Borough of Stanhope, NJ
Sussex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Stanhope 7-28-1965 as Ord. No. 1965-7; amended in its entirety 10-30-1990 by Ord. No. 1990-21. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 72.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 84.
Garbage, rubbish and refuse — See Ch. 89.
Housing standards — See Ch. 95.
In all cases where it shall be necessary and expedient for the preservation of the public health, safety or general welfare or to eliminate a fire hazard, the owners and the tenants of lands within the Borough of Stanhope upon which there are brush, weeds, dead and dying trees, stumps, roots, obnoxious growths, filth, garbage, trash and debris shall be notified in writing by the Zoning Officer of the Borough of Stanhope to remove the same.
Said notice shall be delivered to the owner or tenant personally, if a resident of the Borough of Stanhope or found therein, or mailed to him at his last known place of address by certified mail, return receipt requested, if residing outside said borough and not found therein.
Said notice shall inform the person, firm or corporation to whom it is directed that the presence on said lands (specifying the location of the same) of such brush, weeds, dead and dying trees, stumps, roots, obnoxious growths, filth, garbage, trash and debris constitutes a menace to the public health, safety or general welfare or constitutes a fire hazard; specify the items to be removed; direct that their removal be completed within 10 days following delivery of said notice; and advise that if removal is not completed within the time specified, the removal will be done under the direction of the Zoning Officer of the Borough of Stanhope, and the cost thereof will be charged as taxes and constitute a lien against the said lands, to bear interest at the same rate as taxes and to be collected and enforced by the same officers and in the same manner as taxes.
Upon the failure, neglect or refusal of any owner or tenant of lands upon whom such notice has been served, as aforesaid, to remove from said lands the items specified in such notice within the time fixed therefor, the Zoning Officer of the Borough of Stanhope shall either remove the same or cause the same to be removed under his direction to a dump or other suitable place, either within or outside the limits of the borough, and shall certify the cost thereof to the Mayor and Council, who shall examine said certificate and, if found correct, shall cause the cost as shown to be charged against said lands, and the amount so charged shall forthwith become a lien upon said lands and shall be added to and become and form part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon said lands, the same to bear interest at the same rate as taxes, and shall be collected and enforced by the same officers and in the same manner as taxes.
If, after diligent effort by the Zoning Officer of the Borough of Stanhope, neither the owner nor the tenant of lands upon which such menace to public health, safety or general welfare or fire hazard exists can be served with notice as hereinabove prescribed, then said Zoning Officer of the Borough of Stanhope shall proceed to remove or cause to be removed said items, or any of them, from said lands and shall certify the cost thereof to the Mayor and Council, who shall examine said certificate and, if found correct, shall cause the cost thereof to be charged against said lands, with the same effect and to be collected in the same manner as provided in § 111-4 hereof.
[Added 10-27-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-17]
A. 
The owner of every residential structure in the Borough of Stanhope shall at all times be required to properly maintain the exterior of the residential structure and/or appurtenant structures thereto. Improper exterior maintenance shall include, but shall not be limited to, such items as cracked, broken or missing windows and doors, cracked, curling, broken or missing roofing, peeling paint, loose, broken or missing siding, facia or trim, unpainted, unstained or otherwise uncovered, untreated raw wood or any other condition which would constitute a violation of the Uniform Construction Code, as adopted by Chapter 72 of the Code of the Borough of Stanhope.
B. 
In all cases where improper exterior maintenance has occurred, the property owner shall be notified in writing by the Zoning Officer of the Borough of Stanhope to correct same within 30 days of the date of the notice unless such improper maintenance constitutes an immediate threat to the public’s health, safety or welfare, in which event the property owner shall be required to remedy the improper exterior maintenance in such time as the Zoning Officer shall deem appropriate to adequately protect the public’s health, safety or welfare.
C. 
The notice of improper exterior maintenance may be delivered to the property owner personally or mailed to him at his last known place of address by certified mail, return receipt requested, and by first-class mail.
D. 
Any property owner failing to comply with the notice to remedy the improper exterior maintenance in the time provided by the notice served upon the property owner by the Zoning Officer shall, upon conviction, be punishable in accordance with § 111-30 of this chapter.
This article shall be known as the "Commercial Property Maintenance Code of the Borough of Stanhope" and is hereinafter referred to as "this code."
The purpose of this code is to protect the public health, safety and welfare by establishing minimum standards for the maintenance of commercial premises hereinafter defined; to fix responsibilities and duties upon owners, operators and occupants; to authorize and establish procedures for the inspection of such premises; to fix penalties for the violations of this code; and to provide for the right of access to permit repairs when necessary. This code is hereby declared to be remedial and essential for the public interest, and it is intended that this code be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes as stated herein.
The following terms, whenever used herein, shall have the following meanings, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
COMMERCIAL PREMISES
A lot or tract of land on which or on any part of which commercial activity takes place and is the principal use thereon. Commercial activity shall include all nonresidential uses enumerated under the Village Business, Planned Light Industrial/Commercial, Highway Commercial and Industrial Zones in Chapter 100 of the Borough Code, excluding home occupations and governmental, quasi-governmental, and not-for-profit uses. It shall also include multifamily residential uses, whether owner-occupied or not, and single-family residential uses that are not owner occupied. Properties owned and operated by nonprofit organizations are hereby expressly exempt from the provisions of this chapter.
[Amended 11-25-1997 by Ord. No. 1997-18]
EXTERIOR OF 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.
HARBORAGE
Any condition, man-made or natural, which affords a breeding place or hiding place for rodents, insects or other pests.
A. 
Any common-law nuisance or as provided by the laws of New Jersey or the ordinances of the Borough of Stanhope.
B. 
Any attractive nuisance which may prove detrimental to the health or safety of minor 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 sumac or poison oak, which may prove a hazard to minor children.
C. 
Physical conditions dangerous to human life or detrimental to the health of persons on or near the premises on which the condition exists.
D. 
Unsanitary conditions or anything offensive to the senses or dangerous to health in violation of the laws of the State of New Jersey or ordinances of the Borough of Stanhope.
E. 
Whatever renders air, food or drink unwholesome or detrimental to the health of human beings.
F. 
Fire hazards.
OCCUPANT
Any person having actual possession of the premises or part thereof.
OPERATOR
Any person who, alone or jointly or severally with others, shall have legal or equitable title to any commercial premises with or without accompanying actual possession thereof or shall have charge, care or control of any commercial premises as owner or agent of the owner or as a fiduciary, including but not limited to executor, administrator, 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 reassigning any part or all of any commercial 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 AREA
One or more buildings or parts thereof designed as a unit to be occupied by one or more businesses for the conduct of business and conducted as an integrated planned area development.
A. 
Every commercial premises and any building situated thereon in the Borough of Stanhope used or intended to be used for commercial occupancy shall comply with the provisions of this code, whether or not such building shall have been constructed, altered or repaired before or after the enactment of this code. This code establishes minimum standards for the initial and continued occupancy and use of all such commercial buildings and does not replace or modify standards otherwise established for the construction, repair, alteration or use of such commercial buildings or premises contained herein.
B. 
In any case where the standards established by this code differ from those of the State of New Jersey or other ordinances of the Borough of Stanhope in degree, the higher standard shall prevail.
Owners and operators shall have all the duties and responsibilities prescribed in this code, 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 §§ 111-19 through 111-24 of this code, 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.
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, and any of the foregoing shall be promptly removed and abated by the owner or operator. It shall be the duty of the owner or operator to keep the premises free of hazards, which include but are not limited to the following:
A. 
Refuse: broken glass, filth, garbage, trash, litter and debris.
B. 
Natural growth: brush, weeds, ragweeds, stumps, roots and obnoxious growths and dead and dying trees and limbs or other natural growth which, by reason of deteriorating or rotting conditions or storm damage, constitutes a hazard to persons in the vicinity thereof. Trees shall be kept pruned to prevent such conditions.
C. 
Overhangings: 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.
D. 
Ground surface hazards or unsanitary conditions, holes, broken or missing pavement, loose stone excavations, breaks, projections, obstructions, ice, uncleared snow and excretions of pets and other animals on paths, walks, driveways, parking lots and parking areas and other parts of the premises which are accessible to and used by the persons on the premises. All such holes and excavations shall be filled and repaired, walks and steps shall be repaired and other conditions shall be removed where necessary to eliminate hazards or unsanitary conditions with reasonable dispatch upon discovery thereof. It shall be the responsibility of owners and operators to take reasonable steps to discover such hazards or unsanitary conditions which may exist on their premises.
E. 
Recurring accumulations of stormwater. Adequate runoff drains shall be provided and maintained to eliminate any recurrent or excessive accumulation of stormwater.
F. 
Sources of infestation.
Premises shall be kept landscaped, and lawns, hedges and bushes shall be kept trimmed and from becoming overgrown. Plantings required by site plan approval shall be replaced whenever the same have died.
All signs, pavement markings and printed matter and pictures or illustrations contained thereon, permitted by reason of other regulations or as a lawful nonconforming use, shall be maintained in good repair.
In order to preserve property value and eliminate safety hazards and protect adjacent properties and the neighborhood from blighting influences, 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 whitewashed where necessary for purposes of preservation and appearance, free of broken glass, loose shingles, crumbling stone or brick or excessive peeling paint.
A. 
Unsafe exterior facilities. Unsafe exterior facilities include exterior porches, landings, balconies, stairs and fire escapes, all of which shall be kept structurally sound and in good repair and shall be provided with banisters or railings properly designed and maintained.
B. 
Signs and billboards. All permanent signs and billboards exposed to public view permitted by the Land Development Ordinance and regulated by the Building Code[1] or other regulations or as a lawful nonconforming use shall be maintained in good repair. Any sign or billboard which has weathered excessively or faded or the paint on which has excessively peeled or cracked shall, with its supporting members, be removed forthwith or put into a state of good repair. All nonoperative or broken electrical signs shall be repaired or shall, with their supporting members, be removed forthwith.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 100, Land Development, and Ch. 72, Construction Codes, Uniform, respectively.
C. 
Windows exposed to public view. All windows exposed to public view shall be kept clean and free of marks and foreign substances and be unbroken.
D. 
Awnings or marquees. Any awning or marquee and its accompanying structural members which extend over any street, sidewalk or other portion of the premises shall be so maintained as not to constitute a nuisance or safety hazard. In the event that any such awning or marquee is not properly maintained in accordance with the foregoing, it shall, together with its supporting members, be removed forthwith. In the event that any such awning or marquee is made of cloth, plastic or of similar materials, said materials, where exposed to public view, shall be maintained in good condition and shall not show evidence of excessive weathering, discoloration, ripping, tearing or other deterioration. Nothing herein shall be construed to authorize any encroachment of any awning, marquee or its structural members on streets, sidewalks or other parts of the public domain.
E. 
Temporary scaffolding or equipment. No temporary scaffolding or other temporary equipment used for construction, repair or maintenance shall be permitted to remain in place beyond a period necessary to reasonably complete the purpose for which such equipment was intended to be used without permission of the Code Enforcement Officer.
F. 
Store fronts. All store fronts shall be maintained in good repair, and all surfaces thereof shall be kept painted when necessary for purposes of preservation and appearance. In the event that repairs to a portion of the store front are made, such repairs shall be made with materials identical or compatible with the materials used in the area not undergoing repair, to the end that the appearance of the store front shall be uniform and attractive and shall not constitute a blighting factor depreciating adjoining properties.
G. 
Unoccupied buildings. All unoccupied buildings, including those areas visible by the public from the public street or sidewalk, must be maintained in broom-clean fashion and free from litter.
A. 
Outside storage or display of merchandise or equipment shall be forbidden. However, this section shall not apply to outside storage of motor vehicles, trailers, campers, boats, horticulture or agricultural products or equipment, utility sheds, outdoor furniture or other similar merchandise held for retail sale. This section shall apply but not be limited to storage of merchandise or equipment in trailers, motor vehicles, shacks, sheds or other outside containers, unless specifically approved by the Borough Planning Board or Board of Adjustment.
B. 
Waiver of this provision may be applied for by written request to the Borough Council and granted based upon the size and kind of merchandise or equipment, duration and location of the outside storage and the purpose of this code.
Parking lots or areas, including the entrances and exits thereto, shall be kept in a good state of repair and maintained so as to comply with § 111-13 of this code. Signs indicating ownership and use restrictions shall be maintained in good repair, clearly visible to potential parkers. Striping, where appropriate, shall indicate spaces, direction of flow and entrances and exits and be maintained so as to assure visibility.
The owner, operator and occupant shall have the duty and responsibility of removing refuse and garbage at least twice per week, but if twice-weekly pickup is not sufficient to remove all garbage that accumulates, more frequent removal shall be required.
Every day that the premises is open for business, the occupant shall be responsible for removing litter from the sidewalk or other pedestrian areas, if any, in front of the occupant's commercial premises. The area shall be swept as often as necessary to maintain it free of litter, spillage and other debris.
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 operator and occupant shall be responsible for the elimination of infestation in and on the premises subject to his control.
No person shall deposit any litter on the ground in any commercial premises.
The owner and operator of every shopping area shall be responsible for providing, maintaining and policing the following:
A. 
Means of ingress and egress shall be clearly marked by signs.
B. 
Parking spaces shall be clearly marked by painted lines.
C. 
Arrows shall be painted at each end of a lane indicating the appropriate direction for the flow of traffic.
D. 
A trash basket with at least a twenty-gallon capacity shall be provided for each 150 feet of store frontage in the shopping area. These baskets shall be placed in the walking area or pedestrian area and shall be provided with tight-fitting covers fitted with hinged doors and shall not be allowed to overflow.
E. 
Fire zones should be kept clear of all vehicular traffic and parking, as designated by the Fire Prevention Official of the Borough of Stanhope.
It shall be the duty of owners and operators, where parking spaces and lanes are provided for their customers, to see that all parking is done in conformity with the spaces provided and that the flow of traffic conforms to the directional arrows painted in the lanes between the parking spaces.
All buildings and premises subject to this code are subject to inspection from time to time by the Code Enforcement Officer, Health Officer, Police Department or other borough official charged with the responsibility of enforcing regulations governing any aspect or conduct of the activity housed in 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. Such inspections shall be made during open hours of the business occupying the premises 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.
Where the violation or condition existing on the premises is of such a nature as to constitute an immediate threat to life and limb unless abated without delay, the Police Department, Code Enforcement Officer or Health Officer may order the owner, operator or occupant to correct the violation or condition within the period of time consistent with the hazard involved and with the measures necessary to remove the hazard; and, upon the failure of the owner, operator or occupant to correct said violation or condition, the Police Department, Code Enforcement Officer or Health Officer shall abate the same immediately thereafter.
Where abatement of any nuisance, as defined herein, or correction of a defect on the premises or the maintenance of the premises in a proper condition to conform to applicable ordinances of the Borough of Stanhope or the laws of the State of New Jersey requires expenditure of the Borough of Stanhope's money therefor, the Police Department, Code Enforcement Officer or Health Officer shall present a report of the work accomplished to the governing body, along with a summary of the proceedings undertaken to secure compliance, including notice served upon owners, operators, occupants or their agents, as the case may be, by telephone, telegram, etc. The governing body shall then approve the expenditures made and assess the same against the premises, collectible as provided by law. A copy of the resolution approving said expenses shall be certified by the Municipal Clerk and filed with the Tax Collector, who shall be responsible for collection thereof, and a copy of the report and resolution shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner.
A. 
Except as provided in § 111-28 hereof, where violations of this code or the regulations hereunder are found to exist, a written notice from the Code Enforcement Officer shall be served upon the person or persons responsible for the correction thereof.
B. 
Notice shall be served personally or by certified mail, addressed to the last known address of the person to be served. In the case of an occupant, notice may be posted upon the main entrance door of the building, and in the case of an owner who does not reside within the corporate limits of the Borough of Stanhope, the last known address shall be the address of the owner as shown in the office of the Tax Collector.
C. 
The notice shall specify the violation or violations committed, what must be done to correct the same, a reasonable amount of time, not to exceed 30 days, to abate the violation, the right of the person served to request a hearing and that the notice shall become an order of the Code Enforcement Officer in 10 days after service unless a hearing is requested pursuant to these provisions.
D. 
Within 10 days of the date of the service of a notice, the notice shall constitute a final order unless any person affected by the notice requests a hearing thereon by serving a written request within the ten-day period in person or by certified mail on the Code Enforcement Officer. Such request for a hearing shall set forth briefly the reasons for which the request for a hearing is made and the factual matters contained in the notice of violation for which the hearing is requested. The Code Enforcement Officer, upon receipt of the request for hearing, shall, within 30 days therefrom and upon five days' notice to the parties so requesting, conduct a hearing.
E. 
At the hearing provided hereunder, the Code Enforcement Officer shall hear all parties, and determination shall be made within 10 days of the completion of the hearing. He shall then issue an order incorporating the determinations and directions contained in the notice, modifying the notice if he so deems necessary. The Code Enforcement Officer may extend the time for correction of the violations where he deems necessary.
F. 
In the event that the violation is not abated, removed, cured or otherwise fully remedied within the time period prescribed in the initial notice or extended time period as permitted by the Code Enforcement Officer, a summons shall then be issued against such person or persons charged with the violation.
[Amended 6-30-1998 by Ord. No. 1998-8]
Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days or a period of community service not exceeding 90 days, or any combination thereof. Each violation of any of the provisions of this chapter and each day that such offense shall continue shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense.