for this chapter.
- FRONT YARD
- The space on the same lot with a principal building situated between the front street line or lines and the front line of the building projected to the side property lines. The depth of the front yard shall be measured along a line perpendicular to the front street line from the furthest point of the foundation of the structure or building furthest from such street line.
- Includes the leasing, rental or other granting of occupancy for any period of time where title to the residential unit is not transferred to the actual occupant at the time such occupancy commences.
- A. Any public or private condition that would constitute a nuisance according to the statutes, laws and regulations of the State of New Jersey, its governmental agencies or the ordinances of the township.
- B. An unattractive nuisance or physical condition which proves detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the persons whether in a building, on the premises of a building or upon an unoccupied lot. This includes, but is not limited to, abandoned wells, shafts, basements, excavations, abandoned iceboxes, 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 a hazard.
- C. Any premises which is manifestly capable of being a fire hazard or unsecured as to endanger life, limb or property;
- D. Any structure or building that is in a state of dilapidation, deterioration or decay, faulty construction, overcrowded, open, vacant or abandoned, damaged by fire to the extent as not to provide shelter, in danger of collapse or failure and is dangerous to anyone on or near the premises.
- Any person residing, living or sleeping in or on the premises or having actual possession or use of the premises or any part thereof, whether or not the owner thereof and regardless of the duration of time of such possession or use.
- Any person, persons or entity who is not the owner who has charge, care or control of a premises or part thereof, with or without the knowledge, consent or authority of the owner.
- Any person or group who has legal or equitable title to any premises, including executors, administrators, trustees, receivers, guardians or mortgagees in possession.
- A lot, plot or parcel of land, including the buildings or structures thereon.
- RESIDENTIAL RENTAL UNIT
- Any building or part thereof, whether furnished or unfurnished, which is occupied or intended, arranged or designed to be occupied for sleeping or living purposes by one (1) or more persons, and shall include all privileges, services, furnishings, furniture, equipment, facilities and improvements connected with the use or occupancy thereof.
- Anything that is built or constructed and affixed on or under the ground or upon another structure or building.
No owner, owner of rental properties, agent of owner, real estate agent or broker, firm, company, partnership, corporation or person or persons shall sell, rent, transfer, grant, lease, let, mortgage with right of occupancy or otherwise dispose of the ownership or occupancy thereof, whether or not for a consideration and whether such disposal of ownership or occupancy is temporary or permanent, any residential dwelling unit, motel, apartment, rental unit or premises on which a building is located and is used for human occupancy or commercial purposes unless a continued certificate of occupancy (CCO), certifying that the building and premises are in compliance with all ordinances of the Township of Florence, shall first be obtained from the Construction Code Official or the appropriate official as designated by the governing body of the Township of Florence. Such a continued certificate of occupancy (CCO) shall be granted or denied within three (3) days from the day of the application for same.
The Construction Code Official, or the appropriate official as designated by the governing body of the Township of Florence, shall cause to be prepared appropriate application forms for such continued certificate of occupancy (CCO), which forms shall be available at the office of the Construction Code Official.
The Construction Code Official, or the appropriate official as designated by the governing body, shall also cause to be prepared appropriate forms of such continued certificate of occupancy (CCO).
A charge of $120 to cover the cost of initial inspection requirements in connection with such application shall be paid to the Construction Code Official, or the appropriate official as designated by the governing body, at the time the application is filed and shall not be refundable. The fee shall include one reinspection where required.
[Amended 12-17-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-21]
Where additional inspections are required to ensure compliance, there shall be an additional charge of $35 for the second reinspection; $50 for the third reinspection and $100 for the fourth and any subsequent reinspection.
[Amended 12-17-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-21]
Where the inspection is for a property owned and occupied by a senior citizen, 62 years old or older, the inspection and reinspection fees shall be waived.
[Amended 12-17-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-21]
Negotiation for repairs prior to selling a property or the issuance of a continued certificate of occupancy (CCO) is at the discretion of the Construction Code Official, or the appropriate official as designated by the governing body of the Township of Florence, with the owner and potential buyer in agreement. Agreements will be in writing and will follow the requirements under § 116-18 of this chapter.
Every resale of a residential unit and nonresidential building, structure, rental unit, lot and the premises or part of the premises on which they are situated in the Township of Florence, all properties previously or presently used or intended to be used for dwelling, public, professional or industrial occupancy, commercial, research, recreational, service, transportation, institutional, religious or charitable use or uses accessory thereto shall comply with the provisions of this chapter. Vacant lots, vacant buildings and lands and premises are also required to comply with the provisions of this chapter; provided, however, that the provisions of this chapter are not intended to interfere with the otherwise lawful and permitted operation (pursuant to state law or township ordinance) of a business in the zoning district or those which, by virtue of application of the New Jersey Land Use Act, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq., may continue.
In any case where the provisions of this chapter impose a higher standard than those set forth in any other ordinance or regulation of the Township of Florence or under the laws or regulations of the State of New Jersey or its agencies, then the standards as set forth herein shall prevail, but if the provisions of this chapter impose a lower standard than any other ordinance or regulation of the Township of Florence or of the laws and regulations of the State of New Jersey or any of its agencies, then the higher standard contained in such other ordinances, regulation or law shall prevail.
Compliance with this chapter shall not constitute a defense against any violation of any other ordinance of the Township of Florence applicable to any structure or premises.
Owners, operators and occupants shall have all the duties and responsibilities as prescribed in this chapter, and no owner, operator or occupant shall be relieved of any such duty, obligation or responsibility hereunder and shall not be entitled to assert as a defense against any charge made against them for violation of this chapter for the fact that another owner, operator or occupant or any third person or entity is also responsible and in violation thereof.
Any alterations to buildings, structures or appurtenances thereto or changes of use therein which may be caused directly or indirectly by the enforcement of this chapter shall be done in accordance with all applicable sections and regulations of Chapter 64, Construction Codes, Uniform, of the Code of the Township of Florence.
Nothing contained in this chapter or any requirement of compliance herewith shall be deemed to alter, impair or affect the application of Chapter 91, Land Development, or other ordinances regulating the use of land in the Township of Florence.
It shall be the duty and responsibility of the owner, operator or occupant of the premises to comply with any and all of the requirements and standards hereof, to keep the premises free of conditions which constitute violations hereof and to promptly remove, prevent and/or abate such conditions and violations.
Dwellings or multifamily dwellings shall be condemned as dangerous structures or unsafe for human habitation as herein provided:
Dangerous structures. If all or part of any building or structure (including signs) or the equipment for the operation thereof (including, among others, the heating system, plumbing, electric wiring, moving stairway and fire extinguishing apparatus) shall be found, in the opinion of the Construction Code Official, or the appropriate official as designated by the governing body, to be in an unsafe condition or dangerous to life, limb or property, he shall proceed to have the same condemned pursuant to the application provisions of the law pertaining to unsafe structures.
Structures unfit for human occupancy.
Whenever the Construction Code Official, or the appropriate official as designated by the governing body, finds that any dwelling constitutes a hazard to the safety, health or welfare of the occupants or to the public because it lacks maintenance; or is in disrepair, unsanitary, vermin infested or rodent infested; or because it lacks sanitary facilities or equipment or otherwise fails to comply with the minimum provisions of this chapter, but has not yet reached such state of complete disrepair as to be condemned as a dangerous structure as hereinbefore provided, he may declare such dwelling, multifamily dwelling or rental unit as unfit for human occupancy.
If any dwelling, rental unit or multifamily dwelling or any part thereof is occupied by more occupants than permitted under this chapter or was erected, altered or occupied contrary to law, such dwelling, rental unit or multifamily dwelling shall be deemed an unlawful structure and the Construction Code Official, or the appropriate official as designated by the governing body, may cause such dwelling to be vacated. It shall be unlawful to again occupy such dwelling until it or its occupants, as the case may be, has conformed to the law.
Vacant buildings. Where for any reason a building remains vacant or untended for a period of one hundred twenty (120) days, or other than for sale, it shall be the duty of the owner to close all windows, doors and other openings with plywood or by other suitable means so that access to the building is prevented. It shall be unlawful for the owner of any such dwelling to cause or permit same to be used in whole or in part for living purposes until the structure has been rehabilitated in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and a continued certificate of occupancy (CCO) has been issued by the Construction Code Official, or the appropriate official as designated by the governing body. Whenever a structure deemed unfit for human habitation or dangerous to life and health remains vacant for a period of one (1) year, enforcement proceedings shall be instituted against the owner. The owner or contractor shall not enter vacant buildings without written authorization from the Construction Code Official or the appropriate official as designated by the governing body. Entrance to said building shall be daily from the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern standard time and 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daylight saving time.
Posting of notice. Any dwelling or multifamily dwelling declared as unfit for human habitation shall be posted with a placard by the Construction Code Official or the appropriate official as designated by the governing body. The placard shall include the following:
Name of the Township.
[Amended 12-1-1993 by Ord. No. 1993-32]
The name of the authorized department having jurisdiction.
The chapter and section of the Code under which it is issued.
An order that the dwelling or multifamily dwelling when vacated must remain vacant until the provisions of the order are complied with and the order to vacate is withdrawn.
The date the placard is posted.
A statement of the penalty for defacing or removal of the placard.
The phone number for the Construction Code Official.
Form of notice to owner. Whenever the Construction Code Official, or the appropriate official as designated by the governing body, has declared a dwelling or multifamily dwelling as unfit or human habitation, he shall give notice to the owner of such declaration and placarding of the dwelling or multifamily dwelling as unfit for human habitation. Such notice shall:
Service of notice on owner. Service of notice to vacate shall be as follows:
By delivery to the owner personally or by leaving the notice at the usual place of residence of the owner with a competent member of his household of the age of fourteen (14) years or older then residing therein.
By certified or registered mail addressed to the owner, at his last known address with postage prepaid thereon, or his agent.
By posting and keeping posted for twenty-four (24) hours a copy of the notice in placard form in a conspicuous place on the premises.
Removal of placard or notice. No person shall deface or remove the placard from any rental unit and residential unit which has been declared as unfit for human habitation except by authority, in writing, from the Construction Code Official or the appropriate official as designated by the governing body.
Occupancy of building. No rental unit or residential resale unit which has been declared as unfit for human habitation shall be used for human habitation until written approval is secured from the Construction Code Official or the appropriate official as designated by the governing body. The Construction Code Official, or the appropriate official as designated by the governing body, shall remove such placard whenever the defect or defects upon which the declaration and placarding action were based have been eliminated and the proper continued certificate of occupancy (CCO) obtained from the Construction Code Official or the appropriate official as designated by the governing body.
Exterior maintenance inspections shall be made by a formal written complaint by a resident of that particular area of concern only. All complaints shall be kept anonymous, either by tenant complaints or landlord complaints. The written complaint shall be waived for unsafe conditions only.
The following conditions for maintenance of the exterior property shall be the minimum conditions, and no person or entity shall occupy as an owner-occupant or rent to another for occupancy or use premises which do not comply with the following:
The exterior of the premises, the exterior of the structures and the condition of accessory structures shall be maintained so that the appearance of the premises and all buildings thereon shall reflect a good level of maintenance and in good repair keeping with the standards of that particular area and such that the appearance of the premises and structures shall not constitute a depressing factor for adjoining property owners nor an element leading to the progressive deterioration and downgrading of the particular area with the accompanying diminution of property values.
All structures and premises or vacant land shall be maintained in a clean, safe, secure and sanitary condition, as provided herein, so as not to cause a blighting problem or adversely affect the public health and safety.
All exterior property areas and premises shall be maintained in a clean, safe and sanitary condition free from any accumulation of garbage, refuse or rubbish (as per Chapter 122, Solid Waste, of the Township Code.)
Operators and occupants of every residential, commercial and industrial establishment shall provide and at all times cause to be used leakproof containers with close-fitting covers for the storage of garbage, refuse or rubbish (as per Chapter 122, Solid Waste, of the Township Code.)
All premises shall be graded and maintained so as to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water thereon or within any structures located on the premises.
Commercial and industrial areas shall have all driveways, parking areas and loading areas paved with concrete or bituminous concrete or equivalent surfacing and shall be free of dirt and other litter and in good repair. Pavement which is severely cracked with a deteriorated surface, frost-heaved or with potholes shall be repaired.
All traffic flow and control signs and structures shall be maintained in a functional condition. Directional and parking bay stripes shall be readable and control guardrails and fencing replaced when broken or severely damaged.
Extermination of the exterior of a structure or property shall be undertaken whenever infestation exists on the premises, whether infestation is exterior or interior.
All sidewalks, steps, driveways and similar paved areas for public use shall be kept in good repair, and deteriorated, uprooted, cracked or dilapidated sidewalks shall be repaired by the owner prior to sale or rental.
All areas shall be kept free from weeds or plant growth which are noxious, dangerous or detrimental to the public health and safety. The landscaping or premises shall be maintained in an orderly state with lawns and bushes trimmed and free from becoming overgrown, littered and unsightly where such would constitute a blighting effect, depreciating any adjoining and nearby property. Open areas shall be graded evenly to eliminate holes, depressions, gullies, mounds, accumulations or debris or other unsightly or unsafe conditions (as per Chapter 122, Solid Waste, of the Township Code).
All accessory structures, including detached garages, fences and walls, shall be maintained structurally sound.
The exterior of all premises shall be kept free of the following materials and conditions:
Abandoned, uncovered or structurally unsound wells, shafts, towers, cellar openings, basement hatchways, foundations or excavations.
Hidden or uncovered ground or surface hazards such as holes, sudden depressions, sharp or jagged projections or obstructions.
Dangerously loose and overhanging objects, including but not limited to dead trees or tree limbs, accumulations of ice or any object, natural or made-made, which could threaten the health and safety or persons if caused to fall, or other similar dangerous loose and overhanging objects which, by reason of their location above the ground level, constitute actual hazard to persons or vehicles in the vicinity thereof.
Exterior structures shall be maintained structurally sound and sanitary so as not to pose a threat to the health and safety of the occupants and so as to protect the occupants from the environment, including but not limited to:
All supporting structural members of all structures shall be kept structurally sound, free of deterioration and maintained capable of safely bearing the safety loads imposed upon them.
Every foundation, exterior walls, roofs and other exterior surfaces shall be maintained in a workmanlike state of maintenance and repair and shall be kept in such condition as to exclude rats.
All foundation walls shall be maintained so as to carry the safe design and operating safety loads and shall be maintained plumb and free from open cracks and breaks, so as not to be detrimental to public safety and welfare.
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 to the interior portions of the walls or to the occupied spaces of the building. All exterior surface materials, including wood, composition or metal siding, shall be maintained weatherproof and shall be properly surface-coated when required to prevent deterioration.
Roofs, gutters and downspouts shall be structurally sound and tight and shall not have defects which might admit rain, and roof drainage shall be adequate to prevent rainwater from causing dampness in the walls or interior portions of the building.
Chimneys and all flue and vent attachments thereto shall be maintained structurally sound, free from defects and so maintained as to capably perform at all times the functions for which they were designed. Chimneys, flues, gas vents or other draft-producing equipment shall be structurally safe, durable, smoketight and capable of withstanding the action of flue gases.
Every stair, porch, balcony, railing and all appurtenances attached thereto shall be so constructed as to be safe to use and capable of supporting the loads to which it is subjected and shall be kept in sound condition and good repair. All stairs and handrails shall conform to Uniform Construction Code standards.
There shall be no structurally unsound, loose, dangerous, crumbling, missing, broken, rotten or unsafe exterior portions of building or structures, including but not limited to porches, landings, balconies, stairways, handrails, steps, walls, overhangs, roofs, fences, supporting members, timber abutments, cupolas, fire escapes, signs or loose, crumbling or falling bricks, stones, mortar or plaster.
There shall be no broken glass or windows, rotted, missing or substantially destroyed window frames or sashes, door frames, exterior doors or other major exterior component parts of buildings or structures.
Windows, doors and hatchways. Every window, exterior door and basement hatchway shall be substantially tight and shall be kept in sound condition and repair. Every window sash shall be fully supplied with glass window panes or an approved substitute which are without open cracks or holes. Every window sash shall be in good condition and fit reasonable tight within its frame. Every window, other than a fixed window, shall be capable of being easily opened and shall be held in position by window hardware. Every exterior door, door hinge and door latch shall be maintained in good condition. Every exterior door, when closed, shall fit reasonably well within its frame. Every window, door and frame shall be constructed and maintained in such relation to the adjacent wall construction so as to exclude rain as completely as possible and to substantially exclude wind from entering the dwelling or multifamily dwelling. Every basement hatchway shall be constructed and maintained as to prevent the entrance of rodents, rain and surface drainage water into the dwelling or multifamily dwelling. Every door available as an exit shall be capable of being opened from the inside easily and without the use of a key. Guards and screens shall be supplied for protection against rodents and insects in accordance with the following requirements. Every basement or cellar window which is openable shall be supplied with corrosion-resistive rodent-proof shields, wire mesh screens or storm windows or with other materials affording equivalent protection against entry of rodents. From June 1 to October 15 of each year, every door opening directly from any dwelling or multifamily dwelling to the outdoors, and every window or other outside opening used for ventilation purposes, shall be supplied with a screen and every swinging screen door shall have a self-closing devise in good working condition; except that no such screen shall be required for a dwelling unit on a floor above the fifth floor.
Required space in dwelling units. Every dwelling unit shall contain a minimum gross floor area of not less than one hundred fifty (150) square feet for the first occupant and one hundred (100) square feet for each additional occupant. The floor area shall be calculated on the basis of the total area of habitable rooms.
Required space in sleeping rooms. In every dwelling unit of two (2) or more rooms, every room occupied for sleeping purposes of one (1) occupant shall contain at least seventy (70) square feet of floor space and every room occupied for sleeping purposes of more than one (1) occupant shall contain at least fifty (50) square feet of floor space for each additional occupant thereof.
Electrical outlets required. Every habitable room of such dwelling shall contain at least two (2) separate wall-type electric convenience outlets, or one (1) such convenience outlet and one (1) supplied ceiling-type light fixture. One (1) ground-fault interrupter outlet may be installed in lieu of two (2) outlets. Every such outlet and fixture shall be properly installed, shall be maintained in good and safe working condition and shall be connected to the source of electric power in a safe manner.
The electrical system in existing structures must be brought up to this standard when rented or sold.
Minimum house service shall be one-hundred-ampere 120/240-volt electric service with breaker system.
Smoke detectors shall be installed outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms and on each additional story of the dwelling, including basements and cellars. All detectors shall be connected to a sounding device or other detectors to provide, when activated, an alarm which will be audible in all sleeping areas. All detectors shall be approved and listed and shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. All smoke detectors may be battery operated in existing buildings.
Sump pumps shall be grounded in accordance with the New Jersey Electrical Code. All pumps shall be inspected for proper use.
All ceiling walls and woodwork shall be sound and free of loose paint or wall covering.
All floors shall be sound and painted or covered with an approved floor covering.
All stairs and hand railings shall be in sound condition.
All operable windows shall open easily and stay in an open position without the help of a prop.
All doors shall open and close easily. Bathroom and bedroom doors shall stay closed when in the closed position by an approved latch.
All sinks, showers and tubs shall have hot and cold water and all shall drain properly.
All water closets shall flush properly and shall be free of leaks.
All hot-water heaters shall be in sound condition and free of leaks.
All water and sewer lines shall be in sound condition and free of leaks.
Heating systems shall be in a sound and working condition and shall be properly vented. Inspection and certification of the heating system shall be made by the seller or negotiated with the buyer.
Every person who rents to another for occupancy, after adoption of this chapter, any residential rental units shall register the unit with the Township Construction Code Official, who shall maintain a registry thereof. The registration, on forms provided by the Township Construction Code Official or the appropriate official as designated by the governing body, shall include the following information:
Rental properties shall be required to have regular inspections annually. The registration shall be renewed with each change of occupancy. When the owner shall no longer rent the premises to another for occupancy, the owner shall notify the Construction Code Official, or the appropriate official as designated by the governing body, in writing, of such fact. Upon a conveyance of ownership of the residential rental unit, the new owner shall, within ten (10) days after settlement, notify the Construction Code Official, or the appropriate official as designated by the governing body, in writing, of the change in ownership.
No residential rental unit which is subject to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 55:13A-1 et seq. (Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Law) shall be subject to the provisions of this section.
Any person who violates the provisions of this section by letting to another for occupancy any residential rental unit without first having obtained a certificate of inspection or failing to register shall, upon conviction hereof, be subject to a penalty as provided in this chapter. Each day over ten (10) that such condition shall exist shall be deemed a separate violation of the terms of this section and is retroactive from the tenth day of occupancy.
Access by owner or operator. Every occupant of a rental unit and residential resale unit shall give the owner or operator thereof, or his agent or employee, access to any part or such dwelling unit, rental unit or its premises, at reasonable times for the purpose of making such inspections, maintenance, repairs or alterations as are necessary to comply with the provisions of this chapter.
Where, in lieu of an inspection, an owner, operator, occupant, lessee, prospective purchaser, mortgagee or prospective occupant requests a status report as to whether or not there are any known violations presently pending on the said premises, a copy of any notice or order of any violation shall be sent to the applicant.
Status reports under this chapter shall not be construed as providing a defense against any violation of this chapter or any other ordinance of the Township which may be discovered thereafter whether or not the condition or violation existed at the time of any such status report. The status report is provided as a convenience to the public and shall not constitute a limitation on the full enforcement of this chapter. The status report shall include only such matters as are embraced in this chapter.
The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by the Construction Code Official, or the appropriate official as designated by the governing body, with the assistance of the Chief of Police, Fire Official and Health Official as the Construction Code Official shall determine.
Whenever the enforcement officer determines that there is or has been a violation of any provision of this chapter, he shall give notice of such violation to the person, persons or entities responsible therefor under this chapter. Such notice shall be in writing and shall include a concise statement of the reasons for its issuance. Service of the notice shall be deemed sufficient if sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the person or entity as shown by the most recent tax lists of the municipality, or personal service, or a copy thereof being left at the usual place of abode or office of such person or entity. Such notice may be served either within or outside the municipality. The notice shall direct that the violation be removed, abated, cured, prevented or desisted within forty-five (45) days of the date of service of the notice, exclusive of the date of service, or summons will issue for such violation. The enforcement officer may extend the time for compliance with the notice for up to one (1) year, provided that, in his judgment, the abatement, removal, prevention, cessation or cure of the condition violated cannot reasonably be effected within the forty-five-day period; and in such cases, the enforcement officer shall state such reasonably required period, not exceeding one (1) year, which shall then be applicable instead of the aforesaid forty-five (45) days. In the event that the violation is not abated, removed, cured, prevented or desisted from or otherwise fully remedied within the forty-five-day period or extended period as set forth in the notice, a summons shall then be issued against the person, persons, entity or entities so notified. The owner will not be permitted to sell or rent until repairs are completed or a written negotiation has been accepted by the Construction Code Official, or the appropriate official as designated by the governing body, regarding completion of repairs.
Emergency conditions which are violations of this chapter requiring immediate attention to protect the public health and safety shall be the subject of an order and notice prepared and served as set forth in Subsection B above, which shall state the nature of the emergency and shall order immediate remediation. If a person or entity to whom such notice for immediate remediation files an objection immediately, in writing, to such a notice, such person or entity shall be afforded a hearing within forty-eight (48) hours and decision by the Construction Code Official, or the appropriate official as designated by the governing body, as to the existence or nonexistence of the emergency condition. The Construction Code Official or the appropriate official as designated by the governing body may continue such order in effect or modify or withdraw it, subject to the issuance of a summons for violation thereof, if such order is continued.
[Amended 12-1-1993 by Ord. No. 1993-32]
Any person or entity who shall violate any provision of this chapter or any order promulgated hereunder shall, after a summons issues under the terms hereof, upon conviction, be punished by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000.) or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding ninety (90) days or to a period of community service not exceeding ninety (90) days, or any combination thereof. Each violation of any of the provisions of this chapter and each day that each such violation shall continue shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense.
Inspection of premises and the issuing of orders in connection therewith under the provisions of this chapter shall be the exclusive responsibility of the Construction Code Official in the Township of Florence, County of Burlington. Wherever, in the opinion of the Construction Code Official, it is necessary or desirable to have inspections of any condition by any other department, he shall arrange for this to be done in such manner that the owners or occupants of buildings shall not be subjected to visits by numerous inspectors nor to multiple or conflicting orders. No order for correction of any violation under this chapter shall be issued without the approval of the Construction Code Official, or the appropriate official as designated by the governing body, and it shall be the responsibility of that official, before issuing any such order, to determine that it has the concurrence of any department or officer of the government concerned with any matter involved on the case in question.
Except as may otherwise be provided by statute or local law or ordinance, no officer, agent or employee of the Township of Florence in the County of Burlington charged with the enforcement of this chapter shall render himself personally liable for any damage that may accrue to persons or property as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this chapter. No person who institutes or assists in the prosecution of a criminal proceeding under this chapter shall be liable to damages hereunder unless he acted with actual malice and without reasonable grounds for believing that the person accused or prosecuted was guilty of an unlawful act or omission. Any suit brought against any officer, agent or employee of the Township of Florence in the County of Burlington, as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this chapter, shall be defended by the legal representatives of the Township of Florence in the County of Burlington until the final determination of the proceedings therein.
[Added 10-17-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-25]
In accordance with the authority granted under the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.26, the owner of any property, and the tenant of the property if the property is not occupied by the owner, shall maintain the property so that no wall or fence and no brush, hedge, or other plant life growing within 10 feet of any roadway and within 25 feet of any intersection of two roadways shall be cut to a height of not more than 2 1/2 feet where it shall be necessary and expedient, as determined by the Chief of Police, for the preservation of the public safety. The owner or tenant shall cut the brush, hedge or plant life within 10 days after notice to cut the same and, if the owner or tenant shall refuse, fail or neglect to cut the same within the 10 days, then the Chief of Police shall arrange to have the brush, hedge or plant life cut under by or under the direction of the Township with the costs to be assessed back to the owner or tenant of the property. The costs of cutting shall be in addition to any penalty which may be imposed for the violation of this provision.
[Added 1-18-2006 by Ord. No. 2005-31]
Whenever any property has been the subject of site plan review and approval, that property shall be maintained in accordance with the approved site plan. All parking areas shall be maintained with clearly visible striping for parking areas, handicapped parking spaces, and fire zones. All pavement, curbing and sidewalks shall be maintained free of broken and uneven surfaces. The property owner shall be responsible for making all necessary repairs. All landscaping shall be maintained in accordance with the approved plan. The property owner shall replace any shrubbery or trees that die within the next planting season with shrubs or trees of a size comparable to the shrub or tree that is being replaced.
Penalty. Any failure to maintain the property in accordance with the approved site plan shall subject the property owner to a fine not to exceed $1,000 for each violation. On a repeat violation occurring within 18 months of a conviction, the penalty shall be not less than $250 for each violation.
[Adopted 4-15-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-10]
Pursuant to the provisions of the Public Laws of 2014, Chapter 35, a creditor filing a summons and complaint to foreclose a lien on a residential property that is vacant and abandoned, whether the filing of the summons and complaint is made before or after a determination that the property is vacant and abandoned, shall be responsible for the care, maintenance, security, and upkeep of the exterior of the residential property. This obligation applies whether the determination that the property is vacant and abandoned is made by the public officer pursuant to the provisions of this article, any other chapter of the Code of the Township of Florence, pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 2A:50-73 or otherwise.
If the public officer, or other authorized municipal official, determines that a creditor obligated to care, maintain, secure and keep up a vacant and abandoned property has failed to do so in violation of the provisions of this article or any other chapter of this Code, the public officer or other authorized municipal official shall issue a notice of violation to the creditor that has filed a summons and complaint to foreclose on the property in question. The notice shall require the person or entity to correct the violation within 30 days of receipt of the notice, or within 10 days of receipt of the notice if the violation presents an imminent threat to public health and safety. The issuance of this notice shall constitute evidence that a property is "vacant and abandoned" for purposes of N.J.S.A. 2A:50-73.
An out-of-state creditor shall include the full name and contact information of the in-state representative or agent in the notice required to be provided to the municipal clerk pursuant to paragraph one of N.J.S.A. 46:10B-51. An out-of-state creditor found by a court of competent jurisdiction to have violated this provision shall be subject to a fine of $2,500 for each day of the violation commencing on the day after the ten-day period set forth in paragraph one of N.J.S.A. 46:10B-51 with respect to notifying the municipal clerk that an action to foreclose on the property has been filed.
Except as set forth in § 116-26 and herein, any person, firm, corporation or entity violating any provision of this article shall, upon conviction, be punishable as provided in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article I, of this Code. A creditor required to care, maintain, secure and keep up a property under this article cited in a notice issued pursuant to § 116-25 shall be subject to a fine of $1,500 for each day of the violation.
Notice of violations of property maintenance, building or other property codes for any property declared vacant and abandoned pursuant to this Article shall be given to a foreclosing creditor pursuant to the procedures of § 116-25 of this Code as required by P.L. 2014, c. 35.